WD Passport Inexplicably Not Readable On Macs

November 25, 2013 at 11:50:29
Specs: Mac OS 10.4, Power Mac G5 1.8 (PCI
Hi everybody,
My lady friend has a Western Digital Passport (Mac Version, I believe), 320GB portable hard drive. Suddenly, and inexplicably, the drive has become unreadable on her two Apple Mac computers which had previously read the drive with no problems.
She has a desktop, Apple Power Macintosh G5 1.8 (PCI) (Late 2004) - M9555LL/A and notebook,
Apple PowerBook G4 1.33 15" 15-Inch 1.5/1.33 - M9421LL/A. Both of them have Mac OS 10.4, Tiger.
I've plugged the drive into several PCs and they are able to read the drive just fine. I've accessed the drive on several different computers, Windows 7, XP, 8 and Ubuntu, and have run diagnostics on the drive, and everything seems to be fine without.
She states that she hasn't changed anything around on her computers, and though they are old machines, they used to access the drive with no problem.
When plugging the drive in, the LED light comes on and it spins up, but it doesn't appear to be detected by the Mac machines. I've tried all of the obvious things, such as checking that the Finder preferences are set to display connected drives, and so on and so forth.
Of note, if I go into the system preferences, the drives do not show up, either.
Also, the drive is connected directly to the machines, and we've tried unhooking all other USB peripherals.

I'm not a Mac expert, but I've tried everything I could think of, and have yet to resolve this problem.

If anybody has any suggestions, it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

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November 25, 2013 at 16:32:56
Not that knowledgeable re' Macs myself (yet); but am now running Macbook Pro and a Mac Mini… So naturally issues like this are of interest..

I have read that some WD drives (via USB) aren't truly OK with some Mac OS; at least from both specs and reviews on the web… But you say yours were OK - until now...

I did a brief trawl (google in this case) using the string/search term:

Western Passport drives mac version do not show up on Mac OS X 10.4

and there are few hits about this problem; mostly a little in the past as it were - pre 2011…

I've posted three below; and suggest you have a browse of them. The third one does have its (useless…?) dudes included in the discussions; but scroll down a little and there is some "more serious" input too...




Suggest you run the checks as in the more useful areas in the above; a new profile (as in the third link) is one possibility to try - and it ought to be safe to so so…

Also repeat my google trawl using the same string; and possibly variations on it too?

Possibly worth a call to WD-land as well? I have found WD support useful in the past - when dealing with windows operating systems' issues and a WD drive or two…

You say nothing has changed not on the Mac(s) as is/are; not even recent software updates - either from Apple/Mac or WD? (I'm thinking firmware for WD at the least, and possible "improvements" - if any - for Mac OS…)

If possible I'd be inclined to copy data off the drive to optical media at least - via one of your Windows/Linux systems; and if possible to another HD as well. Check the copies are truly accessible too (on another working system) - before proceeding thereafter. This is mostly to safeguard what's on the drive - in the event that any attempts to recover access to the drive by Macs results in doing things to the drive. I'm thinking of repairing/updating - or whatever - some WD software (that I think will already be) on the drive to allow it work with Macs… So safety first..?

You can use DVD+/-RW to this end; as if you wish you can later re-use the disks? Although useful to have copies of important data/files off any HD at any time; even off external drives… (I'm a firm believer is safety-first, copying important files off a drive etc. even well all is well; and many have learned the hard way when it comes to losing data etc…)

I note you have this posted elsewhere too; which is good thing to do. Often one forum may come up with a viable solution that another didn't… And if per chance you do resolve this - however it may be - please post back with the "fix, the how it was done. That way we all have/know it for future reference; and others, who may trawl the web for similar help/info, can find it here and possible elsewhere too?

message edited by trvlr

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