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External USB drives not visible in OSX or XP

Hi, I change between 3 different IDE hard drives using my Macally external USB/firewire enclosure. Somehow all three of my drives are responding with a red (error) LED when I install them in the enclosure. Windows and OSX both don't see the drive at all either. I have checked under my computer/manager/drive manager to see if it is the mapping, but without luck. I don't think it is the master/slave pins (I have heard it could be that, but would be surprised). Is there any way to get these drives visible again? And if not, can I at least recover them to format them, as a worst case scenario?

Posted by Rob Blind on


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For the WD HDD, you need to set the jumper as Single or Master

For other HDD, you need to set as Master

Posted on Jan 03, 2008


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What external drive enclosure would support a seagate 4200.2 hard drive

Hi Larry

There are generally 2 types (sizes) of hard drive. 2.5 Inch & 3.5 inch. Any 3.5" HD enclosure these days should handle either size.
The preferred current connector on a HD is SATA (Serial ATA)This small connector on the HD is universal so it's easy to connect a drive. 3.5" HD is preferable for backups & archive as it is faster, more reliable and less prone to bumps. They run on 12v&5v
The Pocket type 2.5" run on 5v and are not as fast or secure.

My preferred Enclosure that I use is more of a Universal Dock.
Either drive can be plugged in at any time. This is great for allowing the use of several drives for different purposes. Eg
A Movies Drive. A Backup Drive. A Music Drive or a Bootable External OS in case of problems. Buy USB3 Port Interface where possible or FireWire as the backup speed is Faster
Drives not in use get wrapped in antistatic bag or tinfoil & kept in secure location.
I use Carbon Copy Cloner to make a Bootable copy of OSX.
Great program... used it for years. Demo is free and fully usable.

Hope this helps

NewerTech Voyager S3

Mac Backup Software

NewerTech Voyager S3 Hard Drive Docking Solution USB 3 0

I know there is data on my phr-250a mcally external hard drive but it's showing empty folder

Leave it connected to your computer and try a restart.
If the folder is still showing as empty, power down the computer then disconnect the external drive.
Power on the computer and connect the external hard drive to a different usb port.
I had this exact problem with a 1000 Gb external drive that was full of movies and music. I thought it had all been lost .. After 2-3 days and repeated attempts of restarts and power-downs/different usb ports it suddenly was recognised again and has worked perfectly since

Seagate external hard disk is not getting detected in windows 7 previously it was detecting. i tried to change usb cable, tried on different system but nothing worked. i want to take backup of data also....

This is my suggestion for you to possibly recover the back up file in your external hard disk.

Remove the enclosure cover of the external hard disk. Detach the hard disk from the ide connection.
Change the jumper setting of the hard disk to slave. See the sticker in the hard disk to see how to set up the jumper to slave. Connect the hard disk to the ide cable inside your pc. If your computer is equipped with sata cable, just find some ide cable and connect it the the ide slot in your motherboard.

Restart your system and you will find your hard disk as drive (d:) in your system. If this was successful then problem can be cause by loose terminal solder in the usb/ide connector of the enclosure, or possible voltage drop of the power supply of the enclosure. USB driver issue or problem with the usb slot in your computer can also cause this issue.

How to change hard drive

change your hard drive by replacing another hard drive with ide a belt type one end to the mother board and other end to the harddrive..... then another wire that comes from your smps box in your cabinet with red blue green colours connect it to your hard drive thats it..

if your harddrive is sata then do the same in the sata

Hard Drive not mounting

Check the jumper on each hard-drive.

My guess is that the WD drive has the jumper in the "correct" position, for mounting inside an external case, while the other drives have their jumper set to an "incorrect" position.

Set the jumper to MA(ster), not to SL(ave), nor to C(able)S(elect).


New Maxtor 3200

Hi, This is a common problem with external storage. Based on your post/description: 1. Your laptop does not recognize the external hard drive via its USB connection - try on a different computer - if it is still a no go, then it's not a PC problem; 2. Try replacing the cable - again if a no go, so it's not an interface/cable problem; 3. That leaves you only with the PS3200 itself as the possible at fault. An external hardrive would consist of 2 main parts, the electronic board and the hard disk itself. The board seldom (if ever) fails. Its function is to provide conversion/interface from the SATA/IDE connectors of the HD to the out USB/Firewire. The HD more often than not fails. Most external storage uses a standard HD inside the enclosure. Your possible options: a. Claim warranty/replacement; b. Replace the HD only; c. Physically remove the HD and connect it directly inside a desktop either as IDE or SATA and run manufacturer's diagnostic and/or third party recovery software; d. Seek services of professional data recovery firms (if data/files are mission critical); Hope this be of some help/idea. Post back should you need further information. Good luck and kind regards.

USB Connection Problems

You say have a SanMax HD-338-CB USB/Firewire External HD with a 160MB drive. You then say sometimes I have to reboot Windows XP pro 2 or 3 time before I see the drive using a USB 2.0 connection. Fire wire is a different system with a different connector style- so it should not be in a USB port or a USB connector should not be in a Firewire device. Get you device and connections sorted The desktop display simply puts up a device it will not differentiate which USB or Firewire
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