6TB My Book Powers Up & Down 4x at every Sleep

I purchased the WD My Book 6TB Desktop USB 3.0 External Portable Hard Drive WDBBGB0060HBK-NESN for use with my 2015 15" MacBook Pro (top end model). I use the drive via ANKER 7-port USB3 hub, but even if the drive is directly connected to the MBP, the same problem happens. Specifically, when I sleep, the drive powers Down>Up>Down>Up>Down>Up>Down>Up>Down. (About 4 times.) This happens at every Sleep sequence.

If I use the app Jettison to avoid “ejected improperly” error dialogs on Wake, Jettison will tell me it’s safe to disconnect my drives, and during that time the drive will still be powering Up/Down, but if I yank the USB cable, the drive will power down and stay powered down.

This particular drive has no power ON/OFF switch. It is powered by AC Adapter but it uses some kind of auto sensing to detect when to power up. I can’t find details about this in the drive’s manual though, so I don’t know technical specifics of what it is supposed to do. In other words, I don’t know if it auto wakes due to it sensing power over USB or data. In any case, the drive is powering Up/Down 4 times at every Sleep cycle, and this surely cannot be good for the drive in the long haul. What should I do at this point?

(There are no other problems with the drive at all. I have 4 partitions on it, if that matters. It’s used for external storage and Time Machine backups, not booting. I am running OS X Sierra on the MBP.)


Hi there,

Have you checked the power saving options on the computer? there is an option to turn off USB devices when sleep.Try to do this to see if it helps.

Could you please be more specific? (Keep in mind I am using a Mac, running OS X Sierra.)

I have access System Preferences and Energy Saver to enable/disable the following, but to no avail:

• Put hard disks to sleep when possible
• Enable Power Nap

Regardless of whether those settings are enabled or disabled, there are still 4 spin up/downs at every Sleep sequence. Again, this ONLY happens when I am putting the machine to SLEEP. It does NOT happen on Wake from Sleep.

Further thoughts would therefore be appreciated.

No further thoughts?

Surely I cannot be the lone Mac user using a 6TB WDBBGB0060HBK-NESN drive?

Hi I’m having this same issue with the 4TB WD MyBook (WDBFJK0040HBK-NESN): but the spin up and down is non-stop once in sleep mode or when the computer automatically goes to sleep after the screen saver. Another big annoyance from this, besides the constant sound of it spinning up and down, is this triggers my secondary monitor to think that the iMac is turning on. So the screen will flash on briefly then go back to sleep mode. Has anyone figured this out? The WD drive stops spinning when ejected and disconnecting the USB from the computer or turning off the computer.

Below is my setup.

Late 2017 14-Core iMac Pro
Connected with provided USB 3 directly to the USB 3 port in the back of the iMac Pro

My last post was made in July 2017. It’s now January 2019, and I still have the same problem, and no one has lifted a finger to assist those of us who have this problem! What a tragic shame!