External HD help please...

Discussion in 'Apple Forum' started by webby1985, Feb 5, 2009.

  1. webby1985

    webby1985
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    i today bought a western digital external hard drive called a 'passport' it said on the packet mac compatible and as i specifically wanted one that was usb powered for on the move went for this one.

    The thing is now i cant get it to be recognised on my mac powerbook, as from further reading it seems it cant recieve enough power from the laptop. i need a power booster cable which western digital only (helpfully) sell in America!

    The other problem is you can get similar cables but they are 'double headed usb's' to draw enough power to make the hard drive work this is fine as my laptop has two usb ports but on either side of it so the cable doesnt stretch!

    frustrating! anyone got a solution? do i need a usb adapter and a booster cable!?!

    Cheers guys.:confused:
     
  2. stuart07970

    stuart07970
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    BUmmer!

    A decent company would have included both usb cables like iomega!
    (I've got the eGo 320GB)

    The quick and dirty solution is to get one of those freebie 12" usb extention cables and the double header jobbie!

    Ugly - but it should work.
     
  3. jont

    jont
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    I'd take it back to the shop - maybe it was mispacked ...

    I have a couple of new WD passport's - a red 320Gb which just uses a single usb2 cable - a silver 320gb which uses a single usb2 cable or a double-headed one for firewire>usb ...

    Jon
     
  4. richard plumb

    richard plumb
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    I don't think it was mispacked. I've had a few passports now and they are pretty barebones when it comes to packaging. I expect they think most customers will have computers with enough juice to handle them. I've never had a problem with any of my home or work laptops except when I have a bunch of other things connected at the same time. Its probably your powerbook.

    Have you thought about trying a powered USB hub? They often give a power boost to the sockets.
     
  5. Tenex

    Tenex
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    Not sure about the unibody models but the two usb ports on the side of MB an MBP are different, the one furthest the front is shared via an internal hub the front is not. So there are no other devices to drain current and there are reports of success when plugged into the first but not the second port. HTH
     
  6. webby1985

    webby1985
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    thanks for all the replies so far, i have tried it in both usb ports (not together as i dont have a cable long enough) its so frustrating as i cant take it back to the shop anymore.

    i bought it for the 'ease' of use, being able to plug it in with no power cable! now looks like ill have to by a usb hub, wish that would have been clearer, i thought Western Digital were one of the better ones!

    apparently on the intel powerbooks they are fine its just the older ones (like mine) that are the problem.:thumbsdow
     
  7. stuart07970

    stuart07970
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    I would recommend a fw400/usb2 drive, plus your PB could boot-up from it if needed:smashin:
     
  8. stuart07970

    stuart07970
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    actually I think G-Technology do some really sexy FW800 drives in very nice leather cases:smashin:
     
  9. webby1985

    webby1985
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    thanks stuart, the thing is im not prepared to payout for another HD as i cant afford to really, just looking for the solution to use mine.:confused:

    i think i need a power booster cable or usb hub. ill have to look round.

    :smashin:
     
  10. Shoka

    Shoka
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    Is it a PowerBook you are using?

    Don't they only have USB1.1 not USB2? it would self power via USB2. Sorry not a solution but may help next time you look at a USB powered device.

    Hope that helps in some way
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2009
  11. webby1985

    webby1985
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    hi, yeh its a power book 1.67 G4 (its getting on abit to be honest)
    but still thought it would have enough juice to run the External HD, obviously not.
     
  12. Tenex

    Tenex
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    External 2.5" drives are very fickle and need the full power the USB spec offers. I have a Maxtor with the twin head cable and sometimes it spins up with one connected but usually it takes two. Firewire ports deliver 7v up from the 5v of USB from memory so they tend to be more reliable.
     
  13. tomson

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    That's odd...I have an old powerbook (12" 1.33 G4 - so older than yours) and haven't had any trouble with bus-powered external drives. I currently have a Sandisk Firelite (USB) and a Firefly (firewire) both of which are fine and have run loads of others without problem (Including a Passport and some no-name ones).
     
  14. baldrick

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    My 1.5GHz G4 PowerBook can't run USB powered drives off a single cable, it needs to the double headed. Personally I always go for FireWire drives as it's a more stable interface and has enough juice to daisy chain a couple of drives!!!!
     
  15. richard plumb

    richard plumb
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    Does your PowerBook have a cardbus slot? You might be able to get a USB 2.0 adapter for that which would give more power
     
  16. stuart07970

    stuart07970
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    like i said, it ain't pretty, but the cheapest option will probably be the dual USB cable and a usb cable extension, if it works with USB 1.1

    Or just get an inexpensive PSU for the drive.

    Check eBay I was surprised this week that a PSU was cheaper than an adaptor cable I was about to buy.

    YEAH YEAH I know you were trying to avoid the bulk
     

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