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Customer Review

173 of 187 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High capacity in a slick looking little external hard drive, October 20, 2010
This review is from: WD My Passport Essential SE 1 TB USB 3.0 Portable External Hard Drive (Black) (Personal Computers)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I can remember when I was impressed by a 356 MB hard drive on my new computer. (Remember those days?) Now here's this back-up external drive that is a terabyte, something that not so many years ago was in the domain only of supercomputers that took up whole rooms. The really impressive thing is that this is such a nice compact little drive, not much bigger than a deck of playing cards. I've used other drives for back up and have always avoided the back up software that came with some of them, fearing it would get in the way and slow things down when I'm working or that it would take too much time to figure out what to back up and how often to do so. As a result, I often forget to back things up, which could be a disaster if I ever had a hard drive failure.

Now the nice thing about a large external drive such as this one is that it has tons of space and I can just back up everything and keep several copies. The software that comes on the drive installs in minutes and checks for updates for both software and firmware. It gives you a choice of what to back up and the choice of pausing backups when you're working, so you don't have to worry about it getting in your way when you're doing something else. It was simple to enter password protection and comes with a manual on the drive that's easy to understand, as manuals go. You can also choose how many backups to keep at a time and where you'd like those stored. The settings are simple to set up, even partitioning the drive if you decide to do so.

I've used it for a few weeks now and hardly notice it being there. It just does its thing in the background and I can check the backups so I know they're there. Using Windows XP, it puts a little icon down in the menu bar where I can check at any time to see how much space has been used, whether or not it is locked and if the temperature is OK. Unlike some drives I've used in the past, this one seems to run pretty cool and I've never felt it being warm, even when the summer temperatures in the room were warm. I like that it's so small, yet has such high capacity. I'm using a 2.0 interface but it's nice to know it has the 3.0 capability for future use with perhaps a different computer. Two thumbs up for this external hard drive.
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 21, 2010 5:10:42 AM PDT
Strohmian says:
Good review. Am surprised the software worked for you, I found it awful and with errors. Perhaps something about my WinXP installation.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 21, 2010 9:18:00 AM PDT
PT Cruiser says:
Ray, was there a firmware update available when you loaded the software? I installed a firmware upgrade and possible a software upgrade (don't remember now if there was also a software upgrade) at some point after I started using the drive. I wonder if that made a difference? I've never gotten any errors and have been using it for several weeks.

Posted on Apr 6, 2011 8:23:21 AM PDT
Ye young whippersnapper! I remember when a 5 meg. drive was $5,000. My Commodore 64 was sort of an attachment to the beast. I lusted after it.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 6, 2011 10:15:52 AM PDT
PT Cruiser says:
Arthur, young whippersnapper? You made my day! LOL!

Posted on Jun 30, 2011 5:57:06 AM PDT
wawa says:
i have a concern i want to buy a 1tb external drive but i dont know which one will work in my laptop. some wd element are only for desktop. 2 months ago i bought one and i had to return it due to that issue. well now how do i know which one to buy? ive been reading the description and nobody says anything on wheter it works with laptop or not.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 30, 2011 11:13:41 AM PDT
PT Cruiser says:
wawa, do you know why the drive you returned didn't work? Could it have been a software issue?

I don't have a laptop here to try the drive with at the moment. My desktop is running Windows XP.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 28, 2011 4:50:58 PM PDT
Mike says:
Some laptops, and perhaps some desktops, do not provide enough power for larger capacity hard drives. There are "Y" cables, where you plug the cable into two USB ports on the computer, that are supposed to help. There are no wd element only for desktop. Also note, non-external power USB hubs had problems supplying sufficient power for larger capacity drives. If you want some help with compatibility questions, you will want to provide more information about your laptop. Is it a PC or MAC? How old?
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