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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

External HD and OS X DVD problem

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Member Since: May 25, 2012
Posts: 4
pivs is on a distinguished road

pivs is offline
I am desperate about a huge problem.
A few months ago, a WD external harddrive, which was only one year old, stopped being recognized by any of my computers. I used it on a MacBook, and on a Windows PC. The first one just didn’t react to it at all, the second one indicated that its “unformatted”... But there’s 500 GB of data on it!
I tried with other computers, no result. Then I turned to data recovery software. However, the only thing that such software was able to do, was recovering the data without their filenames or folder structure. That means you get 500 GB of files, named “File00001, File00002, etc.”, which is pretty useless.
After having bought 2 new ADATA harddrives, I started backing up my stuff on them. However, today my Mac didn’t recognize one of them. It just wouldn’t appear in the finder. I unplugged it (what else can you do? there’s no way of ejecting it first) and put it back in. No result. When I tried to restart the MacBook, it got stuck in the shutting down process. This I had experienced before, when the WD drive was failing! I unplugged the harddrive again, and then force-shut down the MacBook.
Now the ADATA drive seems to have gone the same way: when I plug it into my Windows PC it says: “Format drive?” – NOOOO!!!!
Both ADATA drives are formatted NTFS, and I installed Tuxera to be able to read them on the Mac. The WD drive was formatted, I believe, as FAT32.
Now, the story doesn’t end. I’m in the middle of this, looking for help on forums and the like. One of the things I read is that I can try to repair it several times in Disk Utility. When I go to Disk Utility, the drive is visible, but nothing can be done. One recommendation of Disk Utility is: if repair doesn’t work, try restart from your OS X Install DVD.
Well, I put in the original OS X 10.5.5 DVD, and guess what? It’s not recognized. It’s ejected repeatedly. Then I tried a brand new Snow Leopard Install DVD, which I purchased just a few days ago. This one’s ejected too!!! It’s not a problem with the hardware, because he does accept other CD’s and DVD’s...
I’m desperate now... if anyone has advice on any of the above problems, I would be very grateful...
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Please use paragraphs when posting! Not too many folks are going to have the patience to read through a wall of text....

It seems you have a number of problems.

Problem number one. Tuxera is buggy and has been known to corrupt NTFS drives when reading from OS X. So that would be the first thing I would get rid of. Instead use Paragon NTFS ($19.95).

It also appears that your optical drive is failing. Since it can't read your original Leopard DVD nor a new Snow Leopard DVD, it has to be the hardware. I know you said it can read other CDs and DVDs but keep in mind that both the Leopard and Snow Leopard DVD are dual layer which require a high amount of laser power to read the disks.

And lastly, which data recovery software have you tried? Data Rescue 3 is very good at recovering deleted files and should be able to give you partial files names at least.
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Member Since: May 25, 2012
Posts: 4
pivs is on a distinguished road

pivs is offline
you're right, chscag, i'll use paragraphs!

So the OS X problem was solved at the Mac Store, where they installed Snow Leopard from their network. I'll keep an eye open whether the optical drive is failing. The Snow Leopard DVD had a strange irregularity on the surface, I hope that was the problem.

Tuxera? Could be, but the first harddrive crashed when Tuxera wasn't active on my MacBook yet. I remember we had tried to install it, but it didn't work. That's why we formatted the first harddrive as FAT32.

New information: now that my MacBook is running Snow Leopard, every time I plug in one of the corrupted harddrives, everything freezes and a message pops up that says I have to force restart by holding the power button.

I still don't understand how, apparently, compatibility issues between harddrives and the Mac can cause such serious damage...
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