My Seagate GoFlex Desks Giving Me and My Software Spasmodic Fits

All my troubles with Firefox, the hard drives, Time Machine and my Mac are solved now. Getting a Firewire 800 adapter for my GoFlex Desk 3TB literally ended all the trouble. Nuff said.

UPDATE #4 This may be the solution!

Re: GoFlex Desk Dropping Connection on OSX (SOLVED) [ Edited ]
02-26-2011 08:01 PM – last edited on 02-26-2011 08:03 PM

I got this drive initiallly thinking I could be a bit ‘future proof’ by getting the USB 3.0 version of this drive. However I was having this same problem. I’d connect the drive to my MacBook and after about 3 hours; even with Time Machine disabled; it would freeze Finder until I forcefully ejected the drive by just unplugging from the USB port. If you go look at Console – it’s has all sorts of connection timeout errors on the drive. I’ve tried ALL the solutions on this thread. None work.

I DID however find the solution – which leads me to believe the problem is either a poor implementation of the USB 3.0 downgrade to USB 2.0 spec or Apple’s USB 2.0 implementation getting confused by this adapter. I found on another forum – with a different Seagate drive, a similar problem, and the solution was to replace the drive adapter with the USB 2 version.

So I took a chance and purchased the FreeAgent® GoFlex™ Desk Desktop Adapter — FireWire® 800/USB 2.0 STAE105. I got mine for about $25 from Amazon. After I ordered it, I saw them in my local Staples for about $15.

After swapping the USB 3.0 adapter for the USB 2.0/FW 800 adapter – this drive is rock solid. You don’t need the stinking sleep software or anything. It just works perfect. So my advice – if you have a Mac – stick to the USB 2.0/Firewire version or get the adapter as an accessory and hang on to the USB one until there’s actually a USB 3.0 adapter on a Mac.

As I don’t have any other USB 3.0 devices, I can’t really confirm if this is a problem is really with the Apple end or the Seagate end. Maybe someone else on the forum who has a different USB 3.0 drive can confirm operability.

UPDATE #3! Problems not solved.
The 2TB seagate is acting normal now. Wakes up from sleep, doesn’t check out while in use. However, the 3TB still does check out in the middle of backups and file copying. And when you try to open it, most of the computer hangs in a freeze while waiting for it to spin up, which it never does. Just sits there unaware it’s needed, hanging most of my system. If I force-restart my Mac the 3TB external will wake up from sleep. If I unplug its power, the Mac will recognize the drive was improperly ejected and allow all hung activities to resume without the drive. When I plug it back in it remounts. It sleeps after only about 5 minutes thereafter if idle, or about an hour if in use, but won’t wake up for software-requested tasks. The Mac software for the Seagate 3TB does not have and option to either turn this “self sleeping” feature off or increase its availability time. All my backups are reported as failed.

UPDATE #2! Problems solved.
The solution to all the troubles described below was not to start using the external drives right out of the box immediately – they have Seagate’s own drivers installed. To get the drives to work properly with a Mac, you must first first format them using Apple’s Disk Utility. That installs Apple drivers that do not ignore the Mac OS’ requests. Viola! Drives that stay awake when the computer has them working on something and viola! Drives that respond when prompted.

I don’t know if Firefox is to blame, but everything is humming along fine since I force-quit it. Weird.
Yesterday I added a 3TB hard drive and everything’s fine until I’m web surfing on the new version of Firefox, and the computer starts seeming to lock up and I reboot. The 2TB then doesn’t mount, its light not blinking, but pulsing, like a sleeping Mac, so I look up on the web what people know about this. I find many articles – same trouble on various platforms – Linux, Mac Classic, Windows, Mac OS X Lion. I disconnect it, reconnect it several times, no change – still wants to act like it’s asleep. The computer then slows to a crawl – can’t access anything, then I force quit the finder but the finder can’t even relaunch. I force reboot, the external drives shut off and reboot properly – they appear to be fine, except the 2TB is back in this strange sort of super sleep and won’t mount. Computer starts struggling to a crawl again, can’t even open windows – nothing is responding to clicks. I force quit Firefox and everything clears up speed-wise and response-wise except the sleepy external hard drive is still pulsing its light and unresponsive. I run disk utility on it – no wake up. I run disk repair, and the repair gets stuck and then reports it has failed and the disk utility crashes. But wait? What’s this? As soon as the disk utility crashed, the 2 TB drive woke up! Wait, was FIREFOX, a 3rd party BROWSER, the cause of all the mayhem?? I installed it because I like Firefox. Been using it since it was Netscape. But, might have been Firefox.
This isn’t the first time I’ve had an external just not want to work. This weird stuff happens a lot. Well – now that everything works again, onwards.

New day. The original problem of the 2Tb drive blinking its light and being not mounting seems to have gone away. Now I’m having trouble with the 3TB drive. While lengthy background tasks take place, like virus scan and backup, the GoFlex Desk 3Tb goes into sleep mode while these tasks are in progress, disrupting them! It has an independent sleep mode switch that pays no attention to Mac OS! But on Seagate’s site, they say their software can be used to deactivate that switch and turn control over to the Mac OS. I downloaded and installed that software, and there was no such switch controller that I could find. However, I can turn the twinkly activity lights on the front of the drives on and off.

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