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Question: WD My Book not showing up when connected to USB, shows up when connected to AirPort Extreme

So I have a 2TB WD My Book that I use as a time machine backup. I currently have it connected to an AirtPort Extreme Base Station. When connected this way I can access the drive from Finder with no issue.


However, when I connect it to a USB on the back of my iMac, the following symptoms will happen

  1. The drive does not mount/ cannot be found in Finder
  2. Disk Utility does not load any of the drives, just spins

    Disk Utility will load if I disconnect the external drive.

  3. The drive is recognized by the WD Drive Utilities app


The reason I am trying to connect it directly via USB is because finder says it is full, when I know for a fact it is not. So I wanted to run the Disk Utilities on it. Also am trying to figure out what, if anything, is taking up so much space.

Airport Extreme-OTHER, OS X Mavericks (10.9.1), Airport Extreme Base Station

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Nov 13, 2017 7:54 PM in response to s.torrance84 In response to s.torrance84

Did you........


Eject the USB drive

Power off the USB drive

Shut down the iMac

Connect the USB drive to the iMac

Power up the iMac

Power up the USB drive


High Sierra is having some weird issues with USB, among other things. Is that what the iMac is running?

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Question marked as Helpful

Nov 13, 2017 7:54 PM in response to s.torrance84 In response to s.torrance84

Did you........


Eject the USB drive

Power off the USB drive

Shut down the iMac

Connect the USB drive to the iMac

Power up the iMac

Power up the USB drive


High Sierra is having some weird issues with USB, among other things. Is that what the iMac is running?

Nov 13, 2017 7:54 PM

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Nov 13, 2017 8:14 PM in response to s.torrance84 In response to s.torrance84

I have two WD drives here, and I cannot duplicate the issue that you are reporting on a newer Mac laptop with USB 3.0 and an older iMac with USB 2.0.


The port on the AirPort Extreme is older USB 2.0, and your Mac may have a USB 3.0 port. In theory, things are supposed to be compatible, but in the real world, that is not always the case.


If things work on the AirPort Extreme though, I'm not sure how this might be an AirPort Extreme issue.


I think it is more likely a Sierra issue. You can wait to see if another user responds here, or a better idea might be to try posting over in the Sierra support forum to see if the gurus over there might have some ideas.

Nov 13, 2017 8:14 PM

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Nov 13, 2017 10:44 PM in response to s.torrance84 In response to s.torrance84

Has this been an issue since you installed Sierra?


In your profile you are showing Mavericks. So I am guessing this is when you bought the Mac.. does it have USB3 ports.. it should. Also is the WD mybook USB3?


Open the preferences for finder and make sure everything is set to detect external drive.

In system information.. check each USB port as you plug it in.. does it recognise the drive is there?


I would also try using a USB powered hub if you have one available.. that could show up something.

Alternative would be Thunderbolt hub.. and plug the drive into USB on that.


As Bob has said we are seeing a few strange failures of external drives.. which is odd when they worked before.

Nov 13, 2017 10:44 PM

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Question: WD My Book not showing up when connected to USB, shows up when connected to AirPort Extreme