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  1. #1


    Member Since
    May 24, 2008
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    58
    Specs:
    MacBook, 2.4GHz processor, 2GB RAM, 150 GB
    Question on external hard disks
    Hi, just wondering... Are external hard disks designed to be turned on 24/7? I think I fried one of my 500 Gig external hard disk because I turned it on for way too long? Is it possible?

    What happens now is that while it still can still be recognised by my MacBook, whatever content that I write into it won't be retained the next time I boot up and I constantly have to re-format the hard disk anyway because it frequently gets screwed up (especially after I put stuff into it).

    I know what I had described isn't exactly very "technical" or specific... But any help on this matter will be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2

    Noels's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 03, 2008
    Location
    Annapolis, MD
    Posts
    945
    Specs:
    Macbook, 2.2 GHz, 4GB RAM
    deserter85,

    I don't think it got fried because you left it on 24/7... I think the hard drive has a problem that indicates it may be ready to fail. Stop writing to it and get a new one.

    If there are any files on the external that you want back on your Mac, put them back there now while it is still able to do that, before you get a new one.

    I only use my backup hard drives every day or two to update my backups, but leaving one on all the time shouldn't be a problem.

    Noel

  3. #3


    Member Since
    May 24, 2008
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    58
    Specs:
    MacBook, 2.4GHz processor, 2GB RAM, 150 GB
    Yeah... I got a new hard drive (Western Digital 500 Gigs)... I got it because it was quite cheap (about $150 Singapore dollars)... Plus I think Western Digital's a reputable brand when it comes to hard drives... Am I mistaken?

  4. #4

    Noels's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 03, 2008
    Location
    Annapolis, MD
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    945
    Specs:
    Macbook, 2.2 GHz, 4GB RAM
    deserter85,

    No, WD is a great brand, but it is mechanical and they do go belly up from time to time. What you describe is an odd set of circumstances, and I've never heard of one acting the way you describe.

    I wouldn't discard it just yet, it may be recoverable.

    Have you tried to repair it using Disk Utility? Go there and select it on the left side, then click on the Verify Disc button. It will analyze the drive and let you know if it needs a repair by showing you a Repair Disc button next. Perhaps it will help...

    Noel

  5. #5


    Member Since
    May 24, 2008
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    58
    Specs:
    MacBook, 2.4GHz processor, 2GB RAM, 150 GB
    Yes, I tried to use the disk utility to try to salvage it.

    However, the same problem keeps repeating.

    Basically it seems fine whenever there's no information written in it. However, once information gets written on it, the whole disk becomes "unreadable" in a sense because of some "tree root information" thing (it's been quite a while since I last attempted to salvage it so I can't remember exactly). After multiple attempts at recovery, reformatting, partitioning etc. but it still has the same problem. So I assumed that there must be something fundamentally wrong with the hard drive and proceeded to get a new one.

    Another thing is that it runs VERY hot VERY quickly. I'd estimate probably close to 80 degrees Celsius (it's really really burning hot when I touch it). Which was why I thought I had "fried" it (in a literal manner).

    BTW: When I press the repair disk button it gave me the "bad tree root information" thing and said that it was unrecoverable. So I had to re-format it.

    I understand that anything that's mechanical is prone to breaking down. But a complete meltdown within 4 months is unacceptable (to me, at least).

  6. #6


    Member Since
    Jul 14, 2008
    Posts
    8
    External hard drives are simply that, hard drives, that are not inside your computer. All drives have a lifespan. Will leaving a drive on 24/7 kill it? Yes. But so will only turning it on while you use it. It's all about the number of read/writes you do and the operating conditions of the drive.

  7. #7


    Member Since
    May 24, 2008
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    58
    Specs:
    MacBook, 2.4GHz processor, 2GB RAM, 150 GB
    Hi... Thanks for the reply... So I guess my first 500 Gig HD can be trashed into the trashcan? Or is it salvageable?

  8. #8

    Noels's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 03, 2008
    Location
    Annapolis, MD
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    945
    Specs:
    Macbook, 2.2 GHz, 4GB RAM
    deserter85,

    You can call Western Digital and tell them about your woes and they will send you a new hard drive in return for the old one. They are warrantied for 3 years - don't throw it away!!

    Noel

  9. #9

    celtics1217's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 23, 2008
    Posts
    1
    So I am new to the whole 'mac lifestyle' and I was wondering if there is a external hard drive brand or specific hard drive that would be good to purchase with my new macbook? I don't want the next biggest thing in hard drives, though I would like to make sure my school work is safe from harm. Can someone please help?

  10. #10


    Member Since
    May 24, 2008
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    58
    Specs:
    MacBook, 2.4GHz processor, 2GB RAM, 150 GB
    Quote Originally Posted by Noels View Post
    deserter85,

    You can call Western Digital and tell them about your woes and they will send you a new hard drive in return for the old one. They are warrantied for 3 years - don't throw it away!!

    Noel
    Well, my first hard drive was by Samsung, but yeah... I am covered by the 3 yr warranty that's available. But somehow my confidence in Samsung HDs have dipped significantly (hence my second purchase was from WD).

  11. #11


    Member Since
    Jul 14, 2008
    Posts
    8
    Quote Originally Posted by celtics1217 View Post
    So I am new to the whole 'mac lifestyle' and I was wondering if there is a external hard drive brand or specific hard drive that would be good to purchase with my new macbook? I don't want the next biggest thing in hard drives, though I would like to make sure my school work is safe from harm. Can someone please help?
    Any external with the correct connection (USB, Firewire... whatever you have on your machine) should work. You'll probably have to use disk utility to reformat to HFS+ as most externals are shipped NTFS.

    Personally I've had a Seagate and a Maxtor external and a WesternDigital internal. The Seagate was trash, never mounted correctly, constantly ended up with a corrupt file system and had to reformat. Maxtor and WD haven't given me any trouble at all.

    Always keep two backups. No matter what brand you pick up, don't rely on the external thinking you'll never have a problem with it.

  12. #12

    Noels's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 03, 2008
    Location
    Annapolis, MD
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    945
    Specs:
    Macbook, 2.2 GHz, 4GB RAM
    Quote Originally Posted by dgortze380 View Post
    Always keep two backups. No matter what brand you pick up, don't rely on the external thinking you'll never have a problem with it.
    dgortze,

    I agree with you on that - I use a WD Passport with SuperDuper as one backup and my old Macbook hard drive (in a Bytecc enclosure) with Time Machine for the second. I upgraded my internal Macbook with a WD 320GB Scorpio drive and so far it has performed flawlessly...

    I make a backup every 2 or 3 days with each external and feel that way I'm covered.

    Noel

  13. #13


    Member Since
    Apr 01, 2008
    Posts
    4
    Unhappy Help!!!!
    Hi I am a total noob and need some help setting up my External hard drive so i can watch movies on my TV.

    I just bought a Maxtor one touch 4 500gig hard drive
    A Highlander dvx-5850 DVD player

    I have plugged my hard drive into the DVD player and it recognizes it fine. The only problem is that the dvd player says the card is empty even though i have put 3 movies (in mpeg4 format as per user manual) on there.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated and thankyou for your time in advance.

  14. #14

    Noels's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 03, 2008
    Location
    Annapolis, MD
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    945
    Specs:
    Macbook, 2.2 GHz, 4GB RAM
    canzy,

    If you're talking about commercial movies, they are copy protected and can't be copied to your external.

    Talking about copying protected movies (or CDs/DVDs, etc.) is against forum rules and can't be discussed here...

    If they are non-commercial, you should let us know that in your posts.

    Noel

  15. #15


    Member Since
    Apr 01, 2008
    Posts
    4
    Hi Noels,
    Sorry im a noob. No they are not copyright protected.... They are home videos and podcasts from itunes. Can anyone help?

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