1. Is this icon the spinning beachball? (Meaning system is busy)
2. Are you trying to rename a video on one of the external hard drives?
If yes, it sounds like a permissions problem. Select the video file and right click Get Info. Is it shown as locked under the General section of the info window which comes up?
At the bottom of the info window you will see Sharing and Permissions. Your user name (or everyone) needs to have Read & Write against it in the Privilege column.
To correct these settings you have to click on the padlock at the bottom of the window and enter the administrator password. You should be able to unlock and change the permissions.
It turned out that the drive I was using was a Windows only NTFS drive and that I needed to get another drive and format it for MAC.
When I went to format the drive to MAC I hooked the drive up on the right side of the MACBOOK PRO and it wouldn't load appropriately. I used a WD MYPASSPORT 2TB drive. When I moved the USB drive to the left USB it loaded right away. Not sure why it would only read from one USB and not the other but I was able to get it formated on the left USB port.
Both USB ports should be the same - if one doesn't work properly there is a hardware fault.
Mac can only read NTFS formatted drives natively which is the reason for not having write permissions..
Once you have transferred your files from your NTFS drive it should be possible to reformat it for Mac using Disk Utility.