External Drive Question

Hello, I’m new to the community and was seeking some advice/information about an external drive problem. Using a 2018 MacMini, I had a Seagate 2TB external drive connected (USB 3.1) as the Roon Library. It worked fine for a few weeks and then the drive failed. Fortunately I had a backup and I went out and purchased a 4TB WD external drive. The WD drive came with a connection to the Mac for either the USB C or USB 3.1. I decided to use USB C. Today, the Macmini told me the WD drive (connected via USB C) was using too much power and the drive was disabled. I never heard of such a message before. I called Apple, ran some tests and they concluded the issue was with WD. I contacted WD and they advised me not to keep the drive plugged in when not in use. That’s not really a good answer in my opinion. I went back and used the USB 3.1 connector with the new WD drive and for now everything seems fine. My concern is that I had one drive fail, and I received an error message with a new WD drive regarding using too much power when plugged in via USB C. I’m worried that I could have a pattern of failing drives, without really knowing why. Does anybody have any advice or insight?

Thank you! Andy

I think you’ll be fine using the USB 3 connection. USB C delivers significantly more power and also doubles the transfer speed, whereas USB 3 won’t draw so much from the Mac Mini.

Thank you Martin, I was kind of wondering if that could the case.

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Get a drive with its own power supply.

It sounds like there’s a power compatibility issue with the drive, and the Mac did the right thing to prevent damaging itself. I would use the USB3 cable, or as @mitr suggests, get a drive with a PSU.

Some non-compliant cables with a USB-C connector on one end and a legacy USB-A plug or Micro-B receptacle on the other end incorrectly terminate the Configuration Channel (CC) with a 10kΩ pullup to VBUS instead of the specification mandated 56 kΩ pullup, causing a device connected to the cable to incorrectly determine the amount of power it is permitted to draw from the cable. Cables with this issue may not work properly with certain products, including Apple and Google products, and may even damage power sources such as chargers, hubs, or PC USB ports.

Thanks for the information, I appreciate it, I’ll look at self powered drives as part of the solution.

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