Cannot partition USB3 SATA dock on a Mac (stuck on unmounting)


#1

I have just recently purchased a “USB 3.0 SATA Hard Drive Docking Station Enclosure (USB 2.0 Compatible)” from Amazon, and can’t get it setup on Macs running 10.7.4 (Air) or 10.8 (Pro). I have tried using both the USB2 and USB3 cables. I have an unformatted 1TB WD 3.5 drive plugged in.

The Macs recognize the device and I’m able to see it inside Disk Utility. The problem happens when I try to erase or partition it: when I start it, it just gets stuck on “Unmounting disk” forever, and without any useful error messages.

Here’s some specifics for the dock from Mac’s System Information:
USB3-SATA-U3
Product ID: 0x55aa
Vendor ID: 0x174c (ASMedia Technology Inc.)
Serial Number: 100000000000000051D9

I originally thought it was a hardware failure, but then I tried setting it up on my (really) old Windows XP computer and I was able to setup a NTFS partition and store stuff on it without any problems at all.

Do you have any ideas?


#2

Hi Don-

Thanks for posting with your issue, sorry to hear about the trouble. I’ve seen similar errors and should be able to help.

One quick question to begin: do you want to use this drive on both Mac and PC, or just Mac? Formatting as exFAT facilitates read/write on both: HFS and NTFS, as you may know, aren’t fully supported on both platforms.

The issues I’ve seen like this before were on older firmware builds- I wouldn’t expect these to be on currently shipping units, but weird things happen. Checking firmware on the dock as described at the link below will help in understanding what might be wrong:
http://plugable.com/2013/03/05/usb3-s…

These additional details will help in recommending the right steps. Thanks for your patience while we work to help!

Best wishes-

Jeff Everett
Plugable Technologies


#3

Thanks for the quick response, and sorry about the late reply.

I’ve double checked the firmware, and it’s the correct one (13022081f602).

I was fiddling around to see if I can find the root cause of the issue. As I mentioned before, I was able to NTFS partition the drive in Windows and have read-only access to it on Mac. I tried reformatting the drive on Mac with the drive already containing the NTFS partition. At first, my Mac did not complain during the reformatting process, but I’m not able to access my drive after the formatted was done - it actually freezes Finder when I try to read or write to it.


#4

Hi Don-

Thanks for posting back, no worries on the delay.

One quick question to begin: do you want to use this drive on both Mac and PC, or just Mac? Formatting as exFAT facilitates read/write on both: HFS and NTFS, as you may know, aren’t fully supported on both platforms.

Knowing which OSes you want to use on in the end will affect our recommended steps.

If you can also please confirm the brand and model number of the drive in question, this will be helpful. A photo of the label on the drive with these details is generally the easiest way to submit them.

Next, while the dock and drive in question are connected to your Windows system, please run our support tool, PlugDebug, and send a mail with the .zip it creates on your desktop to support@plugable.com with a link to this thread.

Instructions to download and use PlugDebug are here:
http://plugable.com/support/plugdebug

Best wishes-

Jeff


#5

Thanks Jeff. I’ll only be using it on Mac, so the Mac journaled format would be ideal, although exFAT wouldn’t be a huge problem either. With that said, my Windows XP doesn’t have the patch to support formatting in exFAT (but I can try it out on the dual-boot Linux I have installed on my Windows machine).

Before we go any further, I’m planning to bring my drive over to my friend’s house to test it on in his HD enclosure to ensure that the drive isn’t corrupted in some weird way.

I’ll come back with the brand and model number if that doesn’t work out.


#6

Sounds good Don.

If wiping the drive is needed (which is likely in your case based on what I know so far), the steps linked below should help- both OS X and Windows are covered:
http://plugable.com/2013/03/21/unders…

Please let us know of any further questions!

Best-

Jeff


#7