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on 14 July 2014
I've been buying these WD hard drives for years and with one or two exceptions they haven't let me down. I prefer to buy the smaller capacity (ie 500GB - 750GB) and back up my files to two of them just in case of failure of one - though that hasn't happened yet (where's a bit of wood to touch when you want it?!)

A couple of things about these drives. On an old O.S. like Windows XP, even a high speed drive will be slow. That's not the fault of the external drive but the operating system and the computer's probable lack of enough RAM. Also the fact that it's unlikely to have USB 3, so you have to be patient. Personally I'm happy to wait providing the end result is good and with these Western Digital external drives, it is.

One thing though that I have noticed with these is sometimes they don't like to disengage. I don't know if this is a fault with the drive or the computer, but I'd suspect the drive as it's happened on more than one computer. On Windows pcs (I can't say anything about Macs as I don't use them) there's a little icon you can click on to get the system ready so that you can remove hardware attached by USB (there's probably a technical term but I don't know it, sorry) and if you don't it can do something dastardly to your computer (apparently). Advice on how to persuade your computer to let go is to restart the computer with the drive still plugged in to the USB drive, then when it's loaded all its stuff, click to remove it. So far I've not had a problem doing it that way.
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on 26 November 2012
This does exactly what I require of an external drive that I use for scheduled back-ups, system images and the odd bit of manual file transfer. The two things I really find handy are 1. no external power supply, runs off the USB port, and 2. no on-off button -- it's on whenever your PC is (and off when not). What this means is no extra power leads and sockets taken up, and that I never have to touch it or do anything. I can forget about it, and it's always working in the background as required. The supplied USB 3 cable is very short; doesn't bother me as I leave the drive (drives, I have more than one) on top of the PC tower(s), and that's about as far as it stretches. Despite its small size and looking quite enclosed, the drive never seems to get hot (unlike my heavy metal LaCie!). It's very quiet too. One thing to underline here is that you aren't paying extra for the portable size as far as I can tell, and this drive is also handy, in fact my preference, in non-portable use. It has proven reilable so far (first one over a year old), and although I haven't done a speed test, it's extremely clear that this drive is much much faster than a USB 2.0 drive. Three times faster would be a conservative estimate, five times would be pushing the bounds of reality, and it also depends on your PC.
2 people found this helpful
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on 11 February 2013
I bought this because my previous external hard drive (desktop sized) is also a WD and it is still going strong after nearly 6 years of heavy use - I think it's time to start taking precautions!

Although this is the same capacity I thought I'd rather get a pocked sized drive. I use this primarily to store my music for iTunes and as it is now a portable drive I free up a power socket and am also able to take it around with me.

It's not the fastest drive in the world but more than adequate for storing music and media files.

The operation is silent compared to my older desktop HDD and it feels solid in construction, although plasticy.

The drive comes pre-formatted to NTFS and using a Windows machine it works plug and play. There are no gimmicks on the drive (like encryption or auto-backup) - just an autorun folder containing the blue WD logo icon (so it shows the WD logo in Windows Explorer).

Just going by brand loyalty to WD I envisage this lasting some time. I've got a 120GB IDE WD drive from 2002 that used to be the main drive in my old desktop and that still works fine - I use it now for backing up photos (which goes in to storage). I can't say at this point how long this drive will last but I can only trust my instinct.

The only downside is that A: The cable has a non-standard connection. Seems strange as usually WD have MiniB connections on their external drives but this seems unique to WD. Also B: The supplied cable is very short. I have it sat right at the back of my desktop tower and the cable barely reaches down below the PSU to the first set of USB ports. For a laptop user I assume this would be fine but keep in mind if you are a desktop user with the tower below your desk - the cable won't reach to allow you to sit the drive on the desk unless you use a USB extension cable.

Overall for the fact that it is simple, low priced, WD have a good reputation (in my eyes) for reliability and it works straight out of the box formatted to NTFS I give this 5 stars.
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on 21 September 2014
I had given this 5 stars, but spoke too soon. This product is AWFUL. Don't risk saving important files on it.
I've had it for less than two months and it already broke. Started making a ticking noise this evening, and I was suddenly unable to save or open any files. Had somehow corrupted and everything is LOST.
Anyone who's been in that situation (especially like me, a teacher with so many resources and lessons I hadn't backed up - shocking! - in three days) knows how heart-stopping and horrendous it is. Even if the company offered a refund I wouldn't take it, as it wouldn't replace my files.
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on 9 March 2015
This is my second sweet little WD elements 500GB Portable HHD. It is for an extra HHD for my Humax Freeview so I can keep my favorite tv programmes for life to help free up the Humax's Hard drive as it is nearly full.

This HHD is a very easy to use, it is a plug and play as simple as that! The first one that I bought is for laptop, I had this for five years without any problems even I have dropped only once and I was worried but no damage! If you want to keep it last longer, the best is stay at home at all times on the table or in safe place. If you plan to take this for travelling, make sure put it in the suitable bag or briefcase right in the middle.

When you decided to buy this HHD model, believe me you like this and you will be surprise how small and simple is it.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 30 January 2013
I liked these little external drives so much that I bought two. The low cost was also a major factor in my decision. It wasn't too long ago that such a drive would have cost twice as much. Also, these drives are bus-powered, i.e. they take operating current from the laptop port. No separate power adapter is required.

This is a 500GB drive with a combined USB2.0 and USB3.0 port which is still an uncommon feature of modern laptops but is growing in popularity. Computer users with laptops that only have USB2.0 ports need not worry because the drive comes with a USB2.0 to USB3.0 adapter cable. Longer adapter cables can be purchased from companies like Lindy.

I have other 500GB drives which are smaller but they are also much more expensive. Speed-wise these drives are middle of the road but as I use them for backups, optimal reading & writing speed is not an issue.

I also took the precaution to buy a couple protective cases for the drives and their cables. Whilst the drives are sturdily built I would not care to drop one. A protective case preserves and protects ones investment.
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on 12 August 2012
My net book is a Samsung NB30 running both UBUNTU and Windows XP occasionally. This is the net book I use these drives with.
I have already got 2 of the USB 2 version of this product which are now about a year old. In the last 2 days I have almost filled the new one with data, so it has been busy. All the data transfer has been done using USB 2 as unfortunately my net book isn't equipped with a USB 3 port. The replacement my net book will have USB 3 so for the extra few pounds I decided to go for the USB 2/3 option on this disc.
The device looks identical to the USB 2 disc except for the USB out port on the drive which is USB 3 (maybe micro WD doesn't say which). The cable that comes is therefore different from the USB 2 cable at the disc end but of course a standard USB connector at the computer end.
The device works on a single USB 2 port on my net book with no problems in data transfer (at USB 2 speed of course) or with lack of power from the USB 2 port. The disk is almost silent in operation with just a slight click at initial power on and final power off. The box that it came in tells me that the transfer speed will be up to 3 times faster than my USB 2 device using USB 3. I had hoped it would be even faster than this! My other 2 discs have travelled and been used extensively and if this one proves as reliable I will be very happy. They are very light weight with a short cable and no power supply, which makes them good for travelling with. I also use it with my media player (bought on Amazon see review for further info if required) and that works and can see the entire disc.
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on 14 January 2013
Ordered this item so I could remove some old files of my computer and store them on the disc drive.

The drive is a nice size and would be easy to carry with around with you if you needed to.
It connects to the pc or other devices via single usb cable for both power and data transfer, no need for a dual usb cable.
Which is great as it means it can be connected to other devices such as the wd live tv hub. Although when playing a hd back up of a movie it did play back with a ever slightly stuttering of the video, however playing the same file when connected to the pc, it played back perfectly so this might be a an issue with the media player not the drive.

Copying/writing to the drive is very fast. I copied 222gb to it via the cable it arrives with and a usb 2 port on my machine and it was much faster that copying data to a usb3 stick. So although both are usb3 devices and backwards compatible the drive seems better than the stick.

Connecting it to the pc is a simple matter of plug and play. I disconnect it when its not in use and I have never had a problem with drive not being recognised like others have reported.

It does come formatted as ntfs so those with pc not based around a Ms os may need to more than simply connect it to the pc before they can first use it.
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on 13 July 2013
I ordered this drive to use for backup. I wanted to make sure that I had an off site backup of all my important files and being an amateur photographer I have quite a hefty collection of files to back up.

This seems to be a great little drive for my purposes. It's physically quite small and the casing seems robust. It'll be a doddle to pack this into my rucksack for transportation to and from work, where I plan to keep it as an off site backup of my files. I'll probably transport it home one night a week to refresh the backup and then back to work the next morning. Not quite ideal yet, I suppose I should really buy another one of these so that I have a backup off-site at all times, but that's the fault of my backup plan, not this drive.

Speed seems on par for a USB 3 drive. The enclosure feels quite rugged. It's small and light and it's great not having to bother about plugging in a mains adapter. All the required power is taken from the USB port. I can't really see anything to fault this drive on at all. It does what it says on the tin, so 5 stars.

I most likely will buy another to make my off-site backups more robust moving forwards.
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on 19 March 2013
Hooked up to a Samsung TV this has acted as a plug and play PVR but also allows me to transfer photos and videos from the Mac upstairs so I don't have to leave it on to play video downstairs.

I'm not using the USB 3.0 capability, but at USB 2.0 speeds transfers are surprisingly quick and seamless. I’ve had no issues transferring large quantities of big files and the drive has been invaluable in dependably moving files round at work that would’ve otherwise had to have been done in steps with even the largest USB stick I have access to. The compact passport size means that although you’d notice it in a jacket pocket, it’s small enough to fit and since I didn’t order a case to go with it, sticking it in my pocket is how I’ve transported it. The gloss case has stood up very well to some pretty careless treatment and it’s sat on my desk still looking brand new. The lack of an obtrusive LED light in use also means it’s good for use in my home cinema set up unlike another external drive that I have which lights up the room when it’s in use.

Inexpensive, dependable, fuss free extra storage. Recommended.
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