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sata drive dissappears... gone from system not just unmounted

I have a custom desktop system running 10.5.6... ( from retail OSX install i purchased a long time ago when it was built)...... upgrading a few things over the years, this is my home theater system and thats all it does and i like it. So it will stay as is.

I will may update to 10.5.8 retail soon as long as my optical digital out for sound would continue to work..... this is outside my question thou.

Anyway i have a 2nd sata hard drive for storage i added, 2TB western digital green. Added it about 8 months ago or so.... everything fine until now.

I have not been able to find anything in system logs, or anything that would show why this 2nd drive just disappears... just errors like spotlight not being able to index appears to be a healthy status, disk utility testing = ok.

Here is the odd doesn't is just gone. Not shown in terminal either...It's not there. Not there in disk utility either of course....I have to restart the system and it's back without issue.... stays there for quite some time usually..... then restart again..... i have not been able find find any specific program, or activity that causes this ( have not seen it disappear being an HTPC is is just on all the time and doesn't really do all that much... it's an HTPC so basic stuff).... it is becoming annoying, going to find stuff and quicksilver has a big question mark.

I do have file journaling off for this drive, althou that should not matter. Won't bother explaining why, just info in case it helps.

So is this just a drive showing me that it may die despite it appearing healthy or ?

I can buy another hard drive if this is the case and get rid of this one, rather then loosing data.

( the computer has a nice HTPC case and special aftermarket CPU cooler, negating the need for a CPU fan, Just two big 120mm side fans, all of which adds up to making less noise then your home DVR, less noise then my laptop too actually....and more air flow, for all system components............ so the drive isn't over heating or anything like that).

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Puan 1

Did you reformat the drive when you installed it or is it MS-DOS fat?


it was a brand new OEM drive, formatted with disk utility HFS+( so GUID or whatever the correct option was), it was several months ago.... just no file journaling enabled.


Brian in the PC world what you are describing would be termed the disk turned RAW. It happens when the FAT (file allocation table) gets messed up. They probably have other words for it in the Apple world. But, no matter how you term it the principle is the same - the disk lost or jumbled up it's address book. Many times I've regained a disk that this happend to by defragging it. Other times I've needed to use a data recovery program to retrieve the data on it. I've seen this happen to both new and old drives. Unless you are really pressed for space why would you have file journaling tuned off?


Well unfortunately i have Linux, Windows and OSX computers to contend with and i find it easier when using my NTFS esata drive, for write/read back and forth to my non journaled 2TB drive.

Also depending on the file and operating system that created it, if i was to transfer files to a journaled drive via my esata NTFS.....i might be busy with CHMOD......This eSata/USB drive is used on multiple platforms, disk imagining, bkup, etc so NTFS is what i have to use. I also have an APC backUPS..... so i don't have any concerns about some of the features journaling offers.... I have no errors on my non journaled drive, doesn't mean they are not there........I do have journaling on my primary OSX drive and I have no errors there either i know of.......Also if something was to happen i could at least pull the 2TB drive using linux to get my stuff without extra work...... I am saving up the $$$ for one of those wonderful QNAP/Synology NAS /RAID/SSH +more devices. Which will make my life nice.


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I had similar issues with an external USB HD i was using for time machine. I was getting ready to toss it in the trash, but then I threw Disk Warrior at it and it reported a corrupt directory on the drive, although disk utility said the disk was fine when it was working. The software isn't cheap, but do your research on this software and you will easily see why it's worth the purchase price. It will pay for itself in the long-run. I'm not saying that this may be the case with your HD, but DiskWarrior is known to repair disks in this state.

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Puan 4


+ Nice program. Good advice.


The problem wasn't the hard drive, so it seems, it's was the way the drive is mounted, i have to edit fstab or whatever it is in OSX and some other things so the system will address the drive as an internal device, i have had no problems since testing my theory by not mounting or unmounting any of my external hard drives for approx. a week now..... It should still not auto unmount my drive for no reason, and not disappear despite the way it is mounted...... So i will just have to change the way it is configured as that will prob. be easiest thing to do..... i do appreciate the answer and will look into getting disk warrior to help resolve any future issues with OSX machines and possibly this one too if the problem continues after i change how it's mounted.


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