iMac not recognizing external HD
January 28, 2008 3:04 PM   Subscribe

Problem accessing WD external hard drive on iMac. Does not mount, attempts to format it in disk utility unsuccessful - input/output error.

Western Digital 500 GB external hard drive connected to 24inch new imac. Initally worked, even copied 80 gigs to it previously. now suddenly won't let me access it.

when i plug it in, i get a mess that says "THE DISK YOU INSERTED WAS NOT READABLE BY THIS COMPUTER." then gives options to INTIALIZE, IGNORE, or EJECT. when i select initialize, the disk utility sees it as a 2.0 TB WD, instead of 500 gb.

when i attempt to erase it, i get an error message that says "DISK ERASE FAILED, INPUT/OUTPUT ERROR."

this is a brand new, has only been used once to back up photos. could possibly have been briefly plugged into a PC while i was away (husband not fessing up).

posted by slowtree to Computers & Internet (3 answers total)
I would first try to run the WD Data Lifeguard for Windows (they don't make it for OS X) from a PC. That tool should give you more information on what's going on with your drive.
posted by strangecargo at 3:18 PM on January 28, 2008

Is it a My Book drive? They are notorious for not working well with the current crop of Macs:

Topic : Western Digital MyBook Studio 750G - Freezing 10.5.1 MacBookPro

Although the symptoms aren't identical to yours. There are lots of other similar threads there if you search for "imac my book problem". I'm only aware of this because I am in the market for an external 500GB drive and was reading up on them in the last week.

From the above thread, excerpted from an email that one poster received from Seagate customer support:

Response (James W.) 01/10/2008 02:49 AM
Our drives are not compatible with Aluminum iMACs via firewire at the present time, we are working on a solution. It is only the aluminum iMACs that do not work with firewire, all other MACs are OK. Apple have changed something. The inferior firewire cables were shipped some time ago in the US, there is no issue anymore and never was in Europe. The buttom manager for the button functionality is not 10.5 compatible yet, but will be before end Feb.

So, if you were connecting via Firewire, maybe try USB instead?
posted by Your Time Machine Sucks at 3:22 PM on January 28, 2008

Try USB. I have a 500GB MyBook and it worked fine up until about a week after I upgraded to Leopard. Now I can't access it at all over Firewire, only USB.
posted by bradbane at 6:48 PM on January 28, 2008

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