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32 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on February 1, 2011
Size Name: 2 TB
Let me start off by saying that the drive works without issue on Win7 64-bit, at least in my case - I'm using the Buffalo USB 3.0 adapter card. First off, probably best to install the SES driver that is located on the drive. That's right, don't blow away all of the software and other "stuff" (btw, I can think of another word for the "value added" software: useless, clumbsy and bloated all come to mind quickly) prior to locating this driver which is in the "Extras" folder. Not sure why they put what is essentially a mandatory driver in a folder called Extras. If you don't load the driver, each time the drive spins up Windows will think it is new hardware unless you install it so I would have likely put it in a folder named "driver" or "important". But again, the drive is fast and can be used without the software so I'm not a hater. However, get this, the on/off switch on the back of the drive will only work if you install the software bundle. That's interesting isn't it? I only use the drive for periodic large backups so I use the Safely Remove Hardware icon in the notification area to dismount the drive and then I pull the A/C plug from the back of the unit. Look, if you like to load and use the software that comes with these drives, that's fine, then this drive is likely what you are looking for. It appears to have a pretty robust incremental back-up software, a SMART utility and some other stuff - and of course, the power switch enabler! However, if you are like me and simply want to connect the drive, format it clean and write to it, and be able to turn it off and on without complication, there are likely better drives out there. I understand from another reviewer that the Seagate works like a "standard" USB HD. Again, the WD drive itself is fine, just not clear why they add all of the software. I can only speak for myself, friends and work associates, none of us really want that stuff and never use it.
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28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2011
Size Name: 3 TB
I saw this hard drive at Costco on special for $109.99. 3 Terabytes? USB 3.0? Last one in stock? "How could I lose?" I thought to myself. Well, it appears that Western Digital set out to show me exactly how I could lose.

I've been wanting a large drive to keep backups of my computer. So naturally, the first thing I tried to do was to backup using WD's built-in software. It seemed well and good for a while as it backed up the primary partition of my hard drive just fine. But then I tried backing up the other partition of my hard drive (I have a 500gb HD in my comp partitioned into two parts...Asus did this for some reason) and I noticed the program froze after copying about 50 gigabytes. Then, bizarrely, it caused the rest of the computer to lock up. My browsers froze first, then my desktop wallpaper disappeared. I thought, well, maybe I did something wrong, so I started the whole process over again. Same thing happened. And then happened a third time. The software was crashing my computer. This is not a top-tier computer, but it's a pretty fine machine, the ASUS G53SW-XA1 Republic of Gamers 15.6-Inch Gaming Laptop.

So I thought, hey, maybe WD's proprietary software just sucks. So I tried using Windows backup, and it failed repeatedly to backup. I went to sleep and woke up to find the computer offline. I opened it up and Windows told me I had an I/O device failure. So, after a trying experience, I am taking this hard drive back to Costco. It was a deal too good to be true. A hard drive isn't even worth $20 if it doesn't work. I recommend that you avoid this product.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Size Name: 3 TBVerified Purchase
For some reason most of the reviews shown to me when I select the 3 TB drive are for other smaller versions of the drive. Here's a review that's actually about the 3 TB model.

I've got two of these 3 TB drives and am close to adding a third. A lot of video data is taking a lot of disk space, and there really aren't many 3-TB drives available at this point. I'd like to add an esata drive to the mix, but I'm only aware of a couple of 3 TB esata drives, and they're twice as expensive as this unit.

I started out using these drives on USB 2. Of course data transfer was slow. I subsequently switched to USB 3 on a new laptop, and added a USB 3 hub to expand the use of that single port. No problem with two of these and a Seagate 1.5 TB GoFlex on a single hub. Inerestingly, I haven't noticed a slowdown in the transfer rate between a single drive direct in the USB 3 port and three drives in a hub. While it's not exactly instantaneous to move 10-100 gigabytes around at a time, the data transfer rate is reliably about 5X faster than USB 2 was for me, and I can see it burst sometimes at outrageous speeds.

You might ask, why don't I just get an array? I started out with one, actually, from a company which shall remain unnamed, but it failed me utterly. Two different arrays (after the first was exchanged) lost all my data three times. Fortunately I didn't trust it at all after the first time and had 100% backups. It's not easy to keep backups of terabytes of data, though, so that's why I ended up with the first of these Western Ditigal drives. At this point, I don't trust desktop RAID setups. So I'll just split my data between these drives, which isn't hard for this particular application.

I had no serious problems getting these drives to work with Windows 7 64-bit. The OS initially failed to see the second one, which is a quick fix in Disk Manager, I've seen this before with other identical drives where it seems to realize there are two separate drives but somehow considers them the same drive as well, and you have to click "online" to solve this strange little problem. So that happened. I also noticed that one of the two drives has a tendency to not be seen by the OS until I unplug it and restart it, upon reboot. I haven't seen this problem for awhile, so I suspect I solved it as part of a general issue with too many powered devices hooked up upon startup (I have a lot of stuff hooked up to three USB hubs, and now I just unplug one of the USB 2 hubs during initial boot).

The software that comes with this drive is both terrible and unnecessary. It's unnecessary because Windows 7 sees the drive without it, and I had trouble even understanding what some of the other reviewers were complaining about, like the guy with the catch-22 about not being able to get to the advanced drivers. I don't know what advanced features one would need with this drive. I plugged it in, it shows up as a drive, I put data on it, the end. But if those advanced features are the backup software that comes with it, I agree with all the other reviewers who urge you not to install it. I installed it and had a problem which I haven't seen in these reviews but which was all over the WD forums, namely that one of the background utilities has a tendency to run your CPU up as time goes on, apparently analyzing your files for the next backup or something. Totally unnecessary and very problematic. I immediately uninstalled the WD backup software, might as well just use the one that comes with Windows or any of the million others out there.

It was also annoying that the latest WD software doesn't work with older WD drives, so when I had smaller, older WD drives mounted, there were two completely separate sets of WD utilities running at once. I used those utilities to update the firmware on all my drives, then uninstalled them and am the better for it.

I have some smaller seagate drives to take on the road and I like the GoFlex system a lot. But I don't really trust seagate drives, they've always been the least reliable in terms of the actual drive hardware throughout my career, which began before hard drives even existed. I mention this because the 3 TB Seagate GoFlex drives are just about the only other 3 TB USB 3.0 drives out there right now.

So far these WD's have been working fine for me. So I rate the drives 5 stars and the software 2 stars, not 1 star because heck, it probably actually works as a backup program if you installed it and suffered through the CPU cranking problem (the solution last I checked: frequent reboots). I'll never know, because I'll never install it again. But I run the drives 16 hours a day, and no problems yet.

I don't know what the guy meant who thought these drives feel "cheap." They're professionally designed and built, and solid enough for plastic enclosures. It'd be nice if they were in metal cases, sure. If that jacked the price up $100, I'd probably risk the Seagate. I'd pay $50 more for metal, though.

So now I have to decide whether to get another of these or the G-drive esata. I'm a little afraid of putting four drives on a 4-port USB 3 hub, and esata's as fast as USB 3 in real terms on this machine, per my unscientific testing. Maybe I'll get one of each. It chaps my hide, though, to pay twice as much for the same capacity in a pretty metal case with a deadended technology interface. That's more of an Apple fan club kind of move.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon October 30, 2010
Size Name: 2 TBVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I've never owned an external hard drive before but was excited to try My Book. I was surprised by how small and sleek it is. It's the size and weight of a small fat book.

At first, I just plugged it in expecting it to work. There wasn't any printed instruction manual. My computer couldn't find the driver for it. I googled and found that it was in the hard drive itself and had to install it from there.

After I installed it, I started copying files to it. This was going well, but then realized that the Western Digital software was also on the hard drive. I installed the software and was told I needed to update the My Book firmware. I did that, but the firmware wouldn't install, because I needed to unplug all the devices connected via USB port, which would mean losing use of my keyboard and mouse and four other devices. I then tried updating the firmware through my netbook and got the same message, even though the only thing connected to any USB port was My Book. Western Digital technical support emailed me saying sorry it won't update and that the good news is my product already has the latest firmware.

I'm glad I installed the software, because it makes backing up my files a little easier. I have two hard drives inside my computer. One of them is filled with photos and videos, and I just tell the Western Digital software to back up that one. It took 45 minutes to back up 56 gigs. When I add photos or make changes, it only backs up the new files, so it's much quicker.

This little external hard drive has been wonderful so far. If it fails me in the future, I will be sure to come back and update the review. So far, so good. I'm liking it.

UPDATE 5/19/13: This drive is still working like the day I got it. My son hooked it up to his Wii U and loves it.
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33 of 41 people found the following review helpful
Size Name: 2 TBVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Background: I am a semi-pro photographer looking for additional local short-term storage solution aside from my HP Media Smart Server (more long term limited need to access for editing). I am using the WD Dard Drive with a Dell Inspiron Desktop using USB 2.0 under Windows 7 (64 bit).

Western Digital is a reputable brand for all types of storage solutions. This WD drive installed quickly and painlessly; even the packaging is easy to deal with. WD includes a longer than standard USB cable, which was a really nice surprise. The drive IS NOT powered by USB and requires an electrical outlet nearby. NOTE: I strongly recommend you do not install the typical WD software. Instead, rely on backup software already on your OS or Microsoft's Sync Toy (I use to replicate my client photo sessions folders). This will allow you to avoid conflicts I always seem to encounter. WD software is not needed and the drive is pre-formatted. Literally, "plug and play." WD provides little hard copy documentation. However, everything you need is provided (startup poster). For some reason, people are still hung up on the lack of documentation. Everything you need is in the box and any information you could want is on their site. IMHO, the less paper, the better.

Upon installation, the drive was immediately recognized by my computer. The drive is incredibly quiet with no fan noise and I have to look at the light on the front of the unit to determine if it is on unless I have my drives open on my computer. The drive sits upright (or you can lay it down and stack drives) and is barely noticeable next to my computer. The drive comes with a Kennsington lock slot and the ability to password protect drive contents.

Speed: I am not a test freak so my tests are based on practical usage. I transferred 25 GB of Raw image files (about 12-18 mb a piece) in about 15 minutes @ USB 2.0. The drive did not hesitate once during this process (straight copy over as opposed to SyncToy replication). My system backups seem slower, though acceptable. There is no noticeable adverse impact on computer performance when using the drive, so you can easily continue working on other tasks. As I sometimes edit large Raw files directly on the WD drive, I can comment that the speed was more than acceptable for my purposes (using Nikon Capture NX2 and Photoshop CS5). However, pro-photographers would probably need a faster solution.

In summation, I trust WD and find this drive a great solution for my needs. I recommend this drive. If anything changes, I will update my review.
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30 of 37 people found the following review helpful
Size Name: 2 TBVerified Purchase
The 2TB WD External Hard Drive (EHD) arrived a couple of weeks ago and it was a snap to attach to my computer. It is USB 3.0-enabled, but it is USB 2.0 compatible, so it attached quickly and easily to an available USB 2.0 port. It is REALLY DIFFICULT to find the "best" EHD (or anything else, for that matter), since one tends to see lots of "pro" and lots of "con" reviews. This particular EHD seemed to have a reasonably good ratio of "pro" to "con," so I ordered it. So far, it has performed well -- i.e., it has not failed (as did my Seagate -- which the WD replaced -- very early in its career). However, the WD-provided backup software is a major drawback.

Pros:
* Attaches easily to an available USB 2.0 or 3.0 port
* Starts up when the computer is started up
* Operates silently and transparently
* Good capacity for the $$

Cons:
* The included backup software is very, very poor -- in fact, it is worse than useless. It does not allow one to choose specific files or folders to backup; instead, one is forced to choose the "type" of files one wants backed up to the EHD. This is sort of like picking up pennies wearing boxing gloves, i.e., awkward and frustrating. But it is actually worse than that -- the WD-provided software does NOT actually back up all of the files of the selected file types. Consequently, utilizing this backup software is a really bad idea if one is serious about reliable backups. The software included with my defunct Seagate drive ("Seagate Manager") was significantly better. In any event, I have acquired third-party backup software as a work-around.
* When the computer powers off, the WD EHD sits and flashes its light. It SEEMS as if it has spun down, but it would be nice if it completely powered down -- as, once again, my defunct Seagate used to do. (To be fair, I suppose I should give it 10 or 15 minutes to see if it eventually completely powers down......)
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Size Name: 3 TBVerified Purchase
Title kind of says it all. Lost about a tb of data. Explorer goes totally nuts whenever I try to access data on it now. I will continue troubleshooting of course, but it's a real pain. Thanks Western Digital!
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24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon November 24, 2010
Size Name: 2 TBVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I am anything but a computer geek. My running joke is that I think of computers as essentially souped-up typewriters. Well not so much anymore, especially as the size and complexity of my files and their storage needs have become so difficult. Accordingly, I decided to try out this drive. I'm glad that I started using this Western Digital external drive.

Thankfully, this external hard drive is so easy to use that even I can do it. The instructions for setting it up were easy (even idiot proofed with pictures rather than much in the way of text); I plugged in the power cord and attached the USB connector between the drive and the computer and within a couple of minutes I was able to see the drive on my screen. There was little in terms of documentation, but it can be obtained on-line and one of the first things I did was download the manual for future review.

The backups to my computer are automatic, the retrievals are easy, and using the external drive is as close to being effortless as anything I have seen. I use it at home, and take it to the office to sync up my files in both places. It can be secured, critical for my work, and really portable and sturdy. I'm quite happy with it, especially the ease of use.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on February 14, 2011
Size Name: 3 TBVerified Purchase
The good

Fast, quite, big and affordable. For those that are numbers people out there it took 110 seconds to move 4GB off my internal laptop HD, through my external apple display onto the device. That's approximately 37 MB/second (or in bus speeds about 298 Mb/sec). Top theoretical speed of USB2.0 is 480 Mb/sec which means this is performing at about 62% of optimal which to me is a great number considering I don't have USB3 ports on my laptop. This was a stop-gap solution for me because I can't afford a full RAID array with enclosure that I like, and this is much much cheaper. If these speeds are acceptable for you, and you can give up the safety of RAID 1 or RAID 5 then this is a great buy. The unit feels very stable, looks great, even the pack-in cables feel very high quality.

The bad

Pack-in software! I'm not one for bundle-ware, but I always give it a shot just to be proven wrong. In this case it was a mixed bag. The "Turbo+" drivers that came with it seem to be working great but I don't have much empirical data to back it up, the rest of it was crap. Also, it came formatted as NTFS which is of course read-only on Mac OS X (I'm running OSX 10.6.6). I quickly and easily reformatted the device as a single 3TB partition as Mac OS Extended (Journaled) on my own.

The ugly

The "Quick Format" utility that came with it was very scary and ugly indeed. It was full of dialog boxes and warnings and a drop down menu with "Item 1, Item 2, Item 3" with no indication of what I might be formatting. I quickly ditched that for the default Apple Disk Utility which partitioned/formatted without issue. For those Mac users out there dual booting into Win7 like me there are some free/open source HPFS+ utilities available for Windows so you can still get to your files even though the volume is formatted for Mac. VM Ware and Parallels also provide tools for swapping files back and forth between operating systems if you have those.

Summary: 4 stars, pack-in crap-ware cost it 1 star since I'm rating the whole shipped product, not just the hard drive.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on April 9, 2011
Size Name: 1 TB
This review is for a 1TB USB 3.0/2.0 MyBook Essential running on Win Vista, 32-bit, fully patched, on a dual-core Intel machine with 4Gb of RAM.

WD supplies a "continuous backup" program that aims to keep your files automatically backed up at all times. This is a nice idea, but in practice, the "wdsmartware.exe" service is a total resource hog, using ~70%-80% of CPU with a 300Mb virtual memory size, 140Mb working set, running at "normal" priority. It makes logon time intolerably slow, and it slows down all other interactive desktop actions. It is simply unworkable, and you will need to uninstall it. The drive can be accessed and used without it.
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