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Mike, Mac Medic
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 8625
Experience:  Over 20 years IT experience with Apple computers in publishing, marketing and design.
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I have two external WD hard drives attached to my iMac I selected

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I have two external WD hard drives attached to my iMac I selected to hide them from my desktop and now they don't show up at all anywhere except on the defrag app how can I get them back
Select the first icon in the Dock the "Finder" then go to the top left of you screen to Finder / Preferences / General tab. Under "Show these item on the Desktop", check External Disks. Let me know if that fixes it.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have tried that already and it didn't work

Have you restarted the computer?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.



Are they both USB drives?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

they are both usb, one is 1TB and the other is a 2TB

Ok how did you "select to hide them"?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

from the preference menu

Weird... Ok please go to the Apple logo on the upper left of the screen, go to About This Mac (DO NOT Select More Info), and tell me the Version (under Mac OS X), the Processor and the Memory, it is all right there.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

ver: MAC OSX 10.7.5




Memory 12 GB 1333 MHz DDR3




I want you to check some things that may or may not be affecting the situation. I am required to post any procedure as an Answer even if it is just a diagnostic test, so please ignore the Rate to Finish box and Reply to Expert after you have tried that.

Restart the computer while holding the Command and R keys to boot to Recovery HD partition, when it boots select the Disk Utility and Continue. Then select Macintosh HD on the left and first Verify Disk on the right and if that is OK Repair Permissions. If Verify Disk is not OK try to Repair Disk.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I am on the mac that I am talking about this will dis connect us

Under system information I can see the hard drives

You can bookmark this page.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

i repaired the permissions, and restarted but nothing changed


I assume Verify Disk was OK in green type? If so open Terminal in Applications / Utilities folder then copy and paste this line then hit Return:

rm ~/Library/Preferences/

then restart the computer and check that box again in Finder Preferences. Let me know after.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

no change

When you open Macintosh HD what is listed under Devices in the left column?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.



Ok open Disk Utility do you see the external devices on the left?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Ok under each device there should be a volume listed, select each one and then at the bottom of that window tell me what is listed next to Format for each.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

mac extended journaled


OK select each volume and Verify Disk for each... repair if necessary.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

both are green


Ok now open Finder / Preferences again make sure all boxes under General / "Show these items on the desktop" are checked then under Sidebar under Devices check all those too. Then open Maciontosh HD again and tell me what is listed under Devices in the left column.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


That is very odd... I have never seen that before. Ok unplug all cables, unplug the drives from power and do this:

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. 

Then after it restarts plug the drives back in with cables and power and tell me if you see them now.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

no change


Wow you are fast. Ok open Disk Utility again select one of the volumes on the left and at the top the fourth icon from the left does it say Mount or Unmount?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Ok can you open Macintosh HD so Devices is showing on the left and no icons are behind it then take a screenshot and send it to me here?

To take a screenshot hold down Shift and Command (⌘) and then hit the number 3, you will hear a click and the picture will be in Pictures or Desktop folder.

Then go here with any web browser:

Choose Select Files and navigate to your file(s) to upload or you can also just drag the file(s) to the Upload box, then click on Start Uploading Files or Cancel. When it asks for a description put in your or username. Thanks.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

i just up loaded it i forgot to put in my user name i named it mac screen shot


Thanks please send one now with all windows closed.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

ok did that

OK thanks it is odd that the devices do not have a USB icon on them like the NO NAME drive. Are they all plugged into a seperate USB port on the iMac?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

yes in the back of the imac


Ok I notice on the picture that you haveXXXXXselected yet I do not see Verify Disk on the right. How did you Verify Disk before? You said they were both green?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes but I restarted the computer after that so it doesn't stay there the problem is I can't access them, they are there I just don't have access and I don't know why

But you did see it before?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

yes they were there before i selected to hide them from the desktop like 2 months ago and now i can't get them back, it even give me a message when i unplug them without ejecting but I have no access and they send and receive i know that because one has all my itunes data on it and I have no problem using my itunes


I meant did you see Repair Disk before, because you said they both checked out green, ok anyway... that case it is obvious the hardware is seeing them but the software is not. I suggest you reinstall the system.

reboot with Command -R but this time Reinstall Mac OS X. It is a good idea to run the Disk Utility again first. It may take a while so let me know after.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

is that going to get rid of anything I have installed right now


No it does an archive and install by default so it does not touch all your files and apps.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

they are still not there


When you open iTunes try to play a song you are sure is on the external drive.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

well now I have to update my version of Lion, i will have to run the updates first

No you should not it should have installed the latest version when you did that. Why do you say that?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

it tell me that the iTunes software needs to be updated

OK that might have been also the case before, too, ok you can do that. Are you sure all you did to hide the drive was uncheck External Drives in Finder / Preferences? It should have also hidden your third external drive. The one that says NO NAME.
Are you sure you did not use the MyBook software called SmartWare?
I suggest you go here downloading each item and follow the directions.
I think you may have also used this to hide the drives the Mac system can't fix that. Download the latest version and unhide the drives:
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

i did that also it didn't do anything


Did you see my second post about the SmartWare? Download and install update here:

The manual is here:

it looks like you locked the drive or something look on page 27 to unlock the drive.
I could not see this icon because it was too small on the picture you sent but this means you have used the SmartWare on the device:

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

yes it comes with smart ware, but you don't have to set a password XXXXX use it


But you must have used it to password XXXXX the drive . I can't run it here because I don't have a WD drive. Did you download it and then the manual and look at page 27?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

yes, it has no effect because there is not a password XXXXX I appreciate it but i have to go, thanks for your time send your answer link


It has somehting to do with the WD software because only those drives do not show up.
Mike and 4 other Mac Specialists are ready to help you
I suggest you give the drive a password with SmartWare, save the configuration setting, then immediately deleted that security config which should bring the drive back to default 'no password' setting. Then restart the computer.