Slow transfer rate and firmware update problems on MyBook Essentia

A friend of mine has a WD My Passport Essential. Once he reformatted the disc for Mac, the disc transfer speed decreased notably. It lasts more than normal to be loaded, and copy speed into the disc is terrible. My friend tried to update the firmware to version, in order to run the Virtual CD Manager and turn the virtual disc off. The strange thing is that after updating the hard disc firmware, following all the instructions, the Virtual CD Manager says that the firmware version is not the latest one, therefore, it can’t go any further. 

We’ve double checked: this is the latest version of the firmware on your website, we have tried to update the firmware three times from two different MacBook Pros. What is happening? How can we increase the transfer speed between the computer and the external disc? Is there something we can do?

The disc rates are ridicusly slow: it took it six hours to copy 3 GB. The disc is slow to copy to the disc and read from the disc. The problem started after it was formatted for Mac.

These are the technical specifications:

Disc: My Essential Passport, 1 T, originally formatted as NTCS

Computer: MacBook Pro 13", mid 2010, Snow Leopard. Also tested on a MBP, 15", mid 2009, Snow Leopard.

Update: We’ve done the next things:

  1. Install WD Turbo Drivers

  2. Update firmware from a PC. That was the only way to remove SmartWare.

  3. Format the disc as MacOsExtended (Journaled), with GUID Partition Table.

Result: the disc is still deadly slow. It would last about 60 hours to back up 200 MB. This isn’t normal or acceptable. Our conclusion so far: My Book Essential cannot be formatted to be used on a Mac. Any suggestions?

I don’t know about Macs send a PM to ThePizzaMatrix he is pretty sharp on Macs. Is this a USB powered drive? and are you using USB 2.0 or USB 3.0?


This is a USB 2.0 drive. The Mac’s port is USB as well.

Sorry, I didn’t read carefully the first time: this is a USB 2.0 drive, not USB powered, it uses an external power cord (since its a MyBook disk, it’s a desktop disk, not a portable disk).