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Problem using Voyager dock with USB3 on iMac i7 2012

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Cris McConkey
Problem using Voyager dock with USB3 on iMac i7 2012
on Nov 21, 2013 at 12:04:07 am

I recently received a refurbished iMac i7 from Apple. I had been using an older Macbook Pro3,1 with two Voyager drive docks. Other than the occasional mounting problem which could be fixed with a reboot, it was pretty stable for editing and archiving projects.

Since the iMac has no firewire ports, and I had not yet received the TB-FW800 I had ordered from Apple, I purchased two USB3 cables from staples and used two of the USB3 posts on my iMac for the pair of Voyager HHD docks.

My world went into disarray. I started getting drive errors from both Mac OS 10.8.5 andDrive Genius --a disk repair utility. OS 10.8.5 locked one HHD to be read only with an admonishment to back of files and reformat the drive.

I had sufficient space on another drive to back up the entire volume on another drive in Voyager Dock #2. Then I had a lot of trouble formatting the drive. It would stall while formatting. It took several tries.

I then copied the folders and files from back up to the reformatted drive.

Then the drive that I had use for back up started reporting errors and at one point was locked as read only by the system/ I believe I fixed in with Drive Warrior.

I called Apple Applecare support. I asked if there was might be issue with the USB3 ports on the computer, but the representative didn't know of any but ventured that it might be the cables (which cost me something like $30 each at Staples).

My TB-FW800 adapter arrived, and I switched over to FW800. Everything seems stable now.

I don't trust using USB3 for bare drives in the Voyager dock. I have no basis to know, but I don't think it is the USB3 cables. Unless there is a chipset built into them as there is on Thunderbolt, Ithese look like pretty robust cables.

Roght now I have two SATA drives in Voyager docks plus one LG external BD burner all daisy chained to a single FW800 port from the Apple TB-FW800 adapter.

The HDD seem stable, but I lost communication to the disk burner in the middle of a burn. I replaced the long FW800 cable from the last Voyager dock to the BD burner with a FW400 cable and that seems to be OK. I suspect the cable in this instance, but again have no basis to support my belief.

Quite understandably, I mistrust USB3 for connecting SATA drives and I wonder how many folks who have experienced hard drive failures really had a bus related issue. Again, I can only cast aspersions, but this has been my experience.

I have orderd a TB to eSata hub and a pair of esata cables and a thunderbolt cable, and I am going to try that configuration with my Voyager docs.

Any comments regarding similar or differing experiences is welcome.

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Ludwik Pruszkowski
Re: Problem using Voyager dock with USB3 on iMac i7 2012
on Mar 27, 2014 at 4:41:21 pm

Same experience. Does anyone found an issue?

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