Top positive review
23 people found this helpful
It works...sort of. Maybe this will clear up some of the confusion
on September 13, 2012
I needed to replace one of my network storage drives (an old WD MBW gave up the ghost), and the reviews for this drive were scary. Based on the recent reviews, it seemed that about half were DOA, and another quarter of them never really worked. Maybe I can clear up a little of the confusion.
First, I don't mean to cast aspersions on anyone else's review, or make myself out to be some network guru...but I do own a few WD drives, and have worked my way through some of the problems before.
My network is a DLINK router, with a 20 port NETGEAR switch. Attached are computers running Windows7, WindowsXP, an XBOX, a couple Sonos systems, a WDTV box, four other WD MyBookWorld drives, and an assortment of smart phones, printers, etc. All of my NAS devices plug into the switch.
This drive is only used for digital video media, mainly DVD rips of old TV shows. Therefore the only devices that really access it are the XBOX, the WDTVLIVE box, and the Windows7 and WindowsXP computers.
There are really no instructions, just a pictogram that shows plugging in the power and network cables to the drive, and inserting the included CD into a computer on the network.
The setup software starts up using autorun, and the first task is to find the newly attached drive on the network. This operation failed. Following the troubleshooting guide, it seemed that wireless connections were suspect, so I switched to a network cable for the computer with the CD. Still no luck. I never did get the WD Discover app to find this drive.
Logging into my router, I found the drive had installed itself at 192.168.0.187, a perfectly normal place given my network configuration.
Accessing the drive directly from a browser (typing the IP address into the browser address field) go me immediately to the configuration screen of the drive.
A few gotchas here as well. The registration failed several times before the drive was able to contact the WD website and send along my info. The firmware showed as being up to date, so no need to update. Changing the name of the drive also seemed problematic-it took a few attempts to get the MyBookLive out of the name and just have the drive show in Windows as "NAS11", my name for it.
I created a new share on the drive, and gave the new share media serving rights for video, audio and pics. I set a new admin password, and created a generic USER with no password. For some reason my XP machine would not mount the share without a password. However when I tried to mount the share and gave the admin password, it mounted fine. Not sure if my Win7 box would have had the same issue or not, I was using it as an admin when I created the share.
Based on previous experience with Mionet, WD's software for sharing your drive on the internet, I have never tried this feature on any WD drive. It has always been buggy, and my IT savvy friends tell me there are much better, and free, solutions available. I have no idea, I am really not interested in sharing the contents of these drives outside of my firewall. Therefore I disabled all of the "cloud" options.
After those little hiccups, everything is working fine. I loaded my backup videos onto the share, and can see it from all the Win7 and XP computers as a mapped network drive. Twonky seems to be Twonking OK, since my XBOX and WDTV can see the shared video files.
The drive is fast enough to serve video files (I only tried one at a time), and they are sent over 100MB cabled LAN. The files are not HD, just normal DVD rips.
1. The WD setup software seems buggy. There is no reason why the discover function should not have able to find this drive on my network. If you are not comfortable logging in to your router to find the IP address of this drive, I can not see how you would manage to install it.
2. Even creating shares and mounting them from another computer seems to be a bit of a challenge. I honestly don't remember what I went through to do it, but there is something a little funny going on with the passwords for users.
3. I did not try to use any of the "personal cloud" features, since I have no desire to share this drive outside of my firewall. Based on previous experience with Mionet, the WD sharing software, I wouldn't be surprised if it was still buggy.
4. Once you get through those hiccups, the drive seems to be working great, and the Twonky server in twonking along OK, because my XBOX and WDTV are working great.
5. If you understand the stuff I have written, you should have no problems configuring and using this drive. However, based on my experience, I can see how someone who only tried to use the WD installation tools could have some serious trouble.
Hope that helps clear up some of what is going on with the 5 and 1 star reviews. Your mileage may vary.