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Ask Max: External Hard Drive Not Appearing on Desktop

Asked on 02/14/2012:


LaCie External Hard Drive

I accidentally disconnected a LaCie external hard drive from my iMac (os 10.7) and got a warning that it wasn't disconnected properly. It sporadically reappeared on my desktop for the next couple days but it hasn't shown up for work for the last few days. Any idea what's going on and how I can get LaCie back in action.




Disconnecting a connected drive or volume without unmounting it from the file system can cause corruption of the contents of that volume. It's unusual for an incident like that to cause physical damage though. That aside, if your LaCie drive connected, but you don't see it on the desktop, try these steps:

First, check the System Profiler (Applications > Utilities > System Information) and see if it's showing up under the device tree. You can select the connection sub-heading and expand the tree. As long as the drive is connected and has power, it should show the device correctly.

Second, if you see it listed there, check the drive with Disk Utility (Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility). Disk Utility should show both the physical drive and, indented below that, the Volume that is written to the drive. If you see that the Volume is "ghosted" then use the "Mount" button. That should place it upon your desktop. You can also have Disk Utility run a drive verification command to check the volume for errors.

Third, if the device fails to show up in the System Profiler as well as Disk Utility, there could be a physical issue with the drive or enclosure. It's very unlikely that accidental disconnection caused this, but it should be checked by a technician.

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