I was having problems with reading and writing data to a USB drive. It would erratically produce the spinning beach balls and once in while I would get a "cannot read (or write) to drive" or something like that.
I bought a copy of Scannerz to test it figuring the drive would be bad. I got Scannerz because it wasn't expensive - no other reason. In any case, I started testing the drive and sure enough Scannerz identified errors and irregularities, but with one catch: they weren't repeatable. Their little troubleshooting guide states that if you get non-repeatable errors, it's likely the system or another component causing the problem, so I followed some of the procedures to isolate it.
First, I assumed surely the drive was the problem so I put another, old but decent USB drive on, and it too showed the exact same, erratic problems. I concluded that obviously the cable was bad. I took the USB drive and the cable and attached them to an old iBook, and both ran flawlessly. I put the USB drive and cable on all the other USB ports (this is an iMac with 3 USB's on it) and it ran fine on the other ports. Finally I called Scannerz tech support and they told me the most likely culprit was that the connectors on the logic board connecting to the USB port were probably cracked and making intermittent contact. They said this problem was fairly common if the there's something plugged into the logic board and when it gets subjected to an impact, it almost acts like a lever and causes the logic board traces to crack or separate. I asked them if I could fix this and they essentially said "No, you just shouldn't use the port anymore."
Here are my questions:
1. How common is this problem?
2. Can't I fix it by opening the unit up and re-solderling the USB connections on the logic board back to the USB port? Seriously, how hard can that really be to do?
Thanks in advance.
PS: By the way, this is my first post here. It's a very nice looking site. If this post is in the wrong area, please move it to the right one. Thanks again.
Edited by Mac Fan 1965 - 1/8/13 at 1:27am