View Full Version : Usb External Drive Probs

16th April 2005, 03:11 PM
Ok I picked up a $16 yum cha USB 2.5" external housing to bring the 4Gb fujitsu (ex Lombard) back into use.

However neither master, slave or cable select seems to work, the led lights up, I can feel the drive spinning but it won&#39;t mount on either iBook or Lombard G3. The drive did work with and OS9 install and I had assumed that it would at least mount and ask me to reformat, but alas no go. <_<

Any ideas on what I might be doing wrong or some advice on how I might try to force mount it via Terminal. It&#39;s one of those annoying things. I don&#39;t particularly want to pull the drive out of the Lombard to test but I guess its a last resort option.


16th April 2005, 03:18 PM
My notebook drive in case doesn&#39;t work on my powerbook using usb2.. it never mounts.. Its either a power issue, ie not enough power to spin it up completely, or I thought the chipset the usb2 bridge uses is not osx friendly. IN any case it works via firewire400 and thats what I bought it for. usb2 on windows, and firewire400 on osx.

Yours might have similar problem I suspect mine does.

16th April 2005, 04:13 PM
Bugger I avoided the &#036;45 combo as it seemed overkill for a 4Gb drive.

It does have a strange USB cable that you can connect to 2 USB ports at one end, which might be to fix a power issue. The box suggested it supported Mac OS 8.6 or higher but you may be onto something.

I&#39;ll test it on a desktop Mac when I have access to one. Thanks

16th April 2005, 06:56 PM
What chipset is the ext case - Prolific chipsets are very problematic, you might be able to find a firmware updater for it.

Or the drive isn&#39;t getting enough power - some 2.5" notebook hard disks run off too high a voltage to be powered by USB. I&#39;ve heard this happen in 60+ GB notebook HDs, could be possible in a lowly 4GB drives as well - do you have another hard disk you can try in the case?


19th April 2005, 07:31 PM
Silly question but is there an easy way to tell what USB chipset it is?

Must try it on a desktop mac soon to see if my &#036;16 was poorly spent.

I get spinning up noises, red then green led but no more.

19th April 2005, 07:48 PM
Originally posted by tempestas@Apr 19 2005, 07:31 PM
Silly question but is there an easy way to tell what USB chipset it is?

Must try it on a desktop mac soon to see if my &#036;16 was poorly spent.

I get spinning up noises, red then green led but no more.
Open Disk Utility in the Utilities folder, and under the list of drives, you will see the name of the chipset when you plug in the external HDD. Under the chipset heading is the list of partitions the drive has.

19th April 2005, 08:10 PM
Thanks but as I can&#39;t get the drive to mount that won&#39;t work for me.

I couldn&#39;t see anything on the USB bus under System Profiler when I had it connected. I might pull the OS X drive out of the Lombard and see if I get any different results this weekend when I have the time.

19th April 2005, 09:02 PM
If it&#39;s a power issue, the drive should sound different - whirr.... click - whirr.... click -
Means there&#39;s enough power to spin the drive up, but not enough to get the read-write heads moving.

My 2.5" ext drive requires extra power when plugged into my iBook - on my desktop it runs fine over regular bus power.

On the iBook I use a special USB cable that has 1 mini-plug (to the drive) and 2 regular plugs to the iBook (yes the drive occupies 2 usb ports).
Talk to your local PC store, they should be able to sort you out with one - or hit the swap meets and look for the guys selling misc. cables.

19th April 2005, 09:24 PM
Thanks, it came with a usb cable with 2 sockets at one end, and that is what I have used, but maybe not for all permutations of jumpering.

It makes a few clicks but then just whirrs so I am thinking it is the power issue, and two usb ports from my iBook is not enough to power it up.

Would a powered USB hub be a solution?

I can see the downside of having only laptops with their low powered ports.

Does anyone know if the Mac mini uses the iBooks low power ports of if it has full powered ones?

19th April 2005, 09:34 PM
I see no reason why the mac mini wouldn&#39;t have full-power ports - it is intended to be AC powered at all times.

Does your drive casing have an AC input socket? If it does you could just run it off a power adapter.

Test if the ext. drive works on a desktop machine. If so, it is most definitely a power issue.
In that case a powered hub should do the trick quite nicely.

Might possibly be a problem with the ext. case too (not too likely, but possible).