I have a Firewire 400/USB 2.0 drive that I use to back up my MacBook Pro using TimeMachine. I also have some overflow files on there that I want to transfer to my Mini. When I plug it into my Mac Mini, Finder doesn't see it. I plug it into my MBP, no problems. I tried with both USB and FW. I tried restarting my Mini with the drive connected. No dice.
Is this an issue with Time Machine? Perhaps the drive is somehow associated with my MBP and not recognised by other Macs? Doesn't seem plausible but I can't figure out any other reason for this.
I experienced the same issue with a Macally 2.5" drive about a year ago. I was told it was likely due to a corrupt IO kext extension at the system level. The fix was either to replace the kext file with a backed up one or perform a clean install of the operating system. I chose the latter.
Try shutting down and un-plugging both the mini and the external. Plug in and start-up the mini. Plug in the external and hook it to the mini via FireWire. If it does not mount in a reasonable time (say 2 minutes), go into disk utility and see if it recognizes the external. Frequently just opening disk utility is enough to make the connection.
Nowadays the most frequent cause of this issue is disconnecting the external before spotlight finishes indexing. With a large external, indexing can take a looooong time, especially if there have been a lot of changes.
Please Apple at least give us the option of turning off content indexing without killing the rest of the search abilities.
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It sounds like a similar problem I had with my Western Digital MyBook (1TB, FW400, eSATA, USB 2,0).
My issues began only after updating my system to Leopard.
It turns out that the WD MyBook has a compatibility issue with Leopard.
It sounds like this may not be unique to WD.
WD has released a firmware update to address the Leopard compatibility issues.
I would suggest that you check to see if there is a firmware update for your device.
In addition the the firmware update, WD also reports a known issue with the firewire bus & Leopard. The WD Support site reports...
"This issue is caused by the drive enumeration process related to iMac FireWire data bus identification process."
Has anyone else experienced problems with Leopard external firewire hard drives?
Mine's a MacBook with a My Book Studio Edition 500 gig and a Maxtor OneTouch. Running the Western Digital firmware updater may have fixed the My Book problems, but still need to reboot to see the Maxtor. (It's worked fine for years now.)