Not sure about cust rep answer to Q re: powered hub/My Passports

Hi. I’m new to WD forums, so hello everybody.

I have 7 external drives, 5 of them are My Passports. The others are a 2Amp Seagate backup expansion drive, and a 3Amp Seagate Backup Plus that plugs directly into the wall.

I have all the My Passports plugged into the computer via hubs, all the time, as I never know when I’ll need them.

I’ve been having an eMail conversation with WD customer service about being able to power off the drives when they’re not in use. One of the questions I asked WD customer service was, “Would using a powered hub enable me to eject a drive when not in use, and “wake” it with the related switch when I need it?”
The answer was:

“According to your concern, please be informed that we don’t recommend to use a USB Hub to connect multiple drive to the computer as different drive require different power supply to turn on the drive and to use them in proper manner. Therefore, we always recommend our users to connect the external drive to the computer USB port for direct power supply.”

I noted that the customer service rep didn’t say “powered”.

I don’t see unplugging and replugging multiple drives into the limited number of ports I have on my computer, as practical. I foresee problems with either the ports on my computer, or the plugs, or both if I start doing that.

I have read that each USB 3.0 My Passport uses 500mA. I thought that the 4A powered hub I’m looking at on Amazon would do the trick and be able to power all my USB external drives. But in light of the WD customer service rep’s answer, I wanted to double-check with other users. What are the experiences of other users of My Passport with powered hubs?


that’s incorrect.

USB 2.0 uses 500mA

USB 3.0 uses 900mA

When you Eject a USB Drive you’re basically Unmounting it … ie. not sending it to Sleep

To Re-Mount the drive … you’ll need to uplug it and re-connect.

I recently had a posting about hubs and find myself asking a few questions.

  • how much power is required for each of the devices that is being inserted into the Hub
  • how much power is being supplied by the usb port to which this hub is connected to
  • how much power does the hub itself handle
  • if a hub has an external power supply, what is the total power.
  • since the 3.0 passport requires 0.9A, I would imagine that the total amount that the individual devices require cannot exceed the total power available, either thru the single usb connection back to the PC, or by the additional power to the hub.
  • for @erft , if you get at the most a powered hub, with on/off switches I would believe that you could be allowed to safe eject, power down and then power up the device hub connection.
  • usb ports on a pc is great for low charging of cell phones, cameras and for talking to devices. If a device requires much power, I would guess that itself has external power added.

I can plug x4 USB 3.0 hard drives into my PC’s USB 3.0 ports without any power issues … it’s a PCIe USB3.0 Card which is powered from the PC’s internal power supply.

I don’t have a tool to measure the PC’s power that is passed thru either the 3.0usb or 2.0usb ports. Normally, single devices that are connected to the port work great. If the power is insufficient to support any product, they would generally have their own power supply.

Since the card deck size Passports have no external power, the connected 3.0 PC usb must provide sufficient power to run…seems like the Passport is requires about 0.9A. So, if you tried to attach, say 4 Passports into a 4port Hub, that would exceed the total power of the single PC usb…unless the Hub has it’s own external power.

An on/off toggle switch on the Hub could make physically inserting/removing the Passport to re-initiating a connection after a safe eject. Make sure the hub is 3.0 or 3.1 for compatible and best speed.

Thank-you for your answers. I’ve been reading around more to understand hubs, PC usb ports, and portable drives. It seems that all powered hubs can fail and corrupt the drive, but that a drive has a better chance at a good life if it’s on a powered hub. The one I was looking at is 4A (7 ports each). The numbers you give mean that I’d need two of those powered hubs, each with 3 My Passports plugged in, and the My Passports should be fine. Combining that with the Off Timer in WD Drive Utilities means I’d have more control over how much each drive consumes (sleep) and they’d each have enough power to run properly.

Thanks again for your reply.

erft…it seems like the powered 3.0hub should work for your Passports, which I believe draw about 0.9a per unit. With a power hub of 3 or 4A, the totals seem fine. Make sure the hub are plugged into a surge protector…but with that many electrical devices, you need something like that anyway.

You mention Sleep…if you are talking about the Passports sleep function using the Drive Utilities…I have not found that this really works. Ran thru some tests where I set say for 30min, not access the drive at all, and watched the LED lite stay on…never saw it go off. I believe that, like a Safe Eject not being allowed, it could be affected by all the background WD utilities being run…see Task Manager.

Don’t know why you have so many external drives, other than an IT business especially if Passports are high capacity. Overall, I’d be concerned about the reliability of the hardware farm, especially when drives start going bad…good luck… another thing, don’t go cheap especially in a business.


I’m disappointed that you found that the Sleep function didn’t work for you in Drive Utilities. I can’t understand why WD utilities running in the background would stop a main feature of another from working.

I don’t have a business. I’m just a regular person who keeps my documents, pictures, music, movies etc, on backup drive. I have three 1T WD My Passports dedicated to backing up each other for the books, music, pictures, documents, and another to save movies, home videos etc, to, with a 2T Seagate expansion drive storing about half of them, a 4T My Passport storing the other half, and a 4T seagate backing up those two media drives. It saves a lot of paper, is extremely convenient for quickly accessing documents, and I can’t imagine how expensive it would be to put those movies back onto DVD, or how much physical space it would take up.

I started backing up like this when there was a home disaster in which I basically lost all my belongings but managed to save the important papers, a laptop, and the backup drives. Anything that wasn’t on the drives was gone. I lost all of my precious photographs, all my books, and never want to go through loss like that again. That was years ago but I learned how important it is to put everything onto a drive that I can grab quickly. I have no idea how other people do things.

I’m trying to do my best to keep these drives, and the computer, safe and working at their best. That’s why I would like to be able to put them to sleep when they’re not in use, why I’m looking at powered hubs. I understand that helps.

Did you contact WD about your experience with your drive not sleeping with Drive Utilities?

erft…I also have a 1T and a 2T Passports for backups. I currently run the WD Backup program to each, one weekly, the other daily…I too went thru a PC failure, abet it was only a power supply. I only back up my stuff and some Mozilla bookmarks, desktop and my docs…pic and stuff. I do not backup any programs, especially those off the net. I do have file that I document with my program keycodes and also keep my /download folder. I hate looking for emails with program keycodes. Make an effort to document what you have…also, watch the size of your disk, by at least looking at the Properties…I see lots of users that say they run out of space. I got caught with a 4mill file Mozilla cache2 folder that I stumbled upon. Ended up using a Free Treesize utility to view the tree structure of folder/file…ugh.

You do have many devices. I went with a 2nd incase the first failed…I do read where users are having problems with hardware and issues with re-attaching to another PC…Permission problems and non viewable devices.

Do you use WD Backup…I have not had many issues, although some users have. I see that the WD Discovery utility is prompting for an update, and I believe that there is a newer version. However, I was discussing backups with another user that decided the new version did not work properly…so I’m staying with mine till I need too. mine is 1.9.7375.5719, discovery 4.0.251. WD never lists what changes they make so it’s hard to get a “warm n fuzzy” feeling with updates…till you have an issue.

On the sleep…I was reading in this forum various posters about if it works. WD pointed to the WD Drive utilities/settings. So I went there and set mine to 30min, Then watched the LED lites (one passport has failed lites that Support says does not affect drive function). The lite is either fast blink (activity), slow or solid. Since I cannot see if the disk is spinning (I believe PassP have spinning disks) I cannot tell what a sleep mode does. I don’t think its the same as the sleep mode on your PC because you can tell when you wake it up. Users have had problems when streaming especially a video on the PC to send to a TV…their stream would stop…this could be because of the Sleep on the PC rather than on the Passport.

Since the background tasks of WD are always active, via Task Manager, an you can get a warning msg if you try a Safe Eject (which is something you should always do…don’t pull usb or shut hub before making sure nothing is running)…well you can get that msg, so WD is telling you that something is running. Again, its hard to tell if Sleep is actually saving energy or stopped spinning (which is what I believe users would like to happen to cut down the usage). With so many drives that you have, doing a Hub port on/off may be hard to manage, especially if you are doing backups randomly.

I got this reply from WD Customer service regarding the Sleep Timer in WD Drive Utilities.

“According to your concern, please be informed that The sleep timer function is not available for My Passport SSD, My Passport Go, My Passport Pro, My Book Thunderbolt Duo, and My Book Studio II.”

So I have no idea why the customer service rep told me to use it for My Passport.

Thanks erft…Like I said, I tried to use the WD Drive utilities that did have an option to the Sleep function for both my Passport 1T and 2T…never could make it work. I’m almost certain I tried with cancelling the Task Manager pgs… I was not sure what was supposed to happen, seems like all you want from the sleep is to park the head and reduce the power…if thats what WD said about Sleep…what are you left to do but ignore.