I posted this question on Yahoo Answers a few days ago but got no response, so I'll just copy the question from there:
I have a WD 3TB MyBook Essential that is self-powered but with no kill switch (it has a power button but as near as I can tell this is only able to reset the MyBook; if it's plugged into a computer it turns on, if it's unplugged it turns off (i.e., it idles, has power but is essentially off); I personally hate this feature) and I have a hard drive enclosure with a kill switch.
Both are plugged into a USB 3.0 hub. The enclosure is usb 2.0 and the MyBook is USB 3.0.
IMPORTANT: my problems started only once I started plugging the drives into the enclosure instead of directly to the computer (I can no longer plug directly into the computer and am looking for another solution).
Now the problem is that the MyBook turns off seemingly at random (as in I'm pretty sure it's not when the computer goes to sleep, it might be if the computer gets unplugged or closed (it's a laptop set to do nothing on lid close because it is also connected to a TV for multiple screens to output to).
The enclosure does not turn off. When the MyBook turns off (and when I say off I mean in idle mode, but My Computer can't read it), it will only turn back on again if I plug things in in this EXACT order.
1. disconnect usb hub from laptop
2. disconnect power to usb hub and MyBook from the hub (this can be done in either order)
3. connect power to the hub
4. connect the hub to the laptop
5. connect the MyBook to the hub
It seems apparent that the enclosure does not turn off because it has it's own kill switch that keeps it always on unless the switch is flicked. There is a usb sound controller plugged into the hub as well and there is a sound system plugged into it. The sound controller is self-powered and always stays on when the MyBook turns off.
SCENARIOS: I think there are two possible scenarios, either only the MyBook turns off, or the USB hub turns off and only the MyBook can't restart itself. The other two things plugged into the hub are always on when the MyBook is off.
Again, I've woken the computer up from sleep and the MyBook has stayed on so I don't think this happens when the computer falls asleep. I've also checked to see that the MyBook is on and then returned to the computer 5 minutes later (no sleep, hibernation, screen saver or anything) to find the MyBook off.
The MyBook never shuts off if connected directly to the computer, but I can no longer connect it directly and need to use a hub.
From what I can tell, USB selective suspend setting is not something that could be causing the problem but I have tried both enabling and disabling the setting. The MyBook turns off either way. Selective suspend is currently disabled.
I've also gone into the device manager and unchecked "Allow windows to turn off this device to conserve power" for all of my USB Root Hub devices.
I don't know what other windows settings allow it to shut off USB devices but from all the trouble-shooting I've done, Windows should not be able to turn off the MyBook; furthermore, the laptop is plugged in, the hub is powered, the enclosure is powered and the MyBook is powered so there should not be any kind of power issue.
Any advice anyone can offer is greatly appreciated. I've gotten to the point where I don't even know how to troubleshoot the issue anymore
2 days ago - 6 days left to answer.
So since posting this I was watching a tv show on VLC through my MyBook and torrenting files to my MyBook; while watching the MyBook reset itself, VLC returned an error message on all files from the MyBook drive and uTorrent also returned an error for files it was downloading and seeding because it could not locate them.
I checked My Computer and the MyBook drive was back on and AutoPlay options soon popped up. I also double-checked my power management settings and nothing had changed. USB selective suspend is disabled and all usb root hubs in device manage have "allow this computer to turn off the device to save power" UNCHECKED.
Thanks for any help.
2 days ago
So the computer fell asleep overnight (in sleep mode for a good 8-10 hours) and when I woke it back up it had been torrenting the whole time. Sleep mode is definitely not turning off the hard drive. And sorry Rezwan, I'm not sure what you mean?
23 hours ago
I have three WD external hard drives (not a MyBook though) and none of them suffer with that problem.
The problem you are experiencing with the MyBook is all over the various forums I contribute to, and unfortunately nowhere have I seen a fix for it. Sorry I can't help but thought I should at least reply rather than ignore.