External USB2 harddrive and iBook

in Genius Bar edited January 2014
My friend can source USB2 external hardrive enclosures and drives to go in them for next-to-nothing so my other friend got one for his iBook. The iBook only supports USB1 (or 'standard speed' or whatever its called) but for the price he can't complain.


The drive doesn't work on his machine. it doesn't mount and instead makes a repetitive clicking noise.

I tried to troubleshoot it for him and got it to work on a near identical spec iBook, a PC and a flat-panel iMac (though it only worked from the ports on the rear, through the keyboard it showed the same symptoms).

I assume that it has something to do with power being supplied through the USB connection but I'm baffled that two iBooks bought within a few months of each other should show any difference in behaviour.

Any help would be appreciated.


  • Reply 1 of 4
    does it have an optional external power supply option?
  • Reply 2 of 4
    Yes, though he doesn't have a powerlead that fits it (not an insurmountable problem) and would prefer if it would work without it (less hassle etc.) as it does on my iBook.
  • Reply 3 of 4
    lucaluca Posts: 3,833member
    Remove the hard drive from the USB 2 case. Buy a Firewire case for $30-$40. Put the hard drive in the Firewire case. Be happy
  • Reply 4 of 4
    i'm just wondering if it's a power issue. i would guess that for whatever reason, his machine doesn't have enough juice to power the drive. if he can plug it in and find out, that would give you the solution, and i'm guessing that's what's wrong.
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