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

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I am running mac osx...
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: 5 years ago.Category: Mac
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Answered in 1 minute by:
4/2/2012
Mac Support Specialist: Mike, Mac Medic replied 5 years ago
Mike
Mike, Mac Medic
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 9,000
Experience: Over 20 years IT experience with Apple computers in publishing, marketing and design.
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USB or FireWire? What format did you choose?
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
mac os journeled
usb 2.0
Mac Support Specialist: Mike, Mac Medic replied 5 years ago
You are saying you have done this with three drives on two iMacs with Lion, same problem?
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Customer reply replied 5 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.
Mac Support Specialist: Mike, Mac Medic replied 5 years ago
That is VERY unusual unless you are using a faulty USB cable on all three. I assume you have tried different cables?
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Customer reply replied 5 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!
Mac Support Specialist: Mike, Mac Medic replied 5 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. 



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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
Ok. Will take a few minutes but I will be back. Thanks
Mac Support Specialist: Mike, Mac Medic replied 5 years ago
Ok
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Customer reply replied 5 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.
Mac Support Specialist: Mike, Mac Medic replied 5 years ago
You have checked Finder / Preferences/ Show these items on the Desktop to make sure Hard Disks and Exterrnal Disks are checked?
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Customer reply replied 5 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.
Mac Support Specialist: Mike, Mac Medic replied 5 years ago
Does it show up in System Profiler / USB?
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
unfortunately no.
Mac Support Specialist: Mike, Mac Medic replied 5 years ago
Are these all powered USB drives, with their own power supply?
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Customer reply replied 5 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.
Mac Support Specialist: Mike, Mac Medic replied 5 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.
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Mac Support Specialist: Mike, Mac Medic replied 5 years ago
Correction only 2.5 inch FireWire hard drives will work that way.
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Customer reply replied 5 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.
Mac Support Specialist: Mike, Mac Medic replied 5 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.
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Customer reply replied 5 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.
Mac Support Specialist: Mike, Mac Medic replied 5 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?
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Customer reply replied 5 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.
Mac Support Specialist: Mike, Mac Medic replied 5 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.
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Customer reply replied 5 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.
Mac Support Specialist: Mike, Mac Medic replied 5 years ago
How can it be a Lion problem if it is also happening on a 10.5 system?
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Mac Support Specialist: Mike, Mac Medic replied 5 years ago
I have installed Lion on MANY computers and NEVER seen that problem. I suggest you return it.
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Customer reply replied 5 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.
Mac Support Specialist: Mike, Mac Medic replied 5 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
Mike, Mac Medic
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Satisfied Customers: 9,000
Experience: Over 20 years IT experience with Apple computers in publishing, marketing and design.
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Customer reply replied 5 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?
Mac Support Specialist: Mike, Mac Medic replied 5 years ago
OK sorry you haven't returned ANY of the drives you still have them?
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Customer reply replied 5 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.
Mac Support Specialist: Mike, Mac Medic replied 5 years ago
LOL so you still have them?
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
Yes I still have them and I will pay you, whether your able to help me or not.
Mac Support Specialist: Mike, Mac Medic replied 5 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.
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
OK...will take a few minutes to unplug other things
Mac Support Specialist: Mike, Mac Medic replied 5 years ago
Ok I normally sign off by now but let's see what happens, unles you prefer to continue tomorrow?
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Customer reply replied 5 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.
Mac Support Specialist: Mike, Mac Medic replied 5 years ago
Ok that would be great thanks. Come back here when you get home.
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Customer reply replied 5 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!
Mac Support Specialist: Mike, Mac Medic replied 5 years ago
Ok thank you, XXXXX XXXXX got a little testy. Talk to you tomorrow.
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Mac Support Specialist: Mike, Mac Medic replied 5 years ago
Still need help?
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