iMac refuses to recognize external FW drive

Discussion in 'iMac' started by boer, Apr 24, 2008.

  1. boer macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2006
    #1
    My mid-2007 iMac refuses to recognize an external WD My Book Studio 500 GB on FW connectivity ("Unknown device"). With USB it works fine. The weird part is that I have two of these drives and the other works perfectly! I had the other replaced but it is the same. I also have a Maxtor FW drive that works flawlessly.

    I have tried every trick I could google and without results. I am very frustrated at this at the moment! :mad:

    I have 10.5.2. Tried to reinstall but the combo updater says my hard drive does not meet the requirements. Thanks for not telling what those are.
     
  2. Vocalvoodoo macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    #2
    I have the exact same problem with a MyBook. The only way I can get it to work, for some reason, is connecting it, then connecting another firewire device to the MyBook. Doesn't work 100% of the time though.
     
  3. dborja macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2007
    Location:
    Northern California
    #3
    I had the same problem with my Maxtor OneTouch III. What I did was connect to the USB port of the drive and, once my iMac saw the drive, connect to the FW port and disconnect the USB port. Of course, the iMac would complain about a USB device being improperly disconnected but it worked...

    A more permanent solution was to go ahead and install the backup utility that came with the OneTouch. It appeared to install a FW driver and now my iMac sees the drive from cold start and from sleep mode.

    You might try these with your WD MyBooks...
     
  4. vansouza macrumors 68000

    vansouza

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2006
    Location:
    West Plains, MO USA Earth
    #4
    No solutions but this is why I hate all flavors of that drive. I keep two of them on my XP PC just because they will not work with my Macs.
     
  5. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #5
    Many Firewire problems are reported with this drive. One suggestion is to try different brands / length of cable.

    Speculate that the FW input of the drive is marginal, and different cable impedances are enough to tip it over the edge.
     
  6. boer thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2006
    #6
    Sadly this doesn't work in many case at all.
     
  7. boer thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2006
    #7
    I did install the software but it didn't fix the problem. However, the USB/FW switch a roo seems to do the trick! I'll report more later...
     
  8. dborja macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2007
    Location:
    Northern California
    #8
    Did you reset the SMC and the PRAM after installing the software?
     
  9. boer thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2006
    #9
    I have tried those but frankly I do not believe WD software has anything to do with it. I have one MyBook that has worked as expected, and the other (once replaced) that does not. This leads me to believe there are different revisions of this device some of which have firewire problems at least when used with my iMac revision.

    After the USB/FW switching the device will work until it is turned off. After that the same trick is needed again. It will resume from power saving mode (sleeping) correctly.

    I will let you know what I will learn from WD support (if anything).
     
  10. dborja macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2007
    Location:
    Northern California
    #10
    Yes, that was my experience too before the problem was fixed by installing the Maxtor software in my case.

    Keep us posted. Hopefully, WD support will have a one-size-fits-all fix...
     
  11. nando2323 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2007
    #11
    I have ready in many different forums that firewire has alot of problems in these drives because the firmware goes haywire when you try to daisy chain them. Are you trying to daisy chain the drives? If this is the case that might be the root of all your problems. I think the problem lies when it tries to assign an unique ID to the daisy chained drive and it craps out. I know I have read this somewhere before I just cannot recall where I read it.
     
  12. dcx macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2008
    #12
    Have you tried updating the firmware for the drive.

    http://support.wdc.com/download/index.asp?cxml=n&pid=39&swid=60

    I'm not sure if that will solve your problem but it's worth a try. One possible problem with installing this update is that it needs to be connected to the firewire port first.

    I personally do not own this drive but in my on going search for a external drive I came about the above info.

    Good Luck!
     
  13. CWallace macrumors 601

    CWallace

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #13
    I just bought a My Book Studio Edition 750GB connected via FW800 from the iMac to it and then via FW400 from it to a Maxtor One Touch 500GB (which is configured as my Time Machine store).

    Only had it up for about three hours, so I can't really offer any insights or assistance, but so far it seems to be okay. Copied 250GB from an external USB enclosure and will tonight start a copy from the iMac's HDD. If I see anything untoward, I'll chime in here.
     
  14. dXTC macrumors 68020

    dXTC

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Up, up in my studio, studio
    #14
    Serendipity...?

    I just logged in to start a thread about this very topic.

    My iMac's Time Machine store is a WD MyBook Pro 250 Gb. I had it working for a few months on FW 800. Recently, however, it "unmounted itself." (Not a power glitch; I have a voltage-regulating UPS supplying power to both the iMac and MyBook.) Now, it refuses to mount using the FW800 as a connection.

    Strangely enough, it mounts and works fine with the FW 400 connection. (Thank goodness-- I have a bit of stuff stored on that drive!)

    I bought a Belkin FW 800 cable from my local Apple Store today, in hopes of a quick fix (sometimes hardware companies throw in very cheaply made accessories such as cables). No such luck.

    So it's one of these things:
    • The MyBook's FW800 port;
    • The MyBook's firmware needs an update;
    • or the worst-case scenario: the iMac's FW 800 port has malfunctioned.

    Any advice? I have no other FW 800 hardware to test either port separately.
    Better yet: Is there any internal diagnostic tool available for the iMac's FW 800 port?
     
  15. dXTC macrumors 68020

    dXTC

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Up, up in my studio, studio
    #15
    UPDATE:

    After finding this Apple support discussion thread, I performed an SMC reset (waited about 20 minutes before reconnecting everything) as one of the posters indicated. My WD MyBook now properly works via FW 800.

    Of course, your mileage may vary. Good luck.
     
  16. boer thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2006
    #16
    I noticed that your problem was solved but it doesn't sound like we had the same issue anyway. In my case neither of the firewire modes was working.

    I have some good news though. The drive appears risen from the dead! I was able to start up the device with USB and then upgrade it's firmware using firewire. All seems to be in order now. :D
     

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