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WD 4TB My Book Duo External Storage
WD 4TB My Book Duo External Storage
Price: £204.73

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What WDD isn't telling you: Very bad design flaw that will threaten your data. AVOID THE WD MY BOOK DUO., 29 July 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this intending to use it in RAID 1 mode to get extra protection against a disk failure. It should be obvious to Western Digital that the provision of RAID 1 would mean that it would be bought by users wanting to make loss of data due to failure of a single disk less likely. (And yes, I know RAID 1 doesn't guarantee safety and that a further backup is advisable. That's not the point - the point is that anyone buying it to use in RAID 1 mode would clearly be expecting significantly more safety than would be provided by a standard external hard drive from some other manufacture without RAID 1. However, due to action taken by Western Digital, this is not the case, and it would be impossible for Western Digital not to know this.

The drives are hardware encrypted. You cannot turn this encryption off. There is a password option, but even if you do not use this, the drives are still always encrypted. The electronics that does the encryption are built into the enclosure. The encryption/decryption key is built into a chip in the enclosure. The user has no access to this key.

Suppose the enclosure fails, and you cannot get it repaired easily. You may think that you can simply remove one of the drives and put it (for example) in a docking bay. However, the information on the drive is unreadable without the decryption key - the decryption key that is built into the enclosure: the drives are not readable outside the enclosure. It does not matter that the drives themselves may be fine: without the enclosure they are useless.

And that means that the "protection" provided by RAID 1 is useless: the redundancy of two drives is worthless, or at least has much less value is a failure of a single microchip can render the drives unreadable.

And in case you are wondering: Western Digital will NOT help you decrypt the drive if this happens. They will not provide you with the decryption key. They do not provide any software to extract the key from the drive while it is working. They will not do any recovery for you under warranty: if your unit fails, and you send it back, their stated policy is to wipe the drives. All they will do is refer you to one of their "partners" - data recovery companies who might be able to recover the data - possible using some information Western Digital has given them - for what will probably be a large fee. So, a failure of the enclosure is likely to be expensive - if you even get your data back.

Here is post made by another user on Western Digital's forum: http://community.wd.com/t5/External-Drive-Ideas/Prevent-Data-Loss-Data-is-LOST-forever-if-WD-drive-enclosure/idi-p/877552

And here is an article about this problem in general: http://www.baldnerd.com/should-you-avoid-external-hard-drives-that-boast-built-in-encryption/

I will be happy to change this review if I become aware that Western Digital has done something that properly addresses this problem for existing users - and would have to be something beyond advising people to backup to another drive or the cloud (regardless of the obvious merits of doing that). I am not optimistic about them doing that.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 12, 2015 11:18 AM BST


Engines of Creation: The Coming Era of Nanotechnology (Anchor Library of Science)
Engines of Creation: The Coming Era of Nanotechnology (Anchor Library of Science)
by Eric Drexler
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.16

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A definitive book about the subject, 5 Mar. 2007
This book is one of the definitive early books on Nanotechnology, from K. Eric Drexler, who developed most of the concept. The nanotechnology proposed by Drexler is not merely the sort of "nanotechnology" described routinely in the media in stories about new drugs or hair products but a fully capable system of "digital matter processing" using machines built to nanometere level precision, capable of self-replicating and doing for the handling of matter what computers did for the handling of information.

This book aims for readability and persuasion more than depth, but Drexler's other definitive book, Nanosystems, discusses the concept in more technical detail. For most readers, however, this book is an ideal introduction to Drexler's ideas.

If Drexler is right then once such technology appears the world will be radically different. Engines of Creation is an essential book for anyone interested in future technology.


RTX Olympia Skype Cordless DUALPhone
RTX Olympia Skype Cordless DUALPhone

39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Groundbreaking Product - terrible build quality., 17 April 2006
I have had this phone for almost a year. The concept is good - it really does allow Skype to be used just as you would use a normal cordless phone. I intend to continue using cordless phones with Skype.

Why the low score? When I got this it was the only product out. When I replace it - which will be soon - I will not be buying from this company again.

Here are defects in this phone:

1. The phone is bulky.
2. The case has a cheap feel to it.
3. The buttons are cheap and rubbery and make it almost impossible to use to dial numbers - as I mainly use this to select friends off a contact list for Skype calls this does not bother me as much as it will bother other people.
4. The phone's headphone socket has a pointless and cheap rubber cover. If you actually use this a few times the rubber degrades and the plug cannot be re-inserted. Minor point? yes - but a sure sign that whoever tested this phone DID NOT CARE.

and now a MAJOR point.

5. The phone is likely to FAIL. The LCD screen on my phone has started to fail after almost a year. Each day a few more pixels seem to have failed. By now almost half the screen does not work, leaving partly formed digits and letters. I can just about make out the names of people I know for Skype dialling - and that is with some difficulty. I am unlucky? I know of one other person who has had the phone for the same length of time - she has THE SAME PROBLEM. Either a rare fault happened to occur for 2 people or the phone has a faulty lcd.

Great concept - disappointing implementation.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 14, 2010 2:48 PM GMT


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