WD Passport Studio FW800 issues

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Ruahrc, Aug 10, 2009.

  1. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2009
    I bought a WD Passport studio back in January to serve as a Time Machine backup for my old PBG4 as well as for extra storage as the internal 60GB HD was filling up. I had originally purchased a Toshiba USB portable HD but found that the USB ports on my 15" PBG4 could not power the drive without using dual USB ports. I sold that drive and bought the Passport instead which had FW800 so plenty of juice.

    It ran with no problems for months until recently when I upgraded my laptop to a MBP13". I purchased a Time Capsule around this time too so back up the MBP13" using that but I still use the Passport for external storage. I did not repartition or reformat the external drive when I stopped using my old mac, simply just ignore the Time Machine backup on it (I'm keeping that around until I sell the PBG4 on craigslist) and use the other partition I put on it as usual. However, I have noticed recently that when I'm using the drive via FW800 (like I prefer) sometimes the drive totally locks up the computer. It will happen when I am transferring large data from the internal to the external drive.

    I have run it using the USB 2.0 connection instead and I don't seem to have the same trouble. I can more reliably transfer large files to/from the drive using the USB cable vs. FW800.

    I read online that I am not the only one with this problem. But does anyone have a fix? Or am I forced to use it via USB until there is some kind of fix? Ideally I'd like to keep using it on FW800 since I leave the short USB cable that the drive came with hooked up to the Time Capsule where I occasionally connect the hard drive to for network access. Besides FW800 is faster than USB2 and in particular this drive seems to perform better using the FW800 connection (except for the freezing now!)

    It was working with no problems with my old mac and only recently on the new mac did I notice these freezeups. They are pretty severe too as they hard-lock the entire computer requiring a hard reboot.

    I bring this drive to and from work every day and use it to sync up some folders between my laptop at home and an iMac at work. Since the iMac has FW400 port I leave the FW400-800 cable that came with the studio at work and connect it to the iMac using that. At home I use the FW800-800 cable. I've been doing this ever since I had the drive and have not had freezing issues on the iMac ever. Sometimes it stays connected to the iMac for many hours as I hook it up in the morning and disconnect it in the evening when I leave and never any trouble.

    Since the iMac at work is a C2D, it doesn't seem to be an intel-mac thing... but I used it with no problems on my PBG4 for so long?

    Anything I can do? Perhaps I should contact WD support.

  2. angemon89 macrumors 68000


    Feb 5, 2008
    The place where Apple designs stuff
    I do know that there was a firmware upgrade for the Studio drives. Did you ever download that? Maybe that will fix the problem?
  3. Ruahrc thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2009
    Can you point out a link for that update? I looked on the WD website but could not find it, perhaps I'm glossing over it.

    I did find a WD My Book Studio firmware update, but the drive I have is the portable Passport, not the 3.5" AC-powered MyBook.

    Everybody recommends those OWC drive enclosures but man are they ugly! Anything a little more stylish? Vain I know but hey this is macrumors! :)

  4. gwerhart0800 macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2008
    Loveland, CO
  5. macjunk(ie) macrumors 6502a

    Aug 12, 2009
    hmmm...Even I have similar issues with my passport studio..I have contacted customer support..lets see what happens..
    Meanwhle..can you try doing this ? --> fsck_hfs /dev/<your device comes here>.
    I did this and the disk seemed to stay connected for longer periods...
    Also..check what your console log says when you connect ur disk via firewire..mine blabbers about some self node thingy..dnt remember exactly...

    Curiously..the drive was wrkin perfectly till i installed clamxav...clamxav starts to run...time machine starts to back up at the same time..within a few minutes...the drive conks out...
  6. Ruahrc thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2009
    The clamxav thing seems to make sense, as heavy I/O is what seems to cause the drives to lock up. I have no real trouble using it when I just transfer a few files here and there (documents, etc) but if I try to move on or move off gigs of digital photos, it seems to lock up pretty consistently. Running clamxav and backing up TM at the same time would certainly be a period of heavy I/O.

  7. logics8 macrumors member

    Oct 14, 2008

    you gotta go into the disk utility and repartition the harddrive into the GUID format, right now i think its in the Apple Partition map which is for PPC only
  8. thleeal macrumors regular

    Jun 24, 2009
    fat 32

    hey how large is the disk image, if its like a wii game image or a full size DVD iso, then beware, fat 32 has a transfer size limit of 4gb. it could be that. although that dosent explain the locking up.

    anyways thanks for the heads up i wa going to buy that drive but i guess ill go with the seagate 1tb desktop instead.

    i mean really, who puts 160 in a 900 pound laptop these days!

    sayin that i still payd for it!!!!

    hahah peace
  9. macjunk(ie) macrumors 6502a

    Aug 12, 2009
    yeah..i thought so too...but no :)
    After this...i think the drive's firewire port has completely conked out...talked to a service rep..and he said I might have to replace my drive...damn!!!!
  10. macjunk(ie) macrumors 6502a

    Aug 12, 2009
    Just an update guys..to my surprise...i connected the drive today to my mac...and just like that..it starts working..on firewire 800!!!! great!!! keeping my fingers crossed..i think it was a problem with my mac to begin with....

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