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Western Digital My Book 500GB Essential USB2.0 External Hard Drive

by Western Digital
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (150 customer reviews)

Currently unavailable.
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  • Product Description: My Book Essential Edition WDG1U5000 - hard drive - 500 GB - Hi-Speed USB
  • Type: Hard drive - external
  • Dimensions (WxDxH): 14.1 cm x 17.1 cm x 5.7 cm
  • Weight: 1.3 kg
  • Capacity: 500 GB
  • Interface Type: Hi-Speed USB
  • Connector: 4 pin USB
  • Data Transfer Rate: 480 Mbps
  • Average Seek Time: 8.9 ms
  • Spindle Speed: 7200 rpm
  • Buffer Size: 16 MB
  • OS Required: Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition, Microsoft Windows 2000, Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition, Microsoft Windows XP, Apple MacOS X 10.2.8 or later
  • Power: AC 120/230 V ( 50 - 60 Hz )
See more product details
There is a newer model of this item:
Western Digital My Book Essential Edition 500GB USB 2.0 External Hard Drive Western Digital My Book Essential Edition 500GB USB 2.0 External Hard Drive 2.6 out of 5 stars (12)
Currently unavailable

Product Information

Technical Details
BrandWestern Digital
Item Weight1.9 Kg
Product Dimensions17 x 14.1 x 5.7 cm
Item model numberWDG1U5000E
Additional Information
Best Sellers Rank 43,059 in Computers & Accessories (See top 100)
Shipping Weight1.9 Kg
Date First Available11 April 2006

Product Description

Box Contains

  • Western Digital My Book 500GB Essential USB2.0 External Hard Drive
  • USB 2.0 external hard drive
  • USB cable
  • AC adapter with power cord
  • Quick Install Guide
  • Product Description

    The My Book external drive is an elegant, high-capacity storage solution for all the chapters of your digital life. Our latest edition now features visual, easy-to-use, automatic, continuous backup software and drive lock security protection.

    Customer Questions & Answers

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    106 of 109 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Nice backup external drive 22 Jan 2007
    Nicely boxed, containing usb cable (about 1.5m), power block and power cables - both British and American. Nicely solid metal "pages", despite the black plastic "book cover". Quite stylish green circle on the side, although not ultra bright.

    It doesn't power on until you plug in the usb cable as well as the obvious power cable, but once set up it is automatically picked up by Windows 2000 (or above) and starts up a window asking if you want to install Google software (toolbar for IE, Google desktop search and Picasa), Acrobat and the pdf manual or Western Digital disk tools. WD Tools seem slightly pointless apart from a disk eraser tool but even then I would download a free open source military grade version from the internet to use rather than theirs. The WD tests just seem to say Pass or Fail - would have liked to see more information about these. Apparently the disk contained is a SATA WDC WD5000KS disk.

    Copied 1.9gigabytes (as measured by Windows folder properties rather than the 2gb WD would call it) as represented by 2500 files, to the disk in about 7minutes 35seconds - so a rough throughput of 250megabytes a minute. Very quiet buzz&clicking when writing data - not bad considering you can actually look in through the cooling vents and see the physical disk inside.

    Gets slightly warm after extended effort so placing it on it's end like an actual book seems best due to the cooling slots then available on top.

    It powers itself down from it's already quiet state to utterly silent after about 15minutes and then takes about 7 seconds to power back up if you access it. Very quiet unless on a resonating surface (i.e. a wooden desk) when it makes a slight hum from the vibration - however the supplied sticky rubber feetpads only have mounting points if it's laid down on it's side so you'll need to improvise.

    All in all, a very good drive for backups at a very good price point.
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    45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Quiet, discrete external HDD 17 Jan 2007
    By John
    Verified Purchase
    Bought this external drive to store music files and photos. It runs very quietly so is ideal for siting in a lounge or TV room, where ambient noise would be a nuisance.

    Comes with minimal documentation, although there is a web link where additional manuals and tech support can be found. Pleased to say, I needed neither. Plugged drive into the mains adapator and a USB port, Windows Explorer found it automatically and I was able to use it immediately.

    Access speed seems fine. It took about 90 mins to write 150GB of music files, read speeds present no problem. My drive feeds Slimserver and a Squeezebox without any difficulty.

    My only minor complaint and not enough to drop 1 star: The manual makes a reference to the FAT/ NFTS formatting issue, but the warning could be more explicit (if you start using FAT default you need to reformat the entire drive to switch to NFTS). That said, the drive is empty when you get it, so Windows Quick format option does the trick and formats in NFTS in about 10 seconds. Just make sure you know what format you need before using the drive.
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    125 of 131 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Fast, quiet, simple to use 16 July 2006
    By wml
    I'm a big fan of Western Digital - my last two internal hard drives were from them as well. This one couldn't be simpler to setup - just plug it in and it's recognised by XP. Took two hours to format to NTFS from FAT32, but that's simple to do as well. Copying is fast over USB 2.0, super slow over 1.1 (as to be expected) and it does get a little warm after constantly transferring a large amount. Quite quiet, and heavy (in a sturdy way). Only had it for a week so can't comment on reliabilty. Actual size on disk is about 465gigs. Recommended.
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    31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
    1.0 out of 5 stars Just returned second defective drive... 3 Nov 2007
    My first Western Digital My Book 500GB drive was dead on arrival. The second arrived this morning. (I'm very impressed with Amazon.co.uk)

    The replacement powered up and was recognised, unlike the first. However, I was immediately aware that it was very noisy. I placed it on some foam to try to lessen the sound. That's when I began to hear the occasional sound of what I take to be the heads touching the discs.

    I had spoken with the Western Digital telephone help desk when I had the first problem. I was told that it was best to replace through Amazon because "all replacement discs sent out by Western Digital are reconditioned units".

    When I suspected likely future problems with the second drive I didn't hesitate for a moment and the drive was immediately packed up and is about to go back.
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    12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
    1.0 out of 5 stars Avoid at ALL costs! 30 April 2008
    I had this hard drive for 17 months and it did it's job well, so I thought. Suddenly, it began to make strange noises. But the next time I turned on my computer, it couldn't recognize the hard drive, and I can no longer access the drive or any of the files.

    Sure, there will be Technical Support but it's absolutely useless because they don't help at all.

    I have now lost 500 gigs of Valuable data! And I will never get it back.

    Please do not ignore the negative reviews here because they are true and if this hasn't happened to you yet, I advise you to back up your work now because this hard drive will go bust when you least expect it.
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    11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Working fine 1 Aug 2007
    I bought this drive a few months ago and it's been perfect. It gets used a fair amount each day, transfering 1gb+ files to and from it and also 100's of smaller files. It's permanently quiet and also goes into 'sleep' mode when it's not in use so it's totally silent.

    Would, and have, recommend this drive to people.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars Western Digital My Book 500GB Essential USB2.0 External Hard Drive
    Western Digital My Book 500GB Essential USB2.0 External Hard Drive - A great product for full back of all PC Material
    Published 3 months ago by Mr. W. R. Robertson
    3.0 out of 5 stars One niggle but basically a good prouduct
    High capacity and reliable product. However, there is a tendency in Windows at least to give the impression that writing is complete, but a request to disconnect produces a... Read more
    Published 5 months ago by Graham K Field
    5.0 out of 5 stars The Best!!
    WD are the best ! high quality sturdy, efficient , worked for a long time , does make a bit of buzzing sound at night in full peace !
    Published 14 months ago by A. Vohra
    5.0 out of 5 stars great product no issues.
    great product no issues, works well and hasn't given me any problem to date, will buy again in future. .
    Published 17 months ago by Mr M Saeed
    1.0 out of 5 stars WARNING -- don't waste of money
    WARNING -- don't waste of money

    I bought 1, used it for about a year. Then it started giving trouble by not being recognized in Windows. Read more
    Published on 22 Sep 2011 by Mo
    3.0 out of 5 stars Saved all my files from being lost
    I bought this years ago. I occasionally back up my most important files on it. It saved my life this year when my laptop was robbed and my only copy of my crucial files was lying... Read more
    Published on 13 Jun 2011 by Paul Tighe
    1.0 out of 5 stars Great until it stopped working!
    I bought this item because it had a lot of good reviews on Amazon, and this is usually a great way of finding a good product. Read more
    Published on 4 Mar 2011 by R. Stanley
    1.0 out of 5 stars Don't buy this if you want to keep your data
    Don't waste your money. I've lost my entire music collection because of this drive. It was fine for a couple of years and now it has just stopped working. Read more
    Published on 8 Dec 2010 by M Banfill
    5.0 out of 5 stars Western Digital My Book External 500GB Hard Drive
    Love this external drive, so easy to use just plug in and go... couldn't be easier. And this for someone who isnt that technical. Read more
    Published on 24 Sep 2010 by Hamish
    5.0 out of 5 stars No issues
    Update July 2010 - still no problems.

    Have had this drive for probably three years or more and have been using it as the backup drive for Apple's Time Machine since Oct... Read more
    Published on 25 Feb 2010 by Ivon of Windermere
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