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231 of 237 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Help with setting up this product for other customers
I recieved this hard drive for Christmas and have just set it up after reading all the reviews on Amazon. I found these very helpful and would like to share my experience with this product.

It's pretty easy to set up. I plugged it in and my Windows 7 computer said there was no driver for this device, but it still read it. When you open the hard drive location,...
Published on 19 Jan 2011 by Melissa Pigford

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Its Pants the WD software
Before you invest your hard earned dosh on one of these try searching for "WDFME using all the resources" in Google. After several goes and updates they still can't get the software from taking all your resorces and make the PC run very slow, when or if they ever get this right its a neat little drive. However I've removed their p/poor software and no longer use the...
Published on 12 Oct 2011 by fergusmacg


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231 of 237 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Help with setting up this product for other customers, 19 Jan 2011
This review is from: WD My Passport Essential SE 1 TB Black Portable Hard Drive (USB 3.0/2.0) (Electronics)
I recieved this hard drive for Christmas and have just set it up after reading all the reviews on Amazon. I found these very helpful and would like to share my experience with this product.

It's pretty easy to set up. I plugged it in and my Windows 7 computer said there was no driver for this device, but it still read it. When you open the hard drive location, it has all the pre-loaded software on. After reading the other reviews about it, I must admit that I was a bit panicked, but I decided to steer clear of the software and use the hard drive as a drag and drop device, the same as my USB stick, so that I can use it at college or work.

I decided to copy the pre-loaded software onto a DVD disc, should I ever need to use the software. I would recommend this and also to print a copy of the user guide which is pre-loaded.

Another two points that may be useful are on the actual product page. One is:

"WD SmartWare Software
You're in control of your backup. With our intuitive backup system you can decide how you approach securing your data for the future - you can install all the features, select just the components you need, or if you prefer, choose not to use the software at all."

I would also recommend watching the product videos too, as this will give you a look at how the software works, so its up to you what you want to do with it.
Hope this helps!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Its Pants the WD software, 12 Oct 2011
This review is from: WD My Passport Essential SE 1 TB Black Portable Hard Drive (USB 3.0/2.0) (Electronics)
Before you invest your hard earned dosh on one of these try searching for "WDFME using all the resources" in Google. After several goes and updates they still can't get the software from taking all your resorces and make the PC run very slow, when or if they ever get this right its a neat little drive. However I've removed their p/poor software and no longer use the drive.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast., 21 Dec 2010
By 
Stuart Burns (Liverpool, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: WD My Passport Essential SE 1 TB Black Portable Hard Drive (USB 3.0/2.0) (Electronics)
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Fast. That's the one word review. The slightly longer version marvels at how compact this little brick is, the size of its capacity, the sheer excitement of transferring a 120gb of stuff onto it and barely worrying the TARDIS like capacity. Note that I didn't even bother with the software. Always seems like useless attempt to drive a wedge between the computer and the drive. Oh and it has an entertaining blue light which goes off and on during transfers.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cracking product, 4 Feb 2011
This review is from: WD My Passport Essential SE 1 TB Black Portable Hard Drive (USB 3.0/2.0) (Electronics)
Bought this to upgrade my laptop's storage, got to say I'm quite impressed with it. It's small, doesn't run hot at all and makes practically zero noise, even under load. The little non-slip feet it's got are very useful, and the data transfer rate when plugged into a USB3.0 port with the latest host controllers is simply amazing (as is access time in normal conditions). I backed up my music collection of around 200GB in less than 8 minutes.
I've not used the WD Smartware backup utility, so I can't comment on it, but reading other people's reviews stating they've had problems with transferring files onto the drive makes me think it's them comitting an error somewhere, as I have had zero problems with creating folders, copying/accessing files etc.
I would regard it as well worth the investment.

The only negative things I can say is that it's an absoule fingerprint and dust magnet, and that you'll be screwed if you go somewhere and forget to bring the supplied USB cable, as it's a non-standard connector (unless you own other WD products, anyway). If you're considering to use this as desktop storage and have a fairly tall case, you may want to get a USB extension as the supplied cable isn't long.
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125 of 137 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Avoid WD Smartware software like the plague, 14 April 2011
By 
Alexander Mcshane "alexmcshane" (edinburgh, scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: WD My Passport Essential SE 1 TB Black Portable Hard Drive (USB 3.0/2.0) (Electronics)
The physical WD My Passbook External Drive is good (so far). I have purchased two.
However, as has been the case in some previous Amazon reviews, I strongly advise anyone to stear clear of the WD Smartware; especially the security bolt-on called UnLock.
My advice is to instead stick with reliable software such as Microsoft 7 Backup & Restore or Norton Ghost; both are streets ahead of what I now term WD "Dumbware". Where do I start? I have just spent the best part of a day attempting to get rid of the Unlock "virus" that WD supply under the pretext of software.
After reading the WD Smartware manual in detail, I decided to definitely avoid the backup aspect of Smartware. However, I thought I would give the Unlock function a try to protect against unauthorised access to my external drive. A Day later, I wish I had not bothered.

1) Unlock Software
This behaves like a virus and is almost impossible to get rid off; even after uninstalling SmartWare and performing a Restore.
I thought it would be sensible to at least try and protect both My Passbook's via the supplied Unlock software.
I read the supplied operational instructions meticulously and fortunately, decided not to additionally install the general Backup / Restore software.

The Unlock software is essentially a Firmware installation. It works by using a drive on the PC as a virtual drive for the Unlock software and additionally using a second physical drive for the data. This means that is steals a drive that is already assigned to do something. For example, Windows Backup / Restore expects to reference my H Drive. There are many negative hits on this on the Internet. There are many reasons to dislike SmartWare.
- An extra drive letter in Windows explorer
- Extra software on the Virtual CD that you cannot easily remove.
- The extra letter can cause many problems with existing external drives that are being used as automated backup drives... I hate it (and most non-technical users get severely confused) when previously working backups to, say, drive E:, now don't work anymore.
- Your computers drive layout is effectively changed without your permission.

I contacted Western Digital and a day later a guy called Time supplied the link below to disable the Unlock software. Wait till you read this. It is an indirect admission as to how overly-complex their software is: - [...]

2) WD Backup Software - My Review
- Continuous Backup: I think that this type of function is really "Resilience" rather than "Backup". I think it only of real benefit if you are regularly doing high volume of data updates. For me, I think that a Daily backup is more than adequate.
- WD SmartWare software looks quite complex and very non-Microsoft in terms of being intuitive. It actually reminds me of the previous Maxtor software I used to use; which was terribly complex.
- WD SmartWare can keep up to 25 versions of each file. I think this is pointless.
- You have to designate a single primary drive from where SmartWare backup. This is a problem if you adopt best practice and have important System files on a C drive (e.g. AppData) and User data on a D Drive. By contrast, Windows 7 Backup & Restore default will backup important files on C and D Drives
- WD SmartWare appears to only backup a defined list of file extensions. I find this a bit worrying. On the other hand, Windows Backup appears to have no such restriction.
- For "Retrieval" (i.e. Recovery) of a file, can recover to original location or to a special designated "Retrieve" Folder. Windows Restore enables you to recover to original location or anywhere else.

To conclude, dont go near WD software with a bargepole unless you are bored and have days of spare time
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars WD My Passport Essential SE 1 TB Black Portable Hard Drive, 29 Dec 2011
By 
Mr. O. F. Samaan "SamS" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: WD My Passport Essential SE 1 TB Black Portable Hard Drive (USB 3.0/2.0) (Electronics)
I have had several hard drives in the past and Western Digital and to me WD is still one of the best brands. They are reliable, easy to install and ready to use out of the box. The drive is both Windows and Mac compatible, and although it came pre-formatted for Windows I had no issue reformatting it for my iMac.

Being USB 3.0 it is fully compatible with USB 2.0 and therefore speed is still relatively good .

The only negative points I can think of are: being gloss black (which looks very cool) it is very hard to keep pristine as it attracts duct and shows up all your fingerprints; and the supplied USB cable is a non-standard connector and isn't very long.

All-in-all this was very reasonably priced and I am very pleased with this purchase.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great drive - But Mac users watch out., 19 Dec 2011
I bought this drive because overall the reviews where pretty good, and I needed a drive to do my Time Machine backups on my Mac. It looks great, huge capacity, good price. And I wanted a unit that did not need a seperate power supply. Followed the WD instructions that said there software would run in conjunction with time machine. NOT TRUE! The drive kept dropping off line in the middle of the back ups. Contacted there support. Ran there hardware tests on a PC, took 8 hours, no fault found. Ordered another drive. Same problem. Removed all traces of WD Smartware on my Mac. Ran the time machine backup. Completed ok. I can't beleive I am the only one who has had this problem, but WD support seem to be totally un aware of it. As my school report used to say. Support dept - could do better!!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Backup: but Check my WARNING!, 24 Sep 2011
By 
C. Hawkes "Livefats" (Lancashire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: WD My Passport Essential SE 1 TB Black Portable Hard Drive (USB 3.0/2.0) (Electronics)
First, the bad news. The backup software is intrusive and potentially harmful. There are much better backup programs, some of them free. I strongly recommend that you do NOT install the WD Smartware. I've deleted it, not to save space (this is a 1TB device, after all!) but to avoid potential problems.

Second, the good news. this is a 5 star review: with the caveat above, that I'm reviewing the drive itself. 1 TB is a LOT of storage. I have around 180 Gig of music, and the same for pictures, so I need something big. And this is it. Yes, double the size would be nice, but I can always by another one.

Speed is stunning. It works very fast with USB2, and now I have USB 3, transfer times are great. Backups that used to take (literally) hours now take minutes.

And the size. It's small, easy to hide away: and best of all, it's eminently portable. When I'm shooting on location, this slips into a pocket and I can quickly and conveniently upload my shots.

So, pricewise this is a great product. Tiny, huge in storage space and super fast. Just avoid the Smartware Monster, and you'll be pleased.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DETAILED HARD DRIVE SPECS, 28 July 2011
This review is from: WD My Passport Essential SE 1 TB Black Portable Hard Drive (USB 3.0/2.0) (Electronics)
Model Number: WD10TMVW-11ZSMS1
Capacity: 1000GB
Height: 9.5mm
Width: 2.5in
Speed: 5400rpm
Made: Product of Thailand
Connection: USB

NOTE: Though the technology used is SATA the interface on the actual drive is USB so you can't put this drive into a laptop.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars DO NOT BUY!, 5 April 2012
By 
Quest (London, U.K) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: WD My Passport Essential SE 1 TB Black Portable Hard Drive (USB 3.0/2.0) (Electronics)
I couldn't have used a better title for this review. I'm on the third WD passport Hard Drive. The first one packed up within 4 days (thankfully I had my data backed up elsewhere). Amazon was kind enough to send another one immediately. I used the second one just little over 7 months and it stopped working just after plugging it into my laptop where it made funny loud noises before I couldn't access my data again. Thereafter it wouldn't be recognised as a USB device. I thought my laptop USB ports were faulty (all four? how odd). I attached it to another PC... and your guess is as good as mine. This time around I lost a lot of data as I thought the first one was just ill-luck and didn't bother to sync all my data on another HDD.

As if I hadn't had enough of WD passport, I agreed to get the third replacement; of course it was still under warranty. This also gave up the ghost after 6 months - of course I had learnt my lesson from the second replacement and did regular backup of backup. Albeit I had these backups scheduled, I still lost data (not a lot and bearable) that hadn't been backed up since the last one was completed. I'll spare you the gory tale of how this one went down.

I called Amazon to report this and they agreed to refund my money even though it was longer under warranty. My suspicions lies in the fact that demand for smaller portable HDD has driven manufacturers to produce lest quality assured products and in addition to that, USB 3.0 is still not stable. I've resolved to stick to backing up my back up using a rather sturdy and reliable 2TB 3.5 external USB drive. This backs my new 1TB portable HDD from Seagate GoFlex (not sure what the future holds with this one)

This review is based on my personal experience with three WD passport Hard drive and may not represent a wider view. Hence I suggest you keep away from this product.
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