Western Digital drive firewire failure under Leopard

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Martin_Feldman, Apr 5, 2009.

  1. Martin_Feldman macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    #1
    When a wd hard drive (terabyte mybook) is not recognized by a Mac running leopard connect the drive to the mac using USB to check the drive. If it is ok then insert the Techtool pro 4.6.1 disc into the Mac and boot from it choosing the edrive by pressing option key on bootup. The techtool disc runs OS 10.4.2. Then zap the PRAM, allowing THREE cycles before releasing the four keys for the zap. Connect the drive's power and then the Firewire 800 cord and you should see the wd icon come up on the yellow eDrive desktop. When you reboot (option Key) choose your usual hard drive as bootup and you should see the wd icon on your 10.5.x This has held up for me for a month and I feel it is the best workaround until Apple upgrades the Leopard firewire code.
    There are no wd driver upgrades necessary. All is handled by the Mac OS.
    Martin_Feldman
     
  2. Sebby macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
    #2
    I haven't had any trouble with my WD drive. I thought the firmware update from WD fixed this problem?
     
  3. Martin_Feldman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    #3
    about trouble with the wd 1terabyte and firewire using Mac Leopard

    Maybe the latest wd offerings have something new on them or the latest versions of Leopard (I have upgraded to 10.5.6) have something my one year old WD drive is missing. Mine worked under Tiger and started to fail intermittently after I installed Leopard and then all its offered upgrades. Once it ailed to show up at all even after disconnecting and repowering the drive and then plugging in the firewire, I knew I was in trouble and found many complaints in various forums and discussion groups dating from 2007 to the present.Some had their own solutions which worked for them including downloaded "updates" from wd. Itried them all and all failed. Wd support suggested connecting via the drive's USB port and agreed to replace the drive if that failed to connect. It DID show on my desktop and worked (though very slowly) showing the drive to be OK. I decided to find a solution to the firewire problem by collating others' experiences and trying some trials of my own. The first thing I did was zap the PRAM running 10.5.6 and letting it cycle THREE Times, Then I opened my computer with my original Techtools 4.6.1 disc which starts with Mac OS 10.4.2 . Note that I had created an eDrive on my internal HD on late 2007 when I bought the imac and the yellow eDrives yellow desktop opened. When I powered the wd drive and then attached the firewire 800 cord from computer to wd terabyte its icon appeared! Then, with heart in mouth, I rebooted with my option key down and chose my fully updated and pram-zapped internal drive. The wd terabyte icon was preserved and is with me still. I am offering this tale to similar sufferers. I hope it works for them. I am humbly not prepared to explain this technically. It worked for me, maybe instinct, maybe luck. Maybe it is no longer a problem to new buyers of the HD and new Macs. I just do not wantt users to automatically can an older drive as useless. Incidentally, I am a 79 year old retired general surgeon who still loves a diagnostic challenge and a surviving patient.
    Thanks for listening Martin_Feldman
     
  4. jnc macrumors 68020

    jnc

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2007
    Location:
    Nunya, Business TX
    #4
    My Western Digital MyBook Pro didn't like the transfer to Leopard, and eventually gave up the ghost. I wasn't smart enough to back up my backup...

    This happened when I purchased a Mac Pro, my first Leopard machine. The drive had worked fine on my previous models running Tiger... could just be coincidence, but I bought a secondary drive for use with the Mac Pro and had no problems with that drive. Yet.
     
  5. Martin_Feldman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    #5
    Western Digital firewire and Leopard

    Drive failures are a touchy subject.Western Digital indeed has good product and has been very good to me. Almost too quick to take the blame and issue an RMA.
    Running on Tiger my !TB external was fine after a WD tech told me to tap the case when it failed to fire up. It worked (the power button was known to stick). I had one comment from someone who tried it and solved his problem too... also a sarcastic comment from an Askville habitue from Canada implying the panacea was as ridiculous as it sounds. Actually, that is my present reason for posting. Once you get Leopard, the Firewire port on the mac is either dead or intermittently functional. I thought I had found a workaround by dropping back to Tiger on my eDrive, connecting the wd 1000 with FIREWIRE 800 and rebooting with my internal drive. I was amazed that the icon appeared and Time Machine was in business! I waited a week through many reboots and sleep periods and made an earnest announcement that the process appeared solid. WRONG!!! My drive again dropped back to a USB only and WD is sending a replacement that "will work" with my system.
    Best to all, Martin
     
  6. OldCorpse macrumors 65816

    OldCorpse

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2005
    Location:
    compost heap
    #6
    So is the problem a firmware issue with WD drives, or wonky Apple FW? In other words, what is the origin of the problems? I only ask cause I got a sh|t ton of WD drives, and would hate to have to send them all in.
     
  7. djgaryb11 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2009
    #7
    Western Digital Firewire 400 issues

    I just purchased a Western Digital My Book Home Edition 1 TB....it works fine using USB2, and i was able to reformat the drive for Mac using USB2...but when I try to use the Firewire 400 connection instead of USB2, My 24 inch Imac ( 2008 model), does not even recognize the drive. After searching online for fixes, nothing seemed to work. I also have an OWC external hard drive that has FireWire 800, 400, and usb2 connections. I had it connected to my Imac with Firewire 800, and even after disconnecting that drive...and only connecting the Western Digital Drive using Firewire 400 it still was not recognized by the IMac. I then Plugged my OWC Drive back into my IMAC using the Firewire 800 cable....and then plugged the Western Digital Drive, using the Firewire 400 Cable into ( daisy chained) into my OWC Drive, and My Imac recognized the drive and it works no problem this way. Both drives seem to work fine using this daisy chain method. Am I right in assuming that the Western Digital Drive will be working at the firewire 400 speed, even though it is not plugged directly into my Mac , but through my other drive ?
     
  8. abidixil macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    #8
    Western Digital Firewire 400 issues

    I had the same problem, WD My Book did not want to take the Backup with FIrewire or USB. It started and stopped after some 15 GB copy.
    So I did a reformatting as Mac OS Extended Journaled (Disk Utility - Erase)
    and did a GUID partitioning (Disk utility - paritioning - select partition 1 - select GUID).
    Firewire connections kept having SAME problem.... BUT
    THEN I SWITCHED FROM THE FIREWIRE WIRE TO THE USB, and everything seems to work OK now...
    SO I believe there is a problem with the Firewire controller but there also is some bug at the formatting/partitioning level.
    I came to the conclusion that in order to use Mac Backup with this drive one only can connect via USB and need reformat/partioning.
     
  9. jw2002 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
    #9
    I think it is pretty well established that it is bad WD firmware. The WD MyBooks are famous for spontaneously dying, all firmware being zapped such that the drive thinks it is zero capacity! The actual drive media is still intact and can be recovered using various PC based SATA utilities to restore the firmware and size parameters (requiring you to open the MyBook enclosure, remove the drive from SATA-to-usb/firewire bus, and connect to a pc using the SATA connection). I think WD drives are a bad idea until they demonstrate that their firmware has finally stabilized.
     
  10. snouo79 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    #10
    My experience:

    I have a WD, 1Tb, with usb 2.0, FW400 e FW800 connections. I'm using the FW800 without any problem.

    If can help you, I have an iMac 24" early 2009 with ATI4850.

    Ciao

    Fabio
     
  11. SelfMadeCelo macrumors regular

    SelfMadeCelo

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    Location:
    Tulare, CA
    #11
    I just bought a 1TB My Book with two Firewire 400 ports, USB and eSata. The drive will show up when connected via USB but won't show up when connected through Firewire. When I connect the drive it'll light up and start but never mount. I did the firmware update and everything. Even installed the WD Turbo drivers. Still nothing.
     
  12. Smacky macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    #12
    Same here
    WD Studio 1TB, works fine under USB
    But firewire is intermittent at the best at times and non functional (not detected) most of the time
    Tested with Vista and OSX, upgraded firmware too
     
  13. zzzzz macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2009
    #13
    I had a problem with my WD 1TB HD not mounting when using firewire, however it mounted fine when using USB. Weird. The disk even mounted when plugging it into my other mac. Even weirder.

    I tried everything short of reformatting my disk, however i was right about to. I deiced to buy a relatively inexpensive firewire hub (about $20) from amazon and it mounts fine. The HD still wont mount when plugged directly in to the comp but that's worth not reinitializing my disk. Not the best solution but a working one.

    P.S. Hub i bought is the Belkin Firewire/USB hub designed for the mac mini. Works great with my iMac.
     
  14. OldCorpse macrumors 65816

    OldCorpse

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2005
    Location:
    compost heap
    #14
    Good to know. I'm still on Tiger, and have a ton of WD 2TB MyBook drives, and no problem with mounting - running fine and hooked up as media servers 24/7 since April when I bought them. Not a single problem (though irritating when they go to sleep and it takes forever to spin up again, but I digress). HOWEVER, soon I'll be buying either a mini or (next year) iMac, and it'll be obviously SL. So I worried about these reports how there are FW problems with WD drives on SL. BUT I was going to buy a FW/USB hub anyway - it's ridiculous how Apple thinks one measly FW connection is enough! Now I'm glad to hear that it will actually solve the whole problem!

    Anyone else can confirm that this takes care of the problem?
     

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