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Old Apr 21, 2007, 08:14 PM   #1
McPaul
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Western Digital MyBook (hard drive) shutting down periodically

I have a Western Digital HD with a mac mini. Sometimes, after the Mybook is not used for a while, it will shut down, to the point that, only unplugging BOTH the firewire AND power to the Mybook will restart it.

How do I get this thing to reboot and show up on my desktop/finder again?

it's quite frustrating w/ itunes, as the songs wont play at all if the HD shuts down.
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Old Apr 21, 2007, 08:45 PM   #2
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That's in your Energy Saver options (in Preferences). There is a small checkbox that you can unclick to prevent you drives from going to sleep
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Old Apr 22, 2007, 04:25 PM   #3
McPaul
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you're awesome, Lovesong!
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Old May 6, 2007, 06:13 PM   #4
shinji
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that doesn't reduce the life of the drive or anything, right? I don't care about power consumption, I just don't want to mess up my hard drive.
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Old May 8, 2007, 09:53 PM   #5
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anyone?
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Old May 9, 2007, 02:54 PM   #6
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I wouldn't have thought so, well not noticeably anyway.
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Old May 15, 2007, 06:09 PM   #7
NATO
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I know what you're describing, the MyBook drives have a built-in auto-spindown function which shuts the drive down after approx 10 minutes of inactivity, which is independent of Mac OS X.

To solve this (to the best I could), I created a small hidden file on the drive (although it could be any file, I chose a hidden file for convenience), and added a small cron job to 'touch' the file every 5 minutes, thus avoiding the drive shutting down while the drive was 'active' in OS X.

The line I added to my crontab was

Code:
*/5   *   *   *   *   touch '/Volumes/My External HD/.hiddenfile'
The drive has remained in the powered-up state perfectly since.
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Old May 24, 2007, 02:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NATO View Post
I know what you're describing, the MyBook drives have a built-in auto-spindown function which shuts the drive down after approx 10 minutes of inactivity, which is independent of Mac OS X.

To solve this (to the best I could), I created a small hidden file on the drive (although it could be any file, I chose a hidden file for convenience), and added a small cron job to 'touch' the file every 5 minutes, thus avoiding the drive shutting down while the drive was 'active' in OS X.

The line I added to my crontab was

Code:
*/5   *   *   *   *   touch '/Volumes/My External HD/.hiddenfile'
The drive has remained in the powered-up state perfectly since.
This sounds like an excellent solution, but I'm afraid I don't quite understand how to set up the file-touching cron thing. The terminal scares me. Could you explain a bit more? Thanks!
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Old Mar 21, 2008, 11:34 AM   #9
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How to write the cron job

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockstarjoe View Post
This sounds like an excellent solution, but I'm afraid I don't quite understand how to set up the file-touching cron thing. The terminal scares me. Could you explain a bit more? Thanks!
Not to tricky. Here goes:

1. Open Terminal.
2. type: "su -" and then type in the root password
3. type "crontab -e" You are now in the "vi" editor...kind of tricky here...so type exactly what I put here.
4. type "i" Thats a lowercase "i".
5. now type something like this */5 * * * * touch '/Volumes/MyBook/.hiddenfile' (replace MyBook with the name of your MyBook. Also, mind the single ticks)
6. Hit the Escape key.
7. type "x"
8. close terminal.

Your're all done! Good luck!
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Old Dec 24, 2008, 03:41 PM   #10
paulobrad
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I'm looking at getting a WD MyBook:

http://www.dabs.com/productview.aspx...avigationKey=0

This is for a MacMini I use as a media server, I really want the device to spin down when not in use as a 24/7 spinning HD really isn't desirable but I want it to spin back up when I want some data without a physical switching off and on.

Is this possible / the default behavior of the MyBook?
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Old Mar 13, 2009, 07:35 AM   #11
balkce
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Logs

Quote:
Originally Posted by NATO View Post
I know what you're describing, the MyBook drives have a built-in auto-spindown function which shuts the drive down after approx 10 minutes of inactivity, which is independent of Mac OS X.

To solve this (to the best I could), I created a small hidden file on the drive (although it could be any file, I chose a hidden file for convenience), and added a small cron job to 'touch' the file every 5 minutes, thus avoiding the drive shutting down while the drive was 'active' in OS X.

The line I added to my crontab was

Code:
*/5   *   *   *   *   touch '/Volumes/My External HD/.hiddenfile'
The drive has remained in the powered-up state perfectly since.
Although your solution is good, if for some reason the disk is not connected (maybe it is a laptop), the logs will be flooded by errors stating that the .hiddenfile is not found.

A simple bash script can see if the volume is mounted or not before attempting to touching .hiddenfile:

Code:
#!/bin/bash
# Used to not let a volume named MYBOOK sleep

volpresent=$(mount | grep MYBOOK | wc -c)

if [ $volpresent -gt 0 ]
then
	touch /Volumes/MYBOOK/.hiddenfile
fi

Also, it is now not advisable to use crontab for regular jobs, as launchd is a better option. There is a donation-ware application called Lingon that provides a nice GUI to launchd.
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Old Mar 14, 2009, 11:43 AM   #12
i.p.
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hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by balkce View Post
Although your solution is good, if for some reason the disk is not connected (maybe it is a laptop), the logs will be flooded by errors stating that the .hiddenfile is not found

A simple bash script can see if the volume is mounted or ...
actually there is no need for extra scripting,
just add the -c option to touch, that's enough..

touch -c ... does exactly the same thing as the shell script you provided
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Old Apr 12, 2009, 09:21 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NATO View Post
I know what you're describing, the MyBook drives have a built-in auto-spindown function which shuts the drive down after approx 10 minutes of inactivity, which is independent of Mac OS X.

To solve this (to the best I could), I created a small hidden file on the drive (although it could be any file, I chose a hidden file for convenience), and added a small cron job to 'touch' the file every 5 minutes, thus avoiding the drive shutting down while the drive was 'active' in OS X.

The line I added to my crontab was

Code:
*/5   *   *   *   *   touch '/Volumes/My External HD/.hiddenfile'
The drive has remained in the powered-up state perfectly since.
DO you have to create the hidden file as well ....and if so, how do you do that?
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Old Apr 13, 2009, 10:26 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdhatch View Post
Not to tricky. Here goes:

1. Open Terminal.
2. type: "su -" and then type in the root password
3. type "crontab -e" You are now in the "vi" editor...kind of tricky here...so type exactly what I put here.
4. type "i" Thats a lowercase "i".
5. now type something like this */5 * * * * touch '/Volumes/MyBook/.hiddenfile' (replace MyBook with the name of your MyBook. Also, mind the single ticks)
6. Hit the Escape key.
7. type "x"
8. close terminal.

Your're all done! Good luck!
This didn't quite work for me... now the drive is not recognized at all. How can I reverse this?
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Old Aug 2, 2009, 02:12 PM   #15
johnpublic
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WD Firmware Upgrade Fixes Sleepy MyBook Mount Issue

2nd level support @ Western Digital directed me to download and install the latest firmware for the MyBook. That fixed the problem. The MyBook stays mounted. No longer need to run a job to touch a file.

Last edited by johnpublic; Aug 2, 2009 at 02:13 PM. Reason: More accurate title
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Old Aug 13, 2009, 09:54 PM   #16
Carlos E
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnpublic View Post
2nd level support @ Western Digital directed me to download and install the latest firmware for the MyBook. That fixed the problem. The MyBook stays mounted. No longer need to run a job to touch a file.
Do you have a link? I updated the firmware and I'm still having the same issue. Maybe I used the wrong firmware.
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Old Aug 13, 2009, 10:47 PM   #17
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WD Firmware Link

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Originally Posted by Carlos E View Post
Do you have a link? I updated the firmware and I'm still having the same issue. Maybe I used the wrong firmware.
Depends on what model and OS you are using.
Click on your product at this link: http://support.wdc.com/product/downl...vel1=1&lang=en

Then, under "Select the software to download:" list, click on the firmware update for either Mac or PC - whichever you have.

For me, I have the MyBook Studio Edition, 1TB, USB2.0/FireWire400 / FireWire800 / eSATA, which is model # WD10000H1Q-00. Since I'm using a Mac, I downloaded the file at http://support.wdc.com/product/downl...sid=60&lang=en - File name WD_MB_Studio_1034_1_03.dmg, Firmware Version 1.034, dated January 2009.

The drive continues to work like a champ. I find that using these sequences for booting up and down help:
Booting up:
- Macbook - boot up
- eSATA card - insert
- MyBook - power on

Booting down:
- MyBook - "eject" drive from finder window on Mac
- MyBook - power down
- eSATA card - disconnect / eject
- Macbook - shut down
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Old Aug 14, 2009, 12:57 AM   #18
Carlos E
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnpublic View Post
Depends on what model and OS you are using.
Click on your product at this link: http://support.wdc.com/product/downl...vel1=1&lang=en

Then, under "Select the software to download:" list, click on the firmware update for either Mac or PC - whichever you have.

For me, I have the MyBook Studio Edition, 1TB, USB2.0/FireWire400 / FireWire800 / eSATA, which is model # WD10000H1Q-00. Since I'm using a Mac, I downloaded the file at http://support.wdc.com/product/downl...sid=60&lang=en - File name WD_MB_Studio_1034_1_03.dmg, Firmware Version 1.034, dated January 2009.

The drive continues to work like a champ. I find that using these sequences for booting up and down help:
Booting up:
- Macbook - boot up
- eSATA card - insert
- MyBook - power on

Booting down:
- MyBook - "eject" drive from finder window on Mac
- MyBook - power down
- eSATA card - disconnect / eject
- Macbook - shut down
I have the same drives and I updated the drives using the version of the firmware you posted. What eSata card are you using? I have 2 cards. A sonnet Tempo expresscard and an Iogear eSata expresscard. Both are 2 port cards and I'm using 2 WD 1TB drives. This is on a 2009 Unibody 17" MacBook Pro.
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Old Aug 14, 2009, 05:46 PM   #19
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JMicron Chipset

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlos E View Post
I have the same drives and I updated the drives using the version of the firmware you posted. What eSata card are you using? I have 2 cards. A sonnet Tempo expresscard and an Iogear eSata expresscard. Both are 2 port cards and I'm using 2 WD 1TB drives. This is on a 2009 Unibody 17" MacBook Pro.
At first, was using a Griffin eSATA ExpressCard/34 (http://www.griffintechnology.com/pro...ataexpresscard), but learned that its Silicon Image chipset is problematic with Mac 10.5+ OS. Learned that eSATA cards w/ JMicron JMB360 chipset are natively supported by the Mac OS. I bought a PCMC-EXP34-1S2 (http://www.computercablesource.com/p...pset-1686.html) from Computer Cable Source (http://www.computercablesource.com/). Unfortunately, it looks like the two-port eSATA card they sell is based on the Silicon Image chipset. Perhaps a two-port JMicron-based card is available elsewhere.

I see that Sonnet Tech (http://www.sonnettech.com/product/te...ess34.html)has a warning message on their website for their Tempo SATA ExpressCard/34: "Temporarily not recommended for Mac systems with greater than 2GB of memory." Looks like Iomega's eSATA 3Gbps 2-port ExpressCard/34 (http://www.iogear.com/product/GPS702...06379d8660bb10) only supports 10.4 of the Mac OS (on the View All tab, under Requirements). This is consistent with Silicon Image chipsets that don't play well with 10.5+. Griffin tech support confirmed the same challenges.

Griffin Technology recommended, and I agree, that in System Preferences for your Mac, under Energy Saver, UN-check putting the hard disk(s) to sleep when possible.

Hope this helps. Keep us posted on your progress.

(The third party Mac OS drivers for the Silicon Image chipset are old and have not been updated in several years, hence the compatibility issues. Learned all this through troubleshooting and googling.)

Last edited by johnpublic; Aug 14, 2009 at 06:06 PM. Reason: Added additional recommendation.
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Old Aug 15, 2009, 01:23 AM   #20
Carlos E
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnpublic View Post
At first, was using a Griffin eSATA ExpressCard/34 (http://www.griffintechnology.com/pro...ataexpresscard), but learned that its Silicon Image chipset is problematic with Mac 10.5+ OS. Learned that eSATA cards w/ JMicron JMB360 chipset are natively supported by the Mac OS. I bought a PCMC-EXP34-1S2 (http://www.computercablesource.com/p...pset-1686.html) from Computer Cable Source (http://www.computercablesource.com/). Unfortunately, it looks like the two-port eSATA card they sell is based on the Silicon Image chipset. Perhaps a two-port JMicron-based card is available elsewhere.

I see that Sonnet Tech (http://www.sonnettech.com/product/te...ess34.html)has a warning message on their website for their Tempo SATA ExpressCard/34: "Temporarily not recommended for Mac systems with greater than 2GB of memory." Looks like Iomega's eSATA 3Gbps 2-port ExpressCard/34 (http://www.iogear.com/product/GPS702...06379d8660bb10) only supports 10.4 of the Mac OS (on the View All tab, under Requirements). This is consistent with Silicon Image chipsets that don't play well with 10.5+. Griffin tech support confirmed the same challenges.

Griffin Technology recommended, and I agree, that in System Preferences for your Mac, under Energy Saver, UN-check putting the hard disk(s) to sleep when possible.

Hope this helps. Keep us posted on your progress.

(The third party Mac OS drivers for the Silicon Image chipset are old and have not been updated in several years, hence the compatibility issues. Learned all this through troubleshooting and googling.)
The issue I was having is that the Western Digital Mybook has drive sleep written into the firmware and 10.5 will not over ride the sleep with the energy saver preference telling the drives not to sleep.

I found this work around. I wrote a script that looks at a hidden file on the WD drive every 5 minutes. Since it's getting activity every 5 minutes it doesn't allow the drive to sleep. I followed the instructions and got it working.

http://www.macosxhints.com/article.p...90316190817357
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Old Aug 15, 2009, 12:29 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlos E View Post
The issue I was having is that the Western Digital Mybook has drive sleep written into the firmware and 10.5 will not over ride the sleep with the energy saver preference telling the drives not to sleep.

I found this work around. I wrote a script that looks at a hidden file on the WD drive every 5 minutes. Since it's getting activity every 5 minutes it doesn't allow the drive to sleep. I followed the instructions and got it working.

http://www.macosxhints.com/article.p...90316190817357
Yes, I was having the same problem and was using the same fix until I upgraded the WD firmware. The upgrade permanently fixed my problem and negated the need for me to periodically "touch" a file on the WD. Glad you found a solution that works.
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Old Aug 15, 2009, 03:07 PM   #22
Carlos E
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnpublic View Post
Yes, I was having the same problem and was using the same fix until I upgraded the WD firmware. The upgrade permanently fixed my problem and negated the need for me to periodically "touch" a file on the WD. Glad you found a solution that works.
It did not work for me.
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Old Aug 20, 2009, 07:10 AM   #23
Carlos E
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Yes, I was having the same problem and was using the same fix until I upgraded the WD firmware. The upgrade permanently fixed my problem and negated the need for me to periodically "touch" a file on the WD. Glad you found a solution that works.
I installed snow leopard. The western digital drives have been stable and wake from sleep since running snow leopard. I don't know if it's the WD firmware update or the combination of both, but the drives have been stable since this weekend.

The ESATA drivers however only load when running snow leopard in 32 bit. I've booted in 64bit and the finder shows there is a card inserted but the drivers do not load or mount the ESATA drives.
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Old Mar 26, 2010, 11:50 AM   #24
seim
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I'd the same issue that the MyBook (II) was shutting down after 10min of inactivity.

I've created a cronjob as you told and since that the harddrive was awake 24h a day.
Then I've tried to limit the awake-job from 12:00 till 24:00 (that's a bit more than I'm at home and awake) but nothing happened. It was still running permanently - so now I removed the whole cronjob for testing and (!) it still doesn't shutdown it's like the cronjob is still running but the config-file is totally empty!

Mac Mini ; Snow Leopard
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