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Backup Plus for Mac Rocks & an Answer for those with Problems
on August 16, 2013
Hi there folks,
After reading many of the negative reviews regarding issues with this drive I must first state that I have had ZERO issues. This being said, I've had issues with other external drives/devices dismounting(self-ejecting) on my Mac. I will address this momentarily after I give a short review on this drive. I've had this drive for a couple of weeks now and it is flawless. I use this one on my Macbook Pro with Time Machine backup from Apple. It is connected via USB 3.0 presently plugged into a Targus USB 3.0 hub expansion. The computer identifies this drive as it should (USB 3.0). It is extremely fast and quiet. I plan to purchase a second one of these drives to run via one of my Thunderbolt ports with an Apple adapter. I've tested it out with one of these adapters (borrowed it from another device :-) it is LIGHTNING FAST!
I'm running a 2013 Macbook Pro Retina with OSX 10.8.4 Mountain Lion.
For those that just can't get their drives recognized or to show in 'Finder':
I'll start with proper formatting. Be sure your new drive has been formatted as 'Mac OS Extended (journaled)' and that the partition map scheme is 'GUID Partition Table.' Even though your drive should have come formatted for your Mac 'out of the box', sometimes they just don't.
An important factor worth mentioning is to be sure you're running your external storage device with the most recent firmware. Just because that shiny new drive came fresh out of the factory sealed box, doesn't mean you have the latest firmware. Keeping your firmware up to date is a most definite necessity as each and every day brings us new features and function in our operating systems.
Ensure your USB/Firewire/Thunderbolt connections are functioning properly; this is especially important if you are using an expandable multi-port hub with your system. Via 'System Report' pull up 'Hardware' and 'USB', 'Firewire', 'Thunderbolt' (whichever applies. Look at the data and be certain everything is being found, and found correctly. If you see something that is not being found, or is being found incorrectly (USB 3.0 connection being found as a USB 2.0 as an example) be certain of a couple of things:
Check that your power for all of your devices are connected (external drive power, power for your hub). You may have been using your hub passively running other low consumption devices on it with line level voltage from your computer with no problems. Your hub must have its own power to run a device of this type. Another possibility is your cable may be damaged, or you're plugged into a USB hub or USB port on your computer that only supports USB 2.0.
Here are some solutions for most of the folks I'm sure, who are having problems with self-dismount/improper-eject:
The first thing I discovered when I had problems with other external drives dismounting is that power management in newer Mac products use a VERY LOW POWER sleep mode, almost to hibernation state. Most external drives can only detect a connection to a computer when the computer is sending a line level signal via connection cable. When newer macs enter sleep mode the power is beneath the threshold level these external devices are capable of sensing. Therefore, when the computer sleeps, the drive thinks the computer is off and puts itself to sleep causing improper dismount or self-eject, and of course generating the message that the device has been improperly ejected. Yes, this can damage files. What is required when using these devices is to either eject the drive manually through the Finder Window, and then let your computer sleep, or adjust your power management setting in the "Energy Saver" tab to "NEVER" for the 'Computer Sleep' setting. Also in the same Energy Saver window, be certain to UNCHECK 'Put hard disks to sleep whenever possible," and UNCHECK 'Enable Power Nap.'
Many external drives have there own power management features as well, that can be set from its own settings window and these operate independently of OSX. If these devices are set for a sleep mode before OSX sleeps, it will cause itself to eject improperly from the OS and you will get error messages and possibly corrupt data and or your back up. Where these devices offer power management settings, it is advisable to disable any sleep settings. Until all of the manufacturers catch up with ultra low power connection discovery, it is highly recommended that you manually eject your drive through OSX Finder prior to any time you plan to let your computer sleep, or before you turn it off. This should be rule of thumb for any external storage device connected to a Mac. I personally leave my computer on full time during the day with external drives ready at the helm. I have had ZERO issues since discovering these things.
This said, some users will have their external drives plugged into a power strip separate from their computer; and I know people who do this; will turn off the power strip when shutting down the computer; the computer may not be ready and when the power to the drive is shut down...voila, improper eject.
Another item that contributes to these issues is energy preference settings being stored by other programs accessing perhaps your old external storage device. When I first experienced some of this behavior at discussion, I had replaced my WD MyBook Studio for Mac with this Seagate Backup Plus for Macdrive. The WD has power management options and when set were also being stored by Time Machine. I deleted the preference file for Time Machine (not to worry, the Mac makes a new one ;-)), by doing the following:
1) Turn off Time Machine via Time Machine Preferences window.
2) Open the 'Finder' window.
3) Eject External Hard Drive via 'Finder' window.
4) Click on Macintosh HD.
5) Click on Library.
6) Click on Preferences.
7) Locate the file named 'com.apple.TimeMachine.plist' and DELETE it (Move to Trash).
8) Restart your computer
Another item that may warrant attention is a permission reset if you've moved data from the old storage device to the new one:
1) Reboot and hold Command + R
2) Terminal and type 'resetpassword' (no spaces)
3) Select main drive at top of dialogue box that appears, then select 'reset permissions/ACL at the bottom of the box.
4) Reboot computer.
5) Open 'Disk Utility' in Apps and reset main hard drive permissions.
6) Reboot computer.
This process resets the user permissions folder. One way to avoid going through all of this is to use your 'Migration Tool' found in your Apps folder.
This one probably goes without saying; however, I've read many, many forum complaints that the backup software that came with their drive either won't install or doesn't function properly on their mac. USE TIME MACHINE. Most Manufacturers even specify to use Time Machine instead of their own software. There is a reason for this; no other backup software comes close to keeping your files as safe and secure as they will be with TM.