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Disk Won't Mount

Posted: Mon May 30, 2011 8:06 pm
by JerryFreilich
I am posting this note for a recently joined club member. These folks have a PC formatted (FAT 32) external Seagate 500 Gb hard drive which had been working fine up until a few days ago. It contains their iTunes library and also a sizable iPhoto library that has no other backup. (Yes... no backup). :oops: For no apparent reason, this external drive now fails to mount on the desktop. Disk Utility "sees" the drive but says that it is not mounted. The button in Disk Utility that allows you to mount a volume is "live" but clicking that button does not mount the disk. Likewise "unmounting" the drive and then trying to mount it again doesn't work. Same with plugging it in, unplugging it, and then replugging it in. Ominously... the drive also fails to mount on the PC desktop in Windoze.

So what do these folks do? I have a feeling that this is a job for Disk Warrior and I don't know if my version of DW will work. (I need to upgrade). Does anyone else out there have any other bright ideas?

Re: Disk Won't Mount

Posted: Mon May 30, 2011 9:25 pm
by Richard Serkes
Since it's been formatted FAT32 they probably need Windows utilities such as Norton. Norton can fix a lot of problems on a Windows drive.

I don't have anything like that anymore but I'd suggest they contact the Sequim PC Users Group for help.

Re: Disk Won't Mount

Posted: Tue May 31, 2011 6:29 am
by Stephen Hart
Can they hear the drive spinning up? Does it sound normal?
One possible approach would be to take the raw drive out of the enclosure and use an OWC Universal Drive Adapter (or another external case) to check for the possibility of power supply failure. Sometimes power supplies can fail to supply enough juice to get the drive up to speed.

I'd also check cords again. I've seen one instance where an external wouldn't mount. It's indicator light was on, it was plugged into the Mac. I was stumped until I found that the power cord was out of the wall. The FireWire cord was supplying enough power to work the indicator LED, but not enough to power the drive. I've seen another instance where the person I was helping swore that he'd unplugged and replugged everything. He tried one more time and bingo, the drive mounted. That could have been an instance where one of the three USB sockets was bad.

If the drive can be mounted, I'd suggest immediately cloning the drive, then watching it like a hawk for any other signs of failure. Big drives are very inexpensive these days.