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I'm hoping someone can help! I recently downloaded a torrent directly onto an external hard drive, (using a 2009 MacBook Pro and 1TB Seagate Expansion portable Drive) somehow during the download the drive was accidentally ejected, since this incident when I plug the drive back in it’s having problems reading.

The drive works fine for about 10 minutes, I can read/copy/paste and access files but then starts to wreak havoc; apps hangs, it hangs the Finder, etc.

I’ve tried repairing it in Disk Utility, which reads and repairs this disk but problems inevitably continue as described above.

I’ve deleted the Torrent file also. All my files on this external drive so re-formatting is not an option until I can retrieve them.

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More than likely, the drive is failing.

There are several symptoms that point to this (downloading of the Torrent is just coincidental, not causal):

  • The drive "accidentally" ejected. By itself, this is not an indication of a failure as it could have been any number of factors that caused the drive to eject; from a power failure to user error. However, in addition to the other symptoms, it lends credibility to the theory.

  • The drive works for about 10 minutes then hangs the system. Good drives don't hang your system. Additionally, if you system is fully functional (no hangs) until after you plug in the questionable drive, it's a good bet that the drive is the issue.

    As a test, try a different external drive. If the problem goes away, you've (through the process of elimination) identified the issue.

  • It's a Seagate. (IMO) Seagate drives are some of the most unreliable devices in IT. Based on reviewing tech support reports for our departments activities, a vast majority of the hard drive failures were Seagate.

    Though, that is my personal experience, it appears I'm not the only one judging by this PC World article from 2016: Seagate slapped with a class action lawsuit over hard drive failure rates

Data Protection/Recovery

Your best bet right now is to focus on data protection and recovery. I have personally used Disk Drill for both diagnostics and recovery and it has worked extremely well.

Additionally, you should

  1. Make an image of the drive and work off that:

    sudo dd if=/dev/rdiskX of=~/Desktop/external_drive.img bs=1M


  1. Stop using the external drive for daily use until you can recover the data.

Personally, I recommend Western Digital Passport drives. I have one that I have been using a daily Time Machine back up drives for over 4 years with no issues. In comparision, I had a Seagate that was given to me I was using to back up my Synology NAS, died about 18 months in; even free, they're (Seagates) not worth the trouble.

  • Thank you Allan, will ditch the Seagates from here on it I think – Gearoid Óg Feb 8 '18 at 15:48

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