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Showing 1-10 of 234 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 468 reviews
on June 7, 2009
This Western Digital My Book Essential 1TB drive deserves every one of those 5 stars. I have used this drive for 2 purposes: One for the usual purpose of backing up information from a computer and also as an external hard drive extension for the Dish Network DVR 722 receiver. With both of these uses, it worked flawlessly.

I am going to focus on how it works with the Dish Network DVR because more and more people are buying external hard drives for this purpose and not many (if any) had reviewed this particular size when I purchased mine a month ago so I was unsure of how it would work. Dish Network states that the maximum external drive size that will work with their receivers is 750GB. That is typically true, except in the case of this Western Digital My Book. The reason for that is simply because most 1TB drives actually have 2 drives within one case. The MyBook only pulls from one drive inside of its case that does hold 1TB. The DVRs can not recognize 2 drives at one time, hence the reason anything that uses such technology isn't usable. I have now been using this My Book 1TB drive with the DVR for over a month and I have had zero problems sending recordings to the hard drive or from the hard drive back to the DVR. You can also access your recordings on the hard drive and play them from there, delete them or do anything with them that you would normally do on your Dish Network receiver. You will notice a very slight delay when accessing recordings on the drive due to the fact that it has to process information much like a hard drive on a PC would. Hooking this drive up to your receiver and getting it to work is very straightforward and simple. All you do is connect the USB 2.0 cable into the back of the hard drive and then into the back of your receiver. You will be prompted on screen to setup your new storage device and from there you just follow directions. Do keep in mind for those of you interested in expanding your DVR storage and purchasing this external drive that there will be a one time fee with Dish for $39.99 to activate service allowing you to use such storage.

This drive, whether you're using it for your PC, Linux, Mac or your DVR is extremely reliable, quiet and fairly quick at processing information. I highly recommend this drive to anyone who is considering it! I hope this review helps you.

***Update*** I have now been using this external hard drive for over 2 years and it still works flawlessly. I am so thankful I made this purchase since a couple of the Dish Network DVRs have failed but I had backed up any recordings that were important to me on the MyBook so nothing meaningful was lost. I could not recommend this purchase highly enough.
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on October 9, 2009
I have been using two of these devices at work to perform weekly backups on about fifteen Linux (Intel) computers for nearly four months. I first had to reformat them to a ext3 Linux file system. After that, literally, plug and play for our Red Hat boxes. I cannot speak for the speed, with most backups, who cares how fast, if they are completed without errors and the backup device is reliable. What impressed me was / is the durability of these things. I have connected and disconnected this drive many times (500+?) to computers that were powered up with no problems. The connectors seem rugged, often I need (in a hurry) to carry the drive around with the power adapter dangling (not recommended). The backups we do, verify the checksum after a backup and so far have shown zero (0) errors. I ordered one of these today so that I could use it at my home to back up my two Win-XP machines and my one XP/Linux notebook computer. I gave the 'Software' rating five stars only because no software is needed. :) This device may not be sleek or cool but it is reliable and feels like a good book in your hands. I do have five years experience with other WD external backup devices and have never had any bad feelings with WD.

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on February 10, 2009
This is a very nice unit. Form factor is excellent and was a load-and-go into the USB 2.0 port on my Dell C521 running Vista on 2G RAM. More stable than the MAXTOR 500G, which I've replaced twice. I hate external disks (i.e. MAXTOR) that spin up like a jet engine and sound like a grinding washing machine. You'd never know the WD was working if it was not for the flashing blue light. Nice and quiet.

Without forgetting that this is a backup device the performance was less than stellar. Some rough bulk copy performance metrics:
- Between a 2.0 USB MAXTOR 500G and a 2.0 USB WD 1T I copied 336G of 365 MP4 video files. It took almost 9 hours with a max transfer rate of 12.5MB/sec.
- Between Dell C521 internal SCSI 250G and 2.0 USB WD 1T I copied a 70G iTunes repository of music with a max transfer rate of 5.6MB/sec. Every time I started another copy, up to 5 simultaneous copies (11,000 jpg's, 2,000 docs, etc.), performace halved until it dropped to a low of 222 KB/Sec for 4 simultaneous copies. As each copy was finished the system did not recover its resources back to the baseline of 5.6KB/sec ... very disappointing.

For whatever it is worth from a performance perspective I kept the shipped FAT32 file structure and had McAfee running.

But it is dependability and not necessarily performance that is the main criteria of a backup device. The cost per GB storage makes the WD a very attractive solution ... let's see if it is still up and running in six months.
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on February 22, 2008
Design & Portability
I had 2 external HD's, which were 250GB and 150GB. It was in two different enclosures, so where ever I went, it was a real hassle carrying two HD's. MyBook is pretty compact with 1TB platter inside, helps slimming the width. Its piano black enclosure is really slick in HD design. I would give this HD the best design in its category. Very simplistic, no buttons, small slit of blue LED in front.

Out of the box
Everything was packed, there were no mounting the HD inside the enclosure needed, unlike my older HD's. I just had to plug and play, it was that easy!

I have used this for over a month and its performance is average. The specs is on the HD is pretty fast with 7200 rpm and 16MB buffer speed. I have always preferred firewire ports for external HD, because they pack more power which helps transfer data much faster than the USB 2.0's

I have a XP PC and I cant boot my pc if the HD is connected. I always have wait few seconds before the login screen shows up, then I connect the HD. (But if you use this with VISTA, there is no problem).

Whenever I exit from standby mode, my system recognizes the HD as if it was just plugged in... the autoplay becomes very annoying.

The software which comes it it is completely useless. I would even go as far as to say dont even try it, save your energy! Its just a free trial. Download free back up software @ [...] It is much better than is included with the HD.

I bought it for two-hundred and fifty from amazon. I would expect more ports and features for this price. It does not provide great bang for your buck when competitors like Cavalry 1TB CAXM3701T0 which sells around two twenty, have SATA cable and eSATA bracket (faster data transfer}!

Overall Rating: 3.5/5


Slick shiny design, Consumer friendly, Compact and portable (1TB platter instead of 2x500GB)

average data transfer only 1 USB port, average price, software is useless

The Bottom Line
Recommended for the average pc user, if you are advanced.. checking the specs highly advised.
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VINE VOICEon August 19, 2009
This is a decent backup drive to save your data on. The WD Anywhere Backup software lets you set up what files and folders you want backed up on a regular basis. You can also use it with Windows One Care. There should be a code in the directions where you can register WD Anywhere Backup for free.

Windows users will want to convert the FAT drive to NTFS. This may take a while, but it is necessary in order to save anything over 4 gig.

The initial backup takes a while, it is a bit slow. I also had one instance with the WD Anywhere Backup software where it lost my backup plan. My files where still on the MyBook, but the plan was no longer recognized for real time backup and I had to make a new backup plan.

Overall it's a good deal. Lots of space for the price and it is very quiet. You can add additional items on this drive to free up space on your computer. They can be added in a folder that is not part of your regular backup plan.
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on August 3, 2008
I waited over a year to purchase substantial personal external storage, and I have been delighted with the My Book 1TB volume. It was easy to plug and play with my HP tablet, and the transfer rate for files from my hard drive or an external CD/DVD drive has been admirable.....having tons of uncompressed music from the massive CD collection on a single drive has been a low-priority wish for ages, and now I can do it.

My only complaint is the backup and recovery software bundled on the drive that installed on my laptop. It slowed my machine by revving up in the background at start-up, and it's not like I *need* the planned redundancy; so, I uninstalled it after a week. Other than that.... and it's my own fault for letting the apps install... I'm beyond happy with my purchase.
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on September 27, 2016
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on June 27, 2017
Don't buy from western Digital. I've purchased 3 external drives from them, this one and two portable ones and all have giving me nothing but problems. Will not buy from them again.
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on October 25, 2015
I'm using it as an external HDD for my Wii U and I haven't had performance issues yet. With that much space, all my games fit in nicely with plenty of room to spare.
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on September 5, 2008
The device goes into standby-mode after about 15 minutes of not being used which is quite nice for a backup device that mostly just sits idle. The wake-up time is very quick since there seems to be no noticable delay.

I am currently using this device as a backup for my Windows Home Server and it works fantastic. Would recommend this device very highly.


I have had this device for about 1 year now and it is still going strong. I just sits quietly on the floor in the corner and works. What more could you want (especially based on my experience of very limited lifespan of large HDD's)!
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