Western Digital ext. FireWire power weirdness


L

Linelle Lane

I apologize in advance for the length of this, but it's driving me crazy:

I have two Western Digital ext. 120-gig FireWire drives. One is at work,
about 1 year old. The second is at home, about a month newer. Both were easy
to setup and, until a few days ago, were trouble-free. The work unit is on
basically all the time, while the one at home is only on when the computer
is on. Both drives are used only occasionally.

Two days ago, the work unit started making random spin-up noises and
clicking, even though I wasn't accessing it at all. When I checked drives on
My Computer, the drive did not show. I called tech support, could not get it
back up running, declared it dead, and said, try it out at home and see if
it works there.

Took the work drive home. Unplugged the home unit, plugged in the work unit
and Work came up just fine. Unplugged Work and replugged Home...now Home
won't come on. I get a red light on the read/write light, and a pale green
light on the right, and no spin-up/clicking sounds.

Nothing is making sense anymore, so I bring home the power supply from the
Work unit. Neither drive will respond to it, giving the same red/green
lights as above. But, my Work unit will function fine if plugged into the
Home power supply.

I'm at a loss here. Why would both units act up on the same day, in
different locations? Could it be something to do with the power cord
supplied with each unit? Are they that prone to failure? It would make sense
if both units worked on one power cord and neither on another. I'm totally
baffled. Fortunately, I have good backups, but I'm not happy right now with
these drives.

Thanks for any insight into this.
 
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L

Lil' Dave

Looked at wdc.com's webpages on your HD. At first glance, am turned off by
the 1 year warranty. To me, this indicates low confidence in their product.

In reviewing your post, it would seem the I/O interface as part of the box
and/or its built-in power supply is one problem.
As far as the "home" drive failing, try a cold boot and see if that makes
any difference. Know firewire devices are supposed to be hot-swap
interchangeable, but maybe there's something else they're not saying (not
unusual).
Dave
 
L

Linelle Lane

Dave, thanks for your reply. I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "cold
boot" the drive. Whether I connect it to my computer and then bring
everything up, or whether I plug it into a power source in a completely
different room, power to the unit seems incomplete. Enough to make a red
light go on, but not enough to make it spin up. And unless it's spinning up
(green light), my computer doesn't even know it's there.
 
R

Rod Speed

Looked at wdc.com's webpages on your HD. At
first glance, am turned off by the 1 year warranty.
To me, this indicates low confidence in their product.
Nope, its just an industry wide trend. None of the external
firewire drives from anyone have 3 year warrantys now.

Presumably there is a significantly higher field failure rate
with those just because they are so easy to drop etc.
In reviewing your post, it would seem the I/O interface as
part of the box and/or its built-in power supply is one problem.
As far as the "home" drive failing, try a cold boot and see
if that makes any difference. Know firewire devices are
supposed to be hot-swap interchangeable, but maybe
there's something else they're not saying (not unusual).
Or its just the usual problem with an immature product.
 
L

Lil' Dave

Agreed, industry wide trend. Possibly connected towards manufacturers low
confidence in those products in my opinion.
Dave
 
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R

Rod Speed

Agreed, industry wide trend. Possibly connected towards
manufacturers low confidence in those products in my opinion.
Low confidence in what the buyers can do to a drive like that, actually.
 
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