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I have a WD "MY Passport" 1 TB drive which I use for my TimeMachine backup on a 15" MacBook Pro (Mid 2014).

Sometimes, the mac will not detect when the drive is being connected (it's not showing in the disk utility either). Rebooting the mac does not help.

However, after some experimentations, I found out that if I connect the drive to a Windows machine, disconnect it and then connect it to the mac, it's detected and can be used with no issues (until the next time it's not detected).

This happened to me on another drive (a seagate drive) as well.

Anyone has any idea what's going on here?

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You do not have the "standard" formatting on the WD: for TimeMachine it should be imperatively GUID Partition Table. and. Mac OS X Extended (journaled). If it really has that, open DiskUtility and select the WD, then select the FirstAid tab: it will check and repair permissions.

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    Could you elaborate on how this addresses the delay in the drive appearing?. Without details, this should probably be a comment on the question - also... 1. OP said it doesn't appear in DiskUtility. 2. DiskUtility no longer repairs permissions at all, & never for other than the boot volume.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Dec 11, 2016 at 16:07
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    @Tetsujin Thanks for the comment. We'll see if we can assist Lex on the moderation side in terms of patterns of answers - I'll edit your comments here to be about this one specific post as opposed to other answers in conjunction with this one.
    – bmike
    Commented Dec 11, 2016 at 20:38

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