Blue Light - Red Light - Then No Light - but drive is accessible and working fine - how to fix LED's

I have two MBL’s - both working fine - both on latest firmware - been working for well over a year.  They sit in the basement on a desk.  The other day I powered them down via the UI - to rearrange some equipment on the desk.  I powered them down via the UI - unplugged them - put them aside - and then put back in place.  One drive powered up fine - the other starts with a blue LED (normal) - then goes to a red LED (not normal - should be yellow/green) - then completes the boot process - and then the LED turns off.  The drive remains spinning and is completely function and UI accessible.  Diagnostic tests show now errors.

Since the drive did not contain any data - I did a quick factory reset.  The reset was successful - but red light continues during boot up - and then turns off.

Since I rarely use (or even look at these drives) it is possible that the LED problem may have occured a while ago - and I just never noticed.  To the best of my knowledge the drives have not been bumped or dropped.

Any idea why this is happening - and is it easily fixable?  Almost looks like something got zapped in the firmware.

Unlike other posts about the RED led problem - my drive actually appears to be functioning just fine - other than the LED issue.


Just noticed that when the drive in question goes to sleep - the LED turns blue - as it normally would.  So walking by the drive when it is sleeping - everything looks normal - The LED color is only wrong during boot (red) and active (off - instead of blinking green). 

Unfortunately, it’s not an unusual issue on the MBL.

The MBL uses a tri-color LED (Red, Green, Blue) to make all the colors.   Sometimes one or more of the three colors stops working.

Sounds like in your case the GREEN part is not working (which is also used to make yellow.)  So when the yellow color is expected, you’ll see RED, because YELLOW=RED+GREEN.

Tony, I think that’s not the case here that the led’s not working properly (remember I’ve noticed that similar behavior too, posted it in the firmware thread). I think that’s an issue with the latest FW. Anyway the MBL is working fine so I’m not bothering.

I’m wondering if maybe the firmware needs to be reloaded from a file.  But still no explanation why just the one MBL is having issues - when both were working fine - and both were updated to the latest firmware a while ago.  I will try sending the color commands to see if the LED responds to green.  I will post back.

Okay - I think Tony may be correct in saying that the LED is actually malfunctioning.

If I query the state of the LED - it says “green”

MyBookLive:~# cat /usr/local/nas/led_color

If I try to change the color of the LED I get the following results  (using echo “specific color”>/usr/local/nas/led_color )

when I specify white - it gives the purplish white color

when I specify blue - it gives the blue color

when I specify red - it gives the red color

when I specify yellow - it gives the “red” color

when I specify green - it appears to be off.

Given this information - would it be a safe assumption that attempting to clear out and reload firmware would not make any difference - and the LED is in-fact malfuctioning.

If it were actually glitch in the firmware - I would assume that the LED would still respond to manual color commands if the LED were functioning correctly.  But - is it also possible that whatever background process that interprets the color specified in /usr/local/nas/led_color is somehow interpreting the yellow and green colors incorrectly when it tells the tri-color LED what to do at the hardware level?

I suspect that this MBL is still under warranty (believe it has a 3 year warranty) - might just have WD replace it.


I don’t consider replacing the product under warranty for this reason only because I really don’t know what to do with all the data stored in it.

And I still think there’s a FW problem because: sometimes when I wake the MBL up (blue light shown) the green light appears for 1-2-3 minutes and the goes out (the drive is still awake, I can hear the specific noise when HDD inside is turning on/off or spinning, so I know for sure the state) even if there’s still activity. Sometimes it wakes up and turns from blue to nothing but it’s functioning properly.

Maybe I can film this tonight.

I think I will try the full factory restore.  I doubt it will make much difference.  I will report back. 

Of course it won’t make any difference as long as factory restore wouldn’t modify the FW version (or would it?)

The full factory restore did not make any difference either.

Is there a way to completely erase and reload the firmware from scratch?

Yes, but don’t waste your time as it will not fix your issue. I have the same issue with an intermittent green LED and I’m on firmware 02.11.09-053
It is an LED issue not a firmware issue

Ok, I’ll leave it alone :slight_smile:

Okay - Thanks for more or less confirming that it is a defective LED.  I will check to see if WD will replace it under warranty. I don’t really have any plans to use the drive for anything serious - as both of my MBL’s have proven to be too quirky since day one.

Just noticed your debricking guide.  It was pretty impressive.  I’m not bricked - but I think it will come in handy if either of my drives do become bricked.

I did open a support case desribing why I suspected the LED to be defective - and what steps i took to prove that.  I basically asked for a replacement because it is still under warranty - and basically asked for an approval to proceed with the RMA.  Hopefully they will not request any further troubleshooting effort on my part - and hopefully all I have to do is put the defective MBL in a box and ship it back.  I will post an update when I hear back from WD.

Well, tonight my green led decided to show up for 1 minute or so when MBL woke up, then it went out :slight_smile:

I am still waiting for an email response from WD Support.  I had sent them an email asking them whether I should just go ahead and create an RMA request - or whether I needed to get approval from support first.  As a result of the process - a support ticket was generated - just not sure on how to follow up on it.

from my experience here…if your drive is operating fine, you can get to your folders, and it’s going to sleep correctly…don’t RMA it just for the light. 

I actually already started the RMA process.  There was no data on the drive - so I figured why not replace it if it is under warranty.  The RMA process was very simple.