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Western Digital My Passport Essential 250GB USB Portable External Hard Drive

by Western Digital
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (238 customer reviews)

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  • 250GB USB portable external hard drive
  • Big capacity that fits in your pocket
  • Synchronized and secure
  • Includes Google software
  • Compatible - use with Windows and Macintosh computers
See more product details
There is a newer model of this item:
WD My Passport Ultra 500GB USB 3.0 Portable Drive with Auto and Cloud Backup - Black WD My Passport Ultra 500GB USB 3.0 Portable Drive with Auto and Cloud Backup - Black 4.5 out of 5 stars (243)
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Product Information

Technical Details
BrandWestern Digital
Item Weight104 g
Product Dimensions12.6 x 7.9 x 1.5 cm
Item model numberWDME2500TE
Additional Information
Best Sellers Rank 17,947 in Computers & Accessories (See top 100)
Shipping Weight281 g
Date First Available1 Feb 2004
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Product Description

Manufacturer's Description

Simply Elegant - Combine a beautiful new gloss-black case that fits smoothly in your hand and pocket with mega-capacity for all your digital content and the world's most popular portable drive just got better than ever.

Easy - Installation is a snap because you don't really "install" this drive; you just plug it in and it's ready to use. There is no CD to install; the included software loads from the drive the first time you plug it in;

Smart - Powered by the USB bus. No separate power supply is needed

Big capacity that fits in your pocket - This compact drive fits easily in your pocket or purse, weighs only a few ounces and with capacities up to 320 GB, you can take tons of photos, videos, files and music with you wherever you go

Synchronized and secure - WD Sync synchronization and encryption software lets you take your critical data with you. Plug My Passport into any PC, edit files, read e-mail, and view photos. Then sync all of your changes back to your home or office computer. Your data is protected with 128-bit encryption. (Windows only)

Includes Google software - Search your drive, manage your photos, and simplify Web searches with included Google software. (Windows only)

Compatible - Use with Windows and Macintosh computers

Box Contains

  • My Passport Essential portable hard drive
  • USB 2.0 cable
  • Quick Install Guide

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
92 of 95 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Format First 2 Mar 2009
By D. Hope
I think, like me, most people just want a drag 'n' drop drive - AND it looks like loads of people are getting a bit stressed out about this. So, here's what you do (Windows XP/Vista) 1. Plug the drive in 2. Do not load any of the software that comes with the disk 3. Go to My Computer - find the drive icon there - right click over it - select Format - select NTFS, - OK. That's it, you will now have a drag 'n' drop external disk.
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64 of 66 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "This Thing? Oh, I've Had It Ages!" 2 July 2008
By Coincidence Vs Fate TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Amazon Prime is great, I ordered this Sunday and got it yesterday. It really is a gorgeous little drive. I plugged it straight into my Sony Vaio with Vista and the laptop recognized it straightaway, no hassles there.

As others have done I deleted the sync software that came with it and saved myself 250MB into the bargain.

I didn't get a carry case or anything but wish I had now. I've had this for less than a day and taking it out of my bag at work this morning the top of the case was covered with lots of tiny scratches, hence my review title, just in case the wife says "I've never seen that before"!

Its' a shame that it scratches so easily, but really it's the performance of the drive that matters and this performs beautifully. My advice would be to get a case of some kind, but if you don't it'll still do it's job well.

Very highly recommended.
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331 of 345 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Useful as a drive but avoid the sync software 31 May 2008
Verified Purchase
This drive is cheap and small. Used as a spare external drive to backup your stuff, it's perfect.
The software that it comes with self installs when you first plug it in. It sets up passwords, encryption and 'syncs' your drive. The software is clunky, non-intuitive and installs stuff you might not want like google desktop. Also, it's not clear how the encryption works so retrieval is a worry.
I deleted all that stuff and simply use it as a drive.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Value. 5 Sep 2008
Verified Purchase
This Hard Drive works perfectly on my HP Compaq NC6220 Laptop. On some consumer machines the USB port will fail to deliver enough power. If this happens you can return the product to Amazon for a full refund. The Drive is small, fast and perfect in every way except for the piano black casing, which is a fingerprint magnet.
The Drive is detected by Windows as soon as you plug it into a USB port. There is no software required for Windows 2000/XP/Vista customers. You will see the Drive appear in Windows Explorer and it really is just a drag and drop or cut/copy and paste operation. So just click on My Computer to see it. The Drive is preformatted with FAT32, but this is not a problem unless you have files bigger than 4GB. In which case reformat it with NTFS. The Drive ships with some Software such as Google Toolbar, Google Desktop and Picasa. In addition there is a WD snyc programme, but none of this is really needed.
Hard Drives are mechanical components and therefore have moving parts. They will all eventually fail due to wear and tear. So if you want a pocket size drive to backup all your data then this is a great choice.
In conclusion this is a fine product at a very keen price. However, Desktop users should also look at the WD MyBook. It is much more bulky since it is a 3.5" drive but it is available in capacities up to 1 TB - perfect for archiving Music and Film.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars usb problems 31 May 2008
Great size and shape, perfect thing to add files to for portability and "just in case", but, as others have remarked, older laptops like my dell dont have enough juice to power it. Ive had to order a seperate dual usb cable, and hope this will do the trick, otherwise its going back.
Surely the dual cable should be in the box (western digital make one, so they are aware of the problem)?
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars just fabulous 21 May 2008
I had the WD Passport 120g before this one, and it is great. as the need for more space emerged, i chose this nice little hard drive, and it did not fail to impress. It looks so sleek and shiny, the usual plug and play functionality is very useful, it took seconds for it to run. Comes with some sync tools, but I did not use them. A lot of space in a nice little drive. WD is a name which everyone can trust. I am very impressed with this purchase, and thanks to Amazon, it arrived very fast,and I am already using it. very useful, very hard to beat at this price for this brand, and a lot of space to fill.
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46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't use this with Apple Powerbook 21 April 2008
I bought one of these for using with my Apple Powerbook notebook, after checking that my USB's were high speed, although I was unable to ascertain the output power from them. Although the hard drive worked fine with my husbands Toshiba laptop, mine didn't. It is a lovely small size, and the operation was quiet. I though about trying to find a split cable to go into both USB ports, (one each side on the mac), but then still didn't know if it would actually work. So I have returned the item for refund. Still it is a good make, a really compact size and great value for the money and storage capacity is amazing. Still only 4 stars, because the technical blurb doesn't make it clear regarding the requirements for running it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stylish Item With Pretty Good Transfer Rates 4 Feb 2009

A very smart looking piece of kit, just be careful not to scratch that shiney exterior. It can fit quite comfortably in my pocket and feels like it can take a few knocks. I wouldn't expect it to survive many falls though.


Here are the 'out of the box' (FAT32) results against reformatting it to NTFS.
These tests were made on a Vista machine with 4 Western Digital SATA II 250GB 7200rpm drives in RAID0.
Write speed tests (Copying from internal drives, pasting to Passport)
Read speed tests (Cutting from Passport, pasting to internal drives)


798MB (3 AVI files) - 45 seconds (17.73 MB/s)
798MB (617 BMP files) - 1 min 13 seconds (10.93 MB/s)

798MB (3 AVI files) - 5 seconds
798MB (617 BMP files) - 17 seconds


798MB (3 AVI files)
(Write Caching enabled) - Completed in 19 secs and at 38 secs it stopped writing (21.0 MB/s)
(Write Caching disabled) - 35 seconds (22.8 MB/s)
798MB (617 BMP files)
(Write Caching enabled) - Completed in 27 secs and at 1 min 03 secs it stopped writing (12.66 MB/s)
(Write Caching disabled) - 1 min 01 sec (13.08 MB/s)

798MB (3 AVI files) - 5 seconds
798MB (617 BMP files) - 8 seconds

So if you're using Vista, definitely reformat to NTFS and disable Write Caching.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Has worked well for many years
It is totally full now, but was big capacity when I bought it. Still works well, though I would recommend a bigger capacity now.
Published 7 months ago by Ian M
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent product!!
I am very happy with this. I am sure there are lots of other products that have come on the market with various capacities. I would recommend Western Digital.
Published 10 months ago by SB
3.0 out of 5 stars It lasted 3 years
One of the good things about reviewing a technical product several years after purchase is you get to say if its still working. Read more
Published 15 months ago by James Carr
5.0 out of 5 stars Super Backup
Very useful backup memory drive. Used it for backing up 6 year degree course just in case, but found it useful as could take it instead of bulky laptop.
Published 15 months ago by Andy Melbourne
5.0 out of 5 stars Bought this a year or so ago and never rated it.
Bought this a year or so ago and never rated it. I'm still using this now. Most of its life its left plugged into my TV to stream videos etc. and its never broke, brilliant.
Published 16 months ago by nosdohr
5.0 out of 5 stars Three Years of Hard Service and Still Going Strong
Now, I'm not technical expert but after a system crash on my last pc I was in the market for a reliable external drive. Read more
Published on 19 April 2012 by Sean T. Page
5.0 out of 5 stars Does the Job
I purchased this a while back (in early 2010), since then the prices have dropped and technological advances mean that you can get a 1tb disk drive for a good price. Read more
Published on 26 April 2011 by sab2008
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazingly Compact
Loads of memory space & very compact for its size, obviously it depends on how much one wants to spend for what memory size they need remembering though that you buy it once & the... Read more
Published on 6 April 2011 by Maria
4.0 out of 5 stars works well
4 years later still working but the usb was weak and we had to replace it. but other than that its been pretty good.
Published on 9 Dec 2010 by Mr. S. Trinh
1.0 out of 5 stars Extremely disappointing and unfit for purpose
I bought two of these external hard drives to store irreplaceable photographs: with two back-ups, I thought nothing could go wrong. Read more
Published on 30 Nov 2010 by Elizabeth Gooster
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