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MacTechTrainer
MacTechTrainer, Sr. Mac Support Specialist
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 1699
Experience:  Apple Certified Desktop & Portables Technician, A+, Cross-Platform (Mac/PC) Tech - for over 14 Years
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My time machine cant find my external hard drive (HP simplesave)

Customer Question

My time machine can't find my external hard drive (HP simplesave) since it was accidentally unplugged. How do I fix?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  MacTechTrainer replied 2 years ago.

MacTechTrainer :

Hello and thank you for asking your question, with JustAnswer.com/Mac. I am Sr. Mac Tech Support Specialist, Terry, glad to assist you.

MacTechTrainer :

Can you tell me what model of Mac computer is?

MacTechTrainer :

Also are you running Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard or Mac OS X 10.7 Lion?

Customer:

yes running os x 10.6.8

Customer:

iMac

MacTechTrainer :

Thanks

MacTechTrainer :

As a professional Mac technician, I like to take more of a personable, personal approach, toward helping any valued JustAnswer.com customers, I am fortunate to assist.

MacTechTrainer :

On that note, may I start by asking your first name?

Customer:

alison

MacTechTrainer :

Thanks Alison , glad to be of service. Again I am Terry, Sr. Mac Support Specialist, glad to assist you here

MacTechTrainer :

Now when you do plug your HP external hard drive to your iMac again,

MacTechTrainer :

have you tried different USB ports other than the original port the hard drive was connected to?

Customer:

i plugged it back in with all the same things

Customer:

the power plug had come loose, so i only replugged that in

MacTechTrainer :

And you have tried to connect the hard drive to different USB ports as well, correct?

Customer:

i can try that

Customer:

hold on

MacTechTrainer :

Sure thing

MacTechTrainer :

and by the way Alison, do you see any indicator lights on that hard drive that lets you know it is turned on?

Customer:

yes - it is blinking

Customer:

didn't work - my time machine still gives me a "None" when I click "select disk"

Customer:

i see HP Launcher on my desktop but when i click on it, it looks empt

MacTechTrainer :

Ok, thanks for confirming that

MacTechTrainer :

I want you to try something for me

MacTechTrainer :

Click anywhere on a blank part of your desktop

Customer:

ok

MacTechTrainer :

and this will make Finder appear in the upper left corner of your screen, near the Apple menu icon

Customer:

yes

MacTechTrainer :

now you should see a Finder menu bar

Customer:

yes

MacTechTrainer :

select Go >Utilities

Customer:

ok

MacTechTrainer :

this will open the Utilities menu from the drop down menu

Customer:

yes

MacTechTrainer :

once in, I need you to look for an application called Disk Utility

MacTechTrainer :

and launch it

Customer:

ok

Customer:

i see my external hd

MacTechTrainer :

Full Size Image

MacTechTrainer :

Good

MacTechTrainer :

now if you click on it,

MacTechTrainer :

tell me if you have the Repair Disk Permissions button activated on the right side window

MacTechTrainer :

or if Repair Disk is available

Customer:

Repair Disk, not Repair Disk Permissions is active

MacTechTrainer :

go ahead a perform the Repair Disk feature

Customer:

as a submenu of my external hd i see time machine backups

MacTechTrainer :

going to make sure your hard drive is ok here

Customer:

which should i repair disk for?

MacTechTrainer :

how many options do you see?

MacTechTrainer :

as far as back ups?

MacTechTrainer :

and are they displayed by date?

Customer:

no dates, i just see my HP External HD then Time Machine Backups as a subfolder

MacTechTrainer :

Are you able to just select the HP External HD drive?

Customer:

so in the image you sent me, i see HP External HD where you see GB Verbatim, then time machine where you see MACWINSPEC8

Customer:

yes i can just select HP

MacTechTrainer :

Good

MacTechTrainer :

go ahead and just select the HP directly and repair disk with that one

Customer:

ok in progress

MacTechTrainer :

Excellent Alison

MacTechTrainer :

and once it is done and if you see no error messages in Red

MacTechTrainer :

run it once again

MacTechTrainer :

this will clean up any residual issues that the first repair may have missed

MacTechTrainer :

I do the same on all my macs

Customer:

ok, should i be doing on my main hard drive periodically as well?

MacTechTrainer :

That is not a bad idea at all

MacTechTrainer :

at least once a month (or twice- especially if you do alot of downloading, installing and removing of applications and files)

MacTechTrainer :

keeps your hard drive error free and optimized for performance

Customer:

ok - it's still going...how long should it take?

MacTechTrainer :

if you look at the bottom right corner of your Disk Utility screen, what is the size of your hard drive?

Customer:

total capacity? 999.5GB

MacTechTrainer :

Ok so you have a 1 Terabyte HP SimpleSave

MacTechTrainer :

and how much space Alison, is currently being used on that drive?

Customer:

how can i find that?

MacTechTrainer :

It should be right in that same area at the bottom

Customer:

doesn't say

MacTechTrainer :

tell me this

MacTechTrainer :

if you go to your desktop

MacTechTrainer :

do you see a hard drive icon for your HP on your desktop?

Customer:

yes

MacTechTrainer :

right click and select Get Info

MacTechTrainer :

on the hard drive that is

MacTechTrainer :

it will provide you the Capacity, Available and Used amount on that drive

Customer:

it shows up as "HP Launcher" which says capacity is 870kb, available 23kb

MacTechTrainer :

in the long vertical information window

MacTechTrainer :

ah

MacTechTrainer :

ok that is what we call a RAM Disk

MacTechTrainer :

which is nothing more than a launching icon for installing an application

Customer:

oh ok

MacTechTrainer :

if you are done using that, you can drag that to your Trash and it will eject

Customer:

it keeps popping back

MacTechTrainer :

Ok - no worries

MacTechTrainer :

that means it is open somewhere on your Desktop or Dock

MacTechTrainer :

you can leave that be for now

MacTechTrainer :

I just thought it was closed

Customer:

so back to your original question - no i do not see the drive on my desktop

MacTechTrainer :

but when you do close it- it will eject easily

MacTechTrainer :

no worries

MacTechTrainer :

go back into Disk Utility

MacTechTrainer :

and see how your progress is so far

Customer:

still going

MacTechTrainer :

It can take time depending on the size of the drive

MacTechTrainer :

but that is ok

MacTechTrainer :

it will start speeding up it goes through analyzing the larger files on that drive

Customer:

is it possible that this repair will be the solution? or are there more steps?

MacTechTrainer :

and no worries- I will stay with you until done

Customer:

thank you!

MacTechTrainer :

That is why I am having you do this

MacTechTrainer :

you see Alison, all signs are pointing to the drive being ok

Customer:

ok

MacTechTrainer :

my job is take elementary steps to isolate the "why" Time Machine is not locating the hard drive

MacTechTrainer :

if Disk Utility can see the hard drive (as it does) that is a good sign we can work to get the Time Machine to locate the HP HDD as well

MacTechTrainer :

that is why I am having you repair this drive to make sure there are no errors which may hinder our moving forward to resolve this issue

Customer:

ok

MacTechTrainer :

make sense?

Customer:

yes

MacTechTrainer :

good

MacTechTrainer :

and by the way

MacTechTrainer :

considering the size of the hard drive

MacTechTrainer :

one go around is good in this instance ;)

Customer:

was thinking the same :)

MacTechTrainer :

not two as I originally suggested

MacTechTrainer :

if that were the case I would have to order you a catered lunch because the outstanding time it would take for two disk repairs with such a large hard drive !

MacTechTrainer :

;)

Customer:

lol ... how much longer do you think it will take?

MacTechTrainer :

tell me,how far along does the progress bar look?

MacTechTrainer :

halfway the length of the bar or almost fully shaded in?

Customer:

it's looked the same since it started....not really a progress bar. just a moving "barber stripe" across...

Customer:

says "volume repair complete. updating boot support partitions for the volume as required."

Customer:

the Verify and Repair volume is what is moving

MacTechTrainer :

that is the progress bar

MacTechTrainer :

that "barber pole"

MacTechTrainer :

"stripe" I mean

Customer:

it's been all the way across the whole time

MacTechTrainer :

so it is not moving any more?

Customer:

it is moving like a barber pole, fills up the entire space

Customer:

the only button active now is "stop repair"

MacTechTrainer :

ok so that means it is still working

MacTechTrainer :

sorry Alison, must employ patience here, because it is not over until that bar is gone

Customer:

ok. thanks for your patience as well!

MacTechTrainer :

again, that is why I am remaining here with you

MacTechTrainer :

no problem - over 10 years mac - 15+ years tech overall

MacTechTrainer :

patience IS my virtue :)

Customer:

:)

MacTechTrainer :

Just keep me posted

MacTechTrainer :

I will be watching :)

Customer:

ok thx

MacTechTrainer :

So how is it going so far Alison?

Customer:

still going

MacTechTrainer :

Ok well- this is a very large drive

MacTechTrainer :

so I will tell you what

MacTechTrainer :

go ahead and bookmark this page

Customer:

ok

MacTechTrainer :

and when you are done with this repair process, you can simply come back to the session and post a reply and I will be alerted to come back to the session, even if I am offline

Customer:

ok thx

MacTechTrainer :

No worries Alison- thanks for your patience

MacTechTrainer :

I will be watching for you update soon

Customer:

hi it's done

Customer:

but it says "disk utility stopped repairing. can't repair this disk. back up as many of your files as possible, reformat the disk, and restore your backed-up files."

Customer:

i've initiated repair again. now i'm getting a "repairing volume. est time 21 min" message. looks different than last time.

Customer:

now it says est time is 1 hr 2 mins

Customer:

it's done and says volume Time Machine Backups appears to be OK

Customer:

what's next?

Customer:

hi are you there

MacTechTrainer :

Hello!

MacTechTrainer :

I see you have come back

MacTechTrainer :

Alison

Customer:

yes

MacTechTrainer :

So now that your back ups appear to be ok from within the Disk Utility report

Customer:

so now i see time machine backups icon on my desktop

MacTechTrainer :

Good

MacTechTrainer :

have you been able to check Time Machine> Preferences

MacTechTrainer :

to see if now Time Machine detects the HP HDD?

Customer:

in the devices menu in Finder it looks like it's syncing

Customer:

how do i go to Time Machine>Preferences?

MacTechTrainer :

Better yet Alison

MacTechTrainer :

do you have a Time Machine icon on the Apple menu bar at the top right corner of your screen?

Customer:

yes

Customer:

just opened

Customer:

looks like it's backing up now!!

MacTechTrainer :

There we go!

MacTechTrainer :

that is what I was looking for

Customer:

phew! thanks!

MacTechTrainer :

that means TM has re-discovered your HP HDD

MacTechTrainer :

you are very welcome

MacTechTrainer :

and now you have a new way to optimize your hard drives as well using Disk Utility

MacTechTrainer :

any other questions for me regarding this issue Alison?

MacTechTrainer :

Always very glad to help

Customer:

super - thx very much! i'm a PC user, so this Mac stuff is foreign to me. thanks for your help!

MacTechTrainer :

Not to worry

MacTechTrainer :

and may I also suggest you Google

MacTechTrainer :

"Mac 101"

MacTechTrainer :

it is a great Apple website that also includes a section I believe called

MacTechTrainer :

"PC Switcher 101"

Customer:

sounds good

MacTechTrainer :

that helps smooth your transition into the realm of Mac

MacTechTrainer :

I used it years ago in my transition as a PC tech to a Mac tech

MacTechTrainer :

great knowledge you can access on the go as long as you have Wifi access :)

Customer:

looking thru it now...looks like what i need! thanks!

MacTechTrainer :

You are most welcome!

MacTechTrainer :

If you are satisfied that I have resolved your question to your satisfaction, please feel free to rate my service. We always like to know how our customers feel about our services, in an effort to continue improving our already high standards of good answers and customer service.

MacTechTrainer :

Finally, I thank you very much for allowing me to assist you.

MacTechTrainer :

Keep in mind also, when you Accept an answer, it does not mean the session is over, especially if the issue you received support from me, re-occurs once again.

Customer:

ok thanks

MacTechTrainer :

Otherwise, if all is well , then there is no need to return. Should you desire to err on the side of caution, however, you are always welcome to bookmark this session so you can come back to this session and alert me.

MacTechTrainer :

Take care Ms. Alison!

MacTechTrainer :

and thanks for allowing me to assist you.

MacTechTrainer, Sr. Mac Support Specialist
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 1699
Experience: Apple Certified Desktop & Portables Technician, A+, Cross-Platform (Mac/PC) Tech - for over 14 Years
MacTechTrainer and 4 other Mac Specialists are ready to help you

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