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WD My Passport Studio 500 GB FireWire 800/400 USB 2.0 Portable External Hard Drive (Silver)

4.1 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

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500 GB
    This fits your .
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  • Automatic, continuous backup
  • Formated in HFS + for the Mac
  • Smart Display - Create your own personalized drive label to remind you what's stored on each drive
  • Password protection and 256-bit encryption
  • FireWire 800/400 and USB 2.0 interface

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Technical Details

Capacity: 500 GB
  • Brand Name: Western Digital
  • Model Number: WDBAAE5000ASL-NESN
  • Hard Disk Size: 500 GB
  • Manufacturer Warranty Description: 3 years limited warranty
  • Hardware Platform: Pc
See more technical details

Product Description

Capacity: 500 GB

Product Description

WD's ultra-portable, My Passport Studio drive is packed with innovative features including a customizable e-label to remind you what's stored on the drive. Formatted for Mac and compatible with Apple Time Machine, this drive is plug-and-play ready for Mac computer users. WD SmartWare enables automatic, continuous backup with visual display. FireWire 800 provides fast data access and saves.

From the Manufacturer

My Passport Studio - Pure performance for Mac.

The sleek and stylish Mac®-ready My Passport Studio drive features super-fast performance, FireWire® 800 interface, and customizable e-label for a smarter, faster drive.

Your label, your way.

Create your own label to remind you of what's stored on the drive. See it even when the drive is unplugged. Perfect for archiving data.

Pure performance.

Save and access data at top speeds with the high-performance FireWire 800 interface.

Mac-ready.

Formatted for Mac and compatible with Apple® Time Machine™ this drive is plug-and-play ready for Mac computer users.


Features at a glance
  • Automatic, continuous backup
  • Customizable e-label
  • Compatible with Apple Time Machine
  • Password protection and hardware-based encryption
  • WD SmartWare visual backup software
  • 3-year limited warranty

Smart display - Create your own personalized drive label to remind you of what's stored on each drive. You can even view the label when the drive is unplugged. The display also includes available capacity and security status. Its portable form factor makes it easy to take your digital life with you anywhere you want to go.

FireWire 800 - Save and access data at top speeds with the high-performance FireWire 800 interface. Also includes USB 2.0 interfaces for maximum flexibility.

Designed for use with Mac computers - Formatted for Mac and compatible with Apple Time Machine, this drive is plug-and-play ready for Mac computer users.

WD SmartWare™ - See your life safe in one place.

-- See your backup as it happens - Seeing is believing. Visual backup displays your content in categories and shows the progress of your backup.

-- Protect your data automatically - Relax, your data is secure. Automatic, continuous backup will instantly make a second copy whenever you add or change a file.

-- Bring back lost files effortlessly - Retrieve your valuable data to its original location whether you've lost all your data or just overwritten an important file.

-- Take control - Customize your backup, set drive security, run diagnostics, manage the power settings, and more from the WD SmartWare control center.

Find out more about WD SmartWare™

Drive lock - Gain peace of mind knowing that your data is protected from unauthorized access or theft with password protection and 256-bit hardware-based encryption.

Planet friendly - We designed a small box from recycled materials to minimize waste. We encourage you to recycle it.

Ideal For

  • Identifying what's on your drive even when it's unplugged. Perfect for archiving.
  • Using with Mac and Apple Time Machine
  • Protecting your data with automatic, continous backup
  • Retrieving lost data effortlessly
  • Securing private or sensitive data
  • Storing and editing videos and photos

Compatibility

Formatted HFS+ Journaled
Mac OS® X Tiger®, Leopard®, Snow Leopard™
Note: Compatibility may vary depending on user's hardware configuration and operating system.

What's in the box

Portable hard drive, WD SmartWare software, FireWire 800 cable, FireWire 800 to 400 adapter, USB cable, Quick Install Guide.


Backup software you'll really use - WD SmartWare

Five great reasons to love it:

1. It's easy - Data backup can be a chore, but it's your family photos, your movies, your music - your life - and it's important to protect it. So we made this software extra easy because we really want you to use it.

2. You can see your life safe in one place -
See your content displayed in easy to understand categories like movies and photos. Watch the progress of your backup as it happens with the instant-feedback color bars. Now you can truly be sure that all your stuff is backed up.

  • A unique visual interface lets you see the drives connected to your computer.
  • WD SmartWare will automatically scan your computer and find all of your personal files, including e-mail.
  • Content category gauges show how much information you have to be backed up in each category. You can even mouse over a category to see a file count.
  • Simply click Run Backup and WD SmartWare will automatically start backing up your files.
  • As your backup is running the category gauges will change color showing you the backup as it happens.
  • When finished, you'll see a status screen and information about your backup. You only have to do this once. After the first backup your files will be backed up automatically every time you change or add a file.

3. It's always on the job - WD SmartWare is always watching your computer, so when you change a file and save it, create new files, add new pictures, movies, or songs, WD SmartWare will instantly back them up.

4. You can bring back lost files effortlessly - If you ever accidentally delete an important file, or need to get an earlier version of a file, you can find and retrieve it in seconds with this easy-to-use interface.

  • Restore files and folders by categories – photos, music, video, for example.
  • Find a lost file with the search function.
  • Go back in time to retrieve an older version of a file.

5. You're in control - WD SmartWare software is also a control center for your external drives. From it you can:

  • Customize your backup
  • Set drive security
  • Run diagnostics
  • Manage the power settings, and more...

Product Information

Capacity:500 GB
Product Dimensions 4.3 x 3.2 x 0.6 inches
Item Weight 6.2 ounces
Shipping Weight 4.8 ounces
ASIN B00378KLYM
Item model number WDBAAE5000ASL-NESN
Customer Reviews
4.1 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #1,768 in Electronics > Computers & Accessories > Data Storage > External Hard Drives
#114,973 in Electronics > Accessories & Supplies > Computer Accessories
Date first available at Amazon.com February 28, 2010

Warranty & Support

Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here

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Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Size: 500 GB Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
If you're a Mac user or, like me, use both Macs and PCs then you know that portable hard drives still come in two flavors - those that are Mac ready and those that are PC ready. If you want a PC ready drive with Firewire capability you're still out of luck but this Western Digital offering is much closer to plug and play that previous offerings.

I have two of these drives. The first I use at work with a Mac and the setup was as easy as advertised. Just plug it in and it works. The second I use at home with a PC and that's a little tricky. I wanted the FireWire option (if the coolest PCs only have so many USB ports) so I was willing to put up with some hassle for the functionality. Here's what you need to do on a Windows 7 PC:

Plug in the drive
Click on the start button
Go to Computer and right click
Select Manage (you'll need admin rights)
On the Computer Management screen select Disk Management (under Storage)
My Studio will be listed as not initialized. It won't have a drive letter.
Right click on the My Studio disk and select Initialize
Then Right click again and select format. Make sure to format for NTFS.

Since you're only partitioning and not really formatting the drive this will only take a minute or two to complete. Then you're ready to go. That's a big improvement over other drives such as the otherwise fine Iomega FireWire drive that requires a full formatting.

The digital read out on the front of the drive lets you label it and see how much space you have left. This is a great feature if you use multiple hard drives like I do. The only downside it that this feature seems to be the reason this My Studio drive is almost twice as thick as WD's My Passport drive with the same GB size.
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Size: 500 GB
I received the 500 GB version of this drive from WD after a month-long exchange over problems with the WD3200MT I initially bought (older generation drive, Passport III; see my review there), which froze during heavy writes over Firewire 800. I tested this drive thoroughly after I received it to make sure it didn't have the same problem, and it does not. The performance I measured was 36-55 MiB/sec sustained write (inner to outer tracks), 37-68 MiB/sec read. Compare to USB 2.0 that does not exceed 30 MiB/sec. Note that I did observe that after an hour of writing the data rate would drop to half, which I believe is a thermal-protection feature; it would remain slow for 30-60 minutes (presumably until it cooled down). I propped up the drive to improve cooling a little and modified my test to "rest" the drive periodically, and after that was able to write at high speeds until the disk was full. Inserting the "rests" added 25 minutes to the 2.5 hours it takes to fill the disk, so equates to an acceptably modest reduction in overall throughput (~17%) when you need to write for long periods of time. I tested a 30-second rest after each 10 GB of writing.

I'm happy with the drive's performance (the most important thing on a Firewire drive in my opinion -- otherwise save your money!), but don't find the extras compelling. The Smartware software is okay but I can't find a way to turn off the backup feature, meaning it periodically scans my main disk even if backup is not enabled (slowing it down), and it only supports the WD Passport drive, ignoring the other two WD drives I have connected to this machine at the moment (two previous-generation My Book drives, one Studio, one Home). Those use separate drivers, which is inconsistent and puzzling.
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6 Comments 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Size: 500 GB Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
You will have to decide if the premium pricing of this 500GB model is worth it. The premium price gets additional features and a longer warranty. I believe the premium price is worth the extra warranty alone. I have had other portable hard drives fail.

As the details state on Amazon the drive does come formatted as HFS+ for the Mac user. If you are a windows user you will need to activate the drive and format it after you have plugged it into the USB port.

The design is nice and sleek with silver on the top and bottom and white around the side. It comes with a Firewire 800 cable,firewire 800 to 400 connector and the Usb mini-b connector. The cables are fairly short but are usable.

I did my testing on a Windows Vista Computer. When you first plug in the hard drive a virtual CD drive is created that points to a small partition on the hard drive, which contains the WD SmartWare software. Yes some people will not like the fact that a small partition is being used to run the Virtual CD. This does not bother me so I have not docked any stars for this

If you are using windows computer the drive will not be recognized until it is activated and formated. With the WD SmartWare software your able to change the e-label on the hard drive, setup the backup schedule, update your software, run diagnostics, and set the password for the hardware based encryption. The hardware based encryption is biggest selling point to me. It uses 256 bit encryption, which is not competely unbreakable but would be very difficult to perform a brute force attack against. So if you lose your hard dirve you can feel safe about the data that is on it is well protected. I do recommend when setting the password that you use mix-case, numbers, and specials characters.
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