cannot read external hard drives


this is the second time i have encountered this problem. when i plug in an external hard drive via USB, the lights go on and i can hear the hard drive clicking a whirring but cannot find it anywhere on my mac. both with hard drives formatted on pc's and macs.

running a G4 Powerbook, power PC 1.67ghz

help please!


If you go to the menu bar and select Finder -> Preferences -> General, is there a tick next to show External Disks?

If so, does the icon for the external hard drive show up in the left hand column of Disc Utility (Applications -> Utilities -> Disc Utility)?


U.S.D.A. Prime
If it's a bus-powered hard drive, you may need a "special" adaptor to use it with your PowerBook. Some drives demand more power than what USB port can supply, and so there are cables available that allow you to plug the hard drive into two USB ports for the extra power.

Also, if the drive can be bus-powered or self-powered with a wall adaptor, use the wall adaptor, which will guarantee the drive is getting enough power to power on, spin up, and communicate with the computer... right now it sounds as if it's powering up, spinning up, then saying, "well, that's it, I'm outta power."


that sounds like what it's doing, trying real hard but just not getting there. i'll get myself one of those two-to-one adaptors. think that will do the trick. thanks for your help


I've been having a similar issue, but the double USB plug doesnt seem to do the trick. This is a new compact drive I bought, a Simpledrive 250GB. Im on a G4 Powerbook, running OS 10.5.1

It isn't viewable in Disk Utility either, Though I tested it on my sister's intel-based iMac, same OS, and it works just fine there. Even tried formatting it then bringing it over to my powerbook, still didnt work. I have also been having occasional issues with USB thumb drives.

I also have a Lacie 500GB USB2.0 I bought about a year ago, and have started having erratic behaviour with it as well; half of the time it wont be recognized by the computer.

Finally, my harddrive is bursting at the seams, if that has anything to do with it...

HELP! Im at my wits end, reallllly want to start using my new compact external HD!