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on 5 June 2011
Plugged this in and worked straight away, got almost 70MB/s on CrystalDiskMark for both read and write, so it does run as advertised.
Drive itself is very portable and the price/GB ratio is pretty good for a USB 3.0 external drive.

However there are a couple of negatives (although not enough to deduct a star):
- The cable provided is way too short and it's proprietary so you need to get a USB 3.0 extension cable
- The backup software provided is total crap, I would recommend getting rid of it as soon as you get the drive

For those who are interested, I ran the benchmark with:
i7 920 @ 3.6Ghz
Asus P6X58D-E
Corsair 6GB 1600Mhz
Windows 7 x64
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on 27 October 2011
Comes with USB 3.0 which is great!! It has a nice colour and the size makes it very practical. Works perfect!! I've been using it for less than a year and works great! The connection between the computer and the hard disk is good and doesn't fall as the older WD Passports. I would recommend it!!
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on 19 September 2011
Love the colour. Unfortunately this is where the love stops.
I am not overly tech savy, however, the driver for this passport took a very long time to install and required about a weeks worth of trying various ways for it to install. One word. Frustrating. Would not purchase again.
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on 5 February 2011
I chose to purchase this hard drive over the mac-specific drive as it has USB 3. even though my laptop doesnt have USB 3 hopefully in the future i will have a computer that does, so i can make use of the faster transfer speeds. I was a little concerned about having to re-format the drive to use with a mac, but it was incredibly easy and the drive works great with Time Machine. the hard drive has an attractive design and is really small and compact. some people have commented that the USB cable included is very short, it doesnt bother me as i use it with a laptop and just sit the drive on my desk beside the computer. no problems at all so far, works great!
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on 4 May 2012
The unit was purchased for automatic backups of my system, Ubuntu, first with ver: 11.10 now with 12.04. It works without trouble on both. The internally loaded Microsoft .exe files were a waste of space and removed, nothing more was needed other than the back-up program I've utilized, in this case Deja-Dup but other Linux freeware also worked properly. If you run your system with Linux Ubuntu you can't go wrong with this unit. As it would be the Linux kernel that sees the unit it should be fine for any Linux system.

The unit is connected via a USB 3.0 port and is incredibly fast on each backup.WD My Passport Essential 500 GB Pacific Blue Portable Hard Drive (USB 3.0/2.0)
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on 12 June 2011
I purchased this after careful study of all the reviews. the Lacie Rikki 500GB USB 3.0 was also considered [ASIN:B0042A9KK0 LaCie Rikiki Portable 500GB Hard DriveUSB 3.0]. I eventualy chose the Western Digital product because it did not have sharp edges, was slightly lighter, I like the colour and the reviews were good overall.

It arrived very swiftly from Amazon as usual. I followed the advice of other reviewers and did not install the software. I just plugged it into my laptop and Windows 7 recognised it immediately. Then I moved the software into a folder on my laptop for later use if desired. I have just been using it with USB 2.0 and on a click and drag basis, although I may use it with other back up and encryption software in the future and hopefully USB 3.0 which is where the improvements in transfer rates should really prove an advantage.

It is extremely light and pocketable, looks very smart and I love the blue colour. The size is just amazing for the capacity, especially when I compare it with my previous Western Digital 'My Book' 500GB drive.

There have been occasional recognition problems, but these have been easily solved by rebooting the computer. I have enabled the 'remove hardware safely' icon, so that it is easily accessible on my Windows 7 toolbar (altered this from notifications only). This should reduce problems.

Overall, I am very pleased and impressed so far. Terrific device and I think that my decision was correct ( I already have holes in my pockets from other items). I have not used the software, following all the other reviews but on the basis of these I believe that it would be great if Western Digital improved this aspect of the product.

Buy and enjoy.
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on 2 September 2012
I've bough this hard drive about one year ago, or I should say, I've bought one but I had to change it due to a manifaturer ploblem with the disk, I've got it changed in no time and now I'm really satisfied with it, I use it to store my documents, and it's really fast with its 3.0 usb port while copying files from my pc.

I usually connect it to my TV in order to show holidays photos and videos I store on it to my family and I've never had a single problem of compatibility, the price is fair enough for the really amazing product it is, it's really small and the colour is beautiful, so no problems at all thanks to the prompt assistance you can receive from WD!
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A really neat small hard drive. Looks good too.
However I had to unistall the software because it slowed my PC down to a crawl. Expect to use it as a drag and drop device from now on.
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on 15 November 2012
I bought a WD My Passport Essential 500 GB drive nearly two years ago.

It has worked perfectly - not had a single problem with it :-)
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on 10 January 2012
Very compact in a colour that matches my laptop. Easy to operate and very quick. I receommend this product to others.
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