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425 of 443 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 19 months ago by techpuppy

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Lost all my data
I would give this no stars if possible. This was my back up drive for my laptop, with all my precious photos and music on, except it just died suddenly one day, despite no trauma or external damage, and now I can't access any of the files and I have to have to spend £300+ to have a lab try to recover the data. WD customer service couldn't help and said that they would...
Published 4 days ago by Diana


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425 of 443 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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27 of 29 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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78 of 85 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)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Stylishly Designed and Highly Effective Portable 2TB Drive, 27 May 2015
By 
William Mason (England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
Length:: 0:36 Mins

I bought this 2TB USB 3.0 Portable Drive to move away from using far less powerful USB sticks and pens.
This portable drive certainly wins hands down in terms of aesthetics. I compared it to several other portable hard drives in Currys/PC World and this one looked like a far more expensive piece of kit, with a sleek and minimalist design reminiscent of an Apple product. The drive has diminutive proportions, measuring only 11 cms by 8.2 cms by 2.1 cms. It weighs a slim-line 231g and comes with a custom fit, black coloured carry pouch, which is made of a soft, silky material and has a drawstring fastener. The portable drive is compact enough to slip inside a briefcase, handbag, small rucksack or even a decent sized coat or jacket pocket - it's about the size of a man's wallet but a little bit heavier.
I use this product to back up files and data from my desktop PC and laptop, and to replace the USB sticks which hitherto I've used to play stuff on my TV. In this day and age when more and more TV is going the way of HD, a 32GB memory stick simply won't cut the mustard to store the sorts of movies and TV episodes which I want to be able to view anywhere.
As a rough and ready reckoner, I'd say that this portable drive operates about 4 to 5 times as fast as the USB sticks which I've used in the past. Furthermore, it doesn't need to be powered up from the mains - if you make a USB connection to, for example, your TV, the drive will run without having to connect a separate power lead into a wall socket.
As regards compatibility, the drive is pre-formatted for Windows 8 or higher, Windows 7 or Windows Vista operating systems. It requires formatting for MAC OS X.
The drive comes with a very simple user guide leaflet which is easy to understand and follow. The illustrative leaflet shows three simple steps - 1. Use the 3.0 USB lead to connect the drive to your desktop PC or laptop. 2. Follow the on-screen instructions for the WD Apps Set Up Wizard. 3. The data gets backed up from your PC or laptop onto the drive.
A 5 year limited warranty is included with the product. The warranty document has an absurdly minuscule font size - I know that greener companies might wish to save the rainforests by reducing paper usage, but giving important information in a leaflet with tiny lettering, which many people simply won't be able to read, especially the elderly, doesn't seem very consumer friendly. However, this minor grumble shouldn't detract from the overall excellence and polished performance of the product.
Suffice it to say, this portable drive is fast, reliable, elegantly designed, easy to set up and user friendly, and even comes with a 12 inch (30 cms) long charge and sync cable. It's a small pity that the cable isn't a bit longer then this, 2 or 3 feet would have been a good length.
Highly recommended in any event.
Thank you very much for taking the time to read this review.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 13 July 2014
Small, Fast (120Mb/Sec), reliable, a must have.
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67 of 79 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Lost all my data, 28 May 2015
I would give this no stars if possible. This was my back up drive for my laptop, with all my precious photos and music on, except it just died suddenly one day, despite no trauma or external damage, and now I can't access any of the files and I have to have to spend £300+ to have a lab try to recover the data. WD customer service couldn't help and said that they would only replace the hard drive, but if I've lost all my data then what good does that do me? They won't pay to recover the data. This is a common problem apparently, and I should have backed up my back up. Silly me. Second western digital drive I've owned, had problems with both, won't be buying this brand again. Very angry and frustrated. False economy, buy a better brand even at a higher price.
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43 of 51 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lot of storage space for a reasonable outlay - a 3 year warranty and the 2.5" drive's fairly speedy as well, 14 Nov. 2013
By 
Charlie-CJ (England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a classy looking little unit fitted with a 2.5" 'laptop' hard-drive and a single USB3 connection (backwards compatible with USB2). Nominally 2Tb, it comes pre-formatted with 1.81Tb of useable space. The drives case is mostly dense plastic with a thin pretty metal sheet top that's more for aesthetics than protection. The drive used to come with a lightweight felt bag for travel, but that is no longer included. That thin cloth bag provided no shock protection anyway, so I use the padded AmazonBasics Hard Black Carrying Case which this drive fits into perfectly, and it usefully has space for storing the USB3 cable as well. This Passport drive is fully powered by the single port USB3 cable, no Y split cable required, and the huge 2Tb storage space makes the drive great value at around 5p per Gb (assuming a typical street price of £110), putting this drive on PC Pro's A list. Technically you can also attach this drive to USB1 but with a 50x slower transfer speed the drive is unusable (a 12 min USB2 file transfer takes 6 hours via USB1 if it finishes at all). You can fit a Belkin or Startech USB3 PCIe/PCI card to upgrade transfer speeds with an older Windows desktop PC if necessary. The short 40cm USB3 cable supplied is apparently advantageous for getting enough USB 5V power through to run the hard drive, although the drive works fine for me with an Amazon Basics 1m USB3 cable and our desktop PC's USB2/USB3 ports.

The drive's bundled backup software is basic and seems serviceable, but I have Acronis True Image Home 2014 PC Backup and Recovery and besides for most of my backups a simple drag and drop suffices as my folder of the kids camcorder videos and photos from 2005 never changes anyway. I don't use the Passports iCloud option either as I have plenty of free alternatives from work and iClouds only cheap for Gb not Tb. Speed wise the drive was identical in operation to my larger WD USB2 drives via USB2, but read/write speeds were 2 to 3 times faster via my USB3 ports. Drive performance statistics from CrystalDiskMark suggested that via USB3 this passport drive's 98 and 72 Mb/s read&write transfer rates weren't that much slower than my main WD Black internal SATA drives sequential read&writes of 126 & 122 Mb/s. Via my PCs Startech PCI USB3 port (not the fastest), a 2Gb folder of photos drag&drop transferred in 75 seconds and a 10Gb folder took 6 min 50 seconds - our PCs/laptops run under Windows 7/8. So decent enough file transfer speeds, and fine for the main use of taking lots of files to and from the office or college. These days most of the hard drive components come from the same factories to be assembled by WD or Seagate etc. so I doubt there is really much to choose between the major hard drive manufacturers in terms of reliability.

I never treat these external drives as reliable backup though - anything spinning at 5,000+ rpm will fail eventually and if we are unlucky it will fail sooner rather than later. In fact the hard drive failure rate is around 5% in the first year alone (higher actually in the first year than in years two and three owing to manufacturing faults and misshandling at the warehouse/couriers during delivery). After 4 years continual use, PC Pro estimate that around 25% of hard drives will have failed. However at least these 2.5" laptop drives are specially shock toughened to withstand mobile use compared to their 3.5" desktop counterparts. Data is more at risk on any external hard drive compared to internal versions though, e.g. from experience I know the 5V power feed in the USB2 lead can short and fry the motherboard/CPU, or you can simply drop or lose the hard drive when lugging it between PCs - and ironically hard drives running cool (below 27oC) are around twice as likely to fail than those running at 40oC. Ideally keep one copy of crucial data/photos at a different location (if lightning, 'ransom' malware, or a thief strikes, all the PCs hard drives may go together) and keep a copy on your PC main drives as well, then chances are you won't lose all the copies at the same time. Still a nice ultra-portable drive from a respected manufacturer and pretty good value at £100 for the 2Tb external storage, so 4*. It has a three year warranty, and 14 months on the WD Ultra drive is still working perfectly (make sure you keep the receipt or the warranty counts down from the manufacture date which could be 11 months before you buy - the online Amazon order details count as a receipt).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smart looking drive - Good read/write speeds., 13 Mar. 2015
Great little drive. At £53 for 1TB it's pretty good value and it looks smart too. Formatted to NFTS the capacity is 931GB.

It works on Mac and Windows and it's also been happy working with my TV - Playing video files.

I have run some benchmarks on crystalmark for comparison (I see some on here but only on the 500GB model).

Sequential (1000MB) Read - 119.6MBs Write - 118.6MBs
512k Read - 45.08MBs Write - 22.87MBs
4k Read - 0.554MBs Write - 0.296MBs
4k QD32 Read - 0.603MBs Write - 0.297MBs

Real world - Copied a large (4GB) file from SSD to this drive, averaged 114MBs.

Multiple small files - About 30MBs average.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Use this Passport for a safe journey into back-up, 13 Oct. 2014
By 
Timbo (Coalitionsville, UK) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'm a Mac user so for those other Macsters considering this, I can confirm it works fine in OS X 10.9.5. My advice is use Disk Utility immediately to wipe away the pointless WD bits of software to maximise the free space. I run Time Machine on this drive so to keep those files safe I partition the Passport immediately into 2. I give TM a partition to itself and then the other partition is ready for the usual traffic of music/films etc.

WD has a good reputation for reliable drives and so I only use WD and Seagate for my external storage. But always consider doing a manual back-up across to another drive of key data like music libraries from time to time. Just in case...
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