External Hard Drive Woes, please help

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by TFunkadelic, Dec 29, 2008.

  1. TFunkadelic

    TFunkadelic One Nation Under A Groove

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    I recently bought a Seagate Freeagent Go external hard drive (320gb, green, NON-mac version) and I'm having a bit of trouble getting it to work with my Powerbook G4 1.5ghz 1gb RAM.

    When I bought it, I understood that it would need to be reformatted (to FAT32 or the native Mac format) to work properly with my computer which I figured wouldn't be very difficult. Upon plugging it in to the USB port on my powerbook, it started making funny noises, and never appeared in the Finder. I then opened Disk Utility, and it didn't appear there either.

    The only way I can get the drive to appear at all in OS X is to connect it to my Airport Basestation, which allows me access to the drive over the network, but as far as I can tell does not allow me to reformat the drive.

    I then tried plugging the drive in to a Windows XP based laptop, and it appeared no problem, in NSTF format. I got a program called fat32format and ran it per the instructions provided, and it seemed to work, but when I plug the drive in to my Powerbook, I still get the same weird noises and 0 functionality.

    Does anyone have any suggestions?
     
  2. TheWeasel

    TheWeasel Guest

    I had the same issue and it's very common. Here's how to solve it:

    1. Open Disk Utility in your Utilities folder.

    2. After DU loads select your hard drive (this is the entry with the mfgr.'s ID and size) from the left side list. Click on the Partition tab in the DU main window.

    3. Click on the Options button, set the partition scheme to GUID (only required for Intel Macs) then click on the OK button. Set the number of partitions from the dropdown menu (use 1 partition unless you wish to make more.) Set the format type to Mac OS Extended (Journaled.) Click on the Partition button and wait until the volume(s) mount on the Desktop.

    4. Select the volume you just created (this is the sub-entry under the drive entry) from the left side list. Click on the Erase tab in the DU main window.

    5. Set the format type to Mac OS Extended (Journaled.)

    6. Click on the Erase button.
     
  3. TFunkadelic

    TFunkadelic One Nation Under A Groove

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    Thanks for the help man!

    The big problem I'm having though (unless I misunderstood your post) is that Disk Utility doesn't even recognize that I have an external hard drive connected to the computer. The drive also appears nowhere in my finder. When I plug in the drive, all I get is a few quick beeps (from the hard drive itself) followed shortly after by long steady beeps. This only happens when I plug the drive directly in to my Powerbooks USB port. It works properly when plugged in to a PC, or my Airport Basestation. When plugged in to the base station, the drive appears as a network place in my finder folder.

    Is it possible the problem is with my Powerbooks USB ports? Neither of them worked. Is there some system driver I can update? With the sounds this thing makes when I plug it in, it's almost like my Powerbook is saying "get this shit out of me, I don't know what the fuck it is."



    So if I'm understanding you correctly, your drive did not initially appear in finder, but DID appear in Disk Utility? That seems to be the big thing I'm missing, and without that this whole thing seems pretty impossible.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2008
  4. rocknrolla

    rocknrolla New Member

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    Trying using a program called MacDrive to format to Fat32
     
  5. TheWeasel

    TheWeasel Guest

    Have you tried to reformat using Windoze? No need for MacDrive to format for FAT32. MacDrive is used to read HFS+ volumes on a Windoze machine which isn't the case in this situation.

    There is a formatting utility for Mac that Seagate offers. You may want to try to download that and try it (I know it came with my Free Agent Pro but I didn't bother installing it as it's not really needed).
     
  6. TFunkadelic

    TFunkadelic One Nation Under A Groove

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    I discovered the problem.

    It turns out the Powerbook G4 doesn't have powerful enough of USB ports to run the Seagate drive on just one. Instead, I need to buy a Y-splitter cable. Lame. I feel so disappointed in my mac.
     
  7. TheWeasel

    TheWeasel Guest

    Aaaah yes. Drives over a certain size require those stupid things to bus powered. Now watch your battery die fast.
     
  8. TFunkadelic

    TFunkadelic One Nation Under A Groove

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    ehhh, I use my powerbook plugged in everywhere I go anyway because it only gets like an hour of battery life these days....I'd get a new laptop, but this thing has been so reliable and stable I still don't have any real reason to justify it (pushing 4 years).
     
  9. cixelsyD

    cixelsyD OT Supporter

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    Firewire FTW.
     
  10. tenplanescrashing

    tenplanescrashing Active Member

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    exactly...I refuse to buy a USB external drive because of this and the fact that there are too many USB driven components that need the space too. Since FW is pretty much just for external drives & hooking up your camcorder, I use it solely for external.
     
  11. TFunkadelic

    TFunkadelic One Nation Under A Groove

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    :wtc:
     
  12. Pitt

    Pitt 1-1-11 — Never Forget OT Supporter

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    I have a powered hub with 4 usb drives plugged in :o

    and a firewire drive :wiggle:
     

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