updated 12:55 pm EST, Wed December 28, 2011
Apple power cutoff technology blamed
Toshiba's Canvio-series USB 3.0 hard drives are failing to connect properly with the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro, according to PhoneNews. The site says it tested five Canvio drives with a new 2011 Air; none of them mounted, and in most cases, the drives are said to have failed to even spin up. The issue appears to be Mac-centric, since it was otherwise reproduced only on a Sony VAIO notebook and a current-generation MacBook Pro.
Toshiba is reportedly acknowledging the problem. "Toshiba DPD has identified an isolated USB connectivity issue between the Canvio USB 3.0 drive and currently shipping MacBook Pro and MacBook Air laptops," a quoted statement reads. "The issue involves the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air being unable to recognize the Canvio USB 3.0 drive when connected directly to the laptop USB 2.0 port. Toshiba is actively working to remedy this USB connectivity issue. In the interim, Toshiba recommends MacBook Pro and MacBook Air users employ a powered USB hub to connect their Canvio USB 3.0 drives."
Toshiba has yet to say whether it will be doing a refund program. PhoneNews notes that the glitch is linked to excessive power consumption. The Canvios are said to be drawing "slightly more" than the 5W allowed by the USB standard; MacBooks, though, are unusual in strictly enforcing this limit, shutting down devices like Toshiba's. The one exception is the iPad, which consumes 10W but will still charge directly from a Mac, and not a PC.