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  1. #1
    My first hard drive failure
    Believe it or not, I've never experienced a hard drive failure before, but the external HD I've been using for only about 2 years for my Time Machine backup with my iMac (Fantom Drives 2TB External HD) has failed. The first sign was that it unmounted in the middle of the night when a Time Machine backup was starting. I got it to connect again, but it just unmounted again the next time Time Machine ran. Disk Utility would not load disks when it was connected, and when I ran Disk Utility in recovery mode, it didn't show up as a drive. I couldn't even boot into Safe Mode with it connected. Resetting SMC and PRAM had no effect. My last attempt was to try connecting it to my MBA, after which my MBA promptly had a kernel panic. I tried again after reboot with the same effect. Apparently the Mac's immune system doesn't like this thing anymore, LOL!

    There was a thread not long ago where Nick and some others talked about how they simply used bare 3.5" drives with a dock, so that's what I've decided to do. I'm upgrading my other external HD (1TB Western Digital Elements) that I was using for extra storage to a 4TB Seagate Barracuda bare drive and replacing the failed 2TB drive with the another 4TB Seagate Barracuda bare drive for my Time Machine backups. Found this nice dock so I can use both at the same time. Hopefully these drives will last me for a long while.

    Last edited by usagora; 12-29-2018 at 08:09 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

  2. #2
    My first hard drive failure
    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 20, 2008
    Location
    U.S.
    Posts
    40,181
    Your Mac's Specs
    2011 17" MBP 2.2ghz, 16gig ram, OS 10.11.6
    That is a nice dock. Nice that it can mount two drives at the same time. Very convenient for doing redundant backups!

    Sorry to hear about the drive failure.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  3. #3
    My first hard drive failure
    dtravis7's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 04, 2005
    Location
    Modesto, Ca.
    Posts
    29,629
    Your Mac's Specs
    iMac late 2012 21.5 i5 10:14. iMac 2010 27"QuadI7 OS10.13, MBPLate2011, iPad Pro10.5", iPhone5s,
    That dock seems very nice. Gets overall great reviews also. Might get one now that I have a USB 3 Mac.

  4. #4
    My first hard drive failure
    Slydude's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 16, 2009
    Location
    North Louisiana, USA
    Posts
    13,688
    Your Mac's Specs
    2.8 GHz 2008 MacBook Pro 10.11, 8 GB mem, iPhone XS, 2015 iMac 16 GB 10.14.1 beta
    Quote Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
    That is a nice dock. Nice that it can mount two drives at the same time. Very convenient for doing redundant backups!

    Sorry to hear about the drive failure.

    - Nick
    Agreed. that is a nice feature. I have a similar dok (not quite as nice) and use that feature all the time.

    BTW Others reading this thread who may be looking for hard drive enclosures rather than a dock read the fine print. Some of these enclosures require you to reformat the drive once it is placed in the enclosure. That, of course, will erase whatever is on the drive. zi've been bitten by that a few times recently when buying enclosures. I've been looking for an example but haven't seen one. When I find the link i'll post it.
    “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”
    Kevin Durant

  5. #5
    My first hard drive failure
    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Keller, Texas
    Posts
    57,057
    Your Mac's Specs
    2017 27" iMac, 10.5" iPad Pro, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 7+, Numerous iPods, Mojave
    Some of these enclosures require you to reformat the drive once it is placed in the enclosure.
    None of the enclosures I have ever purchased required that. And I wonder what would be the reason for having to reformat the drive?

  6. #6
    My first hard drive failure
    dtravis7's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 04, 2005
    Location
    Modesto, Ca.
    Posts
    29,629
    Your Mac's Specs
    iMac late 2012 21.5 i5 10:14. iMac 2010 27"QuadI7 OS10.13, MBPLate2011, iPad Pro10.5", iPhone5s,
    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    None of the enclosures I have ever purchased required that. And I wonder what would be the reason for having to reformat the drive?
    Charley, I think I know why. One example is a lot of the newer WD externals have Hardware Encryption in the hardware in the case before the drive. If you got an enclosure like that, you would have to format it I would think for that to take effect. That bugs me about the WD drives that do that as if the enclosure hardware fails and you get another case and put in the drive, you could not read your data as it's tied to the Encryption in the WD Enclosure! That is not good.

    WD, Give me the option to encrypt or not.

    That was why I bypassed WD last time I got a large External and got my Enclosure from OWC and my drive from New Egg. Bought the top of the line OWC case with a lot of ports and a 4TB HGST drive.
    Last edited by dtravis7; 12-30-2018 at 07:27 PM.

  7. #7
    My first hard drive failure
    Slydude's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 16, 2009
    Location
    North Louisiana, USA
    Posts
    13,688
    Your Mac's Specs
    2.8 GHz 2008 MacBook Pro 10.11, 8 GB mem, iPhone XS, 2015 iMac 16 GB 10.14.1 beta
    I'm not sure what the reason was for reformatting the drive. It was one of the cheaper slections at the time and I can't find a link to one at the moment. IIRC the problem was that if you had info on a drive that was in one of these enclosures the drive would not be seen in a different enclosure until you reformatted it. I think it wwas somethhing called Turo or some such.
    “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”
    Kevin Durant

  8. #8
    My first hard drive failure
    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Keller, Texas
    Posts
    57,057
    Your Mac's Specs
    2017 27" iMac, 10.5" iPad Pro, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 7+, Numerous iPods, Mojave
    Unless it was for encryption like Dennis said above, I see no reason why moving a drive to an enclosure should require a reformat. That just doesn't make sense, but I've seen stranger things in the world of computing.

  9. #9
    My first hard drive failure
    Rod Sprague's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 12, 2011
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia and Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
    Posts
    4,288
    Your Mac's Specs
    MacBook Pro Retina 13" macOSX 10.13.3 beta
    usagora, dont feel bad it's never happened to me either and I've been using (and sharing) Mac's since the 1980's.
    Thats because I have always had the presence of mind to upgrade before it happened and obviously I've had luck on my side. Nowadays I'm prepared to push the limits a little further because of bootable clones.
    My wife's 2011 MBP did suffer a drive failure about two years ago but we were able to run it from a clone until she got a replacement drive. She now has a new 2018 MBP but only because the old one was getting too slow for current programs and we weren't willing to invest in a RAM upgrade. Upgrading to the Retina screen was an consideration too.
    Thanks for the idea though. I had been thinking about "bare" drives for a while but I had no idea the docks were so cheap.
    I used to be conceited but now I'm perfect.

  10. #10
    My first hard drive failure
    Rod Sprague's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 12, 2011
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia and Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
    Posts
    4,288
    Your Mac's Specs
    MacBook Pro Retina 13" macOSX 10.13.3 beta
    Now it occurred to me that maybe there was a USB-C HD Dock available and found this little beauty online in Australia.
    https://www.pccasegear.com/products/...rive-dock-gold
    The specs are pretty amazing.
    I used to be conceited but now I'm perfect.

  11. #11
    I received the dock and the two 4TB Seagate HDDs yesterday. The dock is plug-and-play, and both drives formatted just fine. One is being used for large file storage (mainly video) and the other is being used as a Time Machine backup of both the other drive as well as my internal SSD. So far both drives have operated very smoothly without any errors and are very quiet. I'm very pleased.

    In case anyone didn't realize, this dock can clone a drive without being connected to the computer. You simply put the drive you want to clone in the slot marked "A" and then the drive you want to clone it to in slot "B" - you then hold the "Clone" button for about 3 seconds until the "100%" light flashes and then press the "Clone" button once more to initiate the cloning. 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% lights indicate progress. I haven't had a chance to test that yet, but have no doubt it works as advertised based on the great reviews on Amazon.

    I forgot to mention in my OP that I also had ordered these nice storage cases for when I have to transport the bare drives:

    -Jonathan
    iMac (27-inch, Late 2012) - 2.9 GHz Intel Core i5
    MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2012) - 1.8 GHz Intel Core i5

  12. #12
    My first hard drive failure
    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 20, 2008
    Location
    U.S.
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    40,181
    Your Mac's Specs
    2011 17" MBP 2.2ghz, 16gig ram, OS 10.11.6
    Quote Originally Posted by usagora View Post
    I forgot to mention in my OP that I also had ordered these nice storage cases for when I have to transport the bare drives:
    Those are some pretty nice cases...as you said very handy for transporting. Thanks for sharing.

    Here's a bare-drive display box I got from a local electronics store. Holds up to 20 bare drives. Just got it recently...and only have 3 drives in it currently (but have more). Lol

    Hard drive box.JPG

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

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