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Question: USB on Mac Mini failing?

My 2014 Mac Mini is Boot Camp'd into Windows 10.


I recently transitioned from using two single-bay NexStar USB 3.0 HDD docks connecting two 6.0 TB Western Digital drives to using one dual-bay Orico HDD dock for both drives for "convenience" -- one power connection and one USB connection instead of two. But then corruption issues revealed themselves on the drives and I ran chkdsk on both ("Corruption was found while examining files in directory") and reconnected the drives to the single-bay NexStar to run WD Diagnostics quick and extended tests, which the HDDs both passed. So I ordered an amazon top-rated dual-bay HDD dock brand Inateck and upon connecting my HDDs to that, Windows reported that one of the drives (J:) would not work unless formatted. Not wanting to lose all that data, I tried the same drive on the NexStar and Windows gave the same "won't work unless formatted" message so I went back to the Inateck dual-bay and began running chkdsk which is reporting new "Corruption was found while examining files in directory" but it looks like it is files that were copied using the Orico. But what I'm also experiencing upon connection of this Inateck device is the keyboard and mouse that are connected to my Thunderbolt monitor aren't working and the F1 & F2 brightness controls aren't working for the Thunderbolt monitor either. When I check Windows device manager, under Universal SErial Bus controllers, there is a yellow warning sign beside "Standard Enhanced PCI to USB Host Controller" which is reporting a Device status of "This device cannot start (Code 10) (Operation Failed) The requested operation was unsuccessful." Chkdsk is still running (it takes a while for a 6TB drive) so I have to wait before uninstalling devices from Device Manager as that might interrupt/break the chkdsk process. But what is happening? Is this a hardware issue inside the Mac Mini related to the USB ports? And how do I demonstrate this to Apple Support what I'm seeing on the Windows side? Is there a MacOS equivalent of Device Manager that would show this yellow alert on the "Standard Enhanced PCI to USB Host Controller"? Or is this just a Windows driver issue that just happened to occur when I started using a dual-bay Orico dock?

Mac mini (Late 2014), OS X El Capitan (10.11.6)

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Mar 16, 2018 5:20 AM in response to ckahn In response to ckahn

Are the drives formatted as MBR/NTFS or GPT/NTFS and partitioned? Do all drives work correctly when directly connected to the Mini, without any intervening Hubs/Docks? Do you have any third-party NTFS software?


Can you directly connect the drives to the mini and post the output of diskutil list from macOS Terminal? You can check About This Mac -> System Report as the closest equivalent of Windows Device Manager.

Mar 16, 2018 5:20 AM

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Mar 16, 2018 8:20 AM in response to Loner T In response to Loner T

The drives are exFAT formatted and have worked correctly until this Orico dual-bay switchover. (And it seems the corrupt files were copied during the Orico dock usage.) These are internal 3.5" HDDs so there is no way to directly connect them except via a dock.

Mar 16, 2018 8:20 AM

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Mar 16, 2018 1:23 PM in response to ckahn In response to ckahn

It is unlikely that Apple can/will address any issues with an external peripheral. If the Orico caused the initial corruption, which is getting worse, I suspect they have bugs in the firmware. I assume you have backups, in case you need them.

Mar 16, 2018 1:23 PM

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Mar 16, 2018 8:20 PM in response to Loner T In response to Loner T

I hope it's the Orico because that's a easy swap with the Inateck and I would never expect Apple to answer to Orico's faults, but if it's some component in the Mac Mini that is making USB transfers wonkey because it's failing and this wonkiness only shows up intermittently in Windows -- that is something difficult to demonstrate to Apple Support. I wish there were some USB diagnostic procedure I could use to measure the USB health of the Mini. Time will tell if the Inateck is an effective fix or the problem runs deeper or maybe the whole concept of dual-bay HDD docks is wonkey.

Mar 16, 2018 8:20 PM

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Mar 16, 2018 8:27 PM in response to ckahn In response to ckahn

If you have a 32GB or larger USB drive, connect it directly to the Mini's USB port and format it as you like and copy some files to it and verify the MD5sum on the source and copy. If they match, your issue is not related to Mini's USB ports.


I have Minis from 2006, 2010, 2011, 2012 and they have yet to show signs of any hardware failures. They are much more reliable than any other Mac, except perhaps the old tower MacPro.


I highly recommend How to use Apple Hardware Test on your Mac - Apple Support . Run it a few times on the Mini without any external storage using the keyboard/mouse/monitor.

Mar 16, 2018 8:27 PM

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Mar 17, 2018 6:04 AM in response to Loner T In response to Loner T

Well I'm re-running chkdsk on J: after deleting files flagged as corrupt in the last chkdsk run because I notice some missing folders that weren't named in that same last chkdsk run. Maybe chkdsk can restore those missing folders now that there's more space? Also I need to copy files from a camera to another drive. Will chkdsk (which I started last night and is still going on this 6TB drive) interfere with the file copy operation from the camera (E:) to the other drive (D:) or vice versa? I noticed my recording of the Oscars (via an ATSC USB device connected to an over-the-air antenna) kept dropping out and I was running chkdsk then. Perhaps there is a limit to how much activity can occur over the Mini's four USB ports at the same time? Here's a screenshot from Process Explorer showing the disk I/O and you can see where the camera copying starts while chkdsk is running.


User uploaded file

Mar 17, 2018 6:04 AM

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Mar 17, 2018 8:34 AM in response to ckahn In response to ckahn

chkdsk should be run on a 'quiet' drive, otherwise you risk further corruption. I suggest letting chkdsk do what it needs to do, before you start copying to the disk (irrespective of which partition you are using). Your 6TB disk is a mechanical disk.

Mar 17, 2018 8:34 AM

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Apr 27, 2018 1:59 PM in response to Loner T In response to Loner T

I've using the Inateck dual-bay HDD dock now on a brand new iMac and things are bad again.


1) accessing Drive L: from Explorer I get the message device is not ready

2) Disk Management is completely grey and at the bottom says "Connecting to Virtual Disk Service..."

3) Event viewer is full of "An error was detected on device \Device\Harddisk2\DR2 during a paging operation." events ranging from 2:12pm back to 8:33am, preceded by a "The IO operation at logical block address 0xa805800 for Disk 2 (PDO name: \Device\00000032) failed due to a hardware error." event.


Should I switch back to the dual-bay Orico HDD dock?


It seems every time I use a dual-bay dock (on a Mac Mini or now on a new iMac) things go bad.

Apr 27, 2018 1:59 PM

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Apr 27, 2018 8:11 PM in response to ckahn In response to ckahn

ckahn wrote:


I've using the Inateck dual-bay HDD dock now on a brand new iMac and things are bad again.


1) accessing Drive L: from Explorer I get the message device is not ready

2) Disk Management is completely grey and at the bottom says "Connecting to Virtual Disk Service..."

3) Event viewer is full of "An error was detected on device \Device\Harddisk2\DR2 during a paging operation." events ranging from 2:12pm back to 8:33am, preceded by a "The IO operation at logical block address 0xa805800 for Disk 2 (PDO name: \Device\00000032) failed due to a hardware error." event.

None of these looks good. Can you check if there any USB power-related settings? If yes, you may want to disable any such settings and check.


ckahn wrote:


Should I switch back to the dual-bay Orico HDD dock?


It seems every time I use a dual-bay dock (on a Mac Mini or now on a new iMac) things go bad.

If these are SATA disks, try standalone SATA enclosures, instead of dual-bay docks, which may provide better results.

Apr 27, 2018 8:11 PM

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Question: USB on Mac Mini failing?