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221 of 228 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ultra by name...
Doesn't the word 'ultra' in a product name just raise your expectations and make you wonder what's so 'ultra' instead of 'ordinary'? I already own the 'ordinary' version of this drive, the WD My Passport 2TB Drive, so I was especially curious. At first it seems the main difference is that the Ultra comes with a copy of SmartWare, a backup utility that can sync your...
Published 8 months ago by techpuppy

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65 of 75 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tiny
The first thing I noticed about this drive is how small it is - about the same size as similar external 1TB drives of last year.

It is also very quiet.

But:

It runs quite hot, hotter than similar 1TB drives I have.

The supplied USB cable is far too short - If you have a tower case on the floor with only rear USB sockets this...
Published 8 months ago by Biff


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221 of 228 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ultra by name..., 1 Nov 2013
By 
techpuppy "aka stylepuppy" (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Doesn't the word 'ultra' in a product name just raise your expectations and make you wonder what's so 'ultra' instead of 'ordinary'? I already own the 'ordinary' version of this drive, the WD My Passport 2TB Drive, so I was especially curious. At first it seems the main difference is that the Ultra comes with a copy of SmartWare, a backup utility that can sync your computer's files keeping copies on the Ultra drive and also on your Dropbox account too. However (unless I missed something) you only get a month's free trial using the full feature set and if you want to continue using the Dropbox facility, for example, you'll have to pay a fee. That's a bit un-ultra. The drive also comes with a pair of WD utilities already on it, one for configuring and checking the drive and one for securing the content using encryption - however these are freely downloadable for use with any My Passport drive so they hardly qualify as ultra either. Physically both drives are the same size with a well-finished plastic case (it might look like metal but it isn't) and a solid feel but the Ultra version has its USB-3 port slightly to the right-side instead of the left and the port is 'upside-down' - as if the innards had been flipped over. However, there is another much more important difference, the speed of data transfer, and the Ultra just beats the standard Passport drive. For me it's testing about 10MB/s faster than the ordinary My Passport drive (when they're connected via USB3), which is about a 10% speed advantage. So maybe that's just enough to justify the Ultra moniker?

In most other respects it seems like the same drive, which is no bad thing, with a compact easily-transportable size and thoughtful details like little rubber nodules on the underside which stop it rattling on a hard surface whilst in use. There are specially moulded hard cases available from WD if you need to carry it around with you but I made do with an AmazonBasics Hard Black Carrying Case for My Passport which fits the drive well with room left for a USB cable and even, with a slight squeeze, another slim-line drive too. The drive utility has some useful options like the ability to set the Sleep timer in the drive to prevent it spinning down at inopportune moments while attached to a desktop computer, or to try to maximise battery life when used with your laptop - bearing in mind there's no mains adaptor with this drive, it draws the power it needs from the USB connection. Speaking of sleep, this drive will never interrupt yours - it's very quiet, almost silent, in operation and if it wasn't for the little white LED which flashes whilst it's in use you'll sometimes wonder if it's actually doing anything. There are dedicated 'turbo' drivers available too, for both Windows and Mac OS X, but I didn't find they made all that much difference and for general use everything you need is already in your operating system with no need to install anything extra. If you need to squeeze every megabit of speed out of your external drive then perhaps it's worth spending a bit extra to get the Ultra, otherwise either drive is well-made, nippy and very portable - what else could you ask for?
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compact, 22 Nov 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is really small, fits in my pocket and at 60 you get a lot of storage for your money.
When plugged into my computer it says 931GB so not 1TB but I'm not actually using any of the software that came on it (should really delete it all to free up more space) my choice, you may want to use it.
The end of the cable that plugs into the drive itself is different from my other hard drives, so I recommend not leaving the the cable when you take the drive with you on holiday.
Also some people have said the cable is very short, it is. But this hasn't been a problem for me as it cuts down on the amount of wires sticking out from behind the TV.
I'd recommend this product based on my experience/use of it.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works Great With a Mac, 11 May 2014
By 
M. Keil (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I use this with a MacBook Pro laptop and it works great. You'll need to format it with Disk Utility first, after that you're good to go. The software included also includes a Mac version if you want to use it, although Time Machine is a suitably more efficient way of backing up your files if this is what you're buying it for.

I run my iTunes library off of this drive and it does a great job. I have full HD video from the iTunes store (about 5GB) and it can be played from the drive with no problems at all.

Transferring files is very quick - I noticed it was copying files at about 90-100 MB/s when copying from my main hard drive.

As other reviews have noted, this drive does get quite warm. I wouldn't say hot - certainly not enough to cause alarm.

I've owned many WD drives over the years and they are always reliable. I expect I'll have this one for a few years to come.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Apple Backup, 28 Nov 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
We carefully researched the various merits of back up drives for the Ipad before opting for this one. Very pleased with the choice we made. It arrived quickly after ordering and was immediately put to use. Would not hesitate to order from this Company in the future.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seems fine, 9 Nov 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought two of these to do rotating backups. I can't comment on the included software because I don't use it. I formatted them EXT4 when I got them and backup via USB3. Backups are taking about 1hr30m for a full backup of about 320GB of data, which equates to about 3.5GB/minute.

Physically, the disks are really small, come with a 48cm cable and a little drawstring pouch.

Some brief instructions would have been nice with the drives. They come with a piece of paper about 1m square, in 23 languages, telling you all about what regulations they conform to, how limited the warranties are, etc... but with no useful information at all, e.g. operating / storage temperatures / what the LED states are, etc. I suspect that a manual was on the drive before I formatted it :-(

Anyway, for the price, they're brilliant, and take up a fraction of the space of my prior 3.5" backup disks.
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65 of 75 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tiny, 17 Oct 2013
By 
Biff - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The first thing I noticed about this drive is how small it is - about the same size as similar external 1TB drives of last year.

It is also very quiet.

But:

It runs quite hot, hotter than similar 1TB drives I have.

The supplied USB cable is far too short - If you have a tower case on the floor with only rear USB sockets this cable just isn't going to do it for you.

There is no power cable - this is host powered. This is good but your usb set up may not supply enough power to keep this drive going. On the first use I transferred 1 TB of data to it and twice it unilaterally disconnected itself from my PC and reconnected resulting in me having to restart the transfer process. This may be caused by a lack of power or it may just be a reliability issue.

Speed wise I have had some fast peaks - up to 160MB/s but often it will average only 45 - 60MB/s.

The supplied software is, as with most external hard drives, best avoided.

Overall it is a compact useful storeage device
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great drive from WD, 5 July 2013
By 
Ed.F "edz314" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I'm a very long time fan of Western Digital drives, all my backups and storage pools reside on one of their products or another. Not everyone likes the passport design but I find them visually appealing and chunky in a way that reassures of their quality. I already own 0.350Tb & 2Tb passport drives as well as various myBook drives too and I've always found them reliable and long lasting. From my, admittedly, short ownership period of this one, I see no reason to doubt its build quality and eventual longevity. Beyond the drive and storage it comes with a USB 3.0 cable and a nice storage pouch which is good for when out and about, personally I prefer a more rigid shell pouch but this should do for most usages.

I use my passport drives as my portable backup and bulk storage for media and various virtual machines. I've not had it long enough to make a definitive opinion of its performance, the USB3.0 connectors make a big difference of course but it is definitely a lot faster than the older drives I have with stable transfer of very large files done in about quarter of the time I'd expected (or faster). The performance is also good enough for me to run virtual machines straight off the drive rather than having to copy them back to the local drive.

Hard to say more really, it's a good looking, has vast capacity and is top notch piece of kit.

Note: the back-up software and advanced drivers, if you are using them, are not on a separate CD/DVD, they're on the drive itself, a useful point to note just in case you spend 20 minutes searching the place looking for it in vain like I did. To be honest I don't use the bundled software, personally I don't like it and think it's a poor solution, but the drive works fine without installing any of this.

Note: the included cable is the usual 20cm which means this is aimed at the mobile/portable/laptop user rather than the desktop or server community. The drive works well with other longer cables and over USB 3.0 hubs which means it can be used to support other usages but I've not tested it in anger or gauged performance over longer cables or hubs.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Does not work with PS3, 27 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It's a good product, sure, but if you were looking to buy it for use with your PS3 be warned. The PS3 USB ports do not provide an adequate power supply to USB 3.0 external HDDs. It will not work (and before you wonder, yes I did format it correctly to FAT32, I do know what I'm talking about).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good presentation but flawed software, 12 April 2014
By 
Michael S. Stewart "michaelstewart" (Bushey Heath, Herts. UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: WD My Passport Ultra 500GB USB 3.0 Portable Drive with Auto and Cloud Backup - Black (Accessory)
I do rather like this external hard drive. It is neat and compact i.e. pocketable if need be and nicely finished, with rounded edges. However, as to its performance, there still hangs a cloud. The software seemed to download faultlessly to show it's straightforward presentation with columns of coloured blocks representing that which is available to copy from one's 'C' drive and that which one has selected in 'D' (Passport) or in Dropbox, if required.

however, on first using it, it appeared unable to transfer 'documents' from 'C' to 'D'. I inadvertently pulled out the plug from the USB socket on my PC and on replacing it I found all the columns were empty i.e no coloured blocks anywhere in the 3 columns.

On the advice of WD I re-downloaded the software, taking care on their advice to switch of a ALL anti-virus protection and the firewall whilst so doing (Not a thing I like to do) On reloading, the coloured blocks returned and it appeared ok but now it wont back up Pictures i.e. they remain yellow in the 'C' column and grey in the 'D' column.

I have had much correspondence and quite a few phone calls with WD who I must say seem v concerned and extremely patient, bearing in mind that I am no IT' techie'. I have sent them screen shots derived from analytical software that they have sent to me and endeavoured to send copies of the logs, which were difficult to locate.

I thought at first that it was just me and that they would brand me a fool. However, I see from the various forums that I am far from alone, that there are many similar issues reported, which does restore my confidence somewhat.

In my opinion, I feel that this software is actually not very good -Sadly - or it could be that it is not fully compatible with Windows 8/8.1. Which it claims to be.

Of course files can be dragged across easily, manually, but I feel, and WD agree with me, that this is not the point of the exercise. It should work automatically as per the spec. I am going to stick with it and see if WD produce a cure, or perhaps they will update the software in due course.

Its a shame as I do rather like it
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It works, its a 2tb Hard drive., 4 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Its a hard drive. Copy and paste to backup stuff.
Thought id try the supplied backup software after using other backup software before. It doesn't do what I want it to do, it works but no advanced settings so uninstalled.
I always do a full format of new drives, Just to be sure.
Transfer rate using usb3 on my asus p8p67 pro motherboard was between 55 and 75mbs.
Like I say at beginning Its just hard drive for backups. Work fine and nice and small.
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