Western Digital external HD

Joined
Nov 29, 2006
Messages
259
Location
RI
I just purchased a Western Digital Passport 120Gb external HD. My 15" MacBook doesn't recognize the drive. My XP system at work picks it up no problem. The WD support site states that the Mac OS may take awhile to initalize a new drive but it doesn't say how long that may take.
Disk utility doesn't see the drive either. The USB ports both powe up my 30GB Ipod so I don't think it's a powe issue.
Anyone have any ideas?
Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks.
 
Joined
Mar 12, 2007
Messages
151
Location
Malaysia
The 2.5" drives take 5 Volts DC if I'm not wrong. Are you using a USB hub on your Macbook to connect the WD drive? If you are, can you try to connect it directly to the USB port on your Macbook?

Sometimes, connecting USB devices through USB hubs won't give the full power requirements USB devices require.
 
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
145
Location
SF Bay Area
Known Issue

This is a known issue with the Mac Books. I have a I-book, a Powerbook G4 and a Mac Book Pro. The WD drive will mount on the IB and the MBP as well as Win boxes, but not on the Powerbook.

I have yet to find a solution.
 
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Nov 29, 2006
Messages
259
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RI
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #6
Thanks everyone, my original post stated i had a Macbook, when I actually have a Powerbook (wishful thinking).

Jason, it was plugged directly into the usb port on the powerbook.

Like MikeG, I also had someone tell me the same thing. The drive was recognized on their MBP but not on their older PB.

Oh well, looks like it's time to upgrade to a MBP.:biggrin:
 
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
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7,819
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Gilroy, California
Very strange.

My regular Macs are a 1.5 gz PowerBook (which I use every day) and a MacBook pro. I must have 8 or 10 of the smaller external (2.5") drives and about a dozen larger self powered ones.

All work fine with both.

Is is just that drive? Most the smaller ones I use are firewire, now that I think of it. Hm.
 
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
145
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SF Bay Area
Found some info

I sent a request to WD for possible solution - no reply as of yet.

Search of some Mac forums seems to indicate that the Powerbook 15 and 17 inch laptops have insufficient power to the USB ports and/or the WD drive requires more power than the specs indicate.

Either way, there is not enough juice to get the platters spinning, so although the lights are on - nobody's home.

Workaround seems to be that you get the external power supply from WD.

http://www.westerndigital.com/en/products/accessories.asp?ProdID=174

..of course these are out of stock.:frown:

The alternative is a power booster cable which uses both usb ports.

...of course these are also out of stock.:mad:
 
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
145
Location
SF Bay Area
Workaround

Not as inexpensive as the $10. cable from WD, but an AC powered USB hub will work just fine.

Got a cheapo from Fry's for $30 and not only will it power the drive just fine, there are six additional USB2 ports available.
 
Joined
Dec 12, 2006
Messages
666
Location
Narberth, PA
Weird thing for me is i have a wd media center one which has its own power cable and still no luck on my moms ibook i hope it works on my new mac i am about to purchase.
 
Joined
Feb 11, 2007
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Sanford, FL
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William Beem
Maybe I missed something, but have you tried using the included power adapter? I have two WD 500GB USB drives and each works fine with my MacBook Pro right out of the box. I reformatted them because I didn't want FAT32 file system, but they still worked with FAT32.

If you didn't get a power supply with your drives, that's kind of screwy. Both of mine definitely had them.
 
Joined
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Messages
259
Location
RI
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #15
Maybe I missed something, but have you tried using the included power adapter? I have two WD 500GB USB drives and each works fine with my MacBook Pro right out of the box. I reformatted them because I didn't want FAT32 file system, but they still worked with FAT32.

If you didn't get a power supply with your drives, that's kind of screwy. Both of mine definitely had them.
The WD Passport drives are designed to be portable and powered off the USB ports on you laptop. I've got the same as you for my home setup.
 
Joined
Apr 30, 2006
Messages
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Riverside, California
It's kinda funny, a couple of years ago I picked up an external usb powered case (no external power supply needed), slapped in a Seagate 60 gig drive and it has worked flawlessly with a G3 iMac, a G4 iBook, a G4 Powerbook and my G5. I've only used it about 20 times to backup work files and since I no longer have a laptop I willing to sell it. Oh, and it's white and matches iBooks perfectly.
 
Joined
Feb 11, 2007
Messages
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William Beem
Ok, thanks for the clarification. I had a feeling I missed something basic, but I'm used to that feeling by now.
 

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