Maxtor external HDD detection issues on Macbook
I use a maxtor 500GB external HDD to store my music and videos. My macbook runs Mac OSX 10.4.11. A few months ago, my macbook started having trouble detecting this drive when plugged in. Sometimes, the drive will work fine. Other times, it will power up, make some noise for a long time, then power down without being detected.
Recently, it completely stopped being recognized. The drive does show up in disk utility, but I have tons of data on this disk that I really need to recover, and I don't want to reformat it without backing it up.
I also noticed that on those few occasions that it used to be detected, if the usb cable was touched even slightly, the disk would be disconnected.
Have you tried a new USB cable? You might have a flakey cable. If it's not the cable (assuming you tried a new one) then the drive itself may be getting ready to fail. If you need to get your data off the drive and can't through normal means, you might try "Data Rescue 3".
This may be a hardware failure on the part of the Maxtor HDD.
Usually it means the controller inside the enclosure goes out. Fortunately, it also means that you can remove the drive from the enclosure, install it in a new one and be back up and running.
Check the cable as chscag suggests and also try different USB ports to eliminate that as a potential cause.
If neither of these remedy your issue, then you'll need to take the next step and put the HDD in a new enclosure and go from there. If that doesn't work, then the drive is bad.
Not to be the bearer of bad new but Maxtor drives have a history of high failure rates. If you can get it up and running, I would suggest you get your data off it and onto another drive ASAP.
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