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Other Hardware and Peripherals Other Apple systems and peripherals discussions including the Apple Watch.

HELP! MBP no longer recognizes External Hard Drive

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Member Since: Jul 04, 2007
Posts: 33
A15P is on a distinguished road

A15P is offline
Ok so I have almost all my images stored on a WD external HD that has been working fine for quite some time now.....until that is I plugged it in last night. my MBP does not recognize it.

It does not show up on the Desktop, the Finder or in the Disk Utility. The only place I can find it is in the System Profiler, but I am not able to do anything with it there.

Before you reply with the simple fixes, please read the troubleshooting I have already done. ( my apologizes if I sound frustrated ) I have been trying to get this fixed since last night. There are extremely important images stored there.


Disconected - powered off the HD - Rebooted the MBP- reconneced the HD to power - then reconnected the HD to the MBP. ( I have done this several times in many different orders )

I have tried different USB cables for the HD ( it is not hooked up for Firewire)

I have plugged in other USB devices into the USB port and they work fine.

I have plugged the HD into a PC and it was recognized, but was not readable as it is formatted only for Mac.

As one person suggested I just left it plugged in for several hours to see if it will mount on its own.

If you have any other suggestions, please feel free to post them, as I desperately need to be able to retrieve the images

Thanks in advance!!!!!!!!!!
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Member Since: Jul 08, 2007
Posts: 3
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I am experiencing the same problem...
Is it because of the new Software Update?
Funny thing is I have 3 hard drives (External , all USB, 2x 3.5"desktop drive, and 1x 2.5" laptop drive, all formatted as FAT32)
Now the 2 desktop drives work perfectly on my mac however my 2.5" USB HDD does not work anymore. The light on the HDD is on and I can hear it running but just my lovely OS X does not wanna show it as a device in either Macintosh HD, desktop or disk utility.

I still can't figure out why, because:
- The two 3.5" ext. HDD work on my macbook pro, so it is not usb port problem as such.
- The 2.5" ext HDD works on my colleague's macbook pro and my work pc (win xp), so it is not the ext. hard drive problem either!!
What problem could it be????????????? It will be great if someone have any ideas of what weird thing is going on... Thanks Millions
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Member Since: Sep 02, 2006
Location: London, England
Posts: 398
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Mac Specs: iMac Retina 5K 4GHz i7 24GB RAM MacBook Air 11-inch 1.6GHz 4GB RAM

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If the images are extremely important and if you suspect that it could have something to do with the software update, I guess the best way might be to reistall OS X from the discs that came with the Mac when you bought it.....
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Member Since: Jul 12, 2007
Posts: 2
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I too have had an external hard drive fail to be recognized since the last software update. It appears in system profiler but I'll be ****ed if I can get the thing to show up anymore on my desktop. The latest software update might very well have something to do with it. Please, anybody, if you know how to correct this sitaution, I'm sure I speak for us all by saying we would be SO GRATEFUL!!!
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Member Since: Jul 12, 2007
Posts: 2
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Oh for the record, I am using a iMac purchased last year.
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Member Since: Jul 15, 2007
Posts: 1
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I have exactly the same problem as A15P (photos in a WD drive that my MBP cannot recognize or see!) Did all the same things you listed...I echo your shouts for help!!!
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Member Since: Jul 05, 2007
Posts: 502
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Hmm, haven't experienced the USB problem, but I did have a similar issue with Firewire. Not sure if this'll work with USB, but if I remember correctly I zapped the PRAM and physically unplugged the power connector for 10-15 minutes. My firewire drives been working fine ever since.
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Member Since: Dec 22, 2006
Location: Texas, where else?
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Mac Specs: 15" MBP '06 2.33 C2D 4GB 10.7; 13" MBA '11 1.8 i7 4GB 10.10; 21" iMac '13 2.9 i5 8GB 10.10; 5s & 5c

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It's pretty amazing to me that all these first timers managed to find and post to the same thread.

First, I would say it has nothing to do with any update, or it would more than likely have raised it's head amongst the many regulars here.

At least a couple of these mentioned the drive showing up on another PC - would back up all that data to that other PC. If it is a windows PC, download and install MacDrive to your windows machine. It has a free test drive period with which will allow full access to your HFS partition from with in windows.

Under these conditions, more than likely there is something wrong with the drive itself. You'll find this out if you do install MacDrive and are not able to read the drive.

There are a couple of disc utitlities for the Mac which can be tried.

Tech Tool Pro - probably the better option for this scenario

Disc Warrior

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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Yeah I have updated to the latest update as well and my external hard drive has no problem mounting and being recognized.

Before updating, I did start in Safe Mode (I am careful that way...), quit all apps and I unpluged ALL unnecessary peripherals. I then let the update run its course without touching my Mac.

Restarted and everything is fine.
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