26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Great for Mac, but let down by bad software/support,
This review is from: Western Digital 500GB "My Book" Premium 1C External Hard Drive USB2.0/Firewire - Retail kit (Personal Computers)
I bought this for my eMac, running Mac OS X 10.3.9. Connecting up (as recommended in the booklet) with both USB 2 and FireWire cables, it worked immediately, and within a few minutes I was able to remove the USB cable and just use the FireWire connection. It is fast, easy to manipulate, the lights are helpful and aesthetically pleasing, and it is very quiet (in fact, the eMac is louder than the drive, so I notice nothing from the drive). All this would warrant 5 stars... BUT: the backup software provided on the disk has clearly just been converted from a Windows version (even using Windows-style minimise and maximise buttons in the top-right corner), and cannot read the Mac OS HD properly. I have an 80gb internal disk, and yet when I want to do a full backup, it tells me I have files totalling 311953120.00gb and this will not fit on the 500gb external HD! This number is always the same, clearly indicating a fault. I have submitted a query to the WD "support" site, but a week later, nobody has bothered to reply. I'm going to look for other backup software that has been designed for a Mac.
So: a great product, let down somewhat by poor software and non-existent support.
After finally forwarding my query to the WD publicity department and alerting them to the above review, I did receive a meaningful response. I quote from the email a technical support person sent me: "...WD Backup only works properly when backing up your Documents folder. Although, the software will let you choose the folder such as your library folder, this will not work as you may have noticed. This is a very basic program that essentialy works like a copy and paste feature but is automated." So, be warned - even WD knows the software they provide is pretty rubbish!
Nonetheless, the hardware itself really is great, and if you can get alternative backup software, I really would recommend this disk strongly for use with a Mac (of course, I don't know if the backup software is as useless on a PC, but presumably it would be).
Another update! 28.5.07
I now have a new MacBook with OS X 10.4.9 and the WD software does seem to be happy to copy the entire internal HD to the WD external drive correctly. So it would seem that if using a newer version of the OS, then using the WD software will be ok. Of course, what will happen when Apple release the next version of OS X is anybody's guess!
By the way, if you're using an older version of OS X (such as 10.3.9 as on my old Mac), then I found that PsyncX worked really well, available from sourceforge.net (open source software). This would allow you to buy the drive (which is good), and have it work properly despite the WD software.