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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.

The Setup:
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, 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.
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on June 2, 2013
So I bought this about 2 months ago and I have been putting it through some pretty heavy use. I have most of my video library scanned into it as well as family videos and back up work videos ect. I think I have close to 1tb on the drive so far. At first I was pretty disappointed with the My Book Live. It would freeze up a lot like I was watching Netflix with a poor connection and it felt slow. I noticed that my living room PC that is connected via ethernet to the router never had a problem. I did some research on the router I had and it was on the low end of the scale. Probably cost about $59 and was great for a few people browsing the internet but didn't provide much bandwidth wireless. I bought the Linksys EA6300 and it changed up tremendously. Now I'm watching a movie from the WD My Book wirelessly in my office, my wife is watching a movie from it too and both of us are using the internet without a problem or glitch on either one. It's a great little set up and I wish I did this long ago. I can watch a movie from anywhere now and I also have a much easier in house back up. It also works great with my Samsung Galaxy III. I watch movies from my phone when I go to bed and it works perfect. So this could be glitchy if you don't have a good wireless router but I can't knock WD for that. Just be prepared to either have the network on eithernet or have a high bandwidth network. I haven't used it remotely and don't really plan on it. I just can't see it being any good because it's only as good as the internet connection. I'm on a shared service (cable) with no Qos so I wouldn't even bother trying to connect to that from another poor service at let's say a hotel room and hope it would stream smoothly with all that variable latency. I also have a hard drive I take with me. Bottom line this is as good as the network you are using but there are no glitches with the drive it's self. Typical great WD stuff going on. Great idea!
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on April 25, 2012
I bought this with great interest and the possibilities of using it for a cloud storage for daily use of my files like music, movies, and everyday work files but here is the problem with it:

1. It is incredibly slow, even more if your computer has less than 4GB in RAM (I own a macbookpro 2gb RAM, believe me, it's slow)

2. Even when advertised like an iTunes server it takes forever to load into your library if you have lots of music (never loaded in my iTunes I just have 40gb in music). When I added the music directly to my library (which took hours) I played some songs and in the middle of the song it will stop as it was buffering the information, may I say that only I was using the Wi-fi network and I wasn't even on the web.

3. Moving files from you computer to the drive takes hours, sometimes even changing folders within the drive takes hours.

4. I moved my movies to the WD drive but even when my blu-ray reads the WD drive and recognizes the movies some never play and a note saying it's not a compatible file showed up. I can understand that but, some avi's are read other won't ever play. One time it recognized an mp4 and then it disappeared, literally, from the list of movies and no other mp4 is "compatible".

Another thing with this is that I organized the movie folder again and categorized the movies by genre and it won't show the list of folders as I changed them, which means that basically the blu-ray device has cached the initial information and it's not reading the updates you make with the files, there isn't even an option in the WD drive settings to tell other devices not to collect old information, this doesn't happen with other USB drives I have connected to my blu-ray.

I have deleted all my music from the drive and still the blu-ray shows as the files still exist on the WD drive.

5. Forget about using the files stored in the drive as everyday use, if you have a large file when you save it will take some time and it will slow down your work.

I like the fact that I have 2TB to have files that I don't normally use on a daily basis and I can access them any time from any of my computers at home. But the true purpose of the Cloud drive is lost. Use dropbox! at least it won't steal your time connecting to the WD drive.

I'm sad this drive was supposed to save my life from duplicating my information in every computer, I feel ripped off.

One more thing, it has no alternative connection like USB port which would have made the initial migration of my files way easier. That's the biggest flaw.
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Preface: When I read negative reviews on Amazon, I find myself thinking things like "This person just sounds bitter. Do they work for a competitor? Was it user error? Do they know what they are doing?" This review might trigger some of those questions.

I read the negative reviews of this device but decided it had been in the market long enough that probably firmware updates had solved problems reported in 2010 and 2011. Given that there are not many NAS/cloud options available on Amazon (it's either this or something from Buffalo with similar reviews or a new Toshiba product just launched) I decided to give this a try. It worked for three months then hardware failure.

The pro's are that the software was easy to set up, easy to use, and the backup while slow initially did a good job and gave many options (e.g. # of versions of file to keep. I liked the access from anywhere in the world though didn't like that I had to move files to the "public share" folder to see them...I wanted to be able to access my whole drive. But hey, I thought, the main thing I need is backup and that's what this thing is doing well so set it and forget it.

Then came the September 2012 firmware updates (one on 9/19 and one on 9/26). Not a good sign when firmware is released that close together - means to me that the 9/26 was rushed out to fix something in 9/19. After these updates, I started getting emails from my device (yes, this thing emails you to tell you how it's feeling) and it was not happy. Rebooting. Flashing lights. Customer support told me to unplug it and plug it in (duh!), do a soft reset, and if that didn't work to do a full system restore, which they admitted was a pain and would take many hours or days. Same problem. And amazing that they expect customers to do all this.

Then I checked the WD forums (google 'my book live forum' and the first result will take you there) and saw the endless complaints and similar problems (same problems) from many other users. With no responses from WD. Then I go back here and read the reviews and see how WD is AGGRESSIVELY and frequently responding to the negative reviews on Amazon. Too bad those same people don't spend some time on their own forums helping users return their "bricked" devices.

Don't take my word for it, go read those forums, and see if after reading you still want to buy this drive. I do have an earlier version from WD that has run GREAT for 2+ years (My Book World Edition) which is no longer sold, so they CAN make decent product. And some of my internal drives are WD. But this product - big problem.

No sour grapes here, just trying to save someone else the hassle I've been through. Amazon has been great on helping me through it and have stepped up when Western Digital did not. I am now switching to the new product from Toshiba just released this month and am hoping to have better luck with them. Time will tell.

Hope this helps...and good luck.

EDIT/ADDITION 10/24: After writing this review I tried the Toshiba Canvio personal Cloud (really bad - see my review on that page) and then the Buffalo Linkstation live. Of the three, this product has the BEST software for backup (Canvio is virtually non existent and the Linkstation's software is a lot like Windows Backup, running as a job instead of constantly). All I want is a product which will quietly (even slowly is fine!) backup my computer without failing... seems like Buffalo has gotten the hardware right but has bad software; WD has hardware issues but great software. The reviews for the Pogoplug imply that there are lots of extra charges to get full functionality.... so I'm at a loss as to where to turn for a network backup device.

EDIT 11/5/2012: After the Toshiba, I tried the Buffalo Linkstation.... great hardware, but terrible software which functioned just like Windows Backup - wouldn't make continuous backups, ran as a batch job in the middle of the night ,and was difficult to set up. It made me long for the Smartware of this drive, so I returned the faulty drive and am on a new drive...when this thing works, it is GREAT... just the reliability is poor. I'll let you know how I do with the second unit...seems like from the other reviews many units fail at 3 months which was about when my first My Book Live started having problems.
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on July 22, 2013
Note: This is a review for folks using MacOSX who are experiencing extremely slow transfer rates to a WD MyBook Live 3TB NAS
Note: My MacBook Pro to WD transfer speed to the MyBook Live went from sustained 5Kbps to a sustained 40-50Mbps as a result of the following
Note: Don't actually type in the quotes below when entering unix commands

I don't use Time Machine for backups, but did want to transfer about 350GB worth of music files from a MacBook Pro to my new 3T WD MyBook Live. Dragging the files from the laptop to the shared drive is a comedy of errors. I averaged about 5 Kbps (YES, Kb, not KB, Mb or MB) with brief 5-10 second bursts of 5-9MBps that would occur every 3 to 5 minutes. So, this is what I did:


I Took Kenneth Krutsch's advice and disabled Mediacrawler

1a) First enable SSH --> Go to your MyBook in a browser --> "" (you may have a different IP address -- I'm using DHCP) --> Click "Enable SSH" and write down the username and password you need.

1b) THIS NEXT SECTION IS ALL IN THE OSX TERMINAL. Kill the mediacrawlerd process --> SSH to your MyBook Live using the Terminal app that comes with Mac OSX. Go to launchpad and type in Terminal in the search box. Then in the terminal window type "ssh username:" --> then enter your password. (remember: you wrote down both the username and password above) --> then type "cd .." to get to the root directory --> then type "cd /usr/mediacrawler" to get to the directory with mediacrawlered in it. --> then make it so it won't run by itself --> type: "chmod -x mediacrawlerd" --> then find the mediacrawlered process ID by typing "ps ux" --> look for mediacrawlered in this list, and the PID is in the second column from the left. Kill the mediacrawlered process once and for all by typing "Kill -9 [the PID]" <-- don't type the brackets


I took others' advice and decided to use RSYNC, a command that you also access via the OSX Terminal, to transfer files, instead of using the finder to drag files from my drive to the WD NAS.

2a) Decide which files you want to transfer -- I chose /Users/[YOUR MAC OSX USERNAME]/Music/iTunes/* --> A star at the end signifies that you want to copy over everything in that directory

2b) Decide where on the WD NAS you want to transfer the files. I chose "Shared Music", which on my NAS, is at /nfs/Public/Shared Music/.

2c) Set up the rsync process in a new Mac OS X Terminal window:

rsync -vauxhizP -delete /Users/[YOUR MAC OSX USERNAME]/Music/iTunes/* '[Your SSH Username]@\ Music/'

hit enter, enter your password when asked.

And that did it.

Now I'm showing sustained 5 MB/s transfers.

Thank you, Western Digital, for NOT ONLY simultaneously wasting 3 days of my life cobbling this duct tape solution together, BUT ALSO for letting me Geek out on this! I can't shake the feeling that you owe me.
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on January 20, 2012
I purchased this product to back up 3 of our laptops and 1 desktop. My computers consist of a Vista machine and Windows 7 32 bit and 64 bit machines and a Mac OS X Lion. I have had zero problems with the My Book Live 2TB unit. The only problems I ran into were IP address conflicts on my network, which was an easy fix, and my router had timed out on me for some reason preventing the first Mac OS X Lion back up to complete. Once the router problem was fixed I was able to back up all my computers to the My Book Live 2TB drive. Very very easy. I really have had zero issues with this unit.

I now, also, have the ability to access all of my files through this one drive on any of my computers, smart phones, iPad, and PS3 that are connected to my network. Very easy as well. It's great to have the ability to share our movies, pictures, and videos on our smart phones and PS3.

Overall I really like the storage drive.

UPDATE: 3/16/13:
Well I was happy with this product for about the first six months or so. I can no longer access the My Book Live 2TB drive directly. The menu, or screen, where one would log does not come up...ever. Backups have grown very slow, My Time Machine backups on my mac used to run well, now it never ever finished and the transfer speeds just keep getting slower and slower the longer the back up takes. It started to get so annoying that I just turned Time Machine off. I can still access the drive through a folder on my laptops and desktops but it is impossible to play with any of the settings as the menu for that screen has disappeared, as have the settings menus for the drive. This is preventing me from using the drive in the manner it was intended.

It is a very frustrating thing to not be able to access the menus of the My Book Live 2TB drive. Also, I no longer have the ability to share movies, pictures, and videos between PCs or smart phones using the drive. This really is a huge disappointment, especially when compared to how well it worked in the beginning.

After one year of use of this product I would not recommend it to anybody. Look somewhere else. DO NOT PURCHASE THE MY BOOK LIVE.
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on December 28, 2014
Before I bought this unit, I looked at the Amazon reviews. I was concerned with it having only 3 stars, and with the number of negative reviews. One reviewer said that the problems people had, related to their having older software. I hoped this was true and proceeded to make the purchase.

When first told to back up, this unit did back up virtually all of my PC’s files (over several hours). (It was not able to back up 35 files – mostly photos.) This took 7% of the unit’s space. But, using the “continuous” back up setting ("monitors your files...and automatically backs them up whenever you save a change"), which I wanted and which Tech Support recommends, back ups were extremely slow – taking several hours for changed files to appear as backed up. In trying to confirm it was backing up I initiated another total back up by mistake, which I let run its course in hopes it would jump start the My Book Live, but it did not, and I was surprised that the space used on the back up drive went from 7% to 14%. Tech support seemed to think this was reasonable, although I would have thought it would not back up anything already backed up and show about the same amount of space usage as before.

At this point, Tech Support concluded the problem was with the software not the unit itself. They had me load the latest firmware to see if that would help. After slow back ups for about a day, the unit seemed to stop backing up altogether.

I then had the software reinstalled, at the advice of Tech Support, and was assured it was the latest software. After the reinstallation, I ran several tests, still using the “continuous” setting. Several back ups took at least four hours to occur, one took one-hour. At that point I switched the back up setting to “hourly” and created three more test files. I gave up after not one of those files was backed up in 6 hours time.

At this point, I am having my computer repair guy install, at his suggestion, FreeFileSync to run as the software for the My Book Live unit. He has had experience with the My Book Live unit – without the WD software – and believes it works well for backing up.

The one great thing about My Book Live is that Tech Support is really good when reached by phone. I never had a long wait time before someone picked up, and whoever answered was very patient and helpful. Unfortunately, while the tech people’s English was very good, their accents made it hard for me to understand them. You have one month of phone support, starting with the first call. After that, you can approach them by email only. I did not try their email service as I still had phone time. Of course, you can have the best Tech Support in the world but if the software is flawed, it does not matter much.
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on May 20, 2016
I bought this unit in November 2012, primarily as a backup drive for my main business computer. It worked fine for a little over three years (the warranty period), then started showing signs of unreliability: backups weren't completing properly. Since my business data is extremely important to me, I immediately bought new external hard drive (Seagate) and started running backups to that.

For a while I couldn't access the My Book's UI, although I could still see my entire collection of music files, which were stored in a shared public virtual drive. So I copied all of the music files off the My Book Live. Just in time, as it happened. A few days later the unit was completely dead. I could not access any of my old backups. (Fortunately, I had new ones on the new drive.) I was unable to recover backups of two other computers in my house, but those machines are all still running, so I can set up new backups of them without much trouble.

I was lucky not to lose anything irreplaceable (I make multiple backups of my most important data), but I find it ironic that I bought this device to protect me from a possible failure of my computer's internal hard disks, only to have it fail before they did!

I give this a two-star rating because it worked well for three years, but I expected it to last longer than that.
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on February 17, 2013
I purchased WD's My Book Live primarily as storage for critical digital information that is also "backed up" on various additional systems within my network. Periodic/automatic back-ups were not a critical issue, as I generally prefer to select/copy myself. I also My Book Live for database secondary storage.
For those purposes, My Book Live meets my needs...

Initially, I would suggest downloading various PDF's from WD's support. These include "Overview", "Quick Install", "Manual", and
"Release Notes". A quick review will give (you) some idea of what to expect.
I installed from the provided CD, which worked very well. My Book Live easily recognized/was recognized within my wireless/wired network, setting itself up as drive "Z" on my laptop, netbook, etc.

After installation, I used the "Dashboard" to setup public & private shares, and downloaded a firmware upgrade (through the Dashboard), which was recommended by WD & by various other reviews...
I also downloaded upgrade 1.6.4 (10/10/2012) for WD Smartware, a move which would turn out to be a mistake. WD Smartware was working "as advertised" with the CD installation -- the upgrade caused authentication errors which could not be worked around. Uninstall & reinstallation from the CD provided a "fix"...
I eventually removed WD Smartware from my system -- it works as advertised, but did not meet my needs (I'd prefer "pull technology" from My Book Live), and I dislike additional system services using up my computer resources.

WD2Go is a nice addition to the provided "package". It was easy to setup from the Dashboard (port forwarding, etc), as was the "sign up" from WD. I would have preferred direct Internet access into My Book Live (rather than via WD), but it serves its purpose well as is.
I'm not one for video or music streaming, but did need a location for sharing information with family. WD2Go works very well in that aspect -- easy to use by family, or myself from laptop or Android tablet.
Having considerable storage beyond my own needs (at the moment), I set up "private shares" for various family members that needed back-up storage for documents, pictures etc. They're able to see both public & their own private shares when they log on via the Internet...

All-in-all, WD My Book Live meets my needs (as stated). As mentioned, I would have preferred "pull" back-ups, but they aren't necessary for me. I would also have preferred not to deal with WD's "hinky" Smartware upgrade!
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on January 7, 2013
I have been trying to get somebody to help me fix my My Book Live, but unfortunately nobody is being able to help with it.
First of all nothing works on my hard driver. I tried to register, create password, create user, access it from other devices and nothing works.

I tried to call customer support many times nobody was able to help me fix this thing. They say it is a Tier 2 issue. But the thing is that I don't think this Tier 2 exists, because I can never talk with anybody on that department.

After waiting about 40 minutes to talk with somebody I always get redirected to the Tier 1 people, which say that I should try to contact somebody on the Tier 2. This goes on and on.

Finally I had a call scheduled for today Monday (Jan 07, 2013), but then again nobody from Tier 2 contacted me.

I tried to call the customer support for about an hour, and nobody answered me again.

This is the WORST customer support I had to deal with. I think it is easier to get somebody on the DMV to answer you something than having somebody from WD to help you with your issue.
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