External hard drive and iMac, MacBook pro mishaps... - ehMac.ca
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Old Dec 4th, 2007, 10:04 PM   #1
 
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Exclamation External hard drive and iMac, MacBook pro mishaps...

Now, I'm sure (and I hope) that this problem will be easily solved by some mac genius here...I'm just not as technically inclined or knowledgeable as I'd like to be and I'm sure most of you are!
Thank you in advance for reading, and for your patience with a fairly recently turned Mac convert!!

Ok, here's the situation: I was transferring files between my brand new macbook pro, running leopard 10.5.1, and my older, but fully functional iMac G4 flatscreen, running OSX 10.4.1...I had the computers connected by a firewire cable, transferring files on the laptop to the iMac. Now, connected to the iMac, I also had a LaCie external firewire hard drive running. I was very surprised to see that the icon for said hard drive, which normally appears on my iMac's desktop, suddenly popped up on my laptop's desktop! I didn't expect it, nor did I attempt to cause it! However, my file transferring went well and when I had finished, I powered down both machines and disconnected the cable.

The problem: now the external hard drive won't be recognized by either computer! I was advised by a friend to try using disk utility to get it back to show up on my iMac, as I was alarmed when it wouldn't show up after I powered up again...but i was given the dreaded 'Underlying task reported failure on exit...volume needs repair' error. I tried to see if the drive would be recognized on my laptop again, as it had just recently appeared on my (laptop's) desktop, but no dice. Same error when I tried to run disk utility there.

I had been advised to find the software that came with my LaCie, but I'm not entirely convinced it's going to matter, as the drive popped right up on my laptop without being installed or properly introduced. Also, a website told me to try to use a different firewire cable...before I go out and get one, I'd like to see if there's anything technically I can/should do.
Maybe there's an obvious step I'm missing and being new to Macs keeps me out of the know, or maybe it really will take a genius to figure this out. Either way, I would greatly appreciate any and all help anyone can give!
I do apologize for giving either not enough or too much information...again, I'm new!!
Thanks again!!

-Dana
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Old Dec 4th, 2007, 11:30 PM   #2
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I don't want to alarm you here and I am far from a Mac genius, but I recently ran into the same problem when I connected my new Macbook to my iMac and ran Migration assistant. Fortunately I had already backed up most of my vital things - pics and bookmarks. I thought I had disconnected properly, then got the device disconnect error message. When I restarted the iMac, I got the empty folder ? flashing. After trying to remount my hard drive with disk utility, I elected to reinstall with the system discs only to find my hard drive not listed as a destination. I had to erase the HD first and then reinstall - erase took about 1 second!
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Old Dec 4th, 2007, 11:38 PM   #3
 
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Hmm...thanks for the empathy. I guess I wouldn't be opposed to doing that...if I had the files on the drive backed up...!!!! I wonder if there's a way that I CAN back them up, even if I can't actually read what's on it with either computer...or is this a paradox?
((This drive was supposed to BE my back up, but I had to do the file transferring first and clear up space on both...so just MOST of the files I absolutely want recovered are on the external...scary!!))
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Old Dec 12th, 2007, 01:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ANAD View Post
Hmm...thanks for the empathy. I guess I wouldn't be opposed to doing that...if I had the files on the drive backed up...!!!! I wonder if there's a way that I CAN back them up, even if I can't actually read what's on it with either computer...or is this a paradox?
((This drive was supposed to BE my back up, but I had to do the file transferring first and clear up space on both...so just MOST of the files I absolutely want recovered are on the external...scary!!))
I have had three external Lacies fail on me in the last two years, admittedly they were of different age, but despite their good looks I am no longer a Lacie fan. I know, I know, they use different hard drive manufacturers, you may have a WD, a Maxtor or a Seagate inside depending on when you bought the drive, but I have had their externals fail while others that I purchased the bare drive and built with third party enclosure are doing fine. I think they may have heat dissipation issues, I'm not sure.

At any rate it is possible that it is just a matter of coincidence with what you were doing and your drive has failed. Life sucks but it is only with disaster's that we learn to be religious about backing up. I can't count the number of grey hairs that I could have prevented had I learnt this lesson earlier on.

How was the drive formatted? If you have access to a PC you may be able to get the disc to mount on it and even though the data maybe "unusable" on the PC you might be able to transfer it off Lacie then you could then burn it to DVD or transfer it back once you have determined if the drive has indeed failed or just needs reformatting.

If that doesn't work you may have to take the drive into a data recovery specialist who may be able to retrieve the data for you.
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Old Dec 12th, 2007, 02:25 PM   #5
 
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Yeah...that sounds like what I'm gonna hafta do. Thanks for the suggestions and help!
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Old Dec 12th, 2007, 06:14 PM   #6
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Exact same thing happening with me....

I've formatted the POS twice, copied all my movies back over... everything goes fine. As soon as I eject it, it won't mount again. I turn the drive off, plug it back in, takes a LONG time to mount, and is now missing 20 files, but the capacity is correct.

Running Disk Utility gives me invalid node errors, etc... can't repair.

I also used Migration Assistant. My other drives work fine, so I really don't want to format and reinstall Leopard... but man, this is pissing me off big time.
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Old Dec 12th, 2007, 06:20 PM   #7
 
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Heh heh...I can only assume that you already backed up your files somewhere/somehow before formatting the POS/LaCie...??
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Old Dec 12th, 2007, 06:31 PM   #8
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Yeah, all the files were in tact... I used DiskWarrior to copy them to another couple drives I have. The drive was perfectly FINE before I used migration assistant during the latest installation of Leopard (bought a new internal hdd for the macbook)... so I know for a fact it was an error caused by the OS. But I don't understand how it got corrupted because the drive wasn't even plugged in during the installation, I used the original 2.5" drive in an enclosure to back up my data.

Can't find a fix or proper explanation anywhere, so it's pretty damn frustrating. I dunno, maybe it's a co-incidence? Nah... I doubt it..... because every time I format it, it seems to work until I copy files back over to it and turn it off. Something strange is going on....

As a last ditch effort I'm zeroing the drive and only selected 'extended' and not 'journaled' (no idea if that will make a difference)

Other than that, glad I bought the extended warranty for $6 at Factory Direct, it'll make getting a replacement much easier.... though it'd be nice to replace the hdd with a 500GB one... but I don't think the enclosure can handle it.

Btw, is the LaCie drive you have that aluminum one that's been on sale everywhere? That's the one I bought.. the 250GB version...

Have you used DiskWarrior?
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Old Dec 12th, 2007, 06:39 PM   #9
 
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Oh, no, my friend...mine is a few years old...it's the 120 GB version...! I wonder, where I could get that checked out...to see if there's anything left on there...It's only got a firewire connection, so I'm guessing I wouldn't be able to connect to a windows PC to see if that gets it recognized. Have you ever brought one of those in to "the shop" to get checked out/fixed/troubleshot?
Hey, real quick: What do you use to back up your info that you had stored on the LaCie? Another LaCie?? Just curious...! Like I said, I'm new to the business...!
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Old Dec 12th, 2007, 06:44 PM   #10
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No, I used an off the shelf enclosure/hdd combo and the original hdd from my macbook in an enclosure... there was approx 175GB of data, so I had to split it between the two drives.

You might still be able to save your files by using DiskWarrior or something similar.
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