Multi user iMac, FW drive only for me

Discussion in 'OS X Yosemite (10.10)' started by andyhof, Dec 6, 2014.

  1. andyhof macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2011
    I have iMac mid 2011 2.7Ghz running yosemite.

    Three user accts, one admin, 2 other kids.

    I have a few external hard drives holding photos, movies, music.

    The one hard drive (
    WD 2TB My Book Studio Edition II Quad Interface External Hard Drive) is the drive I am asking questions about.

    I currently have it connected via FW800 and it is the only drive using FW.

    This drive has a power switch but it still turns on all by itself when anyone logs onto the iMac. (it's not an "old school" rocker power switch.. its a newer type of button)

    When I use the iMac, I would like to have access to the drive... and allow the drive to power up, mount, spin and function.

    When the kids come home after school and power up the iMac, i do not want the said drive to power up, mount ..... I want it to remain off, dormant.

    is this a possibility?
  2. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    If you prefer to have that FW drive available only for your use, then unplug when you don't need it. You would unmount (eject) the drive, then either disconnect the data cable, or the power connection for the drive - which ever is more convenient for you.
  3. NoBoMac macrumors 68000

    Jul 1, 2014
    If there is anything on the drive that is personal in nature (eg. account numbers, SSNs, etc), might want to encrypt the drive.

    In addition to security should the drive disappear from the home, requires password to mount, so, when kids on the computer, no password, won't mount. On your account, enter password, tick the "remember in Keychain" box, will mount anytime you use the drive.

    And go into Preferences > Energy Saver and check "power drives down when possible".

    Hopefully, that will keep the drive from spinning up (since not mounted for kids), or at minimum, won't mount for kids and won't have the heads seeking across the spinning platters.
  4. andyhof thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2011
    nothing personal on the drive, just uncompressed music -, but encryption sounds like it just might be the ticket. in the process now, will report back

  5. bmac89 macrumors 65816


    Aug 3, 2014
    Password Protect External Media

    Do you have any good suggestions for password protecting external media on mac?

  6. NoBoMac macrumors 68000

    Jul 1, 2014
    Right-click on the disk/volume on the desktop, and "Encrypt".

    Let it do it's thing (might take a while, depending on USB/Firewire speed and disk size).

    Disk needs to be Mac OS Extended format.

    diskutil cs list | grep Conver
    From a Terminal window to see how far along encryption process is.
  7. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    Already suggested in post #3 and #6 above - if you want the drive to be secure, you can encrypt the drive, which will result in the drive being password protected.
  8. andyhof thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2011
    Finished encryption.

    2TB drive with 1.36TB of used space took nearly 27 hours to encrypt.
    Now when powering up mac, password is asked for and if you hit "cancel" (as my kids will do) the drive does not allow access, does not spin and eventually powers down completely. It also will not appear in finder. Nice ! So, success, thanks.

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