WD My Book Firewire... always on?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by bensaunders, Nov 18, 2008.

  1. bensaunders macrumors newbie

    Nov 18, 2008

    I just purchased a WD My Book 1TB external drive for my intel iMac and I decided to connect it via Firewire. I have another that is connected by USB and when I shut down the Mac the hard drive also shuts down, but with the new one connected via Firewire it doesn't and the light remains on!

    Is this right? Should the light remain on?

    Is it a problem for the harddrive to be constantly powered?


    Ben Saunders
  2. themoonisdown09 macrumors 601


    Nov 19, 2007
    Georgia, USA
    I have a WD My Book 500GB external hard drive and it turns off when my machine turns off. Mine also sleeps after a certain time with no activity. You'll hear the drive spin down and then the light slowly fades away.

    Mine is 2 years old, so I don't know if they changed things with newer versions.
  3. richard.mac macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2007
    51.50024, -0.12662
    sounds like the hard drive is spinning down but the power remains on as indicated by the LED on your case.

    thats fine as thats exactly what my OWC external does and its been running fine.
  4. themoonisdown09 macrumors 601


    Nov 19, 2007
    Georgia, USA
    Maybe I misunderstood the OP. If the hard drive has stopped spinning but the light is still on, that is perfectly normal. The light just indicates that it is connected to a power source.
  5. bensaunders thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 18, 2008

    Is your connected via Firewire or USB?


  6. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    This is exactly what it does.
  7. ayzee macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2008
    have you tried updating the firmware from the WD Site? New fimwste was released in September
  8. themoonisdown09 macrumors 601


    Nov 19, 2007
    Georgia, USA
    I had it connected by Firewire for the first year, now it is connected by USB. Both ways acted exactly the same for me.

    Edit: I switched from having it connected by Firewire to USB because I have it hooked up to my Airport Extreme Base Station, which does not have a Firewire port on it.
  9. jawknee macrumors newbie

    Nov 5, 2008

    I found this thread trying to resolve a problem. I have a number of peripherals in a music studio connected to my Mac Book Pro. The computer related peripherals are connected to a controlled switch that shuts them off then the mac book power usage drops below a threshold.

    Unfortunately, a feature of the newer Mac Books is that they supply firewire power when the computer is off, but plugged in.

    Without the firewire drives, my setup draws about a watt off. If I leave the firewire drives plugged into the Mac FW800 port, then the "off" power is 16 watts.

    This is enough power to make it difficult to adjust the power switch - it will occasionally oscillate, turning on, the drives get wall power and use less firewire power, the switch turns off - the drives draw more firewire power and the cycle repeats on-and-off every second or so until I either unhook the firewire or laptop power, or adjust the switch - unfortunately, then the switch sometimes cuts out while I'm using the computer...!

    The only solution to this is to remember to unplug the drives once power is off (which during an update, can be quite a wait), and remember to plug them back in - and I don't think the firewire plug is intended for that), to find a way to block firewire power (I don't need it), or to convince the Mac to not supply power.

    I've had no luck finding an option for that - it would seem a very "green" think for Apple to do to allow us to turn off the always on when plugged in feature.

    I've also thought using a FW800 hub might do the trick, but I've seen no such beast.


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