Formatting External FW Drives -- Extended or Journaled?

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Hi,



I've been having problems with 3 Maxtor 500GB 400/800/USB FW drives. They will randomly unmount themselves -- forcing me to turn them off, wait a minute, then turn them back on.



There doesn't seem to be any pattern to when they unmount themselves. All three drives had been formatted using Mac OS Extended (Journaled), and I'm on the most recent version of Leopard.



Thinking I had 3 lemons, I called Seagate (who purchased Maxtor) for tech assistance. The tech guy told me that external drives should not be formatted using Journaled, only Mac OS Extended.



I've never heard of this. Is he correct?



Thanks!

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    I had the same problem. The drives would chaotically unmount, and sometimes not mount again.

    Maybe this will help:





    Shut down your Mac.



    Disconnect all peripherals, including the keyboard and mouse - meaning pulling all cables.



    Pull the power cable, or the plug.



    Wait 15 seconds (I waited several minutes, just to be sure).



    Then plug in the power, the keyboard and the mouse.



    Start the computer.



    Wait til the whole OS is loaded completely.



    Plug in the drive(s).





    See if this helps you, as I don't know about the filesystem issue.



    This procedure above is recommended by Apple to reset the Firewire bus or so, but I don't recall the name, so no linky.



    Have a good day.
  • Reply 2 of 11
    wilcowilco Posts: 985member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by spinnerlys View Post


    I had the same problem. The drives would chaotically unmount, and sometimes not mount again.

    Maybe this will help:

    ...



    Thanks! I'll give it a try.



    I'm thinking this may help as well with my external DVD Burner, which has stopped working when connected via FW, but works fine via USB2.
  • Reply 3 of 11
    spinnerlysspinnerlys Posts: 218member
    I now remember:



    I have a Lacie Quadra connected via Firewire 800, and I formatted it again with Extended (and not Journaled), after I had the same problem as you. I read about the filesystem issue, but don know anymore where.



    Now it works like a charm.
  • Reply 4 of 11
    nofeernofeer Posts: 2,422member
    so what's the answer---use extended?
  • Reply 5 of 11
    spinnerlysspinnerlys Posts: 218member
    Maybe.



    It was the answer for my problem with a Firewire drive.



    But I don't know the theoretical background.



    Try and see.
  • Reply 6 of 11
    zinfellazinfella Posts: 875member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by spinnerlys View Post


    Maybe.



    It was the answer for my problem with a Firewire drive.



    But I don't know the theoretical background.



    Try and see.





    My external drives are journaled, and use a firewire interface. No issues to report.
  • Reply 7 of 11
    wilcowilco Posts: 985member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zinfella View Post


    My external drives are journaled, and use a firewire interface. No issues to report.



    According to the tech support guy at Seagate, it depends on the drive whether or not there will be issues using "Journaled".



    I also have some other FW drives that had been formatted with Journaled, and they were fine. But I've since reformatted them.
  • Reply 8 of 11
    robmrobm Posts: 1,068member
    You can simply turn Journalling Off ....



    Use Disc Utility to turn On or Off.



    Also - check Sys Prefs, Go to Energy Saver. Down the bottom make sure that "Put Hard discs to sleep ..." is unchecked.
  • Reply 9 of 11
    wilcowilco Posts: 985member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RobM View Post


    You can simply turn Journalling Off ....



    Use Disc Utility to turn On or Off.



    Doh!



    Where were you yesterday?



  • Reply 10 of 11
    robmrobm Posts: 1,068member
    heh.



    Fwiw - I have used fw discs for years way back to old Mac OS.

    With the intro of system X there used to be a raging debate whether to Journal or not.



    The conventional wisdom back then was to leave it Off for video work (simply 'coz it might slow the i/o down or get in the way or cause head bashing).

    I always format externals Mac OS Extended (Journaling off) GUID partition if on Intel and APM if on a G4/G5 system.



    If I'm cloning my Boot disc I'll format the one of the disc as above but leave Journaling On.



    hth, cheers, r
  • Reply 11 of 11
    wilcowilco Posts: 985member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RobM View Post


    If I'm cloning my Boot disc I'll format the one of the disc as above but leave Journaling On.r



    I didn't mention it earlier, but the tech guy also said that the boot disc should have Journaling enabled.



    Thanks again for the help, all.
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