Western Digital intelligent drive management auto on/off does not work on firewire?


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 12, 2007
just got myself a western digital my book pro 500gb external hard drive but however hard i try (searching the WD faqs/forums) i cannot get a definitive on whether the intelligent drive managment feature of turning on/off automatically to the behaviour of my MBP is applicable with a firewire 400/800 connection.

the HD will only power off completely when connected to a USB interface but not on the firewire 400/800 ones. when i connect the HD on firewire 800 and turn the MBP off, it emits a pulse every 5 seconds... granted that the HD seems off as there are no audible activity when i put my ears near it but why is it able to power off completely on the usb connection and not on a firewire one? it's a little strange.

is there something wrong with my hard drive or is it one of those unmentioned glitches? i bought the hard drive for the firewire 800 interface and the auto on/off feature but it's very disappointing when the latter does not function as advertised. any one has experiences with the My Book range of hard drives and are able to offer a little perspective?


macrumors 6502a
Sep 6, 2007
That seems to be the case as I am having the same issue. I haven't tested it under Windows XP via Bootcamp but I suspect it may work just fine. A lot of times it's just the shoddy drivers that these companies neglect on the Mac side.

Our setup are identicle except I have the MyBook Pro II.


macrumors G3
Mar 20, 2007
Let me try to understand this better.

Your hard drive does not go into standby mode when connected by Firewire, but it does when connected by USB. Also, your hard drive doesn't go into standby even if your Mac goes to sleep.

How long do you leave your hard drive to go into standby mode? You aren't doing anything active with it are you?

I find my Mac will do something to the hard drive (maintanence?) if it isn't being used by me, which will also prevent it from going to standby.


macrumors 6502
Jan 17, 2006
Not that I paid much attention to the manual.. but thought the pulsing every 5 seconds was 'standby mode' which was the 'feature' in terms of intelligent power rather than it totally powering off...

the other thing is safe switch off - when you push the button it powers down safely (or something :eek:)

i just got a mybook pro 500gb a few weeks ago and just leave it on (goes into standby after 5mins of no use or when i sleep my mac)


macrumors 6502a
Sep 6, 2007
With USB, it will go to sleep instead of standby when your machine is turned off; as it should. With FireWire, when you shut down the computer, it will still be pulsating consuming power. One other gripe is the inner ring otherwise referred to as the capacity ring. It doesn't display correctly. Not uniformly lit on my unit. Minor gripes but would be nice if it worked as advertised.