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External Drive Not Showing Up in Finder

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I have 3 external drives plugged into my MAC (Mac 0S X 10.9.4; 3.2 GHX Intel Core i5: 8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3)

One is just for my Time Machine Backup.

One is my main external drive where I load all my pictures.

Then I have a backup external drive that I copy my main external drive to.

The backup external has disappeared from finder.  I have gone in to confirm that the Finder Preferences is checked to show external hard drives.  I went in to Disk Utility to see what was listed and this is what I saw in the attached.  (I googled to try to figure out what was wrong and got these two things to try).

Anyway, how can I get this external drive to load?

Thank you



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First, I'd eject all those installer .dmg programs or reboot. Second, is the 3TB WD MB the one not showing up? If so, WD uses the world's crappiest USB ports and there is a good chance that your HD is fine, it just won't show up. 

So what I'd do is take your WD 3TB HD to a Mom & Pop Computer repair place and see if they can remove the HD and put it in a new case.

The other thing is that the low-cost WD MyBooks typically use "Green" drives, which just plain suck. The difference between a working WD Green HD and a dead one is just a few weeks/months. Seriously, a local Best Buy Rep told me they had a 80%+ failure / return rate. 

So before we start panicking, let's see if the transplant works and I would be saving up for a 4TB G-Drive. I would not trust a 3TB WD MyBook...at all.

That said, It's not completely WD & Seagate's fault. Back when 3TB HDs were coming on the scene, there was epic floods in Tailand, which is where A LOT of consumer electronics are made, from Hard Drives, to cameras and lenses to manufacturers who make components for our electronics. Anyway, the floods directly effected WD and Seagate, for a time Seagate would be producing WD drives and vice-versa. It was a complete mess and A LOT OF 3TB HDs (internal and external) had high failure rates. Fortunately, things have gotten MUCH better and there is little problems with 4TB and larger HDs. Now, that's not to say that there aren't any bad HDs out there, but current HDs aren't dropping like flies as the WD MyBook 3TB HDs did. In fact, I have a customer who used to use them to backup data files on a server. Out of 10 3TB WD MyBook dives, seven of them either died or had the same exact problem that you are experiencing. The 8th HD was flakey and would work intermittently. 

So there you have it. Hopefully we can get the files off of it. 

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I rebooted and all of those .dmg files are still there.  How can I eject them?

Is the "My Book" that is listed the same as the  3 TB WD My Book that is listed?  I have two Western Digital 3 TB external drives hooked up to my computer right now.  One I call "My Book" and it is where I house all my photos.  The other WD 3TB drive I called "Backup to My Book" and I would manually back up files to it.  So, I am confused, is the "MY book" listed in my screen shot above and the "3 TB WD" that is listed in the screenshot above showing my two different external hard drives or is it all the same thing?

The G Drive is what is my backup for Time Machine.  It's 1 TB and is apparently almost full.  I just got a notification of that tonight.

I can go to Best Buy first thing in the morning to get a new drive and a new backup drive.  I just need to know which to buy for sure as I looked and there are a few 4TB options.

Thank you!

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I like Western Digital's HDs, but ONLY the Caviar Black Line. The Caviar Blue line works in a pinch. 

You should be able to find those install .dmg files on your Mac Desktop. Simply right-click them and select eject, or drag them to the trash. They are "Mounted" files. That's why they aren't going away. 

As far as the G-Drive, the one you linked to I personally own, but if you have a Thunderbolt Port, I'd get that version:


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RAID is expensive, no matter how you slice it, since you are purchasing multiple hard drives, buying hardware that is designed for RAID and the software to run it makes more sense. For the majority of folks, there are three common types:

  • RAID Level 0 or RAID0: Multiple HDs act as one big Hard Drive. This is the fastest RAID of the bunch. Downside, no redundancy. If one HD fails, the whole RAID0 setup fails. RAID0 is great to be used as a cache drive when editing video, due to the performance of RAID0. 
  • RAID Level 1 or RAID1: Drive Mirroring. When a file or any bit of data is written / removed from one HD, it is instantaneously copied / deleted from the other HD. For the majority of folks, they usually go with this option as it's pretty simple to setup. The downside to this setup, if any bit of data is corrupted or deleted on one HD,  that corruption is carried over to the 2nd HD immediately. So if you screwed up and deleted the wrong folder, you are SOL and are looking at extreme data recovery, which is expensive. Good news with RAID1 is if one HD fails, you have the other to retrieve your data from. That's the original intent of RAID1.
  • RAID Level 5 or RAID5: This is the most common in servers with my commercial clients. There are others, like RAID6 and RAID10, but to keep things simple we will stick with RAID5. RAID5 is kinda like the combination of RAID0 and RAID1; which is three or more hard drives act in unison as one big HD. If one drive fails, the other two pick up the slack and keep going. If TWO hard drives fail in a RAID5, the RAID fails.

When I setup RAID on a server, I typically will use two HDs on a RAID1 for the Operating System and Backup Software and a RAID5 for programs and database / data files. (A C: Drive and a D: Drive.) Most people in this forum won't ever go that route and will usually pick an external device that allows them to setup a RAID pretty easily. Let me get a few links....

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I REALLY like this HD box and just added it to my B&H Wishlist:


Even though it's a Thunderbolt Model, it also has a USB 3.0 port, and you can configure the software so that it becomes a Windows or Mac HD. It has RAID1. I like the fact that it comes with WD Caviar Black HDs and the drives are hot-swappable, which means you can pull them out without powering down the unit. You just have to tell the RAID software that you are doing this, unless it does it automatically.

The thing with RAID1, is that you take the advertised capacity of the external unit and divide it in half. The "12 TB" capacity is if you were configuring it as a RAID0. Since you really want RAID1 for backups, that's two identical HDs, so two 6TB drives or two 3TB drives, or 4TB drives, etc. A 12TB external RAID device becomes a 6TB mirrored HD setup when using RAID 1.

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The above comments were from a thread in the Windows Forum, but they apply here. If you are consistently backing up one EHD to another (cloning,) then a RAID1 setup makes a lot of sense, since data is automatically cloned from one HD to the other. That said, you don't pull a drive out and take it off site. With a RAID setup, the Hard Drives act in unison, so they should be treated as ONE drive, even though psychically there are multiple drives. The primary downside to RAID1 is if data is deleted / corrupted on one HD, it's GONE/Corrupted on the other drive. If one hard drive fails, as soon as you replace it, the working drive copies the data back. 

So yes, if you have the budget...I'd recommend a RAID1 unit.

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