I just bought a 1TB WD mybook for mac.......

 Zeusker -
I purchased a 1TB external drive my book for my G4 iMac and I keep having problems I am running on OS 10.4.11...I added all the things they tell you to add on to your WD my bookHD and now every time I try to do things the computer seems to not recognize certain applications ... I know they are all on the WD My Book under the Memeo folder BUT I have had to re-install iTunes about 10 times saying the application may be corrupted to re-install... which is not correct, and others... my iPhoto has totally not been working... it tells me to get an earlier version than the one I have... for some reason now it says that my iPhoto is to new for the library ????? anyways if I do look onto the WD HD like I said I have all my music and my photos backed up but it seems like it's not allowing my computer to work and run the proper way and it is absolutely hell to have to re-install apps all the time for NO reason... PLEASE HELP !!!!! I should be able to use any application as I please without the WD HD messing with what I am doing.... I know it is saving everything...but it seems like it is taking applications although all the icons are there... I don't get it and I cannot find a USER GUIDE or MANUAL anywhere.......HEEELLLLLLLPPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!!!!!

33 replies

Registration date
Wednesday October 8, 2008
Last seen
June 15, 2019
This solution is on our forum:

I had the same problem with the Western Digital My Book Essential 1TB External Drive that I bought. It kept failing when I tried to reformat it for my Mac as Mac Extended (journaled). I was ready to return the drive because it was so frustrating!

I called WD customer support and they walked me through it over the phone:

This is what worked perfectly:

Use the Apple Disk utility software that comes with your Mac.

PARTITION your Mac as 1 Partition and while you are in that same window, SELECT OPTIONS.

THIS IS THE KEY: There are 3 radio buttons in the popup window for formatting options. The drive was preset as the bottom button PC formatting and you have to chose the middle button which is for Mac.

Click apply and finish formatting your drive. Works perfectly.

One other thing, it is a good idea not to have any applications running when you format the drive.

Hope this helps.
Thank you

A few words of thanks would be greatly appreciated. Add comment

CCM 2821 users have said thank you to us this month

Just wanted to say, thank you for the tip! Worked perfectly!
Worked perfect, thanks for the tip!!!
Thanks SO much I was getting worried that I couldn't add files to my new WD passport
followed steps and substituted it for "an intel" at the top option. Thanks for the lesson.
i am having trouble with read/write on my WD Element HD, all it is saying is read only, have tried my disk utility and opened up partition and then volume scheme and put in partition 1, then it blocks me from applying. even if I go current on volume scheme and then apply it says, partition failed with the error:
could not open disk:
what do I do!!!
Plug in the 1TB Western Digital drive to power outlet and USB port. Ignore the drive and CD icon on the desktop.
Now, go to your Applications folder on your Mac hard disk. Open Time Machine and choose the new My Essentials Book as the drive to backup as a Time Machine drive.
Click yes to erase the drive and use it for Time Machine.
The My Essentials Book is now Mac formatted and ready to use. It will say Time Machine backup in the icon on your desktop. You can rename this and then reopen Time Machine from your Applications folder, and turn off the Time Machine option, if you choose to.
The first button in Options is - GUID Partition Table.
That's what you have to use if your Mac has Intel processors.
The middle button is for PPC (old Motorola processors )
> rockinrobstar
Rockinrobstar you seem really knowledgeable about this! :) Please, please help me!

I just got a WD My Book 1 TB Hard Drive. I have two other hard drives and when I plug them into my MacBook Pro they are recognized right away and always pop up on the desktop. I just tried plugging in the new hard drive and it took about one and a half to two minutes to show up on the desktop. Is this a bad sign about the drive? (Should I be returning it?) Why is it taking so long to recognize? It says on the box that it is Mac and PC compatible...is it taking longer because maybe it needs to be FORMATTED for Mac? I haven't transferred any files yet because I don't know if I should be returning it. If I do need to format the drive how exactly do I do that -- I read the description above...what exactly is the Utilities disk that comes with the computer...? I definitely needs to be a reliable drive that I can use completely on BOTH Macs and PCs.

Pleaseeee take a moment to answer my question. (Or anyone else that has any hints as well :) I would really appreciate it!
> rockinrobstar
Hi, I saw your response concerning using a western digital hard drive for both a pc and a mac. I have already saved some backup information from my pc on the drive. Can I follow your instructions successfully if I already have data on the drive? If not, can you advise the best way to proceed. I am open to removing the existing data and resaving afterwards. Thanks!
> rockinrobstar
You seem to be very knowledgeable. Is there a method of formatting a WD drive for use on both Mac and PC? I use a MAC, but work uses PCs. I would be moving both Microsoft Office type documents as well as iTunes music and videos.

Thanks for your help!
@Frosty Pawns

I used the option - GUID Partition Table
and I am now using it for both my mac and my pc
it work's just fine ;)

I use it for films (.mov -files), photoshoop documents (.psd -files), and word (.doc -files),
and lots of other files. It is not a problem at all...
Go Robin! Perfect! Thanks very much.
After weeks of googling, I think this thread may be the solution I'm looking for. I have a WD Passport, formatted as FAT32. It works on both my imac and windows pc, only when I copy files to or from the drive in windows, it's lightning fast, and when I plug it into the imac copying files from the external drive to the imac is painfully slow. I need to use the drive on both the mac and pc, so formatting as NTFS and then downloading the mac NTFS-3G driver...will this solve the speed issue? Please, please, please someone let me know, this is driving me absolutely crazy!!
Thanks soooooo much for this! I was pulling out my hair before your response!

when I partition.. the Options button is blocked and wont let me click it. what do I do?
I hate WD right now.. same thing is happening with me.
This solved my problem with formatting -- thanks!

you are a legend.
on the verge of reverting back to fat32 system (which is crap) but your post saved me
Really appreciate you taking the time to post this solution
Thank you very much. Great solution to a problem that was driving me crazy.
That was incredible good advice. I too was so frustrated but by doing a google search I stumbled here and lo and behold, it worked perfectly. I had tried previously to back up my files onto the fat32 but any files that were around 4gb or larger were not happening. I stumbled on that fact while I was at a student's home and I was teaching here how to use final cut pro. She was determined to capture an entire mini dv tape and every one of her captures failed. I did some research and for some reason (probably a newer Mac) I was able to reformat her WD My Book to OS Extended with no problem. I went home and checked my backup and realized I too had the same problem but I could not get it to format to anything but FAT32 until I read your article. WOW> THANK YOU
My God! Thank You from the bottom of my heart..

This was making me almost cry with frustration.

If only WD had the intelligence to put it in the manual (what, what manual is this??!) then this thread wouldnt exist

You are a dead-set legend

I just bought MY BOOK FOR MAC external hard drive and as at last saturday the external hard drive couldn't appear on my computer desk top for some reason so I need your help Please I am a DJ and I have all my music on this to free my computer from running slow.

Thank you so much. I bought a 1tb and followed the youtube how to format an external hd and it failed! following your advice helped it work perfectly. Thank You Thank you! :)
I'm looking at buying an external hard drive for my old G4 PowerMac (Seagate 1TB External Hard Drive Hi Speed USB or Maxtor 1TB External Hard Drive USB2.0 32MB Cache). After reading this thread, I am right in thinking that I can use these powerful hard-drives with the old USB ports?

What will I lose? Speed? Will there be any limitations?

Thank you so much :)

Registration date
Wednesday October 8, 2008
Last seen
June 15, 2019
The drive will only work at the speed of the computer's USB port. I assume the PowerMac has the old slower USB ports. With such a large drive and large files - it will seem like it takes forever.

Good Luck

in disk utility you want to format usind MS-DOS (FAT) this is what I use for a small 100GB EXT HD that I have. It has never given me any problems and I use it on Windows, Mac and Linux.
I have a similar problem. I have a G5 and use it for composing music its very close to permanently crashing. It breaks down on me while I use it and I want to back up my music data, they are Reason files.
I also purchased the WD Mybook. I seriously don't know how ot use it.
Ive tried starting a new folder inside the my book hard drive and selecting all the files and placing them in there.
When I connect the Wd my book into the pc out of 399 reasin files that pop up only 10 show up as icons the rest are unitentified files, I cant open them
Please help.

I'd be willing to send some money.


This was such a great help! thank youuuu!!!!!! :)
Seriously, thank you so much!

Hi, I have a G4 dual 450. the hd in it only goes to 28 gig, I only have 17 left. I need to know some information before purchasing a ext. had like yours. Can I hook it up and use it to run all my adobe software CS3 and 4.? I'm in college (2nd) yr. and I need to be able to use the try-out versions of CS4 for Dreamweaver and Flash. My PPC is running very slow with these programs open. I have CS3 for all the graphic programs, that are mine, but the 4's are trials, I just keep redownloading them when my time is up. Anyway. I heard, I can put a Ext. FW HD on this G4 and use it like I would my internal. Is this correct. Seems like after a lot of searching, I've found a forum that's answering my questions. So....if you could guide me , i'd truly appreciate it.
My book will not even pop up on the desktop. I cannot find it at all. HELP!
I have the same problem as sequoiarayne. I have mapped the drive on my network with my new 13" macbook pro running on OS X 10.6 and my work PC laptop. However, my 15" macbook pro running OS X 10.4.11 will not even recognize it as a network drive which is the worst since it has the bulk of the information I want to transfer to the WD MY Book.
I had a problem with my WD 1TB HD not mounting when using firewire, however it mounted fine when using USB. Weird. The disk even mounted when plugging it into my other mac. Even weirder.

I tried everything short of reformatting my disk, however I was right about to. I deiced to buy a relatively inexpensive firewire hub (about $20) from amazon and it mounts fine. The HD still wont mount when plugged directly in to the comp but that's worth not reinitializing my disk.

P.S. Hub I bought is the Belkin Firewire/USB hub designed for the mac mini. Works great with my iMac.