My Mac Keeps Eating External Hard Drives?

I’ve had a couple external hard drives go south on me recently, and I’m wondering if my MacBook Pro Retina from 2012 has gone rogue.

The first - and my primary - was a WD MyPassport 1TB, from 2013. It was long in the tooth, so I got a Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2TB last Black Friday as a back-up back-up, done monthly (unimportant, easily replaceable files, mainly).

The WD had been acting wonky for a few weeks, with the files ‘disappearing’ until I ejected/mounted (I could still open the files in their apps before this step) One day it stopped showing up entirely. I was able to see the files via Disk Drill, transferred them to the Seagate, tried to format/repair, and prepared last rites for the WD.

The Seagate, which had worked perfectly for a year, suddenly exhibits the same symptoms as the WD - disappearing files, then itself unable to mount. I grab a few files via Disk Drill, jettison the rest, and order a Samsung T5 SSD. I decide to ease into it, formatting it for Mac via the Samsung-provided installation app, and setting up Time Machine. It works fine for a few days, then I notice the hard drive has reverted to its factory name, has the installation apps, and is lacking any Time Machine backups.

(I haven’t experienced any problems with USB sticks, but I don’t use them with any great frequency)

Thoughts? I thought maybe a corrupted file causing [xxx] took care of the first two hard drives, but with the latest problems I’m assuming it’s something with the MacBook itself.

Here’s my thought. HDDs are delicate mechanisms that do their best when never moved, always powered up, and kept cool. Put them in the typical plastic enclosure, move them around, power them up and down, and the inevitable is early failure. So they are doomed from the get-go. This is also why a HDD in a desktop computer always seems to outlive one in a notebook computer.

Using an external SSD is the “obvious” solution!

Did you change the cable when you swapped the external drive?

Initially I tried it with the same cable but, having no luck, tried a different one.

I had a similar issue with a 2011 iMac, this turned out to be an issue with the mainboard, so maybe you can have someone at an applestore have a look at it?