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Hi, I've been using a mac for a long time, but still find myself to be somewhat computer illiterate...i bought a new 120 GB SimpleTech portable hard drive and when i plug it into my g4 powerbook, its not reading it...ive tried plugging it into my desk top (also a mac) and that reads it perfectly fine...when i try going to the troubleshooting pages, they all say to go to the disk utilities and erase some hard drive and something else will pop up...but i'm scared it'll erase everything on my computer...

please help!! thank you...also, if u could not use the technical computer jargon, i would greatly appreciate that...

thanks! :)

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Last Post by johnlh
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Well... does your Mac detect it? Try using Disk Utility to check if your Mac recognizes the second hard drive.

  1. Plug your external hard drive into your PowerBook.
  2. Disk Utility is in the Utilities folder, which is located within your Applications folder. Start it up.
  3. Look in the left pane to see which hard drives are listed (see picture attachment below). The hard drive has the size before it (in this example, 55.9 gigabytes). Is your external hard drive listed also?
Attachments Picture_3.png 14.06 KB
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No, that's another reason why i'm so confused, my PowerBook won't even detect it...

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Can you please do the following:

  1. Plug and unplug the hard drive from the PowerBook repeatedly (three or four times).
  2. Go into Applications/Utilities and start up Terminal.
  3. Type diskutil list and hit Return.
  4. Post the contents of what the Terminal gave back.
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/dev/disk0
#: type name size identifier
0: Apple_partition_scheme *74.5 GB disk0
1: Apple_partition_map 31.5 KB disk0s1
2: Apple_HFS Macintosh HD 74.4 GB disk0s3
/dev/disk1
#: type name size identifier
0: 8BELOW_US_WS *7.4 GB disk1

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What versions of OS X are the PowerBook and the desktop Mac you mentioned earlier (the one that detected the hard drive) running? To find this, go to the Apple menu and click "About this Mac".

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I had a similar problem using an external hard drive I purchased for backup on my new MacBook Pro laptop. I formated the drive using my Mac Pro desktop and plug in the drive to my laptop. The HD icon didn't appear on the desktop? I check disk utilities and the drive wasn't there "Very Strange." So I went back to my other computer and the icon appeared on the desktop. I pulled out Disk Warrior and ran it and I found the HD icon. It showed several problems after running and updated the corrections.

Now the external HD icon appears on both my computers. Maybe you have a friend who has disk warrior to lend you?

Votes + Comments
simple non-tech speak as the OP requested and worked for 2 people on this thread.
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so, being the most impatient person ever, i decided to return the simpletech hard drive and bought another western digital 160 gb....same problem...ive tried the same things and still nothing.

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I Just thought of something for you. A friend of mine brought his power book over for me to transfer a files I had stored in one of my external drives. My drive icon appeared on his desktop but I couldn't drag n drop the file over to his computer. It just didn't work? Now all my computers are running the lastest Tiger updates, 10.4.10 and the powerbook was running 10.4 only.

I ran repair permissions on his computer, it corrected a few items but still it didn't work so I used his Tiger disk to do a new install with the custom option "save previous system folder" and installed whole new system on the powerbook. Than I installed all the software updates to 10.4.10. and restart the powerbook.

I ran repair permissions and attached my firewire drive to the powerbook. I drag n dropped all the files from my drive to his without any problems.

PS: When you are formating the external drive using Disk Utility, make sure you format in "Mac OS Extended (Journaled) and click on the Partition section using 1 partition or several partitions. Then click partition to format.

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Well I would not call myself an expert in this field but for a emergency solution that is effective but not cheap, I would use Alsoft DiskWarrior for the task. That would find the disk and mount it, run it from the machine where the disk is not mounting.

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You may have to format it for a Mac. Did it come with any software? If not go the manufacturers web site and see if the HD is formatted for a MAC and if they have a software download for it. All HD's do not automatically show up on a MAC. You can format a HD by using the Disk Utility in the Utilities on the HD but if it is not showing up there you cannot do it. Take a look there as it could be showing up as a HD that you can format. If it shows up format it "Mac OS Extended Journaled". Once you are at the disk utility folder go to the erase tab and you can select which format to use as you erase the HD>

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