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Old March 8th, 2010, 05:04 AM   #1
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Snow Leopard and hard drives

Is anyone having problems with Snow Leopard and new hard drives as I am. I have just bough two Terra Byte hard drives, Western Digital 7200 with 32 Cache I think. The whole FCP system cannot even play back without having to completely render the time line. I know this is a Snow leopard problem as I use the same drives with my MBP 17" via Firewire 800 with no problem.

Any suggestions on suitable drives with SL and the new Intel Macs with 8 gig of ram.

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Old March 9th, 2010, 08:22 AM   #2
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Setup type?

A little more info is needed to help figure this out.

Are they bare drives in an enclosure (eSATA, Fiber, SCSI, Firewire)?
Is it one of the "MyBook" self-contained enclosures from WD?
What are your WD drives connected to - tower, iMac?

At it's core there is no reason any bare HDD would have issues with Snow Leopard, in fact since SL contains *more* self-contained drivers than 10.5 it would therefore have greater compatibility, not less.

The WD "My Book" self-contained enclosures have always been troublesome and unreliable; the IO controller on the backplane gives any NLE major headaches during renders and they're also prone to premature failing. If you have a MyBook enclosure that is the source of your troubles, not SL.

Fill in the blanks about your actual setup and we can help drill down the issue.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 12:52 PM   #3
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Thanks Robert,
I have found the problem I think and this was a drive that had become corrupted. In this case it was a WD "My Book" self-contained enclosure.
Any recommendations in using different brand external hard drives that are more reliable.

Regards
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Old March 9th, 2010, 04:29 PM   #4
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"Holy data collisions, Batman!"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Ash View Post
In this case it was a WD "My Book" self-contained enclosure...
Now how did I know that...(laughs)

The WD "My Book" should have been banned from retail outlets years ago; I've seen more trouble reports and complaints for that device than any other external HDD setup - ever.

For editors I always recommend that you purchase bare drives and put them into hot-swappable external enclosures, whichever connectivity type fits your budget and your hardware scheme, be it Firewire, eSATA or even Fiber.

Check with OWC (Performance Upgrades; FireWire USB SATA Storage; Memory, more at OWC) as they have the best selection of either stand-alone enclosures WITH hard-drives installed or, enclosures-only and you can add your own drives.

If you purchased the MyBook recently return it to where you purchased it and get your money back. If you can't return it then physically disassemble the enclosure and take the bare-HDD out of the enclosure completely and re-use it in something else - even as an external backup drive. The HDD itself in the MyBook enclosure isn't the problem, it's that damned controller and power supply setup that's hardwired into the enclosure that is the problem.

I should post a global warning on my review site about that poorly designed product; too many editors have been hoodwinked by that device.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 04:57 PM   #5
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Post it, a friend just had his MyBook crash on him a a few days after I told him last week to get a drive from OWC for his new project and get rid of the MyBook. He was, "What's wrong with Western Digital? Their drives are so economical!" Fortunately it was a backup of his finished doc that had already gone to press.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 08:41 PM   #6
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Post it...
Roger-Wilco:

Reviews and wokflows for professional video, photo, audio and computers | Go-Go-Godzilla.com

The link on the homepage will goto a detailed page about the issue and recommendations. Help spread the word so we can prevent other fellow indies from falling into that same WD trap.

To be clear (not stated in the article) the issue is about the *enclosures* that WD uses for it's own drives; the bare-drives themselves are fine if used in a proper enclosure.

If you have any version of the My Book/Elite, My Passport Studio and have had it too long to return it, simply harvest the drive that lives inside that enclosure and transfer it to one sold by OWC (www.macsales.com)
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Old March 10th, 2010, 04:45 AM   #7
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Some great advice here guys.
So the drives are fine it's just the My Book cases and their power supplies that are the problem.

I know you have linked to a web site but there seems to be a lot of choices, what would be the top pick case for enclosing theses hard drives?

Simon
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Old March 10th, 2010, 07:56 AM   #8
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The best people to ask would be the guys a OWC. They've got dozens of options to fit literally every scenario and budget and they might even come up with an alternative you hadn't thought of for your system.

Step one is to *first* harvest that HDD inside the WD enclosure (if you're not returning it). The reason for this is because some of the drive manufacturers who make these stand-alone enclosures still have stock of the older IDE/ATA type drives that they need to clear out of their warehouses, so it's possible that's what's inside, not a SATA drive. Best to learn what you have before you purchase an enclosure that might have the wrong internal connector type.
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Old March 15th, 2010, 06:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Lane View Post
Now how did I know that...(laughs)

The WD "My Book" should have been banned from retail outlets years ago; I've seen more trouble reports and complaints for that device than any other external HDD setup - ever.
It's funny... I've been singing that song for about two years now and VIRTUALLY everybody (current company excluded...) has all but called me a heretic!

I WAS a devout LaCie user until today when neither of my latest LaCie externals would mount on my new Mac Mini (Snow Leopard) either by FW800 or USB2.0

So I pulled my 8 year old 80GB LaCie out, captured using my old iMac and I'm back in action...
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Old March 15th, 2010, 06:32 PM   #10
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At one point a few years ago LaCie was the company people complained about. Sounds like your drives need a bit of DiscWarrior.
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Old March 15th, 2010, 06:48 PM   #11
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William, doesn't DiscWarrior require the drives to mount first or just be on the buss and discoverable?
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Old March 15th, 2010, 08:18 PM   #12
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DW can fix a drive that is "alive" on the bus but doesn't mount.

If however you connect your drive and Disk Utility does not show it in the list - even grayed out (inaccessible) then it's truly unavailable to the bus and points to either a failed enclosure controller or worse, a DOA drive.

Sometimes the following will clear the hardware cache allowing previously un-mountable drives to show up in Disk Utility:

- Safe Boot
- Resetting the PMU (holding down power button 10 seconds with all power/batteries disconnected)
- Resetting PRAM
- Onyx software cache clean/dyld reset

If none of those things allow the disk to mount, physically remove the HDD from the enclosure and use a bare-drive USB adapter to connect/power it independently and see if you can mount it that way. If not, it's totally dead.
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Old March 15th, 2010, 08:51 PM   #13
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Two separate external drives disappearing at the same time is unusual. Possible reasons include: drive directory corruption due to a drive being disconnected before being unmounted, a FireWire bus going or gone bad and frying the drives' interfaces or in the case of FireWire800, a static build-up.

FireWire 800 is much more susceptible to problems in chained drives than FW400 ever was. I had a number of problems with my FW800 drives until the good folks at OWC suggested that I should never have more than 2 drives on a chain. That fixed all my problems until last week when I somehow got a glitch in the FW system that wouldn't go away until I turned everything off for a few minutes, unplugged all the drives and reattached them one each to a FW800 port on the computer instead of chained. All FW800 drives connected need to be turned off if you get a glitch in the external drive system. The edit room was very, very dry and later a client got a nasty static shock elsewhere in the room so I am assuming that static was the culprit. Finally I bought a new PCIe board and attached a couple of drives to it so I don't have drives attached to the front ports.

If you see the drives (or their FW boards) in System Profiler then maybe Diskwarrior, Tech Tool or Disk Utility can get them going again. If they don't show at all and Robert's suggestions don't work, something happened that you should be very worried about. As I said two different drives disappearing at the same time due to drive failure is highly unlikely.
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