Question about WD 4TB 3.0 power indicator light

if i plug in the device with the power adapter , should the power light come on and stay on?

this is BEFORE i connect the USB cable to the PC.

seems that my WD 4TB USB3.0 external HDD which i just bought yesterday does not power up (or have the power light on) unless it is both plugged into the wall AND plugged into the PC. I am wondering if i need to return it,.

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In my point of view, it is pointless for the drive to turn on and turn on its LED, if it will be sitting there doing nothing. It could be a measure to save power. Think about it, you have it connected to your PC, then turn the PC off. It would be nice for it to get into something like a power-saving sleep mode, and turn off its LED. Does it make sense?

I am trying to figure out why when i connect the device to my MAC, I can see it in finder for about 10 sec then it disappears and the light turns off.

I am wondering if it is because the device is not getting enough power

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That doesn’t seem right, the Mac part. Does it stay available when connected to another computer?

yes. if i connect it to a USB3.0 port on my router or to another PC or even my macbook, it works. but on my iMAC, it is on for less than 10 sec.

all my other WD external drives power indicator light stay on even when i disconnect the USB cord.

btw, its a late 2009 iMac. So, it does not support USB3.0 but my understanding is that USB 3.0 devices are backward compatible and “should” work on USB 2.0. All other USB 2.0 devices on the iMAC work fine on it. I have another WD external HDD (usb2.0) on it and it works just fine.

I’ve tried several things including resetting the iMac SMC, disconnected all other devices on the USB ports.

Do you have another USB 3.0 compatible external hard drive, that also happens to come with an external power supply? If so, you might want to try it on the same port, to see if the port is compatible with that kind of device.

Yes, USB 3.0 is supposed to be backwards compatible with USB 2.0.

At this point, since the drive is working properly with other configurations, it’s hard to blame it…

One other suggestion I could make would be to use Data Lifeguard Diagnostics for Windows to test the drive, you could find more information about it below;

How to test a drive for problems using Data Lifeguard Diagnostics for Windows

In your Mac scenario, I assume it’s plugged both into the wall and into the Mac?

I ask because I believe a USB 3.0 port can supply more power than a USB 2.0 port. So if the AC power connection isn’t working, then it might behave as you describe.

it turns out that there are 2 things going on here. First off, I had to return the drive for a replacement because when I connected the drive to a good, working Win10 laptop that has usb 3.0 ports and it only was able to connect at 2.0 speeds. This was confirmed by the utilities on the laptop and with my own speed tests. With the new replacement drive, it connects to the laptop at 3.0 speeds and all is well and the files transfer at blazing speeds.

The other issue may be my iMac. Even with the new drive, when i connect the HDD to the iMac, it connects for about 10 seconds, the drive flashes a few times and then it disconnects. I fear there may be a bad logic board for the usb ports on the iMac and i further suspect that perhaps it damaged the first drive (the one i replaced).

Its unfortunate because I bought the HDD specifically for the iMac. It turns out that for now, i can only use the new HDD with my wife’s windows 10 laptop.

I smell a new iMac coming :smile: