Western Digital My Passport USB drive Time Machine problems

Discussion in 'macOS High Sierra (10.13)' started by neliason, Dec 5, 2017.

  1. neliason macrumors 6502

    Oct 1, 2015
    I have a problem with a family member’s Western Digital My Passport drives. He has a 27” 2017 iMac. He has two new WD USB 3 drives. They are regularly swapped and used for Time Machine backups, but they are unreliable. He gets a message titled “Time Machine couldn’t complete the backup to...”, “Unable to complete backup. An error occurred while creating the backup folder”.

    If he ejects the drive, unplugs it and the plugs it back in it will backup just fine. He says he can put the iMac to sleep, then wake it up and manually force a backup. If he does this it backs up. But other times he can wake the machine and find this error.

    Does anyone have any ideas?

    I don’t think this is related but I also couldn’t reformat these drives to HFS+ when I got them using Apple’s Disk Utilty. I couldn’t rename the drive either. I had to use the Western Digital utility to reformat the drive. After that I could rename the drive.

    Is Western Digital to blame for this nonsense or Apple? I’ve used WD drives in the past and loved them, but this is unacceptable.
  2. simonsi macrumors 601


    Jan 3, 2014
    If the drives only format with their own utility then that points to it being a WD problem - but I've not heard of any specific problem like this...
  3. ChuckInVegas macrumors newbie


    Aug 27, 2017
    In The Lab
    Similar setup here. in System Preferences, Energy Saver, un-select "Put hard disks to sleep when possible."
  4. dhark01 macrumors newbie


    Dec 6, 2017
    Hi there!

    I had the same problem. Just remove the WD DriveUtilityHelper from the Login items in your Users & Group Control Panel. That did the trick for me.
  5. neliason thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 1, 2015
    Thanks. It makes sense that would work because it seems to be a sleep/power/wake issue. But that is obviously not the ideal setup. We’d like our drives to spin down and not use as much power when not in use.

    Incidentally these drives seem to vibrate more and make more noise than my older My Passports (the model before this split texture case). These don’t seem like and improvement.

    Thanks. I’ll check for that. I thought I removed the utility itself. I didn’t want to install the stupid utility and only did to format the drive. I’d love to know why Apple’s Disk Utility couldn’t format it.
  6. dianeoforegon macrumors 6502a


    Apr 26, 2011
    Use the Terminal to reformat.
    Check for the exact name of the disk:

    sudo diskutil list

    Force format the disk:

    sudo diskutil erasedisk JHFS+ Untitled /dev/disk<number>
  7. neliason thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 1, 2015
    The problem seems to have resolved by updating to High Sierra 10.13.2. The notes on the update mention USB audio devices, but apparently there were some other USB problems fixed.

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