on 31 July 2012
Yet another fantastic hard drive by Western Digital - this is the second that I have. Like the previous reviewer said, just plug and play and it's ready to go. One other point of note is that it is USB 3.0 (and backwards compatable with USB 2). Essentially, this just means that for computers with USB 3.0 slots, your data transfer speed will be a lot faster. I have two of these for different reasons - transferring files from home (mac) to work (windows) and vice versa. No issues with differences in operating system. The second reason is to use it to back up files using Time Machine on the Mac. For both of these functions, the drive is silent and works perfectly. I have no hesitations for recommending this for both Windows and Mac users, with speed, reliability and silence just three of the many reasons to pick this as one of the best portable hard drives you can buy.
on 3 November 2012
Even though there is every reason to expect any external hard drive to be usable as a boot disk on a Mac, these days some manufacturers perform tweaks to their drives (such as omitting certain components from USB controllers to further reduce the size of the drives) that inadvertently prevent them from being bootable on a Mac.
Samsung's S2 portable drives and even some of Western Digital's own FireWire drives come to mind.
Prior to buying this drive, which at the time of this review is currently the only widely available 2TB USB 3.0 bus-powered portable hard drive, I was unable to find any information online about whether it boots a Mac, so I finally decided to try it out for myself.
I am happy to report that this drive (Western Digital My Passport 2TB USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive) can indeed be successfully used to boot a Mac, via both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0.
For best results (and especially if booting is required) on a Mac, you'll need to first format the drive using Apple's Disk Utility, as with other drives that have not been pre-formatted for the Mac. This can take from under a minute to a couple of minutes at most.
If desired, Disk Utility can be used to create multiple partitions on this drive, one or more of which can be made bootable by either installing OS X onto it, or cloning an existing bootable partition.
Hope this helps others who may be looking for this information before their purchase.
on 8 July 2012
Take no notice of negative comments. This drive is great. Don't often write comments but thought I would for this. Its small, huge capacity (have the 1Terabyte), noiseless, petite, unobtrusive and fast. When I first got it it set about transferring the categories I wanted it to. Reckoned that it was 80G. Speed was at 77MB/sec...........thats about 4.45GB/min. Quite fast. As for the software, whats wrong with it..........its clever and nice looking. So its good.
on 16 May 2014
The drive disconnects itself. Typically when transferring files. The really terrible thing is that it will appear to have copied over files but it actually HASN'T. E.g. you are backing up another hard drive and it disconnects in the middle of one file being copied over. When you reconnect (i.e. physically unplug and plug it back in, then unlock the drive), that file appears to have finished writing to the disk, so you can just continue from there, right? WRONG. The file will display as though it is there, it will even show the same file size as the original, but it has NOT copied correctly. For that reason this drive is NOT SAFE even for backups and impossible to use for any other purpose due to its constant disconnects.
I have searched far and wide for solutions to this problem. Lots of different people claim to have fixed the issue, by downloading this or that driver, rolling back to this version, changing power management settings, etc. WD's only response is to send out a replacement cable (the cable is NOT the issue, I have used several including the original and a Y-cable and the same thing happens). The firmware updater from their site does not fix the issue either.
A lot of people seem to be having this problem, but not everyone. There must be a problem with quality control at WD because there seem to be a lot of defective drives bearing their name. Pretty sure it's not a driver or firmware issue anyway since my 500GB WD drive, which I've had for years, runs on the same PC and has NEVER had any problem like this. It's a problem with the hard disk itself. I have tried every 'solution' I have found and nothing works, so I am giving up. This drive is totally useless to me. I wasted my money on an unusable hard disk. I will not be buying from WD again, I can't trust them.
Although sold as suitable for backup, it has a backup facility on-board that installs on your system (Mac or PC) immediately upon first connection, it has to be borne in mind that 2.5-inch drives do not support transfer rates that approach those of their larger 3.5-inch relations. I would not therefore choose a drive of this format as a routine backup device. That is a personal choice and my backups tend to be large and time-demanding, especially with full verification enabled (within the backup software I tend to use).
Experience with several hard drives regardless of their form factor, connectability etc, has proven that the backup software provided on those drives is not a fully-featured, top-level choice software but tends to be limited in some area or another, usually in their range of functions and options. Choice of which source drives, directories or groups of directories is not normally offered and neither is a choice of full, incremental or differential backups or any other of the many variables that I would expect to see. Generally, but not always, the backup is directed towards data files which typically means your photos, downloaded music, movies, documents and other such personal files rather than the system and any installed software. You may not therefore lose that much-loved photo of granny or the new baby, but you may not be easily and quickly able to restore a faulty system installation to a usable state.
The software package is not simply a backup solution but includes a full manual in the usual language mix, plus an SES driver for those who need it and some management software. A brief printed Quick Start Guide is included but all other documentation is digital.
As a 2.5-inch enclosed hard drive, this unit is rather thicker and heavier than is normal and, in the event that you need a storage case, some may not have sufficient internal space. WD market a matching hard case but it fails to provide storage for the cable. As with most current drives of this format, this drive is bus-powered and uses a single-ended but rather short 45cm cable with micro-USB 3.0 connection drive side for both its power and data requirements.
Currently the largest capacity drive of this form factor, for those who need both portability, reasonable speed of transfer, portability, and by no means least, its capacity it is currently unequalled. Although you may be able to purchase a faster and more capacious 3.5-inch drive for a similar outlay, it will not have the same portability and will be of far greater weight and bulk, especially with its needed power adapter.
In using it with my own system, it has so far worked completely reliably in one of its own USB 3.0 ports and via a hub. With another system where there is sometimes an exchange of data with my own PC (two-way exchange, at times), the second system ofen fails to recognise the drive whether directly connected to the PC or via a hub although it has never had any issues with other hard drives. On a third PC and with direct connection, it worked correctly on the one occasion when it was needed. It is possible that some PCs provide more power to their USB ports than others, hence its lack of reliability on the second PC, but that is not supposed to happen. I also have other USB 3.0-equipped hard drives, but of lesser capacity and of different brands, and it is only this drive that has ever been a problem.
on 13 March 2013
I done a lot of research into portable hard drives that contain hardware encryption by default, are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand and are USB powered and this one came up on top.
2tb USB3 in the size of my hand, pretty amazing stuff.
The supplied USB3 cable is excellent as well, my last portable HD (Samsung S2 1tb) had an awful cable and i was forced to buy a new one as it kept falling out, this isn't a problem with this model.
Speeds are excellent, i copied over large files at 90MB (i was getting 60MB on my Samsung).
My only complaint with this HD (and in fact all current portable hard drives), the password protection software requires administrator permissions on Windows for you to be able to unlock and access the drive.
This makes the drive security useless if you use a work PC that only has standard user permissions (which the majority do).
It's such a shame as there is no real reason why there should be any need for admin permissions as the encryption is hardware related and doesn't require drivers.
That fault aside, this drive is perfect in every other way, at least in my experienced opinion.
One last note: The software supplied with this drive is very useful and allows you to surface test the drive for faults before copying over any data.
It takes a good couple of hours but it's worth doing as there are always dud drives that die soon after buying them!
Lucky for me, my drive wasn't one of them :)
Fantastic purchase, my only hope is that one day they will allow the password unlocking without the need for admin permissions!
on 7 August 2013
Had a Seagate 1TB drive before this, but it always suffered from the 'click of death' and finally died before its second birthday.
So I was very wary of buying a replacement in case I bought a similar turkey. I looked at all the models and reviews I could find, but even the best liked drives still had some bad reviews. In the end, I took the plunge and picked this one.
And it's very impressive. For a start it's a quarter of the size of our old drive, and it runs off USB power, so no need for an external power supply. And it's fast, and, most wonderful of all, it's silent! Also it was much the same price as the Seagate drive, but holds twice as much data.
So, five stars easily. Of course, I have no idea how well it will last, but surely it can't be as bad as the Seagate!
My one quibble with this drive is the position of the LED - it's at the back, next to the USB socket. So, if you want to position the drive tidily so you can't see the lead, you also can't see the LED. This doesn't matter if it's being used on the go, but if it's a part of a more permanent set-up, this is a bit annoying. (Mind you, as long as the drive works as well as this one, you don't need to see the LED.)
on 25 August 2012
There are lots of uses for external drives like this Western Digital My Passport drive such as: extra storage, backup and portable drives.
I use my mine as a portable drive for storing photographs and sharing betweem computers. The drive is used both on a tower system and a laptop and the ability to encrypt the drive with the Western Digital utilities supplied is an added bonus as if somebody were to steel the drive when is being used away from home then they cannot read any of the data I have stored on it.
The drive is very quiet in use and also spins down if not in use to conserve power, the time delay can even be set using the supplied Western Digital utilities.
The drive comes with a small USB 3 cable which is suitable for use with a laptop. The cable is too short for use with a tower system so I had to buy a separate cable to go with the drive.
It is amazing that such large capacity drives are available in such a small size and I find this drive perfect for transporting my photographs and Lightroom catalogues when working away from home.
This drive is a marvel - 2 whole terrabytes of data in something you can slip into your pocket. It's dimensions are 11cm x 8cm x 2cm. As such, it's not very well padded and a case is probably a good investment. I did have some problems getting it work properly but don't let it put you off as that seems to be down to my own PC. I ran several Google searches and similar problems are clearly extremely rare. Having said that, just in case you have a similar setup I've described the issue further down. But for the vast majority of people, it will be irrelevant.
The built-in software on this drive is intended for data backup only. It doesn't and cannot backup your entire system. For most people this is absolutely fine - it is your data which is really the precious stuff after all. Techie types who want system backups will probably have their own favourite software anyway. It is a routine thing to re-partition the drive and setup your own sytem. WD even provide instructions. Actually, you may not want to do that. The security built in to the drive is probably worth keeping (especially on so portable a drive), so just use some of the spare space how you want. You can choose whether or not to install Smartware during setup.
If you're happy with data backup only, then you have two ways of doing it. You can let the Smartware take care of finding all your data files wherever they're hiding, or you can choose which drives and folders you want to back up. In my opinion, this is the best of both worlds - I hate trusting something to choose what to back up when I have my own idiosyncratic filing system, but beginners will be happy with the "no-brainer" aspect of just letting Smartware get on with it. If you keep the Passport attached, it will backup your files and all your changes in the background. If you remove the drive in order to keep your backup elsewhere (a very good idea) then it will resume backing up all changed files each time you plug it in.
Retrieving files is also pretty straightforward. If it's the computer on which the software is installed you can choose to retrieve files to a separate folder in Documents (especially useful if you're retrieving older copies) or you can simply have them restored to wherever they were backed up from. Smartware keeps a copy of the last five versions of your files by default but, again, you are free to change this to more or fewer. For the technically savvy, you can just go and fish the files off the backup drive - they're stored, plain and simple, in their file structure with their proper names. It's the whole drive that is security protected not the backup itself. Very nice.
So what if it's a new machine or a new hard drive? Plug in the drive and the security autoruns and asks you for the password if you have set one (which you really should do!). You can install the Smartware to access your files through that interface, or just navigate around the Passport and find the files you want.
Incidentally, it's perfectly possible to use this Passport drive as a backup for a number of machines.
An annoying wrinkle which had me floored at first: sometimes Smartware comes up with the Backup and Retrieve tabs greyed out and disabled. After much head-scratching and finally a Google search, I discovered that if you click on the Passport drive icon on the main screen all is well. An odd oversight in useability.
Overall, this is an excellent piece of kit. I really like the flexibility WD have built in; you can plug and go if you just want a simple backup system but if you have exacting demands of your own, the flexibility is there. And it's tiny. Did I mention it's tiny? It's also quite an expensive purchase of course. WD do Passport drives in smaller sizes - 500gb & 1gb - which will be plenty for very many people and quite a bit cheaper.
Hardware issue mentioned above
I'm running a very standard Windows 7 64-bit installation on a popular Gigabyte motherboard (GA-P55A-UD3) using an NEC USB 3.0 controller. It is a couple of years old and it is a relatively 'early' incarnation of USB 3.0, so there maybe something in that. I had multiple problems getting the drive recognised and running properly but they all seemed to go away by a change in the BIOS setting. The motherboard is set to AUTO recognise SATA 3 and/or USB 3 hardware. My experience has been that both work only intermittently - I installed an SSD on the SATA 3 ports and it was recognised by the BIOS maybe one time in three (not helpful for a boot drive...). USB3 seemed to give me a similar problem. Most of the time the drive just wasn't recognised as existing (although oddly a USB 3 scanner doesn't have a similar problem). The solution? I changed the BIOS setting to 'TURBO USB 3' (forget the exact words) and it seems to have solved the problem - but do reboot a second time before connecting the Passport.
on 16 August 2012
BEfore buying this drive i read lot of reviews in internet and amazon as well. so many people said wrong about the software and mostly that is the main disadvantage everyone felt. At last i decided to give it a try and now i have it. If anyone say there is a problem with the smartware software , that means they doesnt know how to deal with it.
q: Some say the password protection is not working..
a: actually the password protection is working properly but the thing is when you set the password for the first time, while typing without your knowledge the typing cursor moves to next field. So if you dont notice that closely while you type the password itself you set something else other than the real password in your mind.
q: backup doesnt have schedule.
a: actually you can set timer, there is an option in it which schedule your back up when system is idle or else install the software and uncheck everything in download option. So it wont download anything. come on people. you have to look every option inside.
There are lot of strange things people saying about this. But please dont listen to them. you can even keep this drive as traditional drag and drop drive by deleting all the softwares given by WD at first.
Verdict: This is perfect drive . Dont listen to cynical people who just didnt fully explore it.