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Ask Dave Huber Your Own Question

Dave Huber
Dave Huber, Mac Support Specialist
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 61
Experience:  Mac user since 1984, Mac Support Specialist since 1999. In charge of over 700 Macs at current job.
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I have hooked up 2 different external hard drives to my mac

Customer Question

I have hooked up 2 different external hard drives to my mac mini and they have been working fine but recently I disconnected the one that was hooked up with it's firewire connection, shut the mac mini down of course but when I connected it with a usb connecter and turned the computer back on I couldn't see the the hard drive and for that matter I also hooked another hard drive that was still using a usb connector and I couldn't see it either. The reason I moved the one drive from its fireire connection to it usb connection is because I needed the only firewire slot on the mac mini for my dvd external burner and I needed the data on the hard drive at the same time so I could write to the dvd burner.   What am I doing wrong. I had this happen before but some how it eventually seemed to fix itself. Thanks Lenny
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Dave Huber replied 7 years ago.

You are most likely not doing ANYTHING wrong. Here's a few things:

1) You would probably benefit from a firewire hub. IOGear has a USB 2.0/firewire hub for less than $30. Here's one that has 4 USB 2 ports and 3 Firewire 400 ports.

2) Make sure that the external drives you are connecting with USB cables have a power supply (plug the drive into an AC power source).

3) Go to Applications->Utilities->Disk Utility. Open this up and see if your drives appear in the left side of the window (possibly grayed out). If you see them, but the are grayed out, click on the disk and press the "mount" button.

It is possible that there is not enough power coming over the USB cable to make the connection. There is not much you can do in these situations which is why I strongly encourage you to get the hub I mentioned above.

Good luck!!!!

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
None of that worked. I went to Apps and then Utilities and then Disk Utilities. Nothing showed up on the left side that was greyed out so there was nothing to mount. I kept shutting down and trying this and trying that. At one point one of the USB connectors didn't seem fully pushed it, it was a little cocked but that doesn't explain why the other different drives also didn't work. It eventually decided to work. In order to some more trust why don't you take the $9 and give me a credit on a future problem I may have. I would be fine with that. Lenny
Expert:  Dave Huber replied 7 years ago.
Sure, that would be fine. Have you thought about picking up a firewire hub? I found that it really helped out with the Mac Mini.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
The Mac mini has 4 USB connections but only 1 Firewire. Are you saying I would be better off with a Firewire hub and what would be the limit of connections on the hub until it gets overworked? Got any suggestion where I can get a good buy on a hub.   Lenny
Expert:  Dave Huber replied 7 years ago.
Hi again.

Correct, you will be much better off with a firewire hub. Here's a good deal on a hub:

This will bring your mac mini up to 3 firewire ports (and 7 USB ports).

Don't worry about overload. The firewire protocol is supposed to let you string together up to over 60 devices (although I'd hate to see that guy's system).

The hub above will let you hook the drives up via firewire. I suspect this will take care of your issue!

Good luck and let me know how it goes.

Take care,

Expert:  Dave Huber replied 7 years ago.
BTW, this has nothing at all to do with anything except your user name. When I was a kid of about 16, I used to hang with the "VW Doctor" in my home town. He got me turned onto VW's...a love/hate relationship to be sure, but it made for some long-lasting memories!