Passport unrecognizable on Mac, Recognizable on PC

Hi everyone, I’ve been doing research for the past few hours on what could possible be wrong with my external hard drive. I am not very knowledgeable on computers so I keep coming across message boards with instructions that I simply don’t understand.

Here’s the situation. I bought my WD Passport hard drive (WD1200XMS), 120 GB in 2008. It has worked perfectly up until a few days ago. It showed up on my Mac one minute, the next minute nothing. I thought maybe the USB was faulty, but it reads other things (like my iPod). Then, I plugged the hard drive into the PC in my home and everything showed up just fine. So this is obviously a problem only with my Macbook and the hard drive.

I see on some other posts that there was a firmware update on the Mac that screwed up many people’s hard drives, leaving them unrecognizable. However, I don’t remember updating anything.I tried to find some kind of firmware update for the PC (which I read will then make your Mac recognize the hard drive) but I don’t know which version to download as my passport seems to be a bit dated, but also I tried to download a couple updates and it just didn’t work!

I only ask that if you have a solution, please explain in detail! I am not entirely computer literate and have trouble understanding 3/4 of the things posted on this forum, but I thank you so much for reading and for attempting to help. :slight_smile:

Hi there, that Passport model does not have any firmware updates at all on any system.

On the other hand, it’s possible that your Mac is no longer giving enough power to the drive or the FAT32 partition that allows it to work on the 2 computers is not fully recognized by your Mac.

On your Mac, you can click on Go> Utilities> Disk Utility and see if your Passport is there, if it is then try the First Aid> Repair Disk option, if it is not then try one of those USB power booster “Y” cables and see if it helps.

If it was a firmware issue then neither computer would see the drive, either it’s a power problem or a partition problem with the Mac.

Good luck!!!

The same thing happened you my passport. It started a day or two ago, I have been using it on my laptop (mac) for about a year now, and it’s worked great. But now when I plug in my passport that only thing that shows up is the WD Software disk and not the actual disk that has all my documents on it. I’ve plugged my passport into my desktop (mac as well) and both disks show up like normal. My USB ports work fine too, cause I’ve plugged in other things to them. If you “try one of those USB power booster “Y” cables” let me know how it works or if you try something else and it works let me know too.

This is really inconvenient that this happened especially at the end of the semester!

My passport is not even listed in Disk Utility. This is just so weird because it was working fine, I unplugged it, plugged it right back in and nothing! Two weeks later, still nothing!

What is a USB booster “Y” cable?

Do you think it’s just a problem with my Macbook recognizing the hard drive? So strange…

Thanks for your help!

I am having exactly the same problem too. Tried the y cable and it is now working. I wonder what has changed in the past few weeks with mac or WD?  I only noticed when I went to run a timemachine backup and it said the disk was “read only”.

Any thoughts on how to fix this would be awesome as I dont often have 2 USB areas free or y cable…

I too have exactly the same experience and around the same time-frame, which leads me to suspect that the problem is an update to the Apple Mac software on the computer, such that the compuer cannot see the drive.