Firewire issue with new iMac 20"

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by MrMighty, Aug 13, 2007.

  1. MrMighty macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2007
    Hi all,

    Maybe one of you can help. I've got a problem with my Western Digital myBook 500Gb external harddrive when I connect it to my (new) iMac 20" using the firewire 400 port. The drive does not show up on the desktop, not in diskutility and also not in the systemprofile (it just says 'FireWire-bus: Maximum speed: maximum 800MB/sec').

    To make sure there's nothing wrong with the port I connected a Canon DV camcorder (using the 400 port but using different firewire cable). I shows up correctly in the systemprofile and I can get data of that. So, I assume the port is functioning properly.

    To make sure the external drive is working and there's nothing wrong with the firewire cable, i connected the drive to my 'old' iMac (a core duo 17") and it all works fine. So, the device must be ok and the cable aswell.

    Any ideas what could be wrong?

    - Both macs run osx 10.4.10.
    - If I connect the drive using usb, it all functions correctly, i can even boot from the drive.

    Any help would be very much appreciated.
  2. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604


    Sep 8, 2002
    The Netherlands
    Reading that part does make you assume there is something wrong with the FireWire port of your new iMac (congrats on the purchase BTW :)).
    Any chance of connecting another external FW HD to try it out?
  3. MrMighty thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2007
    Thanks MacsRgr8. I was hoping it was a software issue since the DV does work on the same port.
  4. kbleicher macrumors newbie

    Jun 4, 2007
    Same Western Digital HD Mount problems with new iMac

    I'm having the same problem, but on a 24".

    To troubleshoot, I connected a LaCie via firewire and it mounted just fine, so it's not the Firewire on the new Mac (at least it's functioning).

    When I reconnect the WD to the old G4 iMac it mounts; it just won't mount on the new iMac. My best guess in an incompatiblity with firewire 400 drivers?

    Note that you can also mount the drive via USB; that worked for me (not the first time; I had to do it on the G4 first. Weird right?).

    I called WD and they told me that I'd have to mount via USB FIRST, unmount by dragging to the trash, then mounting via Firewire. Didn't help. I have an escalation case opened with WD but I have to wait 'til Monday when they're open.

    I've always had problems mounting the WD drive. I don't recommend these things...

    Anyone have any great ideas for mounting it or knowing how to confirm firewire 400 driver incompatibilities?

    Note that I already downloaded applicable drivers from WD and installed them via the G4. No help. :(

    UPDATE: I just daisy-chained the WD via my LaCie and it mounted. So the path is WD, Lacie, iMac. Power issues with the WD, etc.? Something's incompatible between it and the Mac evidently. Will let you know how reliable things are.
  5. mbalson macrumors member


    Aug 16, 2007
    Toronto, Ontario
    I am having the exact same problem.
    New iMac 20" 2.4 with WD MyBook 500GB. Works perfectly over USB but nothing using Firewire. Same as above, I tried the the MyBook with other computers and it mounts fine. If I use an old Firewire iPod with the new iMac it works fine as well.

    Seems like maybe this is something Apple needs to take a look at in order to avoid having people send back their new iMacs.(Which I was about to do)
  6. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004

    Since you have another iMac try booting it in target disk mode. Hold down the T key while booting. Then connect it to your new iMac as an external firewire hard drive, just to rule out Firewire problems. It could be a problem with the controller on the hard drive.

    You can also see if it shows in Disc Utility and try to mount it from there.

    Several years ago my roomate had a firewire hard drive that would not show on his iMac G4 but would work on my PowerMac G4. After a few months the enclosure failed completely in Firewire mode, USB still worked but USB 1.1 is a slow. Turns out after reading about it online the enclosure had serious problems with firewire, it was by ADS.
  7. kbleicher macrumors newbie

    Jun 4, 2007
    Escalated Case / Bug Report Open with WD

    See my previous post in its entirety. For a quick Workaround:

    Update: I have an escalated case open with WD to track all of this. They didn't sound too sure of Macs or LaCie, but they were nice about all of it. After going through my troubleshooting steps they opened a bug report and they expect to get back to me. I'll update the forum as I learn more.

    Update 2: I searched Apple's forum for a solution, and here's something that may be the real fix. I'll try it tonight:

    Here is the solution:
    -Go to your Mac HD: Library: LaunchDaemons
    -delete file: com.WD.WDDriveServices.plist(you will require your user password)

    Update 3: I gave up on Western Digital "tech" support. It'd be a great article for Fake Steve, however. I told them I have an iMac, and they had no idea what that meant. Seriously. And this is their escalation team. After being in voice mail jail (you have to sit through the entire RMA menu system before you can forward you case number) a number of times I finally gave up on them. The escalation engineer tried to phone me but it was always at a time other than what I relayed to him and work got in the way ;-) . My workaround will have to work. I just won't buy WD anymore.
  8. BornAgainMac macrumors 603


    Feb 4, 2004
    Florida Resident
    One of my drives had trouble with the Firewire interface with this external drive. It could be your drive that has the problem.

    In my situation, it didn't matter which Mac I used. Using FW800 or USB was my workaround.
  9. DippDippDipp macrumors newbie

    Sep 6, 2007
    Hey, look at that, same problem here too!

    New 24" iMac, WD 500GB MyBook Premium will not connect via FireWire 400. USB connection works fine, and the FireWire works through my 12" Powerbook. System Profiler shows max speed 800...

    Disk Utility and Target Disk Modes did not work. I also reset the PRAM and SMC as indicated in other forums regarding FireWire difficulties.

    Whoever figures this one out... keep us posted...
  10. Lazlow macrumors member

    Sep 6, 2007
    Same exact problem here!

    I have a MacBook, 2.16 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 1 GB RAM, and a WD MyBook Premium 320GB, and it won't work via the FireWire port, only through USB. It's a complete pain because the MacBook only has 2 USB ports, so I have to disconnect something every time I want to use it...

    I tried rolling back to previous FireWire drivers via the FireWireSDK24 but that didn't work. This is my first Mac so I can't test to see if the drive works on another computer. If anyone make ANY progress, please let me know...

    P.S. I don't have a com.WD.WDDriveServices.plist file in my LaunchDaemons folder...
  11. rsto10 macrumors newbie

    Sep 6, 2007
    Same Here

    Sounds like I'm in good company - does this sound familiar: New 20" 2.4GHz iMac with 320GB MyBook. Will mount with USB, but not with Firewire. However, I am replacing a 250GB MyBook and it mounts with Firewire and USB, no problem. I tried the 320GB with my G4 iBook and it mounts just fine. I've tried 2 different cable and nothing. I tried daisychaining the 320GB through the 250GB when it's mounted and then the 320GB is recognized - eject the 250 and the 320 stays mounted. Disconnect everything and go directly into the 320 and nothing! I thought it might be the drive so I had WD ship me a new 320GB drive and the exact same thing is happening. Any ideas or are we all in the same boat? Thanks!
  12. Vanilla macrumors 6502a

    Mar 19, 2002
    Atlanta, GA
    I Have a 250gb WD Mybook that wont mount either. At first I had it on the firewire 400 port and it worked for a while. Then I made the mistake of unmounting it and nothing would get it back.

    I connected my camcorder to the firewire 400 port to make sure the port worked and it was fine so that calmed me down a notch as I've just received the iMac. I then attached the HD via firewire 800 and that worked for a while also. However I then also put back the camcorder through the 400 port and after loading a bunch of video I've noticed the WD HD has vanished again.

    If its a software issue, cool I can handle that. If its a WD HD issue, then okay guess I'll have to buy a different make but I am crossing my fingers hard this is nothing to do with the iMac itself....

    Has anyone contacted Apple Help Desk??

  13. Vanilla macrumors 6502a

    Mar 19, 2002
    Atlanta, GA
    Just an fyi - I seem to have solved the issue.

    I re-connected the HD to my new 24" 2.8ghz iMac via a 6-port firewire 400 hub I had and this works a dream for some reason.

    I've ejected and re-mounted a number of times without issue. No idea why this works but it does....

    if you haven't got a firewire hub I figure its got to be cheaper than a new HD and could come in handy as well.


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