How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Mike Your Own Question

Mike
Mike, Mac Medic
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 6985
Experience:  Over 20 years IT experience with Apple computers in publishing, marketing and design.
25267123
Type Your Mac Question Here...
Mike is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am running mac osx 10.6.8 on a new Imac. I bought an external

Resolved Question:

I am running mac osx 10.6.8 on a new Imac. I bought an external hard drive. I reformatted it and it briefly appeared in the sidebar and then soon was gone. It can't be seen anywhere including disk utility. I bought a second external hard drive. Same problem. I bought a third from another manufacturer...same problem. I have searched mac discussion boards but with no luck. It seems many others are having this and similar problems with Lion. Can you help?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
USB or FireWire? What format did you choose?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
mac os journeled
usb 2.0
Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
You are saying you have done this with three drives on two iMacs with Lion, same problem?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
yes...same problem. Both are new Imacs running Mac 10.6.8. All three drives are new. All drives claim to be compatable with mac osx systems. Two of the drives are WD My Book Essentials and the third drive is a Seagate freeagent go flex desk drive.
Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
That is VERY unusual unless you are using a faulty USB cable on all three. I assume you have tried different cables?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
yes they all came with their own new cables. Everything is new. The problem has been identical with each drive. Many people in the help forums are having the same or similar problems but I have yet to find a solution. Hope you can help!
Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
On one of the Macs: restart and hold the Option key until you see your boot drives, then choose the Recovery HD, when it boots select the Disk Utility and Continue. Then select Macintosh HD on the left and first Verify Disk if that is OK Repair Permissions. Then:

Resetting the SMC & PRAM for Mac Pro, Intel-based iMac, Intel-based Mac mini, or Intel-based Xserve
1. Shut down the computer.
2. Unplug the computer's power cord.
3. Wait fifteen seconds.
4. Attach the computer's power cord.
5. Wait five seconds, then press the power button to turn on the computer.
6. Press and hold the Command-Option-P-R keys before the gray screen appears.
7. Hold the keys down until the computer restarts.
8. Release the keys. 



Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok. Will take a few minutes but I will be back. Thanks
Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
Ok
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok. I did all of that. The drive does not appear on my desktop, in the finder sidebar and disk utility does not see it. I have another older external drive (lacie) which still appears and always has. It's just the new ones that won't show up. After I reformatted them, they each appeared on my desktop but later were gone.
Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
You have checked Finder / Preferences/ Show these items on the Desktop to make sure Hard Disks and Exterrnal Disks are checked?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
yes...of course. The drives do not show in disk utility, mounted or unmounted. It's like they are not there. The light on the external drive is on and I heard it spin up when i turned it on. The computer just fails to see it.
Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
Does it show up in System Profiler / USB?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
unfortunately no.
Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
Are these all powered USB drives, with their own power supply?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
These are the usb drives on the back of my Imac and it is my understanding that all of the usb drives on the back of the Imac are powered drives.
Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
I don't know what you mean by the back of my Mac you mean they are plugged into the USB port on the back that means nothing. They need their own power supply. The Mac does not suppply enougth power for USB drives in most cases. Only FireWire drives will work that way.
Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
Correction only 2.5 inch FireWire hard drives will work that way.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Well of course the external drives have their own power supplies. They are new large multi terabyte drives. Just to clarify, some external usb hubs are not powered and others are. But the usb slots built into the back of the imac are all powered as far as I know. I do have a powered usb hub connected as well. Perhaps I should try plugging the usb cord into the external powered usb hub and see if that makes a difference. If that fails, I will plug the drive into my macbook pro and see if it recognizes the drive. It is using an older OSX version. Many of the people in the discussion forums think the problem is with Lion. Others don't.
Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
OK USB does supply some power but only enough for things like mice and keyboards not moving hard drives. I would remove all other hubs and other USB devices and plug it in directly in otherwise it is very difficult to troubleshoot.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
That's why the external hard drives come with their own power supply which has always been plugged in. I have removed my printers and other usb devices from the the back of the Imac as per your suggestion. The external drive is still invisible. The macbook pro was not able to find it either.
Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
So the USB drive has been reformatted, all other hubs and devices have been removed and it is not seen in System Profiler or Disk Utility on either machine? Are they both running Lion?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
My macbook pro is running osx 10.5.8. The new Imac is running Lion. Everything has been removed except the cable to the new external hard drive. By usb drive I take it you mean the external hard drive connected by usb. Yes I reformatted it when I first hooked it up and it could be seen. And even after I had reformatted it, the computer saw it for a while. Then it was gone.
Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
Ok if the USB drive is self powered the chances that two Macs with different operating systems are both faulty is very unlikely. I would say there is a problem with your power or the USB drive or the enclosure itself.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have tried this with 3 separate computers, 3 separate hard drives, and 3 separate cords. I have tried it with a powered usb hub as well as each of four built-in usb ports on the back of my Imac. I think we can rule out the cords or usb ports as being problems. The fact that it happened with two different brands of hard drive makes me think it's a lion problem. I need to find someone that knows about this problem...I am not the only one having it. I do appreciate your help but at this point I am thinking about simply returning the drives and buying Lacie drives because my old Lacie external hard drive is still working and the computer can see it. Not sure what is up with the new ones I bought.
Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
How can it be a Lion problem if it is also happening on a 10.5 system?
Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
I have installed Lion on MANY computers and NEVER seen that problem. I suggest you return it.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Other.
I'm out of time now. This has been a frustrating problem which I have spent time trying to resolve before I tried your service. I guess I am not surprised that you were unable to help me solve the problem. Not sure what to do at this point. I thought it would be worth the money if you could help me but that did not happen. We basically just ran thru things I had already tried.
Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
What? You said it was not working on Lion as we have seen from everything we have done it does not work on ANY system. The drive is FAULTY. And if you had already tried all that I suggested why didn't you say that at the start? Thanks.
Mike, Mac Medic
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 6985
Experience: Over 20 years IT experience with Apple computers in publishing, marketing and design.
Mike and 7 other Mac Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Mike,
I would think it was the drive too except it was 3 drives which means the probability is pretty high that it is something else (but faulty drives are still possible, however unlikely). The same thing applies to the cords and hubs and ports...all unlikely too because we have several and none work. I hadn't tried it on my macbook pro before just when I mentioned it...but then that was my idea, not your suggestion. I'm sure you would have suggested it if you knew I had another computer running a different OSX version. I hadn't thought to try resetting the SMC & pram but that didn't work anyway. It's not a user setting that I know of and we checked the ones you suggested. In my defense, I didn't know that you would only suggest the things I had already tried or I would have said so but I did say so after it became clear that you had run out of ideas. Now don't get me wrong...I am out of ideas too and you clearly know way more about Macs than I do. That's why I sought your help in the first place. What is it we are missing here? Is it just not smart to buy an external drive that comes formatted for PC but that claims to work with Macs? I don't know. Help me out here. I know your trying and I think you deserve to be paid for helping me. I haven't ruled out paying you but I have to tell you that I am very frustrated with throwing money at this problem. I'm sitting on 3 freaking drives because I came to the same conclusion that you did...that the drives were faulty, and bought another to rule that out. How can it be the drives? Can you make me feel confident that it's the drives so I can move on from trouble shooting and just go back to the store with my wallet in my hand? I have 3 new drives. Would I be a fool to buy a forth?
Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
OK sorry you haven't returned ANY of the drives you still have them?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
yes. Thank you for your patience. I'm frustrated...but not with you...I'm frustrated with this problem. I don't want to have to rent a storage space for my drives.
Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
LOL so you still have them?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes I still have them and I will pay you, whether your able to help me or not.
Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
OK it is also very unlikely that they are all bad either. Lets work on one machine the new iMac that you already reset the SMC and all on. I want you to plug it into a dedicated wall outlet or surge protector with nothing else plugged in except one of the USB drives. Then restart the machine and go to System Profiler.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
OK...will take a few minutes to unplug other things
Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
Ok I normally sign off by now but let's see what happens, unles you prefer to continue tomorrow?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
ok back...the external drive is plugged into a wall outlet instead of the power strip it had been plugged into until now. We could continue tomorrow when I get home around 5:10PM PST if that is better for you.
Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
Ok that would be great thanks. Come back here when you get home.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you Mike...I do appreciate your help and will give you a good rating even if we can't figure this out. Thanks!
Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
Ok thank you, XXXXX XXXXX got a little testy. Talk to you tomorrow.
Expert:  Mike replied 2 years ago.
Still need help?

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Hi John, Thank you for your expertise and, more important, for your kindness because they make me, almost, look forward to my next computer problem. After the next problem comes, I'll be delighted to correspond again with you. I'm told that I excel at programing. But system administration has never been one of my talents. So it's great to have an expert to rely on when the computer decides to stump me. God bless, Bill Bill M. Schenectady, New York
< Last | Next >
  • Hi John, Thank you for your expertise and, more important, for your kindness because they make me, almost, look forward to my next computer problem. After the next problem comes, I'll be delighted to correspond again with you. I'm told that I excel at programing. But system administration has never been one of my talents. So it's great to have an expert to rely on when the computer decides to stump me. God bless, Bill Bill M. Schenectady, New York
  • The Expert answered my Mac question and was patient. He answered in a thorough and timely manner, keeping the response on a level that could understand. Thank you! Frank Canada
  • My Expert answered my question promptly and he resolved the issue totally. This is a great service. I am so glad I found it I will definitely use the service again if needed. One Happy Customer New York
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Mike

    Mac Medic

    Satisfied Customers:

    6256
    Over 20 years IT experience with Apple computers in publishing, marketing and design.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/macthelife/2009-10-20_1899_mikesebaharsquare64.jpg Mike's Avatar

    Mike

    Mac Medic

    Satisfied Customers:

    6256
    Over 20 years IT experience with Apple computers in publishing, marketing and design.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AS/ashiknasameen/2012-5-15_141836_final2.64x64.jpg Ashik's Avatar

    Ashik

    Mac Helper

    Satisfied Customers:

    5282
    7+ Years of Experience in troubleshooting Macs, iPhone, iPad, iPod etc
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DP/dpean/2012-6-6_172828_avatorme1.64x64.JPG Daniel's Avatar

    Daniel

    Mac Genius

    Satisfied Customers:

    4670
    Apple certified on desktop and portable, help desk qualified. Have owned and used Macs since 1989.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VI/vinodvmenon2005/1.64x64.jpg Vinod Menon's Avatar

    Vinod Menon

    Support Specialist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2068
    worked as a Tech support Associate for Apple products
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BE/beboo/2011-1-14_201648_n5063313142021801763.64x64.jpg Brandon M.'s Avatar

    Brandon M.

    Mac Support Specialist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1501
    10+ Years Mac Support as contractor and currently an IT Manager for law firm
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MA/MacDruid/IMG_0232.64x64.JPG John T. F.'s Avatar

    John T. F.

    Mac Druid

    Satisfied Customers:

    1408
    20+ years in the computer/Mac industry
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MA/MacHelpdesk/1d2d506.64x64.jpg David's Avatar

    David

    Mac Support Specialist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1236
    BSc, H.Dip, Apple Certified
 
 
 
Chat Now With A Mac Support Specialist
Mike
Mike
Mac Support Specialist
6985 Satisfied Customers
Over 20 years IT experience with Apple computers in publishing, marketing and design.