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funkuncut

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 22, 2013
7
1
I have been searching, but can't find a (clear to me!) answer yet....
I have a mid 2011 iMac running High Sierra.

I also have an old WD My Book Studio II which currently has two 1TB WD Green drives in it - they're old, so I'd like to change them.

I have two new 2TB WD Blue drives, but when I install them in the enclosure, it only comes up as 2.2TB. I have read that the WD Drive Utilities app is not very good, but it just won't work at all on my iMac - I have tried installing it several times, but no luck whatsoever.

Is there any way I can make this work and have a 4 TB drive? I have read of success even with 2 x 3TB to make a 6TB, but am I stuck with it as 2.2TB? If I install only one drive it doesn't appear at all, and it still works with 2 x 1TB, but I don't trust it for long term use.

I would like to keep using it, as it has Firewire, works well daisy-chained to my backup drive, and I am otherwise limited to USB 2 with my much-loved but antique iMac......

I'd be very grateful for any help or advice!
 

Brian33

macrumors 65816
Apr 30, 2008
1,397
339
USA (Virginia)
Can you get the two 2TB drives to show up as two separate drives?

I'm not familiar with that WD device -- it might be called "JBOD" mode (Just a Bunch Of Disks). It's not really a RAID mode. There may be a knob/switch setting on the back or inside the device, or maybe even a setting with the WD software.

If you can do that, then you could use certain 'diskutil' commands in Terminal.app to combine them into one 4TB volume. You could use 'diskutil appleRAID ...' commands to make them into a (software) RAID "stripe" (RAID 0) or "concat" (concatenated volume). Or, you could use 'diskutil coreStorage ...' commands to make a single concatenated volume.

Someone could probably help with the commands, if you're able to get both 2TB drives to mount separately.
 

funkuncut

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 22, 2013
7
1
I have the two 1TB drives back in it now, and it shows in Disk Utility as a 2TB drive. I don't know how to get it to appear as separate drives - is this something that can be done with Apple software, or does it have to be done from WD? (whose software simply doesn't work at all with my iMac) There are no switches or physical controls anywhere on the enclosure.....
 

Nguyen Duc Hieu

macrumors 68030
Jul 5, 2020
2,732
877
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
I have the two 1TB drives back in it now, and it shows in Disk Utility as a 2TB drive. I don't know how to get it to appear as separate drives - is this something that can be done with Apple software, or does it have to be done from WD? (whose software simply doesn't work at all with my iMac) There are no switches or physical controls anywhere on the enclosure.....

1. You need WD Drive Utilities (for Mac) to manage the RAID.
2. WD Drive Utilities only support Mojave or later Mac OS.
Maybe older version of WD Drive Utilities may work.

 

funkuncut

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 22, 2013
7
1
Thank you for that!
I've downloaded that version, which tells me:

That there are no drives attached, and to 'Attach a supported WD drive' - there are currently three WD drives attached to my iMac.....

and that 'The WD update server is currently unavailable.'
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,119
12,283
I'm going to take a completely off-the-wall GUESS and reckon that the controller in the old WD enclosure won't recognize two 2tb drives "together".
Perhaps you should set aside the old WD enclosure, and get something new.

Either a "standalone" enclosure, or perhaps a USB3/SATA docking station.
 

funkuncut

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 22, 2013
7
1
That's what I was afraid of (well, not really afraid....)
I suppose it's not really a big deal, but the advantage of these enclosures is that they have FireWire, and the iMac only has USB2. I already have a USB to SATA lead with separate power supply which I made for connecting a bare drive, which works fine, but it would be good to have the speed and daisychainability of FireWire. I know I should move with the times, but I don't actually need anything faster or 'better'.
Now, if there was a way to get USB3 from my old iMac........
 
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Brian33

macrumors 65816
Apr 30, 2008
1,397
339
USA (Virginia)
but it would be good to have the speed and daisychainability of FireWire. I know I should move with the times, but I don't actually need anything faster or 'better'.
I hear ya. I'm still using daisy chained FireWire drives with my 2012 Mac Mini -- works nicely. I'm also generally in favor of using using products for as long as feasible (good job with the 2011 iMac!).

I did find an online manual for your MyBook Studio II and from what I can tell you must use WD's software to change RAID mode, and there is no indication that you can even set it to show the disks independently (JBOD). http://sys2u.com/download/4779-705010.pdf

So I think you are out of luck.

Interestingly, I also noted that the manual says:
"Important: Only WD Caviar ® GP hard drive assemblies can be inserted into the
My Book Studio Edition II enclosure."

Sadly, it looks like it might be time to retire that enclosure, or add another. If it were me, I'd consider a modern "fast" USB 3.2 enclosure that can take your two 2TB drives, and use it for now with your iMac at USB 2.0 speeds. When you finally retire your current iMac, any new machine you get will be able to use the better USB 3.2 speeds at that time.

Alternatively, there must be used FireWire enclosures on eBay or somewhere for cheap...
 

funkuncut

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 22, 2013
7
1
Looks like giving up is the only option - you can only fight built-in obsolescence to a certain point.... The WD software just doesn't work - even with WD Discovery installed and recognising several WD drives, Drive Utility doesn't see any of them, even on a more recent MacBook Pro. I'll carry on using the two 1TB drives together in another system running as a media server, which doesn't get much use - when they give up, I'll just use one of the 2 TB drives. I don't often need another 4TB drive on the iMac - it already has one for media storage and one for backup. I just rather like the silver case of the Studio II.......
Thanks for the help!
 

ojfd

macrumors 6502
Oct 20, 2020
277
200
WD MyBook II is somewhat finicky and a bit of a pain in the behind. I have one here..
One definitely have to use tools written by WD to initialize/configure drives, because, as far as I understand, they write RAID configuration into drive's firmware (!).
I used WD Raid Manager 1.1.5 (part of WD Drive Manager 3.10.14, d/l link in the linked post below) on mine to do that. Only RAID 0 and RAID 1 are possible, no JBOD.
What firmware version does your WD MyBook II enclosure have? Updating it to the latest version might help, but there's no guarantee. The latest is 1.017, btw.

 
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ojfd

macrumors 6502
Oct 20, 2020
277
200
A little update, in case anyone is still interested.

I've got WD Red drives recognized and working in My Book Studio II. No extensive testing, but everything seems to be OK so far. WD Raid Manager app was able to configure the drives as either RAID0 or RAID1.
In fact, I have mixed 4TB and 6TB Reds installed. In RAID1 I get 4TB (3.726.02) mirrored capacity, in RAID0 - 7TB (7.452.03).

The drives are WD40EFRX and WD60EFRX. Both with 64MB cache. NASware 3.0.
 
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A little update, in case anyone is still interested.

I've got WD Red drives recognized and working in My Book Studio II. No extensive testing, but everything seems to be OK so far. WD Raid Manager app was able to configure the drives as either RAID0 or RAID1.
In fact, I have mixed 4TB and 6TB Reds installed. In RAID1 I get 4TB (3.726.02) mirrored capacity, in RAID0 - 7TB (7.452.03).

The drives are WD40EFRX and WD60EFRX. Both with 64MB cache. NASware 3.0.

Thank you for answering an idle question I’ve had for a few years.

I’ve been running a pair of WD Blue 4TB drives in mine for the last four years, and they work flawlessly. In the last year, I began to plan bringing in a pair of the newer, 8TB WD Blue drives, but it’s not been a high priority. Locally, though, WD Red drives come up on sale for prices competitive with the WD Blue series.

I already use other drives in the WD Red line for other use-cases, so your update is really helpful to know here, cheers. WD really didn’t want to answer the consumer question of very long-term upgradeability, as selling newer, Thunderbolt/USB 3.0 units would have been a priority for their external storage group. It’s just nice to know there aren’t firmware-based blocks on larger-capacity and even higher-spec drives within the WD line.

Next up: wondering whether WD Black HDDs also play nice. (I have a pair of softRAIDed 1TB WD Black drives on which I could test this — were those drives not already in use.)

Another unanswered/untested question: running a matched pair of WD SATA SSDs.
 
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ojfd

macrumors 6502
Oct 20, 2020
277
200
Another unanswered/untested question: running a matched pair of WD SATA SSDs.

I don't know about WD SSDs, but it rejected matched pair of Samsung EVO 860s. I doubt that SSDs by WD are any different, but who knows.. It's all about Raid Manager's ability to write RAID configuration info into drive's service area (firmware), I guess.
SSDs do work in WD Thunderbolt Duo, btw.
 
I don't know about WD SSDs, but it rejected matched pair of Samsung EVO 860s. I doubt that SSDs by WD are any different, but who knows.. It's all about Raid Manager's ability to write RAID configuration info into drive's service area (firmware), I guess.
SSDs do work in WD Thunderbolt Duo, btw.

I would not put it past any manufacturer which sells their own line of enclosures — with their own drives inside — to write firmware which will only respond to and play nice with disks which report themselves as being a member of that company’s line of products.

That said, I’m most liable to one day test the WD MyBook Studio II with WD Blue SSDs. If they work, then I’ll know the answer to that question. If not, there are many places in my Macs where SATA SSDs can live long, productive service lives.
 
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ojfd

macrumors 6502
Oct 20, 2020
277
200
Back to OP's problem, which, as it turns out, is not a problem at all.
I was fiddling with High Sierra (yuck!) and decided to check whether WD Raid Manager really can not be installed on HS. No, it can! ;) High Sierra complained after installation that the app is outdated, but that's all. I was able to change configuration to RAID1 and then back to RAID0. The only difference from the 'regular' High Sierra on my machine is that it is installed on HFS+ volume, not APFS.
 

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ojfd

macrumors 6502
Oct 20, 2020
277
200
By the way, if anyone ever manages to brick his/her My Book Studio II, just PM me. I have a solution. And no, there's no money involved :) It's just that I don't want to publish this stuff.
 
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Lahezis

macrumors newbie
Apr 16, 2023
2
0
By the way, if anyone ever manages to brick his/her My Book Studio II, just PM me. I have a solution. And no, there's no money involved :) It's just that I don't want to publish this stuff.
I have WD Studio II and cant change RAID status on Mac OS Monterey. Have you any solution for this issue?
Best regards, Nenad
 

ojfd

macrumors 6502
Oct 20, 2020
277
200
In order to do that you have to use WD Raid Manager and OS that supports 32 bit applications. You should be able to set it permanently to RAID0 or RAID1 in older OS and then use it on Monterey, I think.
 

ojfd

macrumors 6502
Oct 20, 2020
277
200
@Lahezis please report what the results are. It might be useful for someone in the future.

(I don't do anything past HS, so I have no way to verify it).
 

ojfd

macrumors 6502
Oct 20, 2020
277
200
Bought myself a new toy - LaCie Thunderbolt to eSata hub and decided to speed test WD My Book Studio II with its original 1TB drives in RAID1 mode using eSata port. Since Thunderbolt is faster than eSata, this test shows the true speed capability of WD MBII. The results speak for themselves. Not bad for the old Green drives, I have to say.

Why is all that? Well, there are USB3 to eSata converter cables (with some electronics box in the middle) available and those potentially could allow to use WD MBII on machines that only have USB3 ports. Gained speed will be a bonus.

The minus is that one can't configure RAID over eSata, this has to be done using USB2 port on the enclosure and using OS that can run WD Raid Manager. Do that and then move the enclosure to whatever machine you have.
 

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