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PSA - Known problem with mounting of larger HDs in a Mac Pro
Posted by: AllGold
Date: May 03, 2021 11:11PM
I did some online searching, expecting to find a solution for the problem I'm having, but apparently, this is a goof by Apple in MacOS 10.10 - 10.14 on 2009-2012 Mac Pros and there's no solution.

The problem is some newer/larger SATA hard drives (spinners) don't mount on a restart. But not only do they not mount, they can't be found by Disk Utility or the OS, System Info, etc. so you can't mount them later.

It's only a restart that causes the problem; they always mount on a cold boot but not a restart. Some drives have this problem and some don't.

I have one that is subject to this bug, a WD 8TB Gold.

It's not a huge problem for me because my machine spends most of its time sleeping and a wake from sleep mounts the drive (if was mounted before going to sleep). It's just that if I want that drive to be available then I have to shut down and power up rather than restarting.

BTW, this is a post from a while back documenting my confusion over the screw mounting holes on my 8TB drive:
[forums.macresource.com]







Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/04/2021 01:21PM by AllGold.
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Re: PSA - Known problem with mounting of larger HDs in a Mac Pro
Posted by: MrNoBody
Date: May 04, 2021 05:55AM
This is for an HDD connected to the original SATA-II bus?



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Re: PSA - Known problem with mounting of larger HDs in a Mac Pro
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: May 04, 2021 09:33AM
So, if you restart, the suspect drives don't show up.


...so you can't mount them later.


So that means, even after a full shut down after they're MIA, they don't mount?

Can they be used in another machine, as in it's not the drives, it you (your Mac)?




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Re: PSA - Known problem with mounting of larger HDs in a Mac Pro
Posted by: STL
Date: May 04, 2021 11:14AM
AllGold said
"It's only a restart that causes the problem; they always mount on a cold boot but not a restart."
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Re: PSA - Known problem with mounting of larger HDs in a Mac Pro
Posted by: AllGold
Date: May 04, 2021 01:39PM
Quote
MrNoBody
This is for an HDD connected to the original SATA-II bus?

For me, yes. But I believe I read some people have the problem with other connection methods, so long as the drives are internal (PCIe card).

Quote
RAMd®d
So, if you restart, the suspect drives don't show up.


...so you can't mount them later.


So that means, even after a full shut down after they're MIA, they don't mount?

Can they be used in another machine, as in it's not the drives, it you (your Mac)?

STL already clarified [thanks], but I will clarify the clarification. wink smiley

Quote
STL
AllGold said
"It's only a restart that causes the problem; they always mount on a cold boot but not a restart."

When I said:
...so you can't mount them later.

I meant later in your restarted session. If you want access to that drive or drives, you have to shut down, then power up from a cold boot.

Normally, Disk Utility allows you to mount and unmount volumes, but that doesn't work with the problematic drives unless you have cold booted.

To provide a little more background info, some folks have looked at the boot sequence messages. The OS sees the drive(s) on a restart but for some reason, decides it doesn't want to talk to them at all. On a cold boot, the OS is perfectly happy talking to the drive.







Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/04/2021 01:51PM by AllGold.
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Re: PSA - Known problem with mounting of larger HDs in a Mac Pro
Posted by: STL
Date: May 04, 2021 01:48PM
I’ve experienced the same issue as AllGold with my WD Black WD4004FZWX 4TB 128MB Cache 7200RPM SATA drive, purchased in 2018 and installed in my 2010 Mac Pro 5,1. The issue is present with the drive in any of the 4 drive bays. Have only tried it with ElCapitan or Mojave but results were the same. Oddly I do not experience the issue with the my WD Black WD4005FZBX 4TB 256MB Cache 7200RPM SATA drive purchased in 2219. Maybe WD changed something in my 2019 drives firmware, such as the “Power Disable Feature” (PDFeature), discussed below.

There are internet discussions that mention a 2016 SATA spec revision 3.3 which added a new PDFeature. Drives built to 3.3 would not be “seen” when installed in legacy computers built prior to 3.3. The discussions did not mention Mac Pro’s and 4TB drives. One workaround was applicable to the Mac Pro - taping over Pin 3 of the drives SATA power connector. [forums.macnn.com] . I haven’t tried the tape workaround as the issue is just an annoyance since I leave my MacPro on all the time and rarely Restart. Communications with WD did not resolve the issue or shed light on whether either drive was designed per revision 3.3.

Has anyone had success with the tape solution?
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Re: PSA - Known problem with mounting of larger HDs in a Mac Pro
Posted by: AllGold
Date: May 04, 2021 01:52PM
I read that the tape solution didn't fix it and actually created other problems.



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Re: PSA - Known problem with mounting of larger HDs in a Mac Pro
Posted by: STL
Date: May 04, 2021 02:15PM
Read the post at my link.

The tape helping or not depends on which SATA revision both the computer and drive were designed to.
From the post at my link
". . . Very few devices use the 3.3v rails, so when they added a new feature, they repurposed Pin 3. The new feature (power disable mode) is aimed at remote management of servers. If power is applied to Pin 3, the drive will power down. This reduces power usage when a drive is not needed. It also allows the admin to fully reboot a drive without rebooting the server.

The MacPro was designed to earlier SATA versions, and still applies 3.3v to Pin 3. So your newer HDD pretends to be a brick. HGST even posted a PDF explaining the problem.

Solution: tape over Pin 3. . . ."
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Re: PSA - Known problem with mounting of larger HDs in a Mac Pro
Posted by: AllGold
Date: May 04, 2021 02:32PM
Interesting. I saw that but didn't really read it before.

However, I still don't think the tape solution fixes the restart problem because the drive doesn't report as 'Ready' soon enough. That's what I read as other's experiences as well.

The tape solution is for drives that won't mount at all, even on a cold boot.



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Re: PSA - Known problem with mounting of larger HDs in a Mac Pro
Posted by: Buzz
Date: May 04, 2021 02:41PM
Our twin 5,1 towers (6 & 12 core) have had other issues over the years, but we've always just run 2TB drives in the SATA bays, save having all kinds of trouble w/ an early 3TB drive, so all 3TB drives were avoided thereafter. We tried a 4TB drive, and I don't remember what the issue was, other than that it was relegated to external duty, leaving only the 2TB spinners. Startup duties are off of high speed PCIe card, so spinners only get occasional alternate OS experience. As drives have gotten bigger and cheaper, I had been thinking of going big inside, to pare down the total drives connected, but this thread has now given me pause.
==
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Re: PSA - Known problem with mounting of larger HDs in a Mac Pro
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: May 04, 2021 07:08PM
I meant later in your restarted session. If you want access to that drive or drives, you have to shut down, then power up from a cold boot.


Thank you.

That was the clarification for which I was asking.




Two for two, I'm good now.

We are a government of laws, not men.

When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

Everybody matters or nobody matters.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

-An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
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Re: PSA - Known problem with mounting of larger HDs in a Mac Pro
Posted by: MrNoBody
Date: May 04, 2021 07:27PM
For me, yes. But I believe I read some people have the problem with
other connection methods, so long as the drives are internal (PCIe card)
.

That would only apply if the HDD is SATA revision 3.3 (& higher) and is powered
directly by the SATA 15-pin power connector with the 3v line connected.

I just checked several PCIe to SATA-III cards, none use the 15-pin cable
only the 7-pin data cable.
This is a 15-pin to Molex 4-pin power adapter with no 3v line.




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