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Question: Not recognizing external hard drive

I have a 1 terabyte seagate external hard drive that I used to back up my PCs and tried to connect it to my Macbook Pro to transfer the files over from my old computers, but the Mac won't recognize the external hard drive at all. Any suggestions?

Macbook Pro 15" 2.66 ghz, Mac OS X (10.6.4)

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Jan 20, 2011 2:43 PM in response to Dunwoody How In response to Dunwoody How

I am having the same problem. My Macbook Pro is not recognizing my external Lacie HD, which connects via USB, or my Time Machine, which is wireless. My time machine still works as a router. I think this is a software issue that cropped up with one of the last updates. Any suggestions??

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Feb 2, 2011 8:41 PM in response to kreesetaylor In response to kreesetaylor

I am having this same problem. I have a USB external drive and a Firewire 800 drive that I was backing up to using Time Machine and suddenly Time Machine just froze up. Then when I restarted the machine just gave me a grey screen and wouldn't boot until I disconnected the drives.

Now the drives won't show up in the finder. I can see them attached using system profiler but I can't access them. This is really frustrating.

Anyone have any solutions?

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Feb 27, 2011 8:37 PM in response to Weeblerock In response to Weeblerock

I'm going to add my experience to this thread: Been using a 500GB Seagate portable external harddrive with my MacBook Pro for about 6 months to back up my MacBook as well as my iMac Desktop. Have had close to a dozen backups successfully performed on each machine. Yesterday, my Seagate went to back up the MacBook, and time machine displayed a message that it could not read the previous backup and needed either to erase it or create a new one (something like that anyway). It backed everything up from scratch -- took about 25-30 mins. After that backup was completed, I took the drive to the imac and attempted to do a backup and the imac was unable to see the drive. I launched Disk Utility on the imac and it was able to see the drive, so I tried to verify the disk. Midway through, DU said "this disk needs to be repaired." So, I began the repair process. After about 10 mins, DU said this disk cannot be repaired. I brought the disk back to the MacBook and same result-- MacBook could not see the disk even though it had just back up the entire thing 30 minutes previously. Figuring the drive was busted, I went out and bought a 1 TB seagate drive. Upon connecting it to the MacBook, it launched an internal app which installed Memeo (apparently Seagates version of Time Machine). Once done, I launched Time Machine and it reformatted the entire drive. Then it backed up the entire disk-- again taking about 30+ minutes to do so. I walked over to the imac and presto-- exactly the same thing happened as before-- it could not recognize the drive. Again I launched DU and it said the disk needed repair, and again the repair process stopped after a few minutes saying it could not repair the disk. Bringing the EHD back to my MacBook, I plugged it in and nada. The macbook will not recognize the drive. It can see it within the Disk Utility program and from within system profiler, but it appears not to see it on the desktop.

Now that I have two apparently non functioning backup drives, I would greatly appreciate any insights you guys could offer. Thanks.

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Mar 15, 2014 8:32 AM in response to Weeblerock In response to Weeblerock

Someone please help -


I have the latest macbook pro retina display running on 10.9.2


My external hardrive just stopped being recognized today however when i go


apple logo > about this mac> More info> System Report> USB then im able to see it there

but not able to do anything with it ???


PLEASE HELP !!!1 STARTING TO HATE MACS now

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Sep 21, 2010 5:50 PM in response to Weeblerock In response to Weeblerock

Jumping into this thread to say I've run into the same problem--my WD Elements 1TB drive works fine on Windows computers (I've tried a few), but my Macbook Pro won't even pick it up at the I/O level. I'd reformat the drive if I could only get my Mac to recognize that the darn thing exists, heh. Any suggestions appreciated...

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Sep 5, 2010 3:30 PM in response to Weeblerock In response to Weeblerock

Hi Weeblerock,

When you say that the computer is not recognizing the HD, where is not seeing the drive? In Finder, in Disk Utility or in System Profiler? Based on how the drive was formatted on the PC there's a good chance you'll need to completely wipe and partition the drive in order to use the external HD.

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Oct 17, 2010 12:11 AM in response to CbuscCycler In response to CbuscCycler

I have the same problem where the system has suddenly decided to stop recognising my USB drive. until recently all my backups were on this drive, now it cannot find it???
What is going on? was it the latest software update??
How do I get it back?
Please help

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Mar 9, 2011 7:41 PM in response to Weeblerock In response to Weeblerock

I am having the SAME problem User uploaded file Why is Apple not doing anything about this? I have a lovely LaCie, and I simply cannot get Timescape to recognize it. If someone calls Apple Care, can they please post the solution? (my applecare has expired)

Thanks!

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Feb 20, 2014 12:21 PM in response to Weeblerock In response to Weeblerock

I was having the same problem. My MBP would not recognize my disk, and no image was mounted on my desktop. I went into System preferences and noted that while the disk was recognized it was not 'available'. I verified the disk through disk utility to no avail. In the end I ended up having to delete my previous backups, and re-format the disk for use by Time Machine.


I am using a 2010 MacBook Pro hard drive scavenged from my old laptop, the logic board of which suffered water damage.

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Mar 23, 2011 9:35 PM in response to Weeblerock In response to Weeblerock

I'm so screwed.

I'm looking at 4 HDD which are all not recognized by my MBP.
I'm running osx 10.6.5, plugged in via usb.
USB ports and cables are working fine with everything else I use them with.
Drives are not BUS powered. I'm even plugging the HDD in a power regulator to make sure it's getting clean, smooth power

One drive was working fine. partitioned one side as time machine and the other as storage.
The Time machine side disappeared, tried to repair disk and now both sides are not mounting.
I have a BRAND NEW 2 TB HDD and enclosure. I was able to see them before I formatted them for use. After formatting them, I no longer see them. Not on the desktop, Disk Utilities or disk warrior.
It's not the HDD's. BRAND NEW! User uploaded file I even returned them and got a new set just to make sure.
Something is wrong with my MBP, not the HDD's.

this has been going of for over 1.5 years. Nobody has a clue on what is going on. I'm really ****** off that I'm loosing all of my data because Apple hasn't fixed this problem.


I will send $25 via Paypal to the first person who posts a fix to my problem.
Please help User uploaded file

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Oct 14, 2010 5:49 AM in response to Ganamex In response to Ganamex

I have the same problem. I have been using an external hard drive for a few months now and all of a sudden my Macbook has stopped recognizing the drive when I plug it in as I always correctly had done. It says TimeMachine is Delayed. My last back up was Oct 2, 2010. I have tried restarting my computer with the drive attached and with it not attached. Still does not recognize it. When I say recognize I mean it does not show up on the desktop and the time machine application cannot see any attached drives.
Any help is appreciated.
Thank you

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Mar 21, 2014 7:07 PM in response to Weeblerock In response to Weeblerock

About once a year my 2012 27" iMac decides not to recognise my Seagate external 2TB HDD. It doesn't even show up in Disk Utility. This always works to get it back again:


1. Unplug external HDD from power and USB.

2. Restart Mac.

3. Plug HDD USB cable into Mac USB port.

4. Turn HDD power on.

5. Wait several anxious seconds.

6. Success!


It never works if you have the HDD already powered up when you plug it in to the Mac USB, so I suspect something to do with USB power is the issue.

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May 10, 2011 5:09 AM in response to sbvet1 In response to sbvet1

Update...


After about an hour of hanging with "Updating boot support..." in Disk Utility, I clicked Stop Repair and unplugged the HD.


Replugging it still gave the same problem (showed up in Disk Utility but not in Finder), so I restarted the MacBook Pro and ta-dah.... the HD is back as normal.


I have no idea what has happened. Sorry I cannot be of help if others have the same or similar problems.



(I'm on a Sep. 2009 MacBook Pro 13" 2.26 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, Mac OS X (10.6.7), 2 GB 1067 MHz DDR3 NVIDIA GeForce 9400M)

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Sep 6, 2010 2:15 AM in response to Weeblerock In response to Weeblerock

Weeblerock wrote:
It wasn't being recognized in Finder or in System Profile.


Hi Weeblerock,

Are you sure it's not being recognized in System Profiler? Because that's a whole other bag of issues. By System Profiler I'm referring if you go Apple Logo > About This Mac > More Info and then select the bus that the drive is connected via to your computer. Which is most likely USB.

Disk Utility, an application within the Utilities folder is something completely different. If it sees it there and it's not a mount point then it's an NTFS / OS X file format issue. Macs can read from NTFS volumes but I'm not aware of a method to write to an NTFS volume.

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Nov 4, 2010 12:23 PM in response to Co de Kleuver In response to Co de Kleuver

"Just thought I let you know, i reformatted (deleted ) the drive sacrificing previous backups and immediately the drive was recognised by my system and the icon appeared on the desktop."

system being mac OS?
are you saying if you wipe the WD mac will recognize it?

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Jul 26, 2013 8:05 PM in response to Weeblerock In response to Weeblerock

As owner of nearly 100 hard drives, and used enough 1000s of them, everyone should remember 2 points for the future.


1. NEVER buy a western digital drive for your Mac, just dont do it.


2. Most of these HD new out of box are NOT FORMATTED for Mac OSX,.....erase any new out of box drive, and have it formatted as "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)".


3. Most all external HD have very junk SATA connectors between them and the Mac,......if your drive all the sudden "isnt recognized" is far far more common than you realize, it doesnt indicate that either the HD is bad, OR your Mac has issues.... rather the SATA connector between the HD and Mac is fried. Good news is, cracking open an external HD and removing the HD and connecting it via a HD dock and 9 times out of 10, everything is "good to go". I recommend anyone who can, to own a HD dock.


4. Some HD are flakey and have "haunted" recognition issues when plugging them in. Many 2.5" HD (especially the larger ones, and the 'older' ones (older than a year or two) run on the razors edge for power as drained thru USB to get them working perfectly 100% of the time. Good news, the HD is ok, the Mac is ok, but the HD isnt getting enough power thru the USB. Seen this a 1000 times.


Lacie doesnt make Hard drives, they contain seagate inside. Toshiba doesnt make 2.5" hard drives, theyre made by Hitachi (same HD Apple uses inside their Macbook pro and Mac Mini).

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Sep 5, 2010 3:30 PM in response to Weeblerock In response to Weeblerock

Hi Weeblerock,

When you say that the computer is not recognizing the HD, where is not seeing the drive? In Finder, in Disk Utility or in System Profiler? Based on how the drive was formatted on the PC there's a good chance you'll need to completely wipe and partition the drive in order to use the external HD.

Sep 5, 2010 3:30 PM

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Sep 5, 2010 9:01 PM in response to JasonFear In response to JasonFear

It wasn't being recognized in Finder or in System Profile. I suspect that the drive has been formatted using the NTSF system, but I haven't actually double checked that. Does anyone have a recommended program for reading/writing NTSF on a mac?

Sep 5, 2010 9:01 PM

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Sep 6, 2010 2:15 AM in response to Weeblerock In response to Weeblerock

Weeblerock wrote:
It wasn't being recognized in Finder or in System Profile.


Hi Weeblerock,

Are you sure it's not being recognized in System Profiler? Because that's a whole other bag of issues. By System Profiler I'm referring if you go Apple Logo > About This Mac > More Info and then select the bus that the drive is connected via to your computer. Which is most likely USB.

Disk Utility, an application within the Utilities folder is something completely different. If it sees it there and it's not a mount point then it's an NTFS / OS X file format issue. Macs can read from NTFS volumes but I'm not aware of a method to write to an NTFS volume.

Sep 6, 2010 2:15 AM

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Sep 6, 2010 4:57 PM in response to Weeblerock In response to Weeblerock

Hi Weeblerock,

That's interesting. The fact that it's not seeing the drive even in System Profiler is not a good sign, as the drive isn't even being seen at the bus (I/O) level. Is it a bus powered drive or does it draw power from the wall as well?

The fact that the drive isn't even being seen via System Profiler tells me that it's not a partition/formatting issue but more of a hardware compatibility issue. Any other external HDs to test against?

Sep 6, 2010 4:57 PM

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Sep 21, 2010 5:50 PM in response to Weeblerock In response to Weeblerock

Jumping into this thread to say I've run into the same problem--my WD Elements 1TB drive works fine on Windows computers (I've tried a few), but my Macbook Pro won't even pick it up at the I/O level. I'd reformat the drive if I could only get my Mac to recognize that the darn thing exists, heh. Any suggestions appreciated...

Sep 21, 2010 5:50 PM

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Oct 14, 2010 5:49 AM in response to Ganamex In response to Ganamex

I have the same problem. I have been using an external hard drive for a few months now and all of a sudden my Macbook has stopped recognizing the drive when I plug it in as I always correctly had done. It says TimeMachine is Delayed. My last back up was Oct 2, 2010. I have tried restarting my computer with the drive attached and with it not attached. Still does not recognize it. When I say recognize I mean it does not show up on the desktop and the time machine application cannot see any attached drives.
Any help is appreciated.
Thank you

Oct 14, 2010 5:49 AM

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Oct 17, 2010 12:11 AM in response to CbuscCycler In response to CbuscCycler

I have the same problem where the system has suddenly decided to stop recognising my USB drive. until recently all my backups were on this drive, now it cannot find it???
What is going on? was it the latest software update??
How do I get it back?
Please help

Oct 17, 2010 12:11 AM

Reply Helpful (21)

Oct 17, 2010 4:57 AM in response to CbuscCycler In response to CbuscCycler

Just thought I let you know, i reformatted (deleted ) the drive sacrificing previous backups and immediately the drive was recognised by my system and the icon appeared on the desktop.
I believe that the last upgrade to the mac software is the culprit that made the drive disappear until reformatted.
It may be a price to pay to reformat but at least you get the drive back and can do a new backup.
Hope this helps
Co

Message was edited by: Co de Kleuver

Oct 17, 2010 4:57 AM

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Nov 4, 2010 12:20 PM in response to Weeblerock In response to Weeblerock

QUESTION

i too have a wd external hard drive.
i lucked out and my mac recognized it so i got my files off. but now the mac is not finding now.
so how do i reformat it to mac?
the HS still comes up on my windows computer so....

can i reformat to mac while i have it plugged up to a PC?

thanks so much.

Nov 4, 2010 12:20 PM

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Nov 4, 2010 12:23 PM in response to Co de Kleuver In response to Co de Kleuver

"Just thought I let you know, i reformatted (deleted ) the drive sacrificing previous backups and immediately the drive was recognised by my system and the icon appeared on the desktop."

system being mac OS?
are you saying if you wipe the WD mac will recognize it?

Nov 4, 2010 12:23 PM

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Question: Not recognizing external hard drive