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  1. #1

    Member Since
    Nov 26, 2007
    Need help Initializing External Drive Mac OS X
    My Mac's Disk Utility wont recognize my WD 115 Gig external drive - I want to use the external as a backup to files on my Mac - below is the sequence of what I did while trying to get the Mac to read the drive

    1. After connecting the drive to my Mac - USB directly into the computer - I powered up the Mac and got a dialogue box that said Initialize, Ignore or Eject - when I chose Initialize it opened the Mac's Disk Utility where you erase or partition the drive to be recognized - I tried to both erase and initialize the external - I erased the drive with no luck and then initialized the drive by selecting the drive from the sidebar and chose Partition (I saved it as a Mac Extended Journaled drive with 1 partiton) - but all I got was the spinning ball that would go on for as long as 15 minutes - After restart the Disk Utility recognized the external but it still didn't show on the desktop

    2. I then booted up from my original Mac OS 9 CD and successfully initialized the drive - there were only two options for that - Mac Standard and Mac Extended - I chose extended - When I'm in boot up mode from the CD the external does show up on the desktop without any files on it so I assume that the computer does read the external - I opened the Drive Setup Utility and chose List of Drives where it lists the with Bus numbers - My Mac is is listed as Bus 2 while the external is 0 it also says the external is "not supported" - There was also a yellow sticky like note in the upper corner of the computer that said "Complete functionality of USB devices is not available from start up CD" so I feel there is something wrong there and initializing the external from the OS 9 CD did something bad - I'm currently trying to figure out if the jumper setting on the external is correct - there seems to be special instructions for the Mac in the WD drive literature - it recommends to set it as a slave configuration - also if the Bus setting is 0 does that mean it's not recognized or is not connected or is there a legitmate Bus setting of 0 - I don't know just a thought

    3. When I restarted the Mac and opened up Disk Utility it takes a while to get started - it says gathering disk information - it finally loads about 7 minutes later but the only thing I get in the sidebar is my hard drive and no external - so it's not even showing up there anymore - so something happened when I initialized the external from the CD as it wont recognize it in the Disk Utility

    Macintosh G4
    CPU: 400 MHz
    Mem: 576mb
    Hard Drive: 19.1 G
    Bus speed: 100MHz
    8 years old
    Mac OS X System 10.4.11
    Western Digital internal drive in an external housing 115 Gig external drive

  2. #2

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Keller, Texas
    2017 27" iMac, 10.5" iPad Pro, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 7+, Numerous iPods, High Sierra
    I'm assuming you want to use the drive for backups? Otherwise if it's formatted to FAT-32 it should work OK with your G4. No need to reformat as HFS+.


  3. #3

    skaheadpunk's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 12, 2008
    Leicester, England
    MacBook, iPod Classic, 8GB 3G iPhone, Time Capsule
    Have you tried an erase?

  4. #4

    Member Since
    Nov 26, 2007
    I tried to erase and hot swap - nothing worked - I added new information in my query if that helps at all - Macrsd

  5. #5

    Member Since
    Nov 26, 2007
    Thanks to both chscag and skaheadpunk - Couldn't take it anymore and just bought a WD Passport Essential 250G - I initialized it and it works fine - thanks again - Macrsd

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