178 of 180 people found the following review helpful
on March 15, 2011
Size Name: 1.5 TBVerified Purchase
This drive is fabulous! It is a great value, and extremely roomy.
However, there is one major issue that I have noticed that may throw off non-techies (and maybe even some techies).
Sometimes, when the drive is plugged in, the computer will not recognize it and Windows will install the WRONG DRIVER for it. Whenever this happens, you will not be able to access any of your information.
Fortunately, the SOLUTION to this issue is simple; plug in the USB cable of the drive BEFORE plugging in the power. I don't know why it has to be done in this order, but I've noticed if the power is plugged in first, the drive will not be recognized by the computer as a Western Digital drive!
Additionally, for people who do not want to leave their hard drive plugged into the computer all the time, you may have noticed that there is no "safely eject" option for the drive. An alternative to this is to go to the Western Digital site, and find the software for "WD Spindown or Stop Utility." That way, whenever the hard drive is plugged into your computer, and you want to unplug it, you can use the utility to safely eject it.
I hope this review helps. Please rank it as "helpful" so that others can see the "solution" to the drive recognition issue.
520 of 538 people found the following review helpful
on December 2, 2009
Size Name: 1 TBVerified Purchase
I purchased the 1tb Elements (WDBAAU0010HBK-NESN) for use with a Dish DVR 622.
Installation was was truly "plug and play". I simply took it out of the box, plugged it in, and it was immediately recognized by the DVR. I have since transferred about 200gb of content to/from it, and have watched content directly from the drive. So far, it is working perfectly. It automatically spins down after a few minutes of non-use, as well as when the DVR is powered off. It also spins back up automatically (less than 10 seconds) when the DVR accesses it.
One thing some people might not like: The case is designed to sit flat (as pictured), not on its side. There are four small non-skid pads on the bottom corners, but none on either side. There is no indication on the box, in the documentation, or on Western Digital's web site as to whether the drive will work properly on edge. As a general rule, WD drives are designed to operate sideways or even upside down (any X,Y,Z orientation), so this one probably will too -- but you'll need to provide your own non-skid pads.
Several similar Western Digital drives, such as the late model "My Book" series, now include a firmware-based CD-partition that is difficult to remove, and can cause compatibility issues with some devices. That partition contains backup software and utilities that are of questionable value in any case, and of absolutely no value when using the drive with a non-computer device (like the Dish DVR). The Elements -- at least at time of this review -- doesn't include any of that junk. (Note: WD does have a downloadable utility to remove the partition from the other drives, but if you don't want that junk then save yourself the time/trouble and just buy the Elements drive.)
*** UPDATE 8-24-2013 ***
Still using this WD Elements 1TB on my Dish DVR-622. I purchased in in December 2009, so it has been connected 24x7, getting regular usage for archiving and watching programs, for 45 months now! Still working perfectly.
*** UPDATE 11-10-2014 ***
Well, it has been another year -- and this WD Elements 1TB drive just keeps humming along. Still connected to my DVR-622, still connected 24x7 (note: It does correctly "spin down" when not in use and "spin up" when accessed), and still working perfectly!
1,727 of 1,807 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2009
Size Name: 1 TB
I work for Computing support at Arizona State University, and I have enough technical knowledge to be certified as a TECH JUNKIE :)
I am a photographer too, so I have tons of Photos (about 160GB), Videos, Software, Movies and Documentaries. I was looking for a simple external hard drive without any backup software included, I am smart enough to do manual incremental backups with file tree structure intact (I use GOODSYNC to backup, its very simple and easy to use, for not so TECH savvy people try SYNCTOY by Microsoft).
I have looked at many many external HDDs and narrowed down to two models "Samsung Story 1TB - very good one too" and this one (I wanted it to be cheap too - got this for $85. I did not go with other WD models because of their annoying Backup Software.
Coming to the WD Elements 1TB: Its much smaller than I expected. It is dead silent, I had to touch it to convince myself that it was running, when I first turned it on. Its not too heavy either. The indicator light is placed at the rear, which is a very good thing (I find these LED's annoying, especially at night).
After I did the first setup, I copied 383GB of data (931GB was total space). It took about 4hr 47min, speed varied between 20MBps to 37MBps. This is pretty good speed for USB 2.0. It was just a bit warm (my old segate hard drive would be very very hot for this amount of data transfer).
I would recommend it to beginners or pros alike. I am very happy with this purchase!
After about three months of heavy usage, it never gave up on me. Its still dead silent and works flawlessly. It never got even warm!!
I sold my WD Elements 1TB and got a 2TB one a couple of months ago(as my data is on rise all the time, I'm a data guzzler), couldn't be happier :)
Till today the drives work like a charm, I bought another 2TB drive a year ago (now I have 2TB x 2 = 4TB)
They both work fantastic!!
Both the drives still work great. I am planning to buy another one with 3tb or 4tb option. I'm a data guzzler lol
407 of 422 people found the following review helpful
Size Name: 1.5 TBVerified Purchase
I bought 3 of these drives for $99 each around Black Friday. The value cannot be beat and I always prefer Western Digital due to their Advance Replacement policy.
One of the drives had issues. I always check all new drives I buy with the Western Digital Life Diagnostics program which is available for free from Western Digital. All drives passed the test without issues. The test will take at least 12 hours to complete on such a large drive. One of the drives was dropping the transfer rate after copying 500 GB to it for no reason and I had to replace it. What is really disappointing is that the drive passed the test so I have no confidence in the diagnostic program anymore.
The moment you receive the drive check your warranty online at the Western Digital website. The warranty for this model is only 1 year which I consider absolutely insufficient for a drive. The bad thing about it is that Western Digital starts counting from the manufacturing date and by the time you get it, the warranty left is only 9-10 months which is ridiculous. They will update the warranty to 1 year after the purchase date but you will have to send them the receipt and be patient. It took them 2 weeks to respond to an online request. They also have an option to extend the warranty for another 2 years for $25 per drive. I might consider that....
I recommend this drive because the size, price and ease of use. It doesn't have any of the limitations of the fancier Western Digital drives. It is just a big, cheap external hard drive.
Update - September 16 2010
Today I bought another one and when cheking the warranty it was shorter by 6 months. I went through my regular procedure to write to WD Customer support when I realized they had a link that was addressing the issue. Now you can register the drive and it will update the warranty automatically. It even gives you 1 month more ! Also, the registration page gives information about warranty upgrades. You can upgrade this drive from 1 year to 3 years for $25. Not bad considering that if it dies after the first year (and all do after they are out of warranty) it is just a paperweight.
My advices to everybody that buy WD drives are:
1. Check your warranty ASAP.
2. Register the drive to get it updated.
377 of 393 people found the following review helpful
on November 19, 2009
Size Name: 1.5 TB
I bought this on sale at Fry's for $99, way below the amazon price. I wanted something simple as most hard drives these days come with their annoying built in software which cannot be deleted (like WD Essential Edition). This is a hassle free drive and is not bundled with any of the extra software which is exactly what I wanted. You simply plug it in and it works. It can easily be formatted to work with macs as well. I've been using WD hard drives for years and I own several models of the "essential" and "passport" editions. They are very reliable.
This elements hard drive has a sleek and sexy, minimalist design. It is well built overall and constructed of durable plastic. There is a slot for the USB cable, a slot for the power adapter and a tiny circular white light which blinks when it is in use (the light is not overwhelming as some hard drives can be). All three of these features are on one side/face of the hard drive (as shown in the picture), so if you have this plugged in and it is facing away from you, you won't see the light at all. This doesn't bother me but it may be a turn off for some people.
When in operation, it is very smooth and quiet compared to other WD hard drives I own. This may be due to the fact that it is closed entirely and there are no holes for ventilation as in other WD models. But this doesn't bother me because I just use this as a backup and don't need it on all of the time. This could (emphasis on "could") be an issue if you are constantly using your hard drive because it may become hot. I haven't experienced this at all, just speculating. If you are just backing up files and, say, watching a movie on your computer which is stored on the hard drive, I think you'll be fine and there won't be any heating issues.
More info here on WD's website: [...]
130 of 132 people found the following review helpful
on May 2, 2010
Size Name: 2 TBVerified Purchase
The Western Digital WD Elements is probably most notable for what it doesn't have:
1) It doesn't have any clever "look at me" flasing/glowing/blinking lights. One tiny light in the back will confirm it is on. But you won't need to check because "it just works".
2) It doesn't have any annoying, auto-loading, "I know better" software. There are lots of great backup programs available (freeware, shareware and built into most operating systems). And, of course, you can always just drag-and-drop files right onto the drive.
3) It doesn't get hot. Heat is a killer for electronics so that is even more important than you might think.
4) It doesn't make ANY sound.
5) It doesn't take up much space. It is smaller and more compact than any other external drive that I have purchased.
6) It doen't have any goofy stands or attachments. It is squared on all sides except the back so you can position it any way you want to.
7) And finally, it doesn't cost much. Considering drive space for cost this is the best value I have ever gotten on a drive.
For reference I have purchased two Seagate Freeagent drives, a 1 TB MyBook and have put several old drives into external drive enclosures. All of them are still working. I also have passing experience with several others from work and associates -- I like the WD Elements solution the best!
112 of 114 people found the following review helpful
on June 2, 2010
Size Name: 2 TBVerified Purchase
Just received mine and it works with my HP LapTop under XP but although the drive shows up in Windows 7 you can't do anything with it. No Drive letter, no format, no nothing - device is working properly - you just can't use it. When you attempt to assign a drive letter in Disk Manager it complains that it needs a refresh which doesn't help.
After 5 or 6 Emails back and forth with WD they informed me to contact either my PC manufacturer or Microsoft to resolve the issue. After scouring the internet seems there are LOTS of people with this exact same problem under Windows 7 Pro 64 bit edition. (Most seem to have an NVidia video card as well.) Here's the fix (no thanks to WD):
1. Open Device Manager
2. Locate the Drive
3. Right Click - Uninstall
4. Unplug drive USB Cable and plug it back in
Transfers files at around 28 MB/sec. Other than this start up issue so far it's made a great back up drive.
66 of 67 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 2010
Size Name: 1.5 TBVerified Purchase
This is a great external hard drive for expanding your digital storage capacity. I was in need for added storage and wanted to go for the 2TB WD Elements External Hard Drive. I wasn't really happy with the prices I was seeing for the 2TB hard drive, and that is when I decided to check up on the 1.5TB drives. WOW! I was amazed at the price Amazon was offering these drives and I got two of them. Yes, two! (My work requires that kind of storage space)
I got 3TB worth of storage for the price of a 2TB External hard drive!
That said, let us talk about the performance of these drives -
1) Build and form factor - Nice sleek looking enclosures. All black, the sides are fingerprint magnets with a glossy finish. The top and bottom panels have a matte finish. Looks matter to me, even if it just an external drive. The microUSB and AC sockets are closely spaced with a small white indicator light besides them. All in all very compact, sleek, and aesthetically pleasing device.
2) Performance - I am getting constantly good speeds on these drives. Reads at 30MB/s and writes at about 24MB/s, which is good and fast enough for my needs.
As always, users have to be careful with all hard drives, internal or external. I am handling my drives with the utmost care. I don't want to lose any important data.
Finally, this drive is a complete value for money purchase. I say go for it if you are out looking for a large capacity external hard drive.
68 of 71 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 2010
Size Name: 1 TBVerified Purchase
Great hard drive! Small, quite, easy to reformat for MAC. Copied these directions from another review. Followed instructions and works perfectly.
INSTALLING THE HARD DRIVE (MAC & PC)
1. Plug one end of power cord to WD hard drive and the other end into an outlet.
2. Plug one end of USB to WD hard drive and the other end to the computer.
3. You will see the Western Digital hard drive on the desktop called "Elements."
Note: you can double click the drive to open it but MAC users can not transfer files to the drive unless it is formatted for the MAC.
FORMATTING DRIVE FOR THE MAC
1. From the Applications folder select: Utilities, Disk Utilities.
2. Select (on left side): 2 TB WD Ext HDD 1021 Media
3. Select (on right side): partition tab
4. Select (under Volume Scheme): Partition 1
5. (Optionally): Give the drive a NAME under Volume Information
6. Click: OPTIONS
7. Click: GUID Partition Table
8. Click: OK
9. Click: Apply
10. Click: Partition
TIME MACHINE (for backing up system)
1. From the Apple (top left corner) select: System Preferences
2. Under System select: Time Machine
3. Click the LOCK icon to make changes (need admin password)
4. Click: OK (after entering password)
5. Click: Select Disk
6. Click: "the NAME you gave your new drive" (step 5 above)
7. Click: Use for Backup
87 of 94 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2009
Size Name: 1.5 TB
I picked this up from Fry's when it was on sale for 100 bucks.
I like the price.
I think the main differentiators between this and the higher price drive is that it has only 1 year warranty, and does not come bundled with any software to help you back up stuff.
But seriously who uses any of those anyways? Drive is preformated to NTFS, if you have a mac you'll need to reformat to be able write to it.
what I like:
very small.-for a 3.5" drive. very quiet and does not vibrate as much as my seagate 1.5TB drives.-This maybe due to the drive running at a lower RPM. I couldn't find the SPEC to say what this drive spins at.
Drive spins up and down(powers down) when not in use. very nice. the white power LED isn't overly bright.
dislike: enclosure snaps together, making it hard to swap out the drive in the future. only 1 year warranty. but I think that the 1 year is pre-built into the pricing.