Previous 1 2 Next 22 Replies Latest reply: Nov 21, 2012 7:16 PM by den.thed
Stephen Throop Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I want to get an external hard disk.  I've read about lots of problems with various  USB 3.0 drives.


Mac mini, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8), 2.5 gHz Intel i5
  • den.thed Level 7 Level 7 (24,510 points)

    You should be fine using any 2.0 or 3.0 USB Drive, as long as you stay away from Cheap-O Bargain Basement Drives.

     

    USB 2.0 v 3.0 - Google Search

  • Stephen Throop Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I'm concerned because of what I've read here and in Mac Rumors.  Here's one where two people have been unable to use Seagates.

    https://discussions.apple.com/message/19170039#19170039

     

    Here, a user found that WD worked.  However, this thread indicates that users have trouble with WD.

    https://discussions.apple.com/message/18185596#18185596

     

    I believe it was in Macrumors that a user reported that Seagate told him Apple's USB 3.0 was the problem.

     

    Here's one where a LaCie 3.0 drive wouldn't mount in Lion.

    https://discussions.apple.com/message/15982055#15982055

     

    Eventually, LaCie released a driver, but a more recent thread says LaCie disks wouldn't work with Mountain Lion.  One user reported that LaCie told him they had no plans to release a driver for Mountain Lion.

     

    As for USB 3.0 vs 2.0, I've had intermittent trouble with two out of three mice.  Sometimes my new Mini can't enumerate them on startup. Sometimes I need to reconnect to get cursor movement after sleep. 

  • syhr Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    I'm using this enclosure  eshop.macsales.com/shop/ministack  with a new Toshiba Deskstar 500 GB 7200RPM Deskstar that I bought several years ago.  I'm using a USB 3 connection and the disk functions as my startup disk.  My Mini is an i7 2.6 Ghz with 16 GB ram. 

     

    I have had no problems.  Believe Toshiba disks are now HGST disks.  You can purchase the enclosure bare and add your own drive or populated with a disk or SSD drive...

     

    Good luck.

     

    rhys

  • den.thed Level 7 Level 7 (24,510 points)

    Most of those problems seem to be with using either a Windows HTFS or Apple's old APM Formatted Drive in Mountain Lion and not so much with Hardware.

     

    Whichever External Hard Drive you decide on, just be sure that it say's Mac OS X compatible on the box and use Disk Utility to Erase and Format it before starting your Time Machine backups or moving files to it.

  • Stephen Throop Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks.  I'd prefer to buy an enclosure and a disk separately, like you.

     

    I bought a ministack six years ago.  I could have bought the enclosure and a disk, but I bought one containing a disk.

     

    One morning after a year, the power light didn't come on.  Logically, the first step was to try the disk in another enclosure.  I discovered a seal, warning that opening the enclosure would void the warranty.  I contacted tech support to explain that I thought the disk itself was okay, but if I sent it off, and the disk didn't come back with my backup on it, if something happened to my internal disk in the mean time, I'd lose very valuable personal data forever.  I said I wanted to try the disk in another enclosure.

     

    They refused.  Because I'd bought them together, that would void my warranty.  I risked sending the whole thing back.  It came back with a checklist saying it was all perfect.  Without connecting it to my computer, I plugged in the power supply and switched it on.  There was no light or sound. 

     

    I emailed them.  They said there must have been something wrong with my USB connection.  I reminded them that it hadn't been connected to anything but the power supply.  I asked if they'd fix it if I sent it back.  They said it would probably come back to me in the same condition.

     

    Their warranty was worthless if they were unwilling to honor it.  I'd noticed something else.  No matter what day I emailed them, they would take 48 hours to reply.  If I sent it back, I'd probably be pouring money down a rat hole, and I might lose my backup data.

     

    I bought an enclosure from another vendor.  It and the original disk work fine to this day.  No more OWC for me.

  • Stephen Throop Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I haven't seen a thread where anyone had figured out it was formatting.  In one case, a disk would mount if reconnected several times.  In another it would mount, but it would unmount a few minutes later.  In another case, it would revert to 2.0 when waked.  Others said it happened to them, too.

     

    I read of only one solution.  That disk drew slightly more than the specified 900ma.  Lion allowed it, but not Mountain Lion.  The solution was a powered hub.

     

    These threads seem to be about disks that worked with Lion but not Mountain Lion.  At this point, I'm afraid this might be true of any disk in a box marked Mac OS X compatible.

  • den.thed Level 7 Level 7 (24,510 points)

    Please do not read to much into any one thread or over concern yourself with a few isolated problems! If you do, then you will never develop a good backup strategy of your own.

     

    Personally I have no less than 10 different External Drives that backup 3 different Mac's (2 old Maxtor Desktop FireWire Drives, 1 old Maxtor Desktop USB Drive, 2 home made Desktop USB Drives, 2 WD Passport Portable Drives, 2 Seagate FreeAgent Portable Drives, 1 home made Portable Drive and 3 other bare drive that I use with a USB Drive Adapter) and even the older ones that I used with Tiger, Leopard and Snow Leopard, work just fine with Mountain Lion. Adding that the Desktop Drives are Mac Formatted and used for Bootable Clones, Time Machine and Music, while most of the Portable Drives are Formatted MS-DOS FAT-32 for sharing music and photos cross-platform and all work as expected.

     

    On that note: If you are really concerned about backup, get more than one External Hard Drive and do a different type of Backup on each one.

     

    see > My backup plan: Dan Frakes | Macworld

  • Stephen Throop Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    My backup strategy depends on devices that work.  At one time I used 8" floppies.  They worked.  Then I used 5.5" floppies.  They worked.  When I got a Mac, I had to use 3.5" floppies.  They weren't reliable.  My strategy was to make three copies of everything.  That meant I had trouble finding the disk I needed.

     

    I got a SCSI Zip drive.  There were reports that the drive could fail suddenly, but the removable data would be safe.  Then I got a SCSI hard drive.  The Achilles heel was a hardware bug in the computer.  Occasionally, it would say the internal drive, the external drive, and the installation CD were all unreadable.  Fortunately, the disks were always repairable after the Mac was feeling better.  That drive still works.

     

    I bought a USB enclosure and disk because I knew my next Mac wouldn't have SCSI.  They still work. 

     

    I bought a Firewire enclosure and disk so I could boot from my clone.  Doing business with OWC proved to be very bad backup strategy.  The enclosure failed to power up.  They said I would void my warranty if I removed the disk to safeguard my backup.  They said they'd checked it out, but it still wouldn't power up.  They said they'd do the same thing if I sent it back again.

     

    I got another Firewire enclosure that still works fine, but I had to look before I leaped.  Lots of Mac owners had Firewire drives, but not all were bootable.  It took digging to find out if the one I intended to buy had the right chip set. 

     

    Sometimes problems posted in forums are isolated, but in these threads, others say, "me too," and nobody says his works fine.  Are any of your disks running on USB 3.0 with Ivy Bridge and Mountain Lion?  I have two USB mice which must often be reconnected to communicate with my 2012 Mini.  It's a nuisance for mice and could be disastrous for a backup disk.

  • den.thed Level 7 Level 7 (24,510 points)

    Stephen Throop wrote:

     

    I bought a Firewire enclosure and disk so I could boot from my clone.  Doing business with OWC proved to be very bad backup strategy.  The enclosure failed to power up.  They said I would void my warranty if I removed the disk to safeguard my backup.  They said they'd checked it out, but it still wouldn't power up.  They said they'd do the same thing if I sent it back again.

     

    So check out Fry's, on Sunday I noticed that they had more than a half dozen brands of USB 3.0 Desktop and Portable Enclosures.

     

    Stephen Throop wrote:

     

    I got another Firewire enclosure that still works fine, but I had to look before I leaped.  Lots of Mac owners had Firewire drives, but not all were bootable.  It took digging to find out if the one I intended to buy had the right chip set.

     

    That was true for PPC Mac's, however Intel iMac's can boot from FireWire and most all USB Drives if they are Partitioned and Formatted correctly.

     

    Stephen Throop wrote:

     

    Sometimes problems posted in forums are isolated, but in these threads, others say, "me too," and nobody says his works fine.  Are any of your disks running on USB 3.0 with Ivy Bridge and Mountain Lion?  I have two USB mice which must often be reconnected to communicate with my 2012 Mini.  It's a nuisance for mice and could be disastrous for a backup disk.

     

    You will always have "me too's" here... The forums are like an ER rooms, some folks get whisked straight to surgery while the hypochondriacs congregate and complain about there problems.

     

    I'm not sure what kind of connection problems you are having with mice or what brand they are, but perhaps you should focus on that problem first.

  • Stephen Throop Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    You said all Firewire disks would boot an Intel iMac but not all would boot my PPC Mini.  We think alike.  Before buying a USB disk, I want to be sure it will work with the particular Mac I have now.

     

    I haven't read reports of having to reconnect mice with this model, so I turned to Support.  Support had me delete the Power Management plist and reset the PMU.  Why didn't I think of that!  It seems possible that there could have been junk in the PMU when I received the unit. 

     

    Support isn't aware of any USB 3.0 disks that don't work properly with my model.  I wonder if junk in the PMU was behind the complaints I've read about disks.  If I have no more mouse trouble, I'll be confident about buying a disk or enclosure.

  • den.thed Level 7 Level 7 (24,510 points)

    Yes, except that Intel iMac's have SMC's and not PMU or SMU's.

     

    see > Intel-based Macs: Resetting the System Management Controller (SMC)

  • Stephen Throop Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I believe Support said I was resetting the PMU and the SMC.  This article, updated a year ago, still calls it the PMU.  http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2183#

     

    After telling you the step-by-step procedure, it directs you to the Intel page.  Neither procedure is quite the same as what he had me do.

  • den.thed Level 7 Level 7 (24,510 points)

    Those are the instructions for a PowerPC Mac, if you look down towards the bottom you will see the same link to the Intel one that I gave you above.

  • Stephen Throop Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    We think alike.  It's funny that in 2011 they never said it was for PPCs, and they didn't mention Intel until after the instructions.  Instead of giving you the simple instructions for an Intel mini, they send you to a page with symptoms for laptops.

     

    If disconnecting the power resets the SMC of an Intel, I've done it every time I shut off the surge supressor.  He had me press the start button with the power disconnected.  I wonder if that did more than resetting the SMC.

Previous 1 2 Next