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Why Does My External Hard Drive Keep Disconnecting on Mac?

My Seagate 1TB FreeAgent external hard drive keeps disconnecting on my Intel iMac. Sometimes the hard drive stays connected for almost an hour, but usually, it keeps disconnecting for around 30 minutes. This makes it impossible to export large files from the drive to my Mac because the file-transferring process is always interrupted. Both my computer and my display are set to not going to sleep. Used Disk Utility to check the external hard drive, no problem. Tried different cables, and unplugged other unused USB and firewire cables. Upgraded my RAM, just about everything I can find in the forums, but still no luck. I have other hard drives that work fine. What solutions are out there? Please help.

Best Answered by

iBoysoft author Connie Yang

Connie Yang

Answered on Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Maybe the external hard drive is put to sleep. Or, certain third-party app blocks or interrupts the external hard drive's connection. Moreover, the damaged port, system bugs, and the drive's file system corruption are also possible reasons make your external hard drive keeps disconnecting on your Mac.

Here I summarized some quick fixes, hope they can help you out with the trouble.

1. Check the sleep settings for the external drive

Go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Battery. Disable the "Put hard disks to sleep when possible" option.

2. Restart Mac

Restarting your Mac can exclude the temporary system glitch that causes your external hard drive keeps disconnecting from your Mac.

3. Try another port

You say that you've tried changing cables, unplugging other drives, and firewire cables. But you ignore connecting the external drive to another port on your Mac. The damaged port can also lead to this issue.

4. Boot your Mac in Safe Mode

Booting your Mac in Safe Mode is to check if the recently installed third-party software conflicts with this drive. If the hard drive still keeps ejecting on your Mac, jump to my next suggestion. If it is, uninstall your recently installed apps.

5. Update your Mac

This issue is reported that mostly occur in macOS Ventura, possibly a system bug. If you've upgraded to the latest 13, check if any minor updates are available and go ahead to update your Mac.

6. Reformat your external drive

It's hard to say that the disk is corrupted. If my above tricks can't change your situation, try to format the external drive on your Mac. Move all files on the drive to your Mac and then reformat the drive.

  1. Open Disk Utility in Launchpad > Other.
  2. Select the drive and click Erase.
  3. Set a name, format, and scheme (GUID) for the external drive and click Erase to let it start formatting.

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