Two FW HDD daisy chained - drives won't turn off anymore

Discussion in 'iMac' started by popsyblue, Apr 8, 2012.

  1. popsyblue macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2012
    Dear all,

    I have recently bought a second FW HDD as I have "outgrown" my first one. In order to use both, I have daisy chained them with the included FW cables. Both drives mount when I start my iMac. So far so good.

    The setup with two drives is as follows:
    iMac -- FW Port -- HDD1 -- HDD2

    I have encountered two problems though so far:

    When I turn off my iMac (shutdown), the daisy chained drives don't turn off. The drives just go to sleep and the status LED keeps blinking. When only one drive is connected, the HDD turns off completely, which is how I expect it to work.

    When I remove power from my computer (and the two drives), the drives turn off completely. However, when power returns, they start humming away immediately. With only one drive connected to my iMac, the drive would not move until the iMac is turned on (as I would expect it to work).

    Now the support of the HDD manufacturer says: The drives work as expected. This is a joke, right ?!

    What is your experience when daisy chaining drives with regards to standby and turning off the drives?

    Thanks for any advice.

  2. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

    May 6, 2004
    On my Mac mini, I eject/unmount my FireWire hard drives but their lights stay on, even though the the drives spin down and stay silent.

    I run my Mac mini 24x7, so I haven't noticed if the lights stay on when the computer is off. I'll check on it for you. I have USB versions of the same drives so I will check on that too.

    At some point it was a "feature" that the computer could be powered off but still send enough power over FireWire to charge an iPod.

    In general, I've been disappointed in the quality of the implementation of FireWire by WD and Seagate, considering the premium they charge.
  3. popsyblue thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2012
    Dear spacepower7,

    Thanks in advance for your testing efforts.

  4. Feed Me macrumors 6502a

    Feed Me

    Jan 7, 2012
    Location Location
    We have a single Iomega FireWire drive plugged into our iMac for backups, and the drive doesn't shut off until the mains power is turned off. It also turns on and spins up when the mains is turned on again, regardless of the state of the iMac.

    I always thought this was how it was supposed to work, and it never really bothered me.
  5. AppleNewton macrumors 68000


    Apr 3, 2007
    1 Finite Place
    could be the other drive is taking power/source from the other drive as FireWire can be a source of power (Powered drives, etc) so it might have that going on, and especially if the imac is plugged into power.

    do they have power switches on the drives or no?
    if they power down and the LED lights are on, its either indicating it has source power - but if theyre spinning it could be its getting that extra source power form the other drive possibly.

    i wouldnt say the drive is defective or anything, its just kind of the way some drives recognize power sources if anything.
  6. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

    May 6, 2004
    I'll do a restart tomorrow, been serving iTunes music and video to the family for several days off the Mac mini.

    I think my old bright light Seagates have a touch button that spins them down, we'll see what happens. I also have several WD drives and will try with them.

    Sorry it takes so long to give a definitive answer.
  7. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

    May 6, 2004
    I shut off my 2009 Mac Mini and the lights on the 2 FireWire drives and 4 USB drives all turned off, while still powered by the mains. The FireWire drives are old Seagate and the USB drives are 2010 WD drives.

    I'm not sure what's going on in your case.
  8. popsyblue thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2012
    Hi spacepower7,

    thanks for performing these tests.

    One more question though - the two FW disks are also daisy-chained?



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