Monday, October 14, 2013

External Hard Drive Woes and a Waterside Scene

Today I was not able to access one of my external hard drives.  I am not sure whether the problem was related to either a recent experience of data uploading much slower than usual or dropping the hard drive from the height of a typical desk. Since I deliberately chose a hard drive with military-grade shock resistance that "incorporates a vibration- absorbing silicone outer shell, a reinforced hard casing, and an internal hard drive suspension damper as a last line of defense" and that "is rugged enough to protect against excessive vibration or sudden jolts", I had thought the drop would not be of any consequence, especially since it seemed rather inconsequential in military terms.

Whatever the case, I now get an I/O error when trying to access the disk and this: "diskarbitrationd[13]: unable to mount /dev/disk1s1 (status code 0x00000047)". None of the the simple tricks I have tried allow me to see any data. However, the computer can at least recognize the brand of the hard drive when I take a look under the "Volumes" directory using a Terminal window. If none of this makes sense to you, no worries. On that note, the reason I have shared this exciting news is I thought a reader might have some insights to offer. If anyone has grand advice for how I personally may be able to at least recover the data using a Mac, I'd certainly appreciate hearing from you.

One of the side effects of today's fun was not writing a post I had planned for today. So instead, I will share a photo I took this evening in Zhuhai while taking a waterside walk to clear my mind after a day of unexpected travail.

waterside night scene in Gongbei, Zhuhai, China
No travail for me here.


  1. I know less than you about hard drives, but my go to is SpinRite ( Don't let the schlocky website fool you, it is good stuff.

    Good luck!

    1. Thanks for recommendation, Paul. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like there is a Mac version of SpinRite.

  2. I wish I could offer something more than sympathy. I'd rather be in a sail-boat without wind than deal with computer failure of any sort. I know I can get the boat somewhere, sooner or later, but with hardware, dead is dead, and trust is broken. Is cloud back-up an option in China? One of my techy friends who use external hard drives frequently replaces ext HDDs every couple of years and regards all computer hardware as expendable.