Suddenly can't write to Seagate HDD in optical bay caddy

Discussion in 'Mac Notebooks' started by Monkeybird, Oct 9, 2017.

  1. Monkeybird

    Monkeybird New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2017
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    A year or so ago I replaced the main HDD of my late 2011 macbook pro with a 1T SSD and made it the primary bootable disc, and added a 2.0T HDD to the optical bay via a caddy. No problems at all since. Very happy :).

    Recently (in the last few weeks. perhaps after a recent update, but not sure) I'm having trouble with my HDD in the optical bay. I noticed it was missing from finder one day, but after a restart it was back. Didn't think much of it. I can now open the drive, and I can view files in the drive, get the drive info, and I can drag files out of the drive. However, I cannot do any writing to the drive. Can't copy anything to the drive, can't create any new folders on the drive, etc. I have read/write permission as shown in the "get info". I tried to run first aid disc utility, but it could't unmount the drive. I tried running first aid disc utility from the recovery partition, but the same error. I was able to "force eject" the drive from finder, then I ran disc utility first aid, and no errors discovered. Drive is then remounted, with same problems mentioned above.

    My Photos library is on this drive, and when I try to open Photos is says it "The library can't be opened. Photos has attempted to repair the library but is unable to open it".

    When I try to copy a file to the drive I get the "Unexpected error occurred (error code -50)".

    I'm in the process of copying my Photos library from the HDD to an external drive before I crack the mac open and see if an optical drive caddy cable is loose or something.

    I'm somewhat bummed, as this setup has been working very well since the mod. Any ideas if one of the OS updates could have messed up something related to writing to optical bay HDD? I see md_stores and mds processes running a lot (fans at high speed), but I don't see a dot in the spotlight magnifying glass showing that it is indexing anything. I tried disabling spotlight indexing, but it seems to not be able to make any changes to the drive in the optical bay, even though it recognizes it is there.

    How do I troubleshoot to see if this is a software issue, or a hardware issue with the HDD/optical bay caddy? Let me know if certain screenshots would be helpful for diagnosis.
     
    Monkeybird, Oct 9, 2017
    #1
    1. Advertisements

  2. Monkeybird

    honestone VIP Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2014
    Messages:
    3,322
    Likes Received:
    146
    Location:
    Kent, WA (just south of Seattle, WA)
    A couple of things:

    1. What exact Mac OS are you using? And how long have you been on that OS/version?

    2. Are you making backups to an external device? And if you are, what software are you using?

    3. It would be best if you can remember any/all updates you have done recently.

    4. What third party software are you using?
     
    honestone, Oct 10, 2017
    #2
    1. Advertisements

  3. Monkeybird

    Monkeybird New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2017
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0

    First let me clarify and correct my original post. The Seagate (samsung) HDD in question is not in the optical bay caddy. It is in the original HDD bay, but is not the boot drive. The boot drive is the Samsung SSD in the optical bay caddy. I forgot this until I just opened it up to check the connection, and swap the optical bay caddy with one from another computer. I don't remember why this configuration was recommended, but maybe something about the shock mount type. So the optical bay caddy is not the problem. I was hoping that it might be that simple.

    1. macOS Sierra version 10.12.6 (16G29)

    2. Backups are only to a 2T time capsule using Time Machine. I can't back up my laptop because I'm getting a message that the time capsule is full. I was trying to move some stuff from the time capsule to the internal Seagate HDD when I discovered I can't write to the disk.

    3. 10.12.6 was installed on 10/6/2017. I usually update whenever the notification pops up, but I'm guilty of hitting that "remind me later/try tonight" for several days sometimes. I don't do a lot of complete restarts, so sometimes there are updates just waiting for a restart to take effect. The first anomaly with my hdd missing from the finder was maybe two weeks ago. I don't access the drive directly that often, but it is the location of my Photos and Itunes libraries. Its been a while since I opened either of those as well. See screen shots for full list of updates in last 30 days (from itunes).

    4. In terms of third party software I'm not sure what you mean exactly. As far as backup, I don't use any third party stuff. If you mean just in general, I use pretty mainstream stuff with the exception of some specialized photo processing and image capture programs.

    No idea if it's related, but the mds_stores and mds processes have been running non-stop all day with 95% + CPU. Nothing about spotlight indicates that it is actually indexing other than those processes running. I'm wondering if it is continually trying to index the hdd drive it can see, but can't interact with? The fans running non-stop were the clue. If it is trying to reindex all my drives, that is about 2.2T of data, so I guess it could take a while. Not sure why it would be doing that though.

    Screen Shot 2017-10-09 at 21.46.29.png
    Screen Shot 2017-10-09 at 21.46.48.png
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2017
    Monkeybird, Oct 10, 2017
    #3
  4. Monkeybird

    Monkeybird New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2017
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    *Update*

    I removed the HDD in question and put it in an external drive caddy. I turned the mac back on and plugged the HDD in via usb (2.0). I can read AND write to the disc with no problems via usb, and if I point Photos and Itunes to the drive, they work as they should.

    While the HDD was in the external caddy via usb, I didn't have the constant mds_stores process hogging the cpu. When I put it back in the original HDD bay via sata connection, the mds_stores started doing the hogging again. So it seems the two are somehow related.

    Sooooo, what does that mean? Why should I suddenly be unable to write to this drive that is in the same place as the original HDD, why can Photos and Itunes not read this disc to find their libraries, and why is disc utility unable to unmount the drive? I'm sure that is just the tip of the iceberg, as their are probably other functions related to this drive that are not working. I feel the hair getting ready to leap off my head...
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2017
    Monkeybird, Oct 10, 2017
    #4
  5. Monkeybird

    honestone VIP Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2014
    Messages:
    3,322
    Likes Received:
    146
    Location:
    Kent, WA (just south of Seattle, WA)
    Thanks for all that additional information, along with the successful but still frustrating "resolution". I have never tried to use a DVD "bay" for a hard drive or SSD, so my experience level with that is just about non-existent. I was also thinking that the brand of drive you have was a non-Seagate one, and somewhat god forbid, a Western Digital one. But that is not the case. Seagate drives typically "play nicely" with Macs.

    From what I understand, the 1TB SSD is inside the optical bay (via a caddy), and is your boot drive (or possibly a partition on it). What happens if you place that SSD inside the nomal "bay"? Does your machine work then?

    As to what the cause was/is of issues having the Seagate HDD inside the "normal" bay, do you have another brand new piece of hard ware you could "place" there, like another HDD or an SSD, to see what happens?

    Additionally, have you ever done any disk cleanup/maintenance/repairs, from a software perspective, on your boot partition, ie, the partition where the OS is, and where your software that you use is? You actually can do a lot of disk cleanup on your own, and there are some excellent third party products available (both free and commercial) that can help you with that.

    Finally, regarding what I mean by third party software, I mean any application that one uses which is not "genuine" Apple. Some examples, with the ones I use, are Office 2016 (Outlook for my EMail, Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel), Quicken 2017, 1Password, Onyx, Tech Tool Pro, VLC, SuperDuper! for my backups (I do not use Time Machine for that critical task), Transmission, EasyFind (I don't use Spotlight), and AppCleaner. Of course I always keep all my software up to date, and especially making sure that my third party ones are compatible with the OS I am using (I am using OS 10.12.6 like you on both of my Macs). That compatibility requirement is the reason why I have not upgraded to High Sierra, OS 10.13.x, yet, as 2 of my critical ones do not have updates available.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2017
    honestone, Oct 10, 2017
    #5
  6. Monkeybird

    Monkeybird New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2017
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have an identical seagate/samsung hdd from an identical mac I can swap in to see if the problem follows. I haven't used any third party disc clean up utilities, with the exception of omnidisksweeper. But I haven't used that in a while. I'll report back after the swap.
     
    Monkeybird, Oct 10, 2017
    #6
  7. Monkeybird

    honestone VIP Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2014
    Messages:
    3,322
    Likes Received:
    146
    Location:
    Kent, WA (just south of Seattle, WA)
    OK< as I stated above, you can do a good amount of disk cleanup on your own. Omnidisksweeper is good for identifying files that take up a lot of space. But for more extensive disk cleanup, disk maintenance, and repairs, using Onyx together with either Tech Tool Pro or Disk Warrior would be wise. Just like car ownership, it is important to perform regular maintenance on your Mac. (By the way, I use Grand Perspective, which is just like Omnidisksweeper).

    Let us know what happens when you put that other device inside your Mac, in the original HDD bay. Also, you could try and place your boot 1 TB SSD there and see what happens.
     
    honestone, Oct 10, 2017
    #7
  8. Monkeybird

    Monkeybird New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2017
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    SOLVED!

    It was the original ribbon cable for the main hard drive (the one that would have connected the factory hard drive). My wife has the identical mac, and I did the identical upgrades on hers when I did my computer a year or so ago. I swapped the drives and the problem didn't follow, so then I put the drives back in their respective machines and thought maybe it was because her computer is still running El Capitan. So before I put them back together I swapped just the ribbon connectors, and viola! The problem followed the cable. That is a relatively simple fix. Much better than formatting, downgrading, etc., which I was almost ready to do.

    Thanks for your replies. I'll check out some of those disk maintenance programs and try to stay on top of the preventative maintenance.
     
    Monkeybird, Oct 11, 2017
    #8
  9. Monkeybird

    honestone VIP Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2014
    Messages:
    3,322
    Likes Received:
    146
    Location:
    Kent, WA (just south of Seattle, WA)
    Glad you got it resolved. It would be best if you truly follow through on performing disk cleanup/maintenance/repair, and backup tasks on a frequent basis.
     
    honestone, Oct 11, 2017
    #9
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.