I have an external HD that I have had connected to my mini for some time. The other day I got a message saying that the disk was not readable by the computer. So I hooked it up to my ibook and it connects with no problem.
Both computers are running the latest version of Tiger.
What's wrong with my mini?
I have also had problems with downloading software to the mini. Lately no .dmg files that I download will open.
its a usb HD so its not a firewire problem. Could it be something that reinstalling the OS would fix?
Then the USB port is dead, or underpowered. Reinstalling the OS won't fix such a thing, it's not an OS problem. The drive works fine on another machine, so the drive is fine. I would get a powered USB hub, and plug your drive and keyboard/mouse into it, since it is probably cost prohibitive to have the Mini repaired.
You should really consider getting an external Firewire chassis for the drive though, running such things over USB is pure and utter torture - while Firewire (or eSata if your Mini has that) will give you performance that is almost as good as the internal - so good you won't easily be able to tell the difference.
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Basic process. Shutdown computer and drive disconnect drive from computer. Unplug computer and unplug drive. Plug computer back in and boot up. Spin up drive and connect to computer.
Beyond that if you are attempting to power the drive via the USB bus that may be a large part of your problem. If it has an optional power supply use it. If not try different USB ports on your computer or else use the infamous Y cable to get that juice boost.
Another vote for a powered FW drive. USB powered HDs are fickle at best.
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