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  1. #1
    External HD not recognised

    Member Since
    Apr 05, 2014
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    External HD not recognised
    Hi all,
    Does anyone know why my Toshiba EXT HD only works with my iMac when it is plugged in via a USB ext cable and not when it is plugged in directly?

  2. #2
    External HD not recognised
    caribiner23's Avatar
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    Can you describe what you mean by "plugged in directly?"

  3. #3
    External HD not recognised

    Member Since
    Apr 05, 2014
    Posts
    9
    Hi,
    Plugged in directly meaning the USB lead that came with the external drive was plugged into a spare USB port on the back of my iMac and nothing works or is seen by the iMac,
    so if I then unplug it from the mac and then i plug it into a USB extension cable it will work fine

  4. #4
    External HD not recognised
    bobtomay's Avatar
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    If one cable works and one doesn't - the one that doesn't work would be a bad cable.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  5. #5
    External HD not recognised

    Member Since
    Apr 05, 2014
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    Thanks bobtomay but it is the same cable thad i am using to plug into the USB extension so if lead is bad it shouldn't work that way either?
    It is strange that it will only work when plugged into the extension cable and not straight to the mac

  6. #6
    External HD not recognised
    bobtomay's Avatar
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    "Extension cable"? Is this a powered hub or attached to a powered hub?
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  7. #7
    External HD not recognised

    Member Since
    Apr 05, 2014
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    It is non powered, about 3 feet long with a USB plug on one end and a socket on the other

  8. #8
    External HD not recognised
    Slydude's Avatar
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    I assume by now powered you mean it is not plugged into a powered hub? Could it be a cable similar to this one? If so, the cable may be providing additional power. There are a number of bus powered hard drives that do not play nicely with some Mac models due to power issues.
    Sylvester Roque Former Contributing Editor About This Particular Macintosh

    "Got Time to breathe. You got time for music." Denver Pyle as Briscoe Darling

  9. #9
    External HD not recognised

    Member Since
    Apr 05, 2014
    Posts
    9
    USB 2.0 Extension Cable

    The External HDD is a Toshiba 500GB and it comes with a short USB lead attached to it.
    When I plug this into a USB socket on my iMac nothing happens and it is nor recognised in any way.

    If i then unplug the Toshiba HHD from the iMac and then plug it into a simple USB extension lead similar to this one
    USB 2.0 Extension Cable

    It works! the iMac recognises it and I am able to use it, format it and have time machine back up to it.
    I can't understand that why a simple USB extension lead that only serves the purpose of basically moving a USB port to the end of a cable so that you don't have to look around the back of the computer to find it makes the drive work? The External HDD should work by plugging it straight to the USB port of the iMac with out the need to use an extension.

  10. #10
    External HD not recognised
    chscag's Avatar
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    The External HDD is a Toshiba 500GB and it comes with a short USB lead attached to it.
    By "attached to it" I'm assuming it can't be removed?

    I've never seen a Toshiba external hard drive that had a USB 2 lead permanently attached to it. Can you give us the model number?

  11. #11
    External HD not recognised

    Member Since
    Apr 05, 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    By "attached to it" I'm assuming it can't be removed?

    I've never seen a Toshiba external hard drive that had a USB 2 lead permanently attached to it. Can you give us the model number?
    HI, Yes the drive has a USB cable that can be detached, although I never have.
    The model number is: HDTB105EK3AA

  12. #12
    External HD not recognised
    chscag's Avatar
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    I just looked up your model Toshiba external hard drive. It's a USB 3.0 hard drive and therefore needs to use the special USB 3 cable. USB 3 cables can be plugged into a USB 2 connector on your Mac, however, the end that attaches to the drive has to be the special USB 3 connector.

    You keep referring to the drive as USB 2. If the model number you gave me above is correct the drive is definitely a USB 3 type. So I'm thoroughly confused as to what exactly you've been doing with a USB 2 extension cable?

    Here's the advertisement of the drive from Amazon.com:

    Toshiba HDTB105EK3AA 500GB Stor.E Basics USB 3.0 2.5 Inch External Hard Drive - Black

  13. #13
    External HD not recognised

    Member Since
    Apr 05, 2014
    Posts
    9
    OK just to clarify,

    The drive will only work when plugged into a USB extension cable, it will not work when i connect it without the USB extension cable.
    The drive comes with a USB 3 connecting cable that plugs into the drive and then into the Mac, but using this method does not work.
    To get the drive to work I use the same USB connecting cable that came with the drive and instead of plugging it directly into the mac, I have to use a USB extension cable and plug the drive into that and then plug the other end into the Mac. It will now work as normal.
    So the USB 2 extension cable I only use to get the thing working, it should work without it but it doesn't

  14. #14
    External HD not recognised
    ferrarr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post

    You keep referring to the drive as USB 2. If the model number you gave me above is correct the drive is definitely a USB 3 type. So I'm thoroughly confused as to what exactly you've been doing with a USB 2 extension cable?
    OP never said it was USB 2, only stated it was USB. Posted a link to a USB 2 extension cable.

    What model mac and OS are you using?

    The only thing I can think of, is the connection on the iMac is tighter with the extension cable plugged in and not with the EHD cable plugged in (you would have to get another USB 3 cable to test this).
    iPad 2 iOS 8, iPhone 4s iOS 8, iPhone 6 iOS 8.

  15. #15
    External HD not recognised

    Member Since
    Apr 05, 2014
    Posts
    9
    Hi all,
    Just been down to my local computer store and tried my drive on a iMac display model and the same thing happens on that too, the guy at the store had a spare drive cable that i tried and that didn't work either so concluded it was a faulty Toshiba drive. He said it was weird and he had never seen this problem before.

    My iMac is the 27inch model running Mavericks and it is about 3 weeks old.

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