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on March 18, 2009
Great product, received brand new, very satisfied with the service provided. Highly recommend especially because of the outstanding price.
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on April 7, 2009
I had problem wiht mi disc space, no today, thanks to WD 500GB My passport studio
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on February 3, 2009
It gave me a scare earlier but it seems ok now... about 6 months now lets se how it holds out
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on December 25, 2008
I'm a digital artist responsible for photography, high definition motion graphics and overall general graphic design, print and web. I got my passport for Christmas this year and I couldn't be happier.

Firstly, My main machine is a MacBook Pro laptop. My work computer is a Mac Pro and 99% of the computers I work on in my industry are Macs. So this review is from a Mac Users perspective. Windows users beware (apparently this drive will require a reformat.)

I had read a bunch of reviews talking about the difficulty of the short thick fw800 cable and I have got to say they're unfounded. Sure it's thick, no lie there. But it's completely manageable. The package also comes with a USB cable and a FW400 cable for ultimate compatibility (which is Ideal for a freelancer who is constantly working on many types of machines.) And the best of all IT DOESN'T REQUIRE A POWER SUPPLY!!!

For what it's worth i found the drive to be physically appealing and very small & light weight. Compared to a GTECH 500GB GDrive. It comes with a pretty slick carrying bag (to hold the extra cables as well as the drive.)

The drive comes with about 280~ mb of drivers and Documentation in every possible language on it (install-delete imo) After that i did some basic workhorse transfers on them. I moved my entire 36 gig Aperture Library and my 45 gig iTunes library on the drive and it was finished by the time i went in to check on the progress the first time. I was planning on checking on it at least 3 or 4 times. That was a nice surprise.

All in all this drive deserves 5 Stars easily. What this drive doesn't deliver in affordability It easily makes it up in literally every other aspect of it. (I wouldn't knock off a star off any other FAT formatted external for having to reformat it to Mac OS Extended (Journaled) so i don't think the previous 4 star rating was deserved.)

Now, because i hate reading reviews that are all praises and no criticism and as much as i hate to try and find anything wrong with this product I guess i would say they default "turbo" icon after installed those drivers is pretty ugly and something i changes immediately.
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on January 20, 2010
I'm a Mac user who uses this drive daily over FW 800 -- to perform daily backups of my work and home machines. I've been using this drive for over a year, and the FW800 interface will frequently (10% of the time) fail, freezing the entire machine. Fortunately, when the machine is seized up like this, it's a simple matter to quickly disconnect and reconnect the drive -- YES! I know this is a bad thing to do... but the machine does not complain and the drive operation picks up where it let off.

Contacting WD support was no help -- they "had no information" on any of the problems I was experiencing, but I can see from other Amazon reviews that this is widespread.

I'm dumping this drive as soon as I can afford another one.
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on October 17, 2010
Bought this to use between my macbook pro and mac pro and it simply does not work. Will detect and can read/write to it but frequently disconnects itself to the point where it is unusable (tried w/ and w/o the contained mac drivers). Cannot be used for time machine because it will eject itself. The enclosure looks good, the whole reason i bought it was that it matched the macbook pro in style. Firewire plug does not seat well and falls out easily. Sliding door thing on the drive is unnecessary, it's loose and just slides back and forth. I am going to crack this open and just use the 2.5" drive in an esata enclosure.
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on October 28, 2009
I have been trying to use mine with a Macbook Pro (Leopard and then Snow Leopard). The firewire interfaces were always completely unreliable, locking up eventually during any backup attempt, especially during a large file transfer. (I use rsync for backups.) The USB interface is the most reliable, but there are still frequent spurious unmounts from the Mac (as though the USB cable had been unplugged, even though the cable remains connected perfectly well). By "frequent" I mean a few times per day - I can often get a backup to finish, but my large (100GB) VMware Fusion virtual-machine image almost always triggers an unmount. An unmount can also happen when there is no disk activity (that I am aware of). After an unmount, I had to reboot the Mac under Leopard before things would get back to normal, but Snow Leopard seems to be more robust, so I can usually simply unplug and replug the USB cable. Last summer I worked with tech support and got a replacement drive (having to pay shipping charges both ways myself), and the second drive seemed a little better, but still suffers the same fundamental problems. I think the drive itself may be ok, but the interface software apparently has some serious bugs. I used the same firewire cable between my Macbook Pro and Mac Pro and it was completely reliable (thereby exonerating both the firewire cable and the Mac firewire drivers, when talking to each other). I reformatted the WD drives (as requested by WD tech support), and that had no effect. In summary, I think the WD firmware still has "showstopper" bugs in it, at least when connected to a Macbook Pro. If these bugs were fixed, I would give it four or five stars, as it is beautifully designed overall, in my opinion.
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on September 15, 2009
I bought this drive to replace my aging LaCie Rugged 160GB drive. I'm thrilled at this product. The Firewire 800 performance is blazing fast at times (over 66MB/sec reads and 50MB/sec writes!). I like that it's smaller than the LaCie Rugged, but the plastic shell obviously isn't as durable as the Rugged rubber bumper. So be sure to use the provided cloth bag. Another thing I like is that when you need to use USB, it's powered by one single USB cable! No more weird dual USB/DC cables to lose! It comes with a short USB cable, Firewire 800/800 cable and a Firewire 800/400 cable.

A couple notes, Mac OS X Leopard reports this drive as 465GB, Snow Leopard reports is as 500GB because of the new way 10.6 calculates disc space. Both are accurate. Also, this drive comes formatted as HFS+ Journaled, BUT uses the older "Apple Partition Map". That means it's only *bootable* on PowerPC Macs (you can still use it as storage on any Mac or PC). You will need to repartition the drive to "GUID mapping" using 10.5/10.6's Disk Utility. GUID drives are usable on any Mac, but can boot Intel Macs (over Firewire, and yes, even USB if memory serves).

Very fast. Very quiet. Can't complain about anything really.
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on August 3, 2010
Be aware, this unit is NOT FULLY FIREWIRE COMPLIANT. The unit will connect and transfer files but you CANNOT BOOT FROM THIS DRIVE. After several hours of work with multiple machines and various versions of OSX, I discovered on the web that there are some FireWire drives that cannot be used as boot drives. I have two other WD drives and they serve me well, but I had to return this unit as it was purchased to be used as a boot drive. The vendor ([...]) took the unit back with no problems.
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on February 4, 2009
I wasn't even looking for a drive when I spotted this gem. I own an iMac and MacBook Pro and do a lot of photography. The firewire connections and the price for 500GB got my attention first. Then I noticed NO POWER Supply required. Oh do I like that. It worked right out of the box. I have been in situations where each of the different connections, i.e USB, FW400 and FW800 have been put to the test. FW800 just flies. I agree that I thought it would be an aluminum case but the light acrylic case seems to take normal handling well. I toss it into my jacket, bag, pants pocket, and use it in my studio with out issue. I wouldn't be over confident in just being abusive to the thing, but not having to deal with external power adapters and extra cords is a treat. This makes a great backup drive with the Mac's Time Machine software or just drag and drop files, folders, etc to it. It has a LED bar that shows how full the drive is getting. This is represented by a series of LED dots. I do plan on purchasing another drive just like this one soon. This comes PRE FORMATTED for the MAC. It will work with windows if you RE FORMAT the drive, other similar WD drives that are configured for Windows users will also work on the MAC but check the specifications before purchasing.
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