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Thread: MacBook not recognizing External HD

  1. #1

    Member Since
    Oct 14, 2007
    MacBook not recognizing External HD
    Hi all I am new to Mac's so any help would be appreciated.

    I bought my Macbook back in September. I am currently running OS 10.4.11 on it. Last week i saved my thesis onto my external HD. When i went to hook up my External HD two days ago the computer acted like it wasnt connected. It wouldn't show up in finder or on the desktop. Now when i open up system info and disk utility it shows it is connected. On disk utility it is greyed out though and wont let me repair it or anything.

    Now i thought it at first may be the Hard Drive, but it works fine on my Roommates MacBook and My other Roommates PC. I figured maybe i have a a bad usb, but my ipod and printer connect up fine with the USB. So it's not that. I even went ot the Maxtor site and downloaded the newest update for the HD, but that didnt fix the problem.

    I did a search of the problem on apple support forums and discovered many others with the problem. I tried most of the soultions people have recommended but nothing seems to work. Then again im new to Macs and am not familiar with Terminal to well. When i folllowed the steps for Terminal i would get something like that "directory doesnt exist". I have tried going back to OS 10.4.10 but the comp wouldnt let me. I did reinstall the old usb extensions. Tried rebooting with just the external HD still connected. Didnt work again. Now i saw some people talking about how the computer is treating the HD like its invisible and all you have to do is turn it VIsible. But i found there directions confusing since im still leanring about the OS software. I mean this could be the case since in Disk Utility it is greyed out which sometimes means the file is invisible at least on Windows it does.

    I will take any help it be much appreciated. Just please if give a solution using Script Editor or Terminal could you try to be as clear as possible since I'm really new and still learning. Thank you all if you can help.

    P.S. The hard drive is a 320GB Personal Storage external HD. USB with a power cord to an outlet. Connected via USB.

  2. #2

    louishen's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 22, 2007
    In disk utility is the mount button faded out as well?

  3. #3

    Member Since
    Oct 14, 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by louishen View Post
    In disk utility is the mount button faded out as well?
    No its not. When i click it though it doesnt do anything.

    Been reading up on the problem for the past hour and it seems to be big problem and im suprised apple hasnt addressed it yet.

  4. #4

    twodogs_10462's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 14, 2008
    I'm having the same problem with the same symptoms (the drive is invisible on the desk top, won't show up in the finder, etc. even though I hear it spinning and see it's operating light flashing) & don't even know about using the "terminal" to try and access the drive. It works on my PC but won't work, either as a firewire or usb drive. In fact two external hard drives are exhibiting the same behavior, though thumb drives of various different manufacturers are working fine in the usb ports.
    I'm thoroughly baffled. I've tried "verify," "verify and repair." and "mount" in the disk utilities, all no-go.
    What are the "terminal" instructions? What are the other options besides take the Macbook to the genius bar?


  5. #5

    rcronin's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 20, 2006
    New Eng
    I've had this problem, too. It was infuriating. Happened on my MB and my friend's MBP using my external drive. It seemed to get better after I did a firmware update that had somestuff on it related to the USB. But I don't know any details about that. They still take a long time to mount and unmount. Can't tell you if it's fixed or not, I have some other issues going on with this machine and it's a bit overwelming. Hard for me to keep track of it all at this point.
    Web & Graphic Designer, LLL Leader, teacher (in my previous life; pre-kids) and Mama to my two daughters (who think the Apple booty is theirs)

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