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Strange external disk issues
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ibook_steve
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Oct 31, 2011, 02:58 PM
 
I have two weird issues going on with my external USB hard drives attached to my MPB. I usually have two drives attached: my Time Machine drive and an extra 1TB drive for storage. They are both attached through a USB hub.

1) This one happened in Snow Leopard and continues with Lion. If the drives are attached at boot, my machine will not boot. The gray apple will not appear. All I get is an empty gray screen. I have to shut down, disconnect the drives and boot. Neither drive includes a system folder and I've verified that the internal drive is set to be the startup volume.

2) This is new with Lion. If I try to eject the drives (select on desktop, then cmd-E), the drives eject but then they mount again right away. If I eject about 3 times, they stay ejected. I can also eject and then quickly pull the USB and that works. Very strange.

Any ideas?

Thanks,
Steve
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Big Mac
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Oct 31, 2011, 04:12 PM
 
Have you tried a different USB cable? My well-worn iPhone cable was causing repeated mounting problems with my computer.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
ibook_steve  (op)
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Nov 1, 2011, 02:07 PM
 
No, a new cable didn't work. Sometimes when the disks remount, my menubar (upper-right with my extensions) reloads. Maybe one of my menubar items is crashing, reloading the Finder causing the disks to remount. That doesn't explain problem 1, but I'll try checking my logs.

Steve

P.S.: Anybody know how to force reload the menubar in terminal? Not all the items always return when this happens. I know how to reload the dock (with a kill command), but not the menubar.
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Big Mac
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Nov 1, 2011, 02:14 PM
 
You can't force reload only the menu bar because it's owned by the foreground app you're in. You'd have to relaunch the Finder, if that's the menu bar to which you're referring. Unless you're talking about the small, grey menulets on the right side usually owned by SystemUIServer.

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ibook_steve  (op)
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Nov 1, 2011, 03:28 PM
 
I'm referring to the menulets on the right side. That's what seems to reload sometimes when I eject the disks.

Steve
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Big Mac
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Nov 1, 2011, 05:50 PM
 
SystemUIServer is what you're looking for, then (unless something changed between Snow Leopard and Lion). That's for the standard Apple menulets (some apps have menulets that don't run through SystemUIServer since I think that's a private API).

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P
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Nov 2, 2011, 08:05 AM
 
I think that the hub is your problem. Tried using a different hub?
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
King Bob On The Cob
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Nov 2, 2011, 02:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
SystemUIServer is what you're looking for, then (unless something changed between Snow Leopard and Lion). That's for the standard Apple menulets (some apps have menulets that don't run through SystemUIServer since I think that's a private API).
SystemUIServer used to (and probably still does) deal with all mounts and alerting the Finder that something new should be added to /Volumes/. I would suspect an incompatible piece of hardware (I can't really debug it from here. Can you get the crash log?)
     
ibook_steve  (op)
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Nov 2, 2011, 05:59 PM
 
Well, I did find a menulet from the crash log that may have been causing the crashing, which I have since removed. I'll test it out when I get back home tonight.

But I'm really curious why I can't boot with the drives connected. If the drives work fine through the hub during normal operation, why would the hub cause problems at boot? I'll try connecting directly and booting to see if it really is the hub.

Steve
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King Bob On The Cob
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Nov 3, 2011, 06:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by ibook_steve View Post
Well, I did find a menulet from the crash log that may have been causing the crashing, which I have since removed. I'll test it out when I get back home tonight.

But I'm really curious why I can't boot with the drives connected. If the drives work fine through the hub during normal operation, why would the hub cause problems at boot? I'll try connecting directly and booting to see if it really is the hub.

Steve
Well, at boot, the computer's firmware has to ask the controllers to check if there is any bootable devices on the bus. If the hub doesn't respond properly or just eats the message, the firmware will patiently wait (forever) for the response to come, and since it is not going to arrive, you end up with a hung computer.
     
   
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