Customer Reviews


44 Reviews
5 star:
 (29)
4 star:
 (9)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:
 (3)
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Working fine so far...
Chose this drive based on manufacturer, storage size and price. Other makes seem to be having more failures, according to reviews. Only had it for a month, but working well as an external back-up for my laptop (Windows Vista 32 bit home premium).

Set-up was just plug in and go - ignoring the "need to install a driver" window that popped up. File access is...
Published on 12 Jan 2011 by Jasper

versus
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not robust, iffy software
Good points:
* Good data transfer rate
* Compact

Bad points:
* Dropping it just 100mm onto a hard surface can kill the drive!!!
* Bundled backup software will only sync to 1 pc hence useless to move data between several PCs if you have used backup functions
* Backup software also encrypts data - but locked to 1 pc, so if that PC goes...
Published on 22 Jan 2012 by Comical Engineer


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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Working fine so far..., 12 Jan 2011
By 
Jasper (Oxfordshire, UK) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: WD My Passport Essential 500 GB Real Red Portable Hard Drive (USB 3.0/2.0) (Personal Computers)
Chose this drive based on manufacturer, storage size and price. Other makes seem to be having more failures, according to reviews. Only had it for a month, but working well as an external back-up for my laptop (Windows Vista 32 bit home premium).

Set-up was just plug in and go - ignoring the "need to install a driver" window that popped up. File access is fast enough for me, only using the USB 2 functionality (seems to access photos as quickly as from the hard drive).

I haven't bothered with the in-built back up software having read some of the slightly negative reviews - I use Microsoft's SyncToy 2.1 (free to download) instead, which has worked well so far.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Product, 11 Jan 2011
This review is from: WD My Passport Essential 500 GB Real Red Portable Hard Drive (USB 3.0/2.0) (Personal Computers)
Just arrived today, 1 day earlier than they stated

I read other reviews about the software that comes with it, so I just formatted the drive, I suggest you do the same so you don't come across the same problems as other people did
Formatting takes about 15 seconds, just right click the drive, select format, keep as NTFS, Allocation Size Default, keep rest the same

The Hard Drive Itself:
Total usable capacity: 465GB (* * * *)
Currently copying over 100GB of files and its transferring it at 17.5MB/s (Average) (says about 1 hour)... (* * * *)

The Extras:
The cable that comes with it is like one I have never seen before, its about 35cm long, the connector is small, thin (* * *)
The packaging is cheap, it tears when you try and take everything out of the box (* *)

The Price:
Cheap in my opinion, I looked around for cheaper alternatives and this was by far the Best Value for Money at 52~ (* * * * *)
Taking in to consideration it is 3.0 compatible

Summary:
Overall I'm generally happy with this product, it does what I want, although I did expect faster speeds and a better cable (will be a pain and expense to replace the cable), but it was the cheapest at the time of purchase so good product overall.

Now I want to see just how long it will last...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Careful if you are a Macintosh owner, 10 July 2012
By 
R. Jones (Wales) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: WD My Passport Essential 500 GB Real Red Portable Hard Drive (USB 3.0/2.0) (Personal Computers)
Although badged as working with both Mac and PC the reality is a bit more complicated. Basically, the Smartware backup software that is already on the disc when purchased is really fussy and can cause problems. Basically 'the Mac can Read/Write to a OS X formatted disk but can only Read an NTFS formatted disk.' In contrast, a Windows machine can Read/Write an NTFS formatted disk but struggles with a Mac formatted disk.''

The Mac forums are awash with complaints that this device can suddenly start behaving in READ ONLY mode and can't be written to. This can happen, for example, if you inadvertently unplug it from the USB port without ejecting it properly.

If you are intending only to use this as a plug and play backup device just for a Macintosh, then I STRONGLY advise you to reformat it before putting anything valuable on it. This is actually very easy. Once you plug it into the USB port for the first time, open Applications then Utilities and then open Disk Utility. In Disk Utility click the Erase tab and choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled).

The Hard Drive will be reformatted and will now work just like a very large memory stick. In my opinion this is much better than trying to use some of the more fancy functions like Time Machine backup or any of the 'smart' software it comes already formatted with. These are really clunky and fussy and caused me no end of grief until I worked out what was wrong. Having said that, once formatted it is a really neat little backup device (hence the 4 stars). But initially it was a nightmare until reformatted (hence not 5).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not robust, iffy software, 22 Jan 2012
By 
Comical Engineer "comicaleng" (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: WD My Passport Essential 500 GB Real Red Portable Hard Drive (USB 3.0/2.0) (Personal Computers)
Good points:
* Good data transfer rate
* Compact

Bad points:
* Dropping it just 100mm onto a hard surface can kill the drive!!!
* Bundled backup software will only sync to 1 pc hence useless to move data between several PCs if you have used backup functions
* Backup software also encrypts data - but locked to 1 pc, so if that PC goes you are stuck with a disc full of encrypted data that you can't easily get back
* WD also use hardware encryption so if the drive does crash, it's difficult to recover the data even for a professional (ask me how I know this...)
* Also doesn't like heat, cold or damp (don't leave it it in the boot of the car overnight)

Summary:
* Be very careful transporting this device
* Don't use the bundled backup software
* Use it only to back up your PC, not as a primary drive
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent choice, 21 May 2011
By 
Beanie Luck Spud (Cotswolds) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: WD My Passport Essential 500 GB Real Red Portable Hard Drive (USB 3.0/2.0) (Personal Computers)
I bought a new pc at xmas and had the chance to purchase this for half price and i jumped at the chance.

It is simple and easy to use, you just load the drivers necessary from the software supplied and away you go. I have to say though i am using Windows 7 and had no issues with it, after i had plugged it in and windows recognised it it was all ready to go, easy as pie.

Transfer rate is very quick, i transferred over 250gb of pictures and music and it took less than an hour, nobody can really complain at that.

I take this everywhere i go, on holidays especially as i can plug it into other peoples laptops and computers etc and be able to access everything.

I haven't had any issue with noise or faulty wiring ?? like another reviewer has said, and yes the micro usb cable is a bit short i guess at only a whole metre long but seriously all sarcasm aside, do you really need a cable longer than that to plug it into a laptop or a front usb port on a pc ?
No, so i think that's just nitpicking.

I dont regret my choice at all, i love the bright red colour and its great to be able to take all of my music, movies, pics etc with me without having to buy a laptop.

Perfect..
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Good overall, 8 Feb 2011
This review is from: WD My Passport Essential 500 GB Real Red Portable Hard Drive (USB 3.0/2.0) (Personal Computers)
Does what it says, very quick and good for backing up, scratches easily and the only technical problem I found is that it only seems to work with either Mac or PC, had to be formatted to one so cant transfer things between the two operating systems.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent External Hard Drive, 29 April 2011
By 
Abdi "Human" - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: WD My Passport Essential 500 GB Real Red Portable Hard Drive (USB 3.0/2.0) (Personal Computers)
I have used several external hard drive (including Toshiba) in the past, this was the best one becasue:
1) Size
2) Cable connection: this one has only one cable with one lead
3) Password Protection

The cable connection is short, which could be +ve & -Ve depends your requirements but i am sure you can buy long one if you want.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A compact stylish Drive spoilt by its embedded software and inadequate cable, 8 Jan 2011
By 
Mr. P. J. S. Duckworth (Fakenham Norfolk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: WD My Passport Essential 500 GB Real Red Portable Hard Drive (USB 3.0/2.0) (Personal Computers)
I bought this drive around 2 months ago but unfortunately (from the point of view of returning it) only started to use it one week ago - I should have read the Amazon reviws first! I bought it because I needed much greater storage for my image files than my current 16gb USB stick offered, but still wanted the flexibility of choosing which files I wish to archive, and to make seamless transfers between 2 computers and the storage drive. Scant info came with the drive - a piece of folded paper with an Ikea type self assembly pic of the drive connected to the computer via USB - well even I could have figured that out, and apart for the ritual 50 country gaurantee list, that was it. What they should have said, is that they had installed software on the drive which runs things in a completely dumb back-up mode - mine had already started to do this automatically on plug in - allowing no flexibility of operation. Not what I wanted. Thinking I could control the beast I did install the WD management software but this only allowed some flexibility around the total back up concept under their chosen headings - you can not get down to individual folder/file level. In despair I went to the Amazon reviews and saw that at least I was not alone but one of a large number of baffled and infuriated customers, though fortunately a more computer literate person than myself pointed out that you can in fact ignore the WD software and simply use it as a drag and drop drive. This works very well - for the first time you can see the actual files you are operating on! So I uninstalled the lousy WD management software from my hard drive and loaded up the WD passport with my selected archive material - rapidly and without problems using drag and drop. Why on earth did WD not say on the leaflet that you can do this?
The other issue I encountered and many people complain about is that the very short micro USB cable gives problems with loose/intermittent connection. I can see why - the cable used is far too heavy a gauge (too thick) for micro USB and means there is no flexibility where the cable leaves the connector putting it permanently under stress if you have it bent at all, which would be a normal case. this is extremly poor engineering design. I replaced it with a 1 metre Micro USB cable (2.79 from Amazon) of finer gauge and it works a treat - a secure connection with great flexibility of placing the drive relative to the computer. So for the above reasons of inflexible/unuseable software accompanied by very poor customer communication and an unacceptably poor hook up cable, I can only award it 2 stars. Who needs this sort of aggro with what should be a perfectly straight forward product? If you are still choosing - you should put your money elsewhere.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Passpor essential, 2 Oct 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: WD My Passport Essential 500 GB Real Red Portable Hard Drive (USB 3.0/2.0) (Personal Computers)
I used it only once. Second time I used, my two laptops couldn't recognised it, neither my desk top. I had to send it back to the supplier.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WD My Passport 500 GB Hard Drive, 17 April 2012
By 
Mr. C. F. Flemington "Chris F" (Surrey England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: WD My Passport Essential 500 GB Real Red Portable Hard Drive (USB 3.0/2.0) (Personal Computers)
The drive was easy to set up and start using which in my case was good as I needed to back up my lap top. Having a Red colour may seem odd but I use a black version for my Desk top and the red version for my lap top so it is a colour coded back up system! When you are in a hurry to carry out a task the colour is simple to identify the correct hard drive. It transfers the data quickly and to date I have not experienced any problems. Delivery was very good and it arrived safe and sound. For me ideal.
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