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on 19 January 2011
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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on 4 February 2011
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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on 12 October 2011
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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VINE VOICEon 21 December 2010
Size: 1TB|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
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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on 14 April 2011
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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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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on 2 December 2011
This is my first review i have written for an Amazon product, so bare with me :).

Purchase reason - I bought this hard drive over 6 months to store all my movies and tv shows on. I'd then plug the hard drive into my Xbox and play it through my tv. I was so happy with this hard drive that i bought another one just over a month ago. Now i have one for tv shows and one for movies. I'm really hoping they start bringing out affordable and portable 3TB+ hard drives like this one soon as i'm almost out of space on both

Size - The hard drives a crazily small if you think how much you can store on them. It's shorter than my Samsung Galaxy S phone, a little bit wider though.

Set up - All i did was plug it into my Windows 7 laptop, installed the driver and that was it. That's all i ever needed to do in order to get it to work. Simple!

Format - I did reformat the hard drive in FAT32 to gain a lot more space and so it was compatible with my Xbox.

Power supply - The hard drive is stand alone and requires no power supply. Just plug it into a USB port and see it go to work.

Sound - The hard drive is very quite but does hum very slightly. When you have a movie playing, music or whatever you won't notice it. If may make a vibration type noise if laid on certain surfaces. Just pop it on something like cloth or soemting like that and the noise should disappear.

Look - One of the better looking models of hard drives out there. Built solid and should withstand accidental dropping, rounded edges and only has a very small LED light on the side that lights up once it's plugged in.

Price - It should be a lot more expensive than what it currently is. I did a lot of searching and was so hesitant about purchasing this product as it cost so little, but people! DO NOT be discouraged. Check my review, check the other reviews whatever! Just don't miss out on this fantastic item! Can't rave about it enough!
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on 30 November 2011
I do not use the drive for systematic backups so cannot comment on the supplied software. Both computers I've used the drive with have reported failure to install the driver. Ignoring the warning the drive is seen as a mass storage device and operates as such.
Having USB 3.0 as well as USB 2.0 combined with the decent storage capacity for the price should see it provide long and useful service.
Not having its own power supply simplifies the cabling, but this makes it reliant on the host computer providing enough power via the USB connection. If this device fails to work on your computer, it is worth trying it out on a different one as it could be the power unit in your computer doesn't have enough spare capacity to power it properly.
The unit is small, quiet and worked well with my TV as well which increases its usefulness.
My main reason for buying it was to increase the functionality of my Net Top PC. Given the neat size and cost per Gb I'm considering buying a second one to keep 2 copies of documents and media files instead of having to burn them to DVDs. That way if one device fails I'll still have the files on the second drive and avoid the files clogging my computer and slowing it down.
Warning: Some USB devices that are regularly plugged and unplugged sometimes stop working. This can be because Windows has failed to connect properly either because it is using a corrupted or wrong driver. Delete the item from the list in Windows device manager and reconnect the device so Windows thinks it is seeing it for the first time.
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on 19 December 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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on 29 December 2011
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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