Don’t Use WD Unlocker on a Mac with Mountain Lion

Oct 15, 2013 by

Don’t Use WD Unlocker on a Mac with Mountain Lion

Error message trying to start Aperture with on a drive with WD Unlocker

Error message trying to start Aperture with on a drive with WD Unlocker

When I bought my 2 TB Western Digital external hard drive a few months back it came with a new feature that made a lot of sense–WD Unlocker, which allowed me to password protect the drive in case I ever left it somewhere or someone stole it.

Well, what I didn’t know is that when hard drives on a Mac go to sleep, they shut off the password protection on the external drive and until you go through the password process again, it does not work. And, I’ve been getting these -50 error messages from my Mac ever since. A call to Apple Care recommended resetting the Power Saving features of my Mac back to the factory settings, but I am here and then step away from the Mac all day long and the factory settings really aren’t acceptable.

Worse still, is that my 800 GB Aperture Library is on this one drive, too.  And once it goes to sleep, and you try restarting Aperture, chances are high you’re going to get an error message. (See above.)

I’m sorry, but this really isn’t acceptable, either on the part of WD or Apple.  To their credit, Apple tried to help me fix this. I’ve searched Google a couple times about WD Unlocker and there’s just not that much out there.

So here’s the solution I’m adopting. Right now, I’m two hours into what said was a four-hour transfer–even using a USB 3.0 connector and sending it to a G-Drive running thru Thunderbolt, it’s still taking five to six hours to transfer the 800 GBs.

When that process is complete, I’m going to reformat the external drive and start over.  This is taking far too much time to do, but in the long run, it’s going to save me a ton of time. Getting to the back of an iMac every time my machine goes to sleep has become a royal pain, not to mention an unnecessary one.

WD, you need to work out with Apple to resolve this.  The whole thing with Aperture has been more than I should have had to deal with and I count this as your fault.

There also doesn’t appear to be anyway to simply turn the PWD thing off. Your instructions for that are not easy to understand.

So if you’re out there and wondering should you install WD Unlocker on your external drive, my recommendation is don’t, unless you have tons of time to waste and like -50 error messages.

(The second image is what I get now when I try to delete a file off the drive.)  And this message is presenting even after I’ve gone thru and unlocked the hard drive once again.

 

-50 error message on a Mac because of WD Unlocker

-50 error message on a Mac because of WD Unlockerth

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External Hard Drive (error code -50)

Jul 29, 2013 by

External Hard Drive (error code -50)

External Hard Drive (error code -50) can be generated because you have turned this off....

External Hard Drive (error code -50) can be generated because you have turned this off….

I have two G-Drives I used for video editing. One is a 2 TB drive and the other is a 4 TB drive. Both are critical to the work done here at Claxton Creative and both lately have generated error code -50 messages.

When it happened on the 2 TB a few weeks ago, I ran Disk Utilities on my 27-inch iMac and ultimately reformatted the disk after moving all of it’s contents over to my new 4 TB drive. I bought the 2 TB unit about a year ago.  The 4 TB a month ago.

Today I began doing some video editing for a client and tried to save the project to the 4 TB.  It wouldn’t work.

Naturally, I began to get anxious.  How in the world?!?!?

So after searching the forums and boards for about 20 minutes I just called Apple Care.

One of the first things we did was go to Energy Settings under the Apple and Preferences and turned the settings for putting hard disks to sleep back on. I had previously turned this off cos it’s frustrating to wait some times for the disks to fire back up when I’ve been working a while and all of the sudden need to save.

EMPHASIS ADDED: It appears that while I had instructed my iMac to not allow the external drive to shut down, it was doing so by design regardless, and that is what was casing the conflict.

Well, we did that, then rebooted the computer and all of a sudden, I was able to save to the 4 TB again.

Before calling Apple Care, I had run Disk Utility on the 4 TB and it was fine.

I got kicked up to a second-level support member and talked through a few other things, but ultimately, it appears things are working again.

 

 

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The Essence of File Management In A Terabyte World

May 19, 2013 by

The Essence of File Management In A Terabyte World

In a few years, I’m sure people will look back on this 2013 post and laugh–I’m struggling with file maintenance on my Mac and running out of Gigabytes and now even Terabytes. Where do we go from here? Petabytes.

The ever complex problem of file management in a digital world. From kilobyte, to megabyte, to gigabyte, to terabyte and soon, the petabyte.

The ever complex problem of file management in a digital world. From kilobyte, to megabyte, to gigabyte, to terabyte and soon, the petabyte.

While this may seem like a fairly trivial First World issue, it’s a rapidly expanding problem that computer manufacturing companies don’t seem to be addressing fast enough. Yes, Apple’s iMacs now come with a 1 TB drive, but as I’ve found in the world of HD video editing, a terabyte doesn’t last very long.  And a gigabyte? Yeah, well there are 1,000 gigabytes in a terabyte…

For those of you who don’t understand what I’m talking about, there’s a progression in the size of hard drives. Back in the late 80s, when Macs were first getting going, I remember floppy disks that had 512 kilobytes on them. That was considered a lot.  Then we progressed to megabytes. As Moore’s law was proven more and more correct and the need for more and more storage came about came the gigabyte in the late 2000s. As we’ve escalated the need to store data up to 2013 with the proliferation of HD video, expanding iTunes libraries and storage of photos in things like iPhoto and Aperture libraries, demand for space continues to grow and at a rapid rate. The thing to have now is at least a terabyte of storage.

But most computers these days aren’t coming with hard drives that have anything more than a terabyte. This MacBook Pro, bought in March of 2012, had 750 GBs on it. I’m down to about 284 GBs left and that’s freaking me out because that means I’ve used almost 500 GBs and eventually, I’m going to run out. I’ve only had this machine for 15 months!

The solution then comes with external hard drives and the Cloud.  I’ve been a user of Dropbox for some time, but when I store something in Dropbox, it also lives in the hard drive of my Mac, so if I took the 60.6 percent of the 222 GBs I have over there off my Mac, I’m only going to get back about 100 GBs. My iTunes library now is about 300 GBs. My primary Aperture photo library is almost 700 GBs.

I have two external hard drives I use regularly on my Mac now. One stores the Aperture library, the other iTunes.  I have desktop hard drives that store video, do Time Machine back ups and then a smaller drive I use for archiving.

And while the day after I just bought that new 2 TB external drive to attach to this Mac, I have only about 3.5 TBs of available space right now before I need to buy another external unit.  As funny as it may sound, that makes me squirm because I know it’s not going to last long.  Combined, I have enough storage space for about 7.75 GBs. That means I’ve used about 60 percent of available space.

Yesterday, a fellow dad blogger recommended a new Cloud storage site called Bitcasa. For either $10 a month or $99 per year, they’re offering unlimited lifetime storage space. What I am not sure about yet is if I have things here on my laptop like I do with Dropbox, am I going to be taking up disc space in both places? Meaning, if I loaded 100 GBs of space to Bitcasa and I can see access to it on my Mac, am I going to be down another 100 GBs here on the Mac, too.  And that’s where my problem lies. If I could put all 4.5 GBs of stuff I have out on Bitcasa and it not try to replicate or drain space here on the Mac, that’d be swell.

Otherwise, it’ll be time to get something more than a 2 TB hard drive before too much longer.

Next, the Petabyte — or 1,000 Terabytes. Somehow, I don’t think it’s going to take very long to get there…..

 

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