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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Consumer Hardware & Components > 10.5.8 I/O Problems w/ External SATA Drives?

10.5.8 I/O Problems w/ External SATA Drives?
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NewOldbie
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Apr 25, 2012, 12:20 PM
 
I'm having some trouble with my external drives. I run a MacBook Pro at work and use an external SATA drive enclosure (WiebeTech) for storage. For the last 10 years I've been running it without problems.

In the last four years I am starting to see drive errors/failures I understand manufacturing tolerances and so forth, I just don't know if this is something inherent in the OS.

I have 500, 1TB, 1.5TB, 2TB, and now 3TB drives. Most of them are Seagate drives with a Hitachi Deskstar or Fujitsu here and there.

I formatted three 3TB drives last week. Partitioned as 1.8/800GB partitions. I'd run the drives and get I/O errors. Disk Utility and Drive Genius is not able to fix the errors because "drive is not able to be unmounted."

The drives affected are 1.5TB and larger. The way I see it my storage drives are no longer reliable. If the drives are unreliable, I need to move the data to a more reliable source (mostly photographs/Photoshop files).

Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.
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reader50
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Apr 25, 2012, 04:32 PM
 
Be more specific about your enclosure model, and what interface you use. Firewire, USB, eSATA via PC card, ethernet?

My first thought is to replace the cable. And/or try a different interface. It's unlikely all the drives are coming up bad, more likely the cable or enclosure. Perhaps the enclosure fan is near failure.
     
Waragainstsleep
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Apr 25, 2012, 05:05 PM
 
To be honest I'm not shocked that a ten year old enclosure is struggling with 3TB drives. That said, Mac OS X gets fussier as time goes on I think, though it could be a combination of old enclosure, big disks and fussy OS.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
Big Mac
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Apr 25, 2012, 05:28 PM
 
I think any problems you may be having with your eSATA set up would be highly tied to your particular hardware configuration (and most notably the card providing your eSATA ports) and not anything generally at issue with Mac OS X. I ran an eSATA card and two eSATA drives just fine on my G5 - the drives ran like any other. My G5 was also running 10.5.8.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
NewOldbie  (op)
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Apr 25, 2012, 06:05 PM
 
Sorry didn't mean to leave out info.

I ran through Three of Wiebetech's RTX-1000 enclosures over the last 10 years. I just bought a brand new RTX-4000JBOD. I am running on FW800. The cables have been replaced, twice. I just replaced all the cables with new ones 30 minutes ago.

What I'm seeing is a lot of I/O errors. The computer freezes up. Then when I reset the computer, it says "runtime corruption, fdisk will be run the next time the drive is mounted."

I got all three drives to come up and ran Disk Utility/Drive Genius 3 and repaired/rebuilt everthing. The error was catalog leaf node <something>.

There is nothing wrong with the internal drive on my computer, that is how I am able to continue to work but without the external drive(s) I have no scratch space for photoshop or anything else


What seems to be happening is when the drives cannot be unmounted, I get an error when I try to repair/verify it. When I get it running, all the files are fine but the errors are intermittant. It just took me 5 minutes to open my finder.

Tried to open a JPEG file and as the drives struggle through the IO errors, the photo is displayed. So it looks like the data is fine right now but it is some kind of reading error.

Console reports:

disk2s2: I/O error
disk1s2: I/O error
disk 3s3: flushing fs disk buffer returned 0x5
MDSStoreTask failed to resolve storeID
76 bus resets in last 3 minute.
( Last edited by NewOldbie; Apr 25, 2012 at 06:19 PM. )
If there were no God, it would be necessary to invent him.

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amazing
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Apr 25, 2012, 06:45 PM
 
First thing I'd do is call Wiebetech's support. Have they seen this before?

Next thing I'd do is upgrade to 10.6.whatever to see if that system handles the load better.

Do you have access to another Mac system where you could eliminate the MBP?

And make sure that everything is backed up!

Edit: thought of another suggestion. Get another, single external enclosure and check all the drives individually.
( Last edited by amazing; Apr 25, 2012 at 07:01 PM. )
     
NewOldbie  (op)
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Apr 28, 2012, 08:29 PM
 
I did call tech support and we are working on it.

The last three days I've been running the 4 bay unit as a single bay unit. With only ONE FW800 connected.

ZERO errors. I will be increasing the count to two bays for the next two days.

Right now I'm guessing there is some kind of bandwidth issue with FW800 or the MBP's controller. Maybe I am overwhelming it when I have all four drives engaged. I remember the old days of SCSI where length of the cable and termination is an issue when you have multiple devices on the chain.

Might pick up an eSATA card for the PCI port and try running two of the drive bays with eSATA and two of the drive bays with FW800 if I can't run all four on eSATA.
If there were no God, it would be necessary to invent him.

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amazing
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Apr 29, 2012, 05:26 AM
 
Glad to hear about the zero errors! Just couldn't believe that ALL the drives were producing errors!

And it still might be the Wiebetech enclosure, namely the enclosure board can't support multiple firewire I/O and needs a firmware update to be able to direct traffic without errors.
     
   
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