Firewire external hard drive woes

By madboyv1
Jul 30, 2007
  1. I find that when I try to use my external enclosures (I have one designed to be bus powered for a 2.5 Laptop HDD and another that is wall powered for a 3.5 Desktop drive), I continually recieve Read/write errors during sustained read/writes (like bulk file moves, or burning a DVD/CD with the data on said HDD). I figured that my external wasn't getting enough power, but then there is no excuse for the wall powered external. This problem is repeatable, and occurs on a MacPro using OSX (most recent update) as well as Windows XP SP2.

    This does not occur when using them with the USB port (well, rare enough to say it doesn't), but the reason for me to use firewire for the Windows XP system is because I am already using 8 out of 10 USB ports (4 (2+1+1) of which are being used by the potential Firewire enclosures), and having to share all that USB bandwidth between all of those devices is a major bottleneck with the devices I already have.

    Any ideas guys?
  2. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +422

    That seems like an odd problem the problem just about has to be one of the following:
    Operating system problem (Very unlikely because happens on 2 different OSes)
    USB and Firewire Cables are bad (unlikely)
    External enclosures are bad (unlikely since there are 2 of them)
    Hard drives themselves are bad (unlikely since there are 2 of them)
    Bad Power (unlikely, USB on at least 1 system should be sufficient for the notebook drive, power brick for the external is probably good too).
    File System errors (more likely, something could be corrupt, scan them)

    My suggestion: Run Disk Utility for correct permissions from OS X if applicable, and also run its disk check (also in disk utility I believe). Run chkdsk on them (can do it from the GUI) in Windows. If they pass that, pull the 3.5" out of its enclosure and stick it in your desktop and do a S.M.A.R.T check on it.
  3. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Topic Starter Posts: 1,473   +378

    actually there are two external enclosures using the brick power, and the Harddrives in them are brand new, I figured if I can find a fix of some kind to one, I can apply it to the other. XD

    Still, It wouldn't hurt to check them. I do not currently have access to the two brick powered external enclosures (they are the oens usually used on the Mac systems), but the laptop drive enclosure is in front of me, and being that I have a Thinkpad T43p, I'll throw the drive into a HDD caddy and do the checks that way.

    Thanks for the advice, hope I find something to fix. =)
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