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  1. #16
    Problem viewing files on my external hard drive
    MacInWin's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 01, 2009
    Location
    Winchester, VA
    Posts
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    Your Mac's Specs
    MBP 15" Mid 2015, iPhone XS, an iMac, plus ATVs, AWatch, MacMini
    That is correct uncleebenz, it doesn't matter where it was formatted ExFat, it should be readable on both. And fixable on both. Windows is a bit more forgiving sometimes than macOS, so it may or may not work better. No harm in trying.
    Jake

  2. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by uncleebenz View Post
    Yeah I would just use it as another external HD but was already thinking of the route you are in buying a 3 tb external HD to use as my hub backup of all my files. Are there any brands that you trust more? I would appreciate a procedure to follow for using Terminal as I am not familiar with it hardly at all, especially for this task. Thanks again for your time and help!
    I've used a WD Elements drive for many years now without a single issue:
    https://www.amazon.com/Elements-Port...d+elements+3tb

    I also have a Fantom drive - haven't owned as long, but still a couple years and no issues:
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00A0HZUEO...ing=UTF8&psc=1
    -Jonathan
    iMac (27-inch, Late 2012) - 2.9 GHz Intel Core i5
    MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2012) - 1.8 GHz Intel Core i5

  3. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by ferrarr View Post
    Yes, that's correct.

    But, I've had issues, on drives formatted on winOS (older versions), that were not useable by macOS (older versions), and vice versa. But, because it was only a transportation device from one pc to another, I didn't lose data.
    Ok, thank you for your insight as I don't have much experience at all with file transportation from pc to mac and vice versa. At this point I am just trying to transfer what I can off of my corrupted external HD to another external HD using an older macbook pro. Most likely my external HD isn't formatted ExFAT so any pc solutions won't be able to help me unfortunately.

  4. #19
    Problem viewing files on my external hard drive
    MacInWin's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 01, 2009
    Location
    Winchester, VA
    Posts
    4,948
    Your Mac's Specs
    MBP 15" Mid 2015, iPhone XS, an iMac, plus ATVs, AWatch, MacMini
    Well, how is it formatted? You can check that in Disk Utility, which should show the format as long as it can see the drive at all.
    Jake

  5. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by MacInWin View Post
    That is correct uncleebenz, it doesn't matter where it was formatted ExFat, it should be readable on both. And fixable on both. Windows is a bit more forgiving sometimes than macOS, so it may or may not work better. No harm in trying.
    Yeah that's my feeling that it would be more "forgiving" as you put it, we will just have to see if it was or was not formatted ExFAT.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by usagora View Post
    I've used a WD Elements drive for many years now without a single issue:
    https://www.amazon.com/Elements-Port...d+elements+3tb

    I also have a Fantom drive - haven't owned as long, but still a couple years and no issues:
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00A0HZUEO...ing=UTF8&psc=1
    Ok, thanks a lot for the options, I'll definitely look into those!!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by MacInWin View Post
    Well, how is it formatted? You can check that in Disk Utility, which should show the format as long as it can see the drive at all.
    So yeah, that was one of the issues I was having, not being able to see it in disk utility and sometimes when I would try disk utility would stop responding so I don't want to try that while I am still able to transfer files at the moment using the mac.

  6. #21
    Ok, so I have a procedure for you on accessing your external HD through Terminal. Here are the commands you'll need:

    cd (change directory)
    cd .. (move back one directory)
    ls (list)
    open

    1. Open Terminal.

    2. Type cd /Volumes/ExternalHDName but replace ExternalHDName with the actual name of your external HD as it shows on the desktop. If the name has spaces in it, you'll need to type a back-slash before each space. For example, if your external HD is named Extra Storage, you'll need to enter it in Terminal as Extra\ Storage.

    3. Now you can type ls and then hit Enter to list the contents of your external HD root directory. To navigate to a sub-directory, simply type cd followed by the directory name (remember to use back-slashes before spaces in directory names) then hit Enter. To move back to the previous directory, simply type cd .. then hit Enter.

    For example, let's say you have a file named Bank Accounts.docx on your external HD that you have been unable to open using Finder. The drive structure is as follows:

    Extra Storage
    --Photos
    --Music
    --Important Files
    ----Banking
    ------Bank Accounts.docx

    Here's how you would navigate to the directory that file is in and open it with Terminal (hit Enter after each line of command of course):

    cd /Volumes/Extra\ Storage/Important\ Files/Banking
    open Bank\ Accounts.docx


    If you then want to navigate to the Photos directory, you would enter:

    cd ../Photos
    (moves you back to previous directory (the root directory in this case), then into the Photos sub-directory

    If you then wanted to list all directories and files within the Photos directory, you would simply type ls then hit enter.

    etc.

    Give that a try to see if you can open a file that you have been unable to transfer or otherwise access. Hope that helps.
    Last edited by usagora; 12-07-2018 at 08:45 PM.
    -Jonathan
    iMac (27-inch, Late 2012) - 2.9 GHz Intel Core i5
    MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2012) - 1.8 GHz Intel Core i5

  7. #22
    Ok thank you very much for the procedure, when I hit the last enter command that should open the document/file?

  8. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by uncleebenz View Post
    Ok thank you very much for the procedure, when I hit the last enter command that should open the document/file?
    Yes, assuming the file is not corrupt. You can also try copying a file to your internal HD using the cp command. For example, if you wanted to copy the Bank Accounts.docx file from your external HD to your Desktop, enter the following. This assumes you have just opened Terminal and are not already in the file's directory:

    cd /Volumes/Extra\ Storage/Important\ Files/Banking
    cp Bank\ Accounts.docx ~/Desktop

    (reads "copy Bank Accounts.docx to the Desktop directory in the home directory" - the home directory being your user folder under Macintosh HD/Users and represented with a tilda ~)

    Depending on how large the file is, it may take a few seconds or more before you see the file appear on your Desktop.
    Last edited by usagora; 12-07-2018 at 08:56 PM.
    -Jonathan
    iMac (27-inch, Late 2012) - 2.9 GHz Intel Core i5
    MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2012) - 1.8 GHz Intel Core i5

  9. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by usagora View Post
    Yes, assuming the file is not corrupt. You can also try copying a file to your internal HD using the cp command. For example, if you wanted to copy the Bank Accounts.docx file from your external HD to your Desktop, enter the following. This assumes you have just opened Terminal and are not already in the file's directory:

    cd /Volumes/Extra\ Storage/Important\ Files/Banking
    cp Bank\ Accounts.docx ~/Desktop

    (reads "copy Bank Accounts.docx to the Desktop directory in the home directory" - the home directory being your user folder under Macintosh HD/Users and represented with a tilda ~)

    Depending on how large the file is, it may take a few seconds or more before you see the file appear on your Desktop.
    Ok, I did a test run from another external HD and was able to copy a picture from my external to internal using your method in Terminal, so last resort maybe that will work for some of the files that don't seem to want to transfer over through Finder. Thank you again for all your time and effort explaining this to me!

  10. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by uncleebenz View Post
    Ok, I did a test run from another external HD and was able to copy a picture from my external to internal using your method in Terminal, so last resort maybe that will work for some of the files that don't seem to want to transfer over through Finder. Thank you again for all your time and effort explaining this to me!
    You're most welcome, and glad you got the commands to work in Terminal. Hopefully that might help for any stubborn files. Fingers crossed for you!
    -Jonathan
    iMac (27-inch, Late 2012) - 2.9 GHz Intel Core i5
    MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2012) - 1.8 GHz Intel Core i5

  11. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by usagora View Post
    You're most welcome, and glad you got the commands to work in Terminal. Hopefully that might help for any stubborn files. Fingers crossed for you!
    So the final update: I was probably able to salvage about 75% of my files uncorrupted. Using the Terminal commands I was able to get additional files but as we had suspected, if they didn't transfer over with Finder then when they were forced over using Terminal they came corrupted (ex. A movie file would play but at some point would hit the corrupted part and stop playing). The weird thing, for me, is that those same "corrupted" files work perfectly fine when playing them directly off the "corrupted" external HD. If anyone has any thoughts as to what this means I'd love to understand. Also my external HD seems to be working normally after performing about 3-5 First Aid's on it (ex. All my files are visible through finder, it ejects properly, disk utility recognizes it and can interact with it, ect). The only thing it isn't doing normally is the transfer of certain files saying they can't be written or read. As stated before in the thread, I have backed up what I could and won't be trusting this external HD anymore even though it seems to be responding "normally". If anyone has any more thoughts or explanations I would love to learn more! Thanks for everyone's help!
    Last edited by uncleebenz; 12-08-2018 at 04:04 PM.

  12. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by uncleebenz View Post
    So the final update: I was probably able to salvage about 75% of my files uncorrupted. Using the Terminal commands I was able to get additional files but as we had suspected, if they didn't transfer over with Finder then when they were forced over using Terminal they came corrupted (ex. A movie file would play but at some point would hit the corrupted part and stop playing). The weird thing, for me, is that those same "corrupted" files work perfectly fine when playing them directly off the "corrupted" external HD. If anyone has any thoughts as to what this means I'd love to understand. Also my external HD seems to be working normally after performing about 3-5 First Aid's on it (ex. All my files are visible through finder, it ejects properly, disk utility recognizes it and can interact with it, ect). The only thing it isn't doing normally is the transfer of certain files saying they can't be written or read. As stated before in the thread, I have backed up what I could and won't be trusting this external HD anymore even though it seems to be responding "normally". If anyone has any more thoughts or explanations I would love to learn more! Thanks for everyone's help!
    No idea why those movie files would play fine on the "bad" drive but not when opened from your copy destination unless the file became corrupted in the transfer. Otherwise, it's a mystery to me. The read/write thing sounds like a permissions issue. If you right-click (or control-click) one of those files and click on "Get Info," what does it say for the permissions at the bottom of the window that pops up? Your user account should have read/write permissions. If not, see if you can change it.



    I'm glad you were able to salvage the majority of your files, though. Now get that backup configuration set up!
    -Jonathan
    iMac (27-inch, Late 2012) - 2.9 GHz Intel Core i5
    MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2012) - 1.8 GHz Intel Core i5

  13. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by usagora View Post
    The read/write thing sounds like a permissions issue. If you right-click (or control-click) one of those files and click on "Get Info," what does it say for the permissions at the bottom of the window that pops up? Your user account should have read/write permissions. If not, see if you can change it.
    So yeah I think there is an internal problem in the external HD that is corrupting certain files that are being transferred. As for the read/write permissions, I checked that now and it was already set to be able to read and write so i'm guessing that wasn't the issue. As for the backup, I am already searching for 3 tb external HD to be my base hub of backup and then I'll use 1 tbs to do my transferring of files and for transportation. Thanks again for all your time and great ideas!

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