Q&A: Failed new hard disk?

Q I wanted to install a new Hitachi 4 TB drive in my Mac Pro, with Mavericks on it. Somehow, after trying to initialise the new disk using Disk Utility, it has become uncooperative, so that I can neither install Mavericks on it, nor initialise it again. Has the drive died or developed a fault?

A Mortality rates of hard disks are highest when they are new, but your drive may well still be OK.

Shut down and remove the new disk, then start up again. You can then either put the disk in an external enclosure, or try installing it internally again. Some external USB enclosures may limit the size of partitions to less than 2 TB, but once you have got the disk initialised properly the first time, you should be able to get it to work again when installed internally.

If you cannot erase the disk in an external enclosure or installed in an internal drive bay, you should contact the supplier and arrange for them to replace it, as it may have suffered a fatal error.

Comments Once a new drive has ‘burned in’ for a few hundred hours, failure rates remain very low until its warranty expires.

Updated from the original, which was first published in MacUser volume 30 issue 4, 2014.