Maxtors and Macs
January 27, 2011 7:16 PM   Subscribe

How can I read a Maxtor OneTouch drive on a Mac?

I have an iMac with the latest OSX that is apparently capable of reading drives formatted in NTFS and FAT32 by PCs. (I just tested it on a 1TB hard drive and a 4GB USB stick formatted in those respective file systems.)

However, I have a 1TB Maxtor OneTouch III external disk that I really need to get some data off of, and it is not playing with my Mac.

When I install it it says, "The disk you inserted was not readable by this computer." There are three buttons on the popup: Initialize... / Ignore / Eject

I tried installing the Maxtor OneTouch software talked about here with no result.

Why would this not be readable given that I can read both NTFS and FAT32 drives on this computer?

Last night I brought the disk over to my friends' and I checked it on a Windows XP laptop and it worked fine.

Of course, I can probably go to the trouble of getting the XP laptop again (it is not mine), cloning the Maxtor to a separate NTFS or HFS drive, and going ahead with it.

But is there any way to just get this OneTouch working on the Mac?
posted by meadowlark lime to Computers & Internet (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Have you installed the Maxtor software? That's meant to be a problem with OS X Leopard and above.
posted by holgate at 7:21 PM on January 27, 2011

I did install the software, and even trashed the USB and Firewire KEXT files like that guy in the link recommends.

When I run the software it shows the OneTouch III as being connected, but it then says 'no drives are mounted'. Any ideas how to mount the drives?

I cannot follow the rest of the instructions in the link we both linked to, because I do not want to format the drive. I want to obtain the data from it.
posted by meadowlark lime at 7:48 PM on January 27, 2011

I have several Maxtor OneTouch 4 Mini drives (250GB) that I use for backups, and for moving projects between work and home. They work just fine without any installed software on my MacBook Pro (Snow Leopard).

Are you using the correct cable? My OneTouch 4 Minis are USB-powered, they have no external power supply. They do use a special cable, though, that is Mini-USB on the drive end, and dual USB on the computer end. Both of the computer's USB cables must be connected or the drive will not work. (True for Mac, PC, and Linux) If your drive is similar, is it possible you're using the wrong cable, or perhaps the USB ports on your iMac are operating at a low-power state or something? Have you tried a powered USB hub between your iMac and the drive?
posted by xedrik at 8:03 PM on January 27, 2011

xedrik, no, I don't think that's it. This OneTouch III connects via standard USB or Firewire. I got it working with just the USB last night, and out of curiosity just tried the firewire now. No dice!
posted by meadowlark lime at 8:18 PM on January 27, 2011

ISTR something 'funny*' with some of the Maxtors, to do with partitioning. If you could you post the result of running
    diskutil list
in Terminal, that might indicate what's going on.

(* Something to do with an odd partition type/structure, and a bunch of small Apple-specific partitions, to support both OS X and Windows by default…)
posted by Pinback at 8:26 PM on January 27, 2011

Pinback, thanks for looking. Here it is:

0: GUID_partition_scheme *1.0 TB disk0
1: EFI 209.7 MB disk0s1
2: Apple_HFS Macintosh HD 999.9 GB disk0s2
0: Apple_partition_scheme *1.0 TB disk1
1: Apple_partition_map 32.3 KB disk1s1
2: Apple_Driver43 28.7 KB disk1s2
3: Apple_Driver43 28.7 KB disk1s3
4: Apple_Driver_ATA 28.7 KB disk1s4
5: Apple_Driver_ATA 28.7 KB disk1s5
6: Apple_FWDriver 262.1 KB disk1s6
7: Apple_Driver_IOKit 262.1 KB disk1s7
8: Apple_Patches 262.1 KB disk1s8
9: Apple_HFS 1.0 TB disk1s10
0: My DVD *4.2 GB disk2
0: Apple_partition_scheme *204.8 MB disk3
1: Apple_partition_map 32.3 KB disk3s1
2: Apple_HFS Skype 200.0 MB disk3s2
posted by meadowlark lime at 8:29 PM on January 27, 2011

Ahhhh… bell-ringing is going on in my head ;-)

/dev/disk1 is the Maxtor, correct?

Try force-mounting /dev/disk1s10 as NTFS, even though it says it's HFS. I'm at uni at the moment so I can't give the exact details, but read the man pages for mount and/or mount_ntfs (or someone else can chime in with details).
posted by Pinback at 8:39 PM on January 27, 2011

9: Apple_HFS 1.0 TB disk1s10

Well, that is weird. That's presumably your NTFS partition, but diskutil thinks it's HFS.

I don't know if this will work, but it might. From a terminal:
sudo mkdir /Volumes/disk1s10
sudo mount -o rdonly -t ntfs /dev/disk1s10 /Volumes/disk1s10

posted by hades at 8:41 PM on January 27, 2011

Guys, thanks for your help so far. This is what I got:

Last login: Thu Jan 27 23:28:11 on ttys000
cpe-67-247-39-129:~ meadowlark$ sudo mkdir /Volumes/disk1s10

WARNING: Improper use of the sudo command could lead to data loss
or the deletion of important system files. Please double-check your
typing when using sudo. Type "man sudo" for more information.

To proceed, enter your password, or type Ctrl-C to abort.

cpe-67-247-39-129:~ meadowlark$ sudo mount -o rdonly -t ntfs /dev/disk1s10 /Volumes/disk1s10

mount_ntfs: /dev/disk1s10 on /Volumes/disk1s10: Input/output error

Disk still not mounting in Disk Utility, and now for some reason not showing in the Maxtor Utility either.
posted by meadowlark lime at 8:58 PM on January 27, 2011

Huh. What's the output of these two commands?
sudo dd if=/dev/disk1s10 bs=32 count=1 | hexdump -C
sudo dd if=/dev/disk1s10 bs=32 count=1 skip=32 | hexdump -C
If you get Input/output error for either or both of those, try unplugging the drive and plugging it back in first. (And make sure that "diskutil list" still shows it as disk1 not something new like disk4.)

Oh, I'm also curious about this:
sudo dmesg | grep -i -e disk -e ntfs

posted by hades at 9:25 PM on January 27, 2011

hades, the first two commands gave me:
dd: /dev/disk1s10: No such file or directory

the last command gave me:

cpe-67-247-39-129:~ meadowlark$ sudo dmesg | grep -i -e disk -e ntfs
Got boot device = IOService:/AppleACPIPlatformExpert/PCI0@0/AppleACPIPCI/SATA@1F,2/AppleIntel5SeriesAHCI/PRT0@0/IOAHCIDevice@0/AppleAHCIDiskDriver/IOAHCIBlockStorageDevice/IOBlockStorageDriver/SAMSUNG HD103SJ Media/IOGUIDPartitionScheme/Customer@2
BSD root: disk0s2, major 14, minor 1

I hope this is making more sense to you than it is to me!
posted by meadowlark lime at 10:54 PM on January 27, 2011

Well, that means that the disk has either changed devices or it's not being recognized at all any more. The first bit does, that is. The second bit doesn't tell me anything at all, which is weird, because I'd expect there to be some errors in there from your attempt to mount it manually. Oh, unless you rebooted in between trying the "sudo mount" command and the "sudo dmesg" one. So, let's try this:

Run diskutil list and look for the line that has "9: Apple_HFS 1.0 TB" in it. If you no longer have anything that looks like that in the output, then either the disk is no longer connected or something happened that's causing the mac not to recognize it at all. Try rebooting.

Once you can get the disk at least connected enough to show up in the diskutil output, check the last part of the line you were looking for in the paragraph above -- that should be in the "IDENTIFIER" column. It will almost certainly be either diskXsY, where X is a number greater than 0 and Y is either 9 or 10. (What number X is depends on what devices are plugged in, whether there are any disk images mounted, etc. Y ought to be 9, but it was 10 before, so... I dunno.) Try these commands again:
sudo dd if=/dev/diskXsY bs=32 count=1 | hexdump -C
sudo dd if=/dev/diskXsY bs=32 count=1 skip=32 | hexdump -C
Replace "diskXsY" in those two commands with what diskutil is reporting that partition's identifier is. What those two commands will do is (assuming no I/O errors) provide a clue about how that partition really is formatted. If either of the two commands produces "NTFS" in its output, I'd try the mkdir/mount commands from earlier (again, using the proper /dev/diskXsY). If you still get I/O errors, I think your best bet is going to be borrowing your friend's XP laptop again and copying the data onto a different drive.
posted by hades at 11:22 PM on January 27, 2011

hades, yes, the disk must have changed its identifier when I turned it on/off. I didn't realize that would happen. I put in the commands you said and got this back:

1+0 records in
1+0 records out
32 bytes transferred in 0.010271 secs (3116 bytes/sec)
00000000 24 c6 c7 0b 18 da 8e 6c ad e2 2a c5 45 8b 5b ea |$......l..*.E.[.|
00000010 5a 73 1e 69 5f 8e c0 6c fa 5d e7 8f ae 74 64 63 |Zs.i_..l.]...tdc|
cpe-67-247-39-129:~ meadowlark$ sudo dd if=/dev/disk2s10 bs=32 count=1 skip=32 | hexdump -C
1+0 records in
1+0 records out
32 bytes transferred in 0.004345 secs (7364 bytes/sec)
00000000 6f bc 7a 98 31 a1 c3 2c 74 d8 27 75 12 57 ba ae |o.z.1..,t.'u.W..|
00000010 9d 78 9b 5c 4b 49 48 c7 a5 6b 8c a7 47 08 10 17 |.x.\KIH..k..G...|

Do you think I should do the mkdir stuff, based on the above? Any other clue?
posted by meadowlark lime at 12:48 AM on January 28, 2011

Well, I'm stumped. My best guess is that the disk is partitioned in a way that Windows can read, but not OSX. I've never run into that before.

One thing you could try would be to install VirtualBox on your Mac, download a live linux CD image, and try to copy the files from the linux virtual machine out to the host system. If you're not familiar with VirtualBox or Linux, though, that'll probably be more of a hassle than just borrowing a machine with XP to use to make the transfer to a disk that you know your Mac can read.
posted by hades at 8:32 AM on January 28, 2011

If this is the external case with two HDs in it, this screwed me last year. It's a pair of drives, formatted for Windows and striped together to be one logical drive. The software doesn't work on current OS X, and Maxtor's web page says something to the effect of, "Really? Not working? Hmm, we'll take a look after lunch. Or never. Keep checking back. Thanks for your dough!"

I now need to migrate my data off of it, wipe it and reformat on OS X, and then move my data back on. Easy enough, but I bought it as a data dump since I didn't have space for these files elsewhere. Painted into a corner, yessir. Damn you, Maxtor!
posted by wenestvedt at 9:22 AM on January 28, 2011

wenestvedt, you are right, it is 2 drives formatted as one. I probably should have mentioned this at the beginning!

hades, I'm just gonna have my friend bring over her XP laptop next time she comes over. Bummer! Thanks for all your help though.
posted by meadowlark lime at 1:18 PM on January 28, 2011

« Older Why does my vision keep getting worse?   |   Not as hard as coming out, but still not easy Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.