opening external hard drive freezes Mac

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I have a G4 mirrored drive doors Mac. I have a Western Digital (I know, junk...) 1 Tb external hard drive hooked up via USB. It mounts, with effort--numerous tries plugging and unplugging, running disk utilities seems to give it a push. The problem is that it will open several times, and then seemingly at random, instead of opening, it freezes the finder. This happens with both a double click and "command O". I've checked the drive with disk utilities, and it claims the drive is OK. But clearly it's not. I am in the process of backing it up so I can throw it in the garbage, but until then, it's a problem. Is there any way to unfreeze the system other than pulling the plug? (force-quit-reboot won't work) Any thoughts on what might be wrong with the drive and if it can be easily fixed? Thanks...

PS--I have other drives (not WD) hooked up via USB and firewire--all mount and open with no problems whatsoever.
 
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Hi and welcome,

Sounds like the drive is failing, have to add that one of my external HD is a WD and it seems to be USB port dedicated. IE will only work if plugged into the same USB port that I first formatted it on, all other drives work on any port they are plugged into.

Plug the drive in and if not found plug into another port strait away is it now found? If yes eject it and replug into same port is it again recognised first time?
 
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Bizarre. I'll try it the next time it crashes. Meanwhile, thanks to this forum, I've realized I don't have to shut down the computer when it freezes--I can just unplug the offending WD drive and the computer itself comes back to life. So far just plugging the WD drive back in brings it back. As I said, at this point I'm just getting the data off the WD drive before I toss it.

As an aside, another WD drive failed a year ago, and I did a lot of research at the time to try and figure out if I could save the data. What I discovered is that WD drives are plagued with all sorts of problem--including some (not all) that automatically encrypt your data via the specific circuit board WD attaches to the underlying drive. So even if you brought the drive back to life, unless the original circuit board is OK, your data is worthless. Charming feature.
 

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