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How do I mount/fix an external hard drive on a Mac

Posted on 2009-02-19
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I have a fairly new 1TB Buffalo firewire external hard drive that is now acting up on me. I formatted it and partitioned to 4 partitions, but now none of them mount when I connect it. I feel that it's from a couple of times that I didn't unmount properly.

Is there any way to get into this HD, force it to mount, or anything so that I can get my data off of here? I've scoured the web, but there are very few good tutorials for this.

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Question by:goldsounds
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Earshel earned 2000 total points
ID: 23689263
Have you tried removing it from the enclosure and installing it in your pc as a slave drive? It may be the enclosure that's acting up, and not the hard drive.
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by:goldsounds
ID: 23689270
Haven't tried, but wouldn't know where to start if I wanted to. I'm using a Macbook Pro running 10.5.6 if that helps.

In addition, I don't want to void the warranty on the drive, though I guess the data is more valuable at this point.

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by:goldsounds
ID: 23689284
I should also add that the drive starts up and spins without any sounds besides an initial one that is *almost* a mounting sound, but stops short.
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by:Earshel
ID: 23689323
Oh. The fact that you're using a Macbook complicates this a bit. I'm not very familiar with mac os. Have you power cycled the external drive and the laptop? I am talking unplugging all power sources and leaving it unplugged for a minute or so.
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by:goldsounds
ID: 23689329
Have you power cycled the external drive and the laptop? I am talking unplugging all power sources and leaving it unplugged for a minute or so.

Yes, it's actually been going on for about month now, but I didn't need the data and had no time) until recently. Now it's getting on my nerves > <

Not sure where to go from here. If I go to System Profiler it shows that I have an "unknown device" in the firewire port, so it's not recognizing my drive at all.
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by:Earshel
ID: 23689375
Have you tried the drive on another computer to determine if it's the computer or the disk? Have you tried resetting the ports? It can be accomplished using the instructions on the following website. Be sure to read the entire page before doing it, as there are some settings that may want to be aware of that will be reset.
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1379
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by:goldsounds
ID: 23689393
I've tested it on a PC (didn't work) and already reset the PRAM. Also did nothing.
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by:Earshel
ID: 23689416
Well, it's understandable that it wouldn't be recognized on a pc--mac and pc use different file systems. I don't believe windows will mount a drive that has been formatted using the file system that mac uses. If you have access to another mac to test it on, I recommend doing that.
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by:goldsounds
ID: 23689430
I formatted it to be usable on both (as far as I remember), but I'll try to get it on to my old Powerbook when I bring it in here.

Interestingly, after turning it on and off several times I finally got some kind of response where two of the partitions mounted, but then became inaccessible. Now the beachball is spinning 'round, but nothing is happening.
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by:Earshel
ID: 23689475
Have you tried rebooting and plugging the drive in after it boots, rather than having it plugged in while it's booting?
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by:aboo_s
ID: 23690277
Re-partition and format and then use file recovery software to get your lost data.
Although I have to tell you I'm talking to you pure windows, but I think it's actually the same thing as MAC at the bottom line.
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by:goldsounds
ID: 23704423
So, I tested it on another mac, and it still doesn't work. just starts up and spins, but doesn't make any kind of sound to show it's being read at all. at one point it would *sometimes* show up as mounted, but wouldn't stay that way for long and would soon hang and be unresponsive. It also made the computer itself misbehave until I would disconnect it, resulting in  "do not remove!" error message.

Since it doesn't show up on disk utility I don't think it can be repaired either. However, when I go to about this mac>firewire it shows up as an "unknown device".

any ideas?
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