Can't see external USB harddrive


Hi, I am new to the Mac world and that might be my problem but I am trying to add an external USB harddrive onto Mac Laptop. The problem is the system does not react at all to me plugging in the USB cable - no error messages no nothing.

I am running OS 10.3.9.
The info on the harddrive I am trying to add is:
HD3-U2 USB 2.0 2.5" Hard Drive
Supports Self-powered and bus-powered mode.
Fits all 2.5" slim type hard disk (9.5mm)
Support Hard Drive up to 100GB
Instant portability for 2.5" HDD
Plug and Play for any PC or Mac system
Aluminum material
Excellent heat-dissipation
Easy to install
One LED to indicate power and status
OS support: Win 98 / SE / ME / 2000 / XP and Mac 9.0 or above
Chipset: Genesys GL 811E
Samsung 2.5" 60GB 9.5mm 5400rpm 8MB Buffer 12ms Hard Drive.

What can I do to get the system to recognize the external harddrive. The harddrive is currently formatted as FAT32 and partitioned into two 30 GB drives.

What can I do to get the system to recognize the external harddrive. The harddrive is currently formatted as FAT32 and partitioned into two 30 GB drives.

I know bupkus about PCs... but I think that FAT32 is a PC format.... try opening up Disk Utility and see if your Mac shows something there... (Also, try Apple System Profiler to see if anything is showing up on your USB bus.)
With FAT32 you are suppose to be able to read/write on both MAC and WINDOWS.

On DISK UTILITY I do not see any indication that it can see or knows if the external harddrive is there. How do I format it if I can't see it? The DISK UTILITY is ver 10.4.4 and says it can be used to erase, partition and repair disks. In the middle panel it says select a disk, volume or image. But on the left side, only the main hard drive is listed???

This time on the System Profile under the USB contents - it does list USB HIGH SPEED BUS, USB MASS STORAGE DEVICE.

Does the Mass storage device just need to be mounted??? and if so HOW???
Well mark this one SOLVED. I figured out how to get it to work. The external drive came will a USB Cable (A-mini B) which had two ends at the Laptop side (a thick cable and a thinner cable). When I plugged both USB ends into the laptop it recognized the external drive and it came online. I then formatted it thru the MAC for MS-DOS (FAT32). It works like a charm now.

Thanks for your help...
No, you happened to find a work around.

By the statement - 'When I plugged both USB ends into the laptop it recognized the external drive and it came online.', it is apparent you do not know the difference between a USB cable / connector (plug), and a Firewire cable / connector.
Why am I thinking you had the Firewire cable installed all this time?, why now? ...

Nowhere in any prior post did you mention the odd cable (USB, type B - on one end, for the HD3-2U; and, USB, type A, (the 'thinner' cable, as you describe it) and Firewire (the 'thick' cable) connectors at the other end).
This information was obtained here, via a 'google' search.

Nowhere in any prior post did you mention whether, or not, the same cable used to connect the HD3-2U to the Mac, was used when connecting (the HD3-2U) to the Linux and Windoze XP systems.

So, just in case you had only the Firewire cable initially connected (between the HD3-2U and Mac), remove both (the USB and Firewire) cables ... from the Mac, and then plug only the USB connector into the Mac, and see if it is self powered and recognized by the (unknown model) Macintosh portable.

If indeed, both the USB and Firewire cables must be plugged into the Mac to work, then a possible reason would be that the 5 volts from the Macintosh is not reaching the HD3-2U via the USB cable, and is alternatively (reaching the HD3-2U) via the Firewire cable. Using only the USB cable and the optional AC adapter would confirm such.

If the same cable was used to connect the HD3-2U to either the Linux, Windoze XP, and Mac sytems - and only the Mac cannot power the HD3-2U (via the USB connectors only) then there is the question of whether you have a Mac USB connector problem. To verify such - plug in a mouse or such and see if it works. If so, then the USB port of the Mac may not be able to drive (supply enough current, for whatever reason) to power the HD3-2U; yet, the Firewire port can. If even the mouse does not work - then there is the possiblity of no 5 volts at the Mac's USB connector.
Thanks for trying barhar but you are not reading all the posting... you are missing something….

I have the HD3-U2 as indicated in the opening post and NOT a HD3-FW or HD3-U2FW. And yes it has the B-mini USB connector that connects to the external harddrive and the other end has a Type “A” (Normal windows) USB connector which has a thinner cable that branches off it to another Type “A” (Normal windows) USB connector that is meant to plug into a computer.

And I do know the difference between a USB cable / connector (plug), and a Firewire cable / connector - Trust me this Harddrive does NOT have a Firewire connector (IEEE1394 Interface). The harddrive only has the B-mini USB connection and a DC 5V power connection. And I never mentioned the cable because I had no reason to suspect the cable because it worked fine on WINDOWS and LINUX with only one (the thick cable) of the TYPE “A” USB connector plugged into the PC (and of course the B-mini plugged into the harddrive).

And when I said “I have even tried on one drive that has an external power cord to plug it into the wall think the USB was not providing enough power - Mac still did not detect the drive.” I didn’t mean I used any old extension cord – I used an AC adapter. Oh ya, and it proved it didn’t work, which I not sure why, now???

I figured “when I plug in a USB 128 MB flash drive, the Laptop has no problem detecting it” was better then plugging in any old mouse – closer to what I was trying to accomplish.

Lastly I said was new to the MAC world – not to PC, but thanks again for trying.
Edit/Delete Message
Nowhere in my reply are either 'HD3-FW or HD3-U2FW' stated; however, I did only now note I used 'HD3-2U' in place of 'HD3-U2'.

The picture here clearly shows that a type 'B' USB connector on the HD3-U2. Such a picture's link should have been provided with the initial post.

I did forget about the mentioned 'RAM disk' test (during my reply's construction) - and thus, since it was detected, verifies that the (still unknown model) Mac's USB port(s ?) have 5.0 volts.
I mentioned 'unknown model', here and before, since there are only about 32 model iBook / PowerBooks that can be described as a Mac laptop - with USB only, or also with a Firewire, connector(s).

With respect to '2 other 2.5 External USB hard drives with the same results', no - it should not be assumed you are referring to the same model - as the 'HD3-U2'; unless, you specify such.

As far as 'one drive that has an external power cord to plug it into the wall' - since, you never stated whether that drive was also a HD3-2U - and said 'external power cord' as opposed to 'an AC adapter', again, no one should have to assume anything; you must specify everything.

With respect to a USB cable with a type 'B' connector (to be plugged into the HD3-U2) and two USB cables on the other end - this is quite unique; and thus, again - no one should have to guess or research such information. Some others, here, thought as I - about the computer side cable split connectors. A provided link (either already on the internet, or one of your own) to a very clear picture of the (computer side) cable connectors should have been provided.

Do not always assume an operating system or its related file management format as the cause of hard drive (or other peripherals) setup / configurations problems (Mac or PC). And yes, sometimes it is a connection (pin jumper configuration; data, and / or power cable) that can be the problems cause.

'new to the MAC world – not to PC' is irrelevant here. Sometimes configurations and setups are easy on one platform than the other; and, at other times - the opposite.

Either way, the work around does just that - works for you.