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HDD Format / "Write To" Problem. Help !

by Cableaddict / April 4, 2017 7:32 PM PDT

I just bought three NOS 4 TB HGST drives. They are the expensive “Deskstar 7400” enterprise series.  I have an unusual problem with two of them..   
As I explain, I’ll refer to just one drive:

The first time installing the drive (in an external bay)  I was not able to initialize the main drive itself, (the “physical disk” )   I used the standard mac formats:  “Guild Partition Map” and “OSx Extended (journaled) - but I got an error.  

But then I WAS able to erase/ initialize the (single) volume, to the full 4 TB.
Was there a mistake here?

Regardless,  after successfully initializing the volume,   the drive checked fine, and I was able to write huge amounts of data to it, both by dragging, and by using Carbon Copy Cloner.  This drive seems fine for maybe 24 hrs, and passed every test.   Then suddenly it starts to have problems, like I can’t drag files to or from it.    I get a prompt showing Mac Error 50.  (I’ve read up on this, but I can only find a solution for getting files off, not for permanently fixing the drive.)

At that point both the main drive, and the (sole) partition fail the Mac’s “Disk Utility” repair diagnostic, and there is no repair possible.

If I power-cycle the Mac,  the main drive once again passes Disk Utility,   and the partition suddenly can be repaired!    During this repair, I get the following prompt:
“Updating boot support partitions as need ….”

This has all happened about FIVE  times so far, since I put it into use on Friday.
Although the drive checks out 100% ok in every other way, (using Tech tool Pro,  DiskWarrior, SMART readings, etc )   I am really freaking out about this.

So,  any ideas?

Additionally, the second drive has an extra problem, which may be fatal:

Besides the above, and even though it also checks out 100% in every other way, I cannot write to it using Carbon Copy Cloner.  CCC tells me that there are write errors.
It does this even if I JUST re-initialed it.

Ughh.   Is it toast?

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All Answers

Collapse -
Few more details
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / April 5, 2017 4:43 AM PDT

Were these drive New or were they just advertised as "New"?
I've seen sellers pulling Enterprise drives, cleaning them up, formatting and putting them in vacuum packs and selling "as new"

You didn't mention where you got them from or what Mac you are using to initialize them, both important pieces of information.

One possibility is that your Mac cannot handle 4TB drives.


Collapse -
More Details.
by Cableaddict / April 5, 2017 10:08 AM PDT
In reply to: Few more details

Fixit, you're right about the worry, and I thought the same thing.

However, both drives read less than 10 hrs run time, and they had MFG dates on the top-left, so they couldn't be refurbs. They COULD be fakes, I suppose, but if so then they are the best fake labels I've ever seen.

Still, there are a TON of these drives be sold like this right now. I have never bought anything but new-from-retailer before, but I'm really broke right now and took a chance. I have 30 years experience as an A/V pro, and I'm 95% certain these are genuine new pulls.

My Mac is a late 2012 Mac Pro six core. 5,1.

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Well that Mac should not have any problem with those drives,
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / April 5, 2017 3:19 PM PDT
In reply to: More Details.

regarding capacity.

I wonder if you have some sort of software problem going on there. Given that I know you have at least 4 spare drives, Happy  , how about you put a fresh copy of the OS onto it and proceed from there.

Alternatively, or perhaps as a first move, create yourself a new account on that machine, with admin rights, and see if the problem persists then.  If no, then your profile is damaged in some way.
If yes, let's move to the first suggestion.

Do you have a copy of Apple Hardware Test?
If so, run it and see what you get


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