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65 of 65 people found the following review helpful
on 5 February 2009
I bought this external drive only a few days ago after reading the good reviews and I was worried about a few things, firstly about the sync software and secondly about the low transfer rate, thirdly about the power required to run the drive.

Let me start off by saying it is a wonderful product and that you should not worry about any of the above. I use the drive to store files that are important such as documents, pictures, films, music and TV series.

Firstly about the sync software, I do not like most software that comes with items like this. It is made for people that just want an "easier" method of transfering files, and creating a better backup of your computer files. But if you are fine with transfering your own files, you know how to create folders, and just use the drive for storing files rather than create a backup to boot from, then just ignore the sync software. You do NOT need to use it for just file storage use, after you tell it to not ask you to run the setup.exe, it no longer will. I was undecided as to whether i would ever require it so i just placed it all in a new folder on the drive in case.

Secondly the transfer rate i found with just moving files onto the drive was great, and not slow as some reviewers said. I cannot give exact speeds, but for about 30GB of data it took about 15-20 minutes or less. I have no had any problems with it on vista, everything was recognised and i just treat it as another drive.

Thirdly I have had no problems with running it from my desktop computer or from my laptop.

On another point, i do not find that it scratches much, it has a four base pads protecting it from the desk, but i find it to be sturdy and easy to just wipe clean with something dry.

If you want an all round good drive, then I would recommend this drive depending on the amount you want to store. Its a great buy.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
This was delivered last week. It looks very nice (although it gets grubby fingerprints on it when you look at it). It should really come with a case but I found it fits like a glove in my Archos case which I had replaced.

I have not bothered with the software but as a drive it is quiet and quick and HUGE. All my photos, music and video backed up in minutes.

I have not a bad word to say about this product. This is not really a terribly sexy area of technology but I am quite excited to own this.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 8 January 2009
I owned one of these drives for about 18 months - it was fine. Software a bit clunky, but workable if you are patient.

Then, the drive died, losing all my data - clicking & scratching noises with no access.

The WD aftersales service works pretty well, the drive was replaced quickly.

Only problem is...the replacement failed in the same way after two weeks.

I won't be buying another.
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132 of 136 people found the following review helpful
on 3 June 2008
I've been using this product for a couple of months now with my laptop. It's obviously designed with portability in mind - it's tiny and so light that I'm surprised I haven't lost it! I carry it around loose in my laptop bag and it seems strong enough too.
Plenty of space to fit all your stuff on - I in fact mainly use mine for storing games and tv recordings on (they take up a lot of space on laptops HDD) and it does the job perfectly.
Would highly recommend this to anyone who wants a very portable external HDD with plenty of space for under £100.

UPDATE (26.1.11):

I'd just like to say that I'm still using this external HDD and it's still going strong. Currently use it primarily as a backup device for my laptop. I have chosen to ignore the sync software and created a folder on the drive and placed all of the default stuff in that. The software no longer "pops up" when you put the drive in and I am free to back up my stuff as and when I see fit, whether this be through a simply copy-and-paste or using Windows iwn backup programme (which I found less intrusive).

In over three years I can safely say that I have never had a problem with this drive and couldn't recommend it enough. It's just a shame that it's now getting quite full and the newer versions don't appear to be as good as this "classic" one. Guess could always buy another...
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68 of 71 people found the following review helpful
on 2 June 2008
This is by far and away the BEST thing I have ever got. I am a total gadget fanatic and travel a lot. I have ATMT media drives at places I stay which are really bulky and heavy but with this thing I can carry around 320GB of stuff literally in my pocket. It powers itself off your computer so no power cables, no travel adapters - as long as you have access to a computer somewhere your sorted - its really light and transfers stuff quicky. It's silent and opens as a drive on your computer. For the first time in my life I haven't been over my weight limit at the airport. Just FAB.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 18 April 2009
THE GOOD.
Smart, small, highly portable drive, no external power supply needed as it is powered by USB alone.
THE BAD.
The lack of any type of user guide for the WD Passport Essential is infuriating. Using the supplied sync software, it is easy to back up to the Passport, but how on earth does one then access the encrypted files on it? I've wasted hours trawling through the Western Digital website (and the rest of the net) for this basic but essential information without any luck whatsoever. The encrypted files remain just that, with no apparent means of opening them directly from the drive.
THE UGLY.
If WD valued its customers it would provide some sort of user manual either with the product or at least make its website more user friendly so non-techy people (probably the majority of us) can find such information without having to take a day off work to do so. Also, whilst trawling the net looking for advice on this product, I came across a lot of comments whereby the software provided with the Passport can cause the loss of data, due to it actually 'synchronising' rather than 'backing up' files between computers. Some poor unfortunates have reported actually losing every file they had as a result of this problem.
TO SUM UP.
If you want a product that will automatically back up your hard drive for you, then avoid this like the plague. That said, if you ignore the confusing and un-user friendly software it comes with and just drag and drop your files manually onto the drive (which is what I now do), then it is a very handy little product indeed.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 7 August 2008
From the very moment that i opened the packaging i knew that i had made the right decision to part with my cash for this little beauty.
It is small and will fit into a shirt or trouser pocket with ease. It feels very well made and the shiny outer housing is a nice touch as is the white light that glows from the USB port on the side. Superb little piece of kit, this should be a necessity for the seasoned traveller.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 13 August 2008
I have recently purchased this product and I am delighted about its portability and massive capacity of 320GB. My only disappointment is that
I have been unabled to synchronize this drive with my computer hard drive, as claimed by Western Digital. I am running Windows XP SP3. I am
in contact with Western Digital Support, who are great in providing the
required advice, and I hope that eventually I will succeed in synchronizing my device with my computer. As a storage device and portability gets full marks. If anybody managed to get this device synchronized with their computer, using Windows XP, please advise me accordingly.
Best regards
E. Sophocleous
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 2 October 2008
Flirted with buying one of these. Arrived DOA with disk errors - well, that can happen. But not impressed with the plasticky bendy case. Returned it for a refund and bought a LaCie mobile drive - same size, slightly lighter, metal case - instead.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 6 December 2008
I strongly recommend this external USB hard drive as a backup device for storing a complete image of your computer's own hard drive. Having to repair or reinstall a corrupted operating system is a daunting prospect. Sometimes you need a dependable means of recovery and a disk image is the last-resort option that gets around problems like the failure of normal restore points.

The My Passport has non-slip rubber feet and is whisper quiet in operation. I should mention that the exterior is a sleek, shiny plastic affair which looks quite nice. You will probably scratch the outside a bit if you carry it around in your pocket with your keys like I did.

The backup software you use makes a big difference to the overall experience. Windows Vista Business gives you the ability to back-up an image of an internal hard disk, but other operating systems like Windows Vista Home Premium do not, and you will be forced to use third party (non OS) software such as Acronis True Image Home 2009 or Norton Ghost 14.0 (PC).
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