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403 of 418 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 17 months ago by techpuppy

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I bought this item based on WD's good reputation - something that I have now seen a ...
I bought this item based on WD's good reputation - something that I have now seen a number of other mugged customers decry after similar experiences. I rarely (if ever) publically review items I purchase online but I particularly wanted to do so here for the express purpose of adding my voice to a growing number of people trying to trash that ill-deserved reputation...
Published 9 days ago by Nicholas Artsrunik


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403 of 418 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ultra by name..., 1 Nov. 2013
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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very fast and good looking - but you'll need an extension cable for anything other than using with a laptop., 14 Feb. 2015
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Bought two of these little drives - one to backup my PC, and the other to replace the USB sticks I use to play stuff on my TV.
As I'd only had USB2 external media before, I never bothered with proper backups as they took too long (!) and while I use USB sticks to transfer stuff from my PC to play on the TV, I was finding that the trend to HD was making TV episodes etc take up more space and a 32GB stick is just way too small.

The main attractions were that these disks are high-capacity - I spent a few pounds more and got the 2GB versions, support USB3 and are tiny, good-looking things that won't be an eyesore on my desk. The majority of external disks are a pound or two cheaper and would look more at home in Steptoe and Son's yard.

I'm not a fan of built-in software, so I formatted the disks on my PC before doing anything else. This means they're just normal hard disks now with no fancy stuff on that I don't need and I can just drag and drop stuff as and when I like. (Just plug the device into your PC, go to My Computer, right click on the drive and select Format. Ten seconds later, you're done).

I used a free little program called Flashbench to see how fast the disk was compared with my USB sticks and it showed on average to be reading and writing five times as fast, which is about what you'd expect (peaking at 105MB/sec for read and 88 MB/sec for write). For files of a Gigabyte or so, it doesn't feel a lot slower than my regular built in hard disks, though I guess this will vary from user to user. Anyway, there's none of the long long wait I get when putting stuff onto USB2 sticks, so that's fine for me.

The supplied USB3 cable is about a foot/30cm long, so will probably be fine if you're plugging this into a laptop. But as there's a run of a metre or so from the back of my desktop PC to my desk, I had to get a USB3 extension cable. Only a couple of pounds, but I wish I'd known I needed it and I could have bought it with the drive. And make sure you get a USB3 cable - a USB2 one won't have all the internal connections.

I bought a red one and a blue one, and both are very compact, neat and attractive. They don't look like disk drives at all, and unless your desk is a complete tip, you'll appreciate the design over some of the other monstrosities that cost a few pounds less.

So in summary, it's fast, good looking, works well and has a 30cm cable. If you're looking for an external USB3 drive, I'd recommend this one.

Forgot to add that if you're using it to play video on your TV via a USB slot, then this disk is self-powered and doesn't need plugging into the mains. However one USB slot on my TV didn't deliver enough power to drive it and I had to solve the problem by buying a Dual Input USB power cable which allows you to take power from two USB slots on the TV while playing back to only one of them. Works a treat, but again I wish I'd known about it earlier. Here is the item on Amazon :
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dual-Input-USB-power-cable/dp/B003OC4KX4/ref=cm_cr-mr-title
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55 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Xbox One, 24 Jun. 2014
By 
S. Hudson (Southam, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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I bought this for use with the recent Xbox One update which allows external storage. To be honest I wasn't sure if it'd work but I can confirm it does and is a great little HDD. It does have a constant glowing/pulsing light that does seem bright in complete darkness but its small enough you tuck it behind the console and its not noticeable. It's really simple just plug into the console then switch console on. It'll ask to format the HDD and takes seconds. It'll pop up a notification when done.
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64 of 70 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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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb USB 3.0 external drive for Xbox One., 4 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Bought this hard drive as Microsoft have added the ability to attach up to two USB 3.0 drives to the Xbox One console and this functionality was made available to me early as I was part of the preview program. I am buying a lot of my content digitally, so the ability to keep my games on an external drive appealed as a) I can attach the drive to other Xbox One consoles, sign in and play my games and b) if the Xbox console fails, and I have to get a replacement console then I will not have to re download the software.

The WD drive is incredibly small and light, and the styling matched the design of the console very well.

As soon as I attached the drive, the console recognised it up, formatted it, and it was ready to copy my content across.

The drive is remarkably quiet, although the light that shines out of the back of it is incredibly bright.

It's compact, and -damn- is it fast, I have seen noticeable improvements in the loading times of games (particularly Dead Rising 3) since I moved my installed game onto the external HDD.

The supplied USB cable *isn't* that long and I can see how this could be an issue for those looking to connect the drive to a desktop PC. However for the purpose I wanted the drive for, the supplied USB cable is more than long enough.

Obviously it's too soon to remark on the reliability or longevity of the drive. However, I must say, initially, the design and performance of the drive has more than lived up to all expectations.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I bought this item based on WD's good reputation - something that I have now seen a ..., 22 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this item based on WD's good reputation - something that I have now seen a number of other mugged customers decry after similar experiences. I rarely (if ever) publically review items I purchase online but I particularly wanted to do so here for the express purpose of adding my voice to a growing number of people trying to trash that ill-deserved reputation.

The above item is an absolute horror show. Looking for a reliable back-up device? Take the money you would have spent on this, find your nearest pagan altar and ceremonially burn whatever you were planning on spending while asking the gods to vouchsafe your hardware instead. At least you can light a ciggie off the flame, which will look pretty damn debonaire to anyone who hasn't been properly informed about the dangers of emphysema and the amount of residual class A drugs present on UK currency these days.

You'd probably be more likely to safeguard your data using the latter method too. Far from endorsing the technical proficiences of the likes of Thor, Quetzalcoatl et al, I base my reasoning on the simple fact that WD's hardware, software, whateverware JUST DOESN'T WORK. Forget "continuous backup", with WD, the only thing you're likely to experience is a "continuous F-up".

I concede that the drive did manage to back up part of my data - roughly just under half what I was looking for, in fact. But I did not buy a device to back up "less than half" of my important data. If you're looking for that then, by all means, go nuts on WD. If, like me, you were looking for something to actually secure (all of) your data on a separate device, monitor changes made to it and then back-up accordingly then I'm afraid you're sh** out of luck.

WD's SmartWare program will comfortably secure data up to the aforementioned close-to-halfway point. After that, it just stops responding. To clarify, I mean that 1) all data transfer stops completely, 2) the software indicates that files are "pending transfer" but will not offer any explanation as to why it has stopped transferring them and 3) no amount of praying, cajoling, software updating, safely removing/replugging etc etc... actually achieves anything after this point.

Your only option (short of chucking it in, I guess) is to reinstall the drive's software - which resets the backup plan - to allow you to start all over again. Be sure to keep an eagle eye out on your next attempt, however, as chances are the same problems will strike on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th time of asking.

I'm currently on my SIXTH attempt of reinstalling software and restarting my backup plan. The process has taken me over 48 hours and counting (that includes overnight). I'm not ashamed to admit that the experience has broken me. It's like S&M but without the part where you get to inflict pain on someone/thing else and enjoy a sexual release. You just get f****d pretty painfully by WD instead.

If that sounds like fun to you, and you'd like to pay £55 for the privilege then I can't recommend this product highly enough.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So far I'm really impressed!, 25 April 2014
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So far I am really impressed with this portable HDD by WD. I previously had a WD Elements 1TB desktop HDD, which was quite hefty but did the job, without any problems, though I had it for over 2 years and was concerned how much longer I might have before it could fail, so I decided to replace it with this, the 2TB in Titanium colour.

I chose it to stay loyal to the WD brand having had a good experience with my previous HDD, and as I had read good things about the drives online. The transfer speeds are up there with the best for portable HDDs, however I only have USB 2.0 on my 2009 iMac, but the speeds are more than adequate for the job! The drive is a great compact size, very noticeable compared to my previous desktop external HDD.

I have not encountered anything negative about this product thus far, hence the five-star rating. I will update this review if anything changed however.

At this moment in time, and having used WD HDDs before, I would very much encourage people to choose this HDD over others, as reliability really is key.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Failed within 2 weeks! I'm NOT impressed!, 7 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Unstable from the beginning and then tonight malfunctioned and the computer couldn't read it! I've only had it 2 weeks and all my work and personal files were on there, at least the important ones were saved to dropbox. Sending it back, let's hope the replacement work longer!
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35 of 41 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Be Careful, 24 Aug. 2014
In my personal opinion WD set the bar for quality hard drives. Every hard drive I have ever purchased whether it be for a laptop, desktop, external or other like my Playstation has always been WD.
I always feel confident when purchasing WD drive but this time I don't feel so confident.
I purchased an older WD 2TB external hard drive but after my child knocked it off the desk it failed with head clash preventing it from working so I bought the previous model to this "WD my passport" and felt it was such a great product I got a second from my local PC World but the my passport ultra was the only one available which wasn't a problem to start with but after just a few hours of transferring data I plugged it into the laptop and it started clicking which is never a good sign, it has failed to load a few times but is currently still working but now I have little to no confidence in this particular drive and will be looking at an SSD unit to replace this one.
I would be careful of this drive as it seems like there maybe a few slipping through that are not of a very high standard of quality and if like me you use it for important data it is detrimental that the drive does not fail, so all in all if you suffer anything out of the ordinary take it straight back to the dealer of which you purchased it from as it may just be that you got one of the bad ones.
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34 of 40 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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