1TB My Passports w/FreeBSD [need old firmware version]

Some of these guys work perfectly, and some of them, with exactly the same model number, interact differently with FreeBSD.  The symptoms range from a minor complaint when connected to freezing the system cold if you reboot while the drive is attached.

The drives were purchased at different times.  I bought one, it worked, bought some more, they didn’t.  I thought it might have been a bad batch, so I bought another one as a test, and it worked.  Then I bought some more, and they didn’t (although they were broken in a slightly different way).

I just tried updating one of the bad drives to the latest firmware and it didn’t change the behavior.

Any general suggestions?  Do you think it would productive to determine the firmware versions of the drives that work fine and try to install older versions of the firmware on to them?  If so, is there an easy way to check the firmware version?  I’m a little gunshy about mucking with the ones that are currently working.

When I asked the FreeBSD devs about the issue, they say these things aren’t respecting appropriate USB standards of some sort.

I’m not interested in holy war, I’d just like these things to be more than expensive paperweights.


Hi and welcome,

Since Unix based OS’s are not officially supported, it would be difficult to know the exact reason why some hard drives work and others don’t. Maybe some of the other community users can chime in and share some suggestions. 

Regardless of what OS I’m using, why would WD put out drives with identical model numbers that function differently?  Sure, make updates when they’re a good idea, but those should at least be called something else.

Anyway, every drive has the same model number, except for the trailing characters that denote color.  No one specific color works or doesn’t work.  The model numbers all begin with WDBBEP0010B and end with BK, BL, RD, or SL.

Functional drives are internally denoted as “My Passport” and have firmware version v1.019.

There are two sorts of broken drives, one listed as “My Passport (Z)” and others called “My Passport Essential”.  Versions of firmware that do not work are v1.010, v1.033, v1.042, and v1.049.  The last one appears to be the most current version.

Is it a) possible and b) a bad idea to track down v1.019 of the firmware and install it on all the drives.  Could it be other aspects of the drive that are behaving differently?  It does seem suspicious that both of the functional drives have the same version of the firmware.

I found another drive that works, in a different color, and it’s also sporting firmware version v1.019.

So, does anyone know where to get an installer for v1.019?  I’m willing to risk one of these things to attempt a “downgrade” that will make it actually work.