Western Digital My Book 500GB Essential USB2.0 External Hard Drive
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- Product Description: My Book Essential Edition WDG1U5000 - hard drive - 500 GB - Hi-Speed USB
- Type: Hard drive - external
- Dimensions (WxDxH): 14.1 cm x 17.1 cm x 5.7 cm
- Weight: 1.3 kg
- Capacity: 500 GB
- Interface Type: Hi-Speed USB
- Connector: 4 pin USB
- Data Transfer Rate: 480 Mbps
- Average Seek Time: 8.9 ms
- Spindle Speed: 7200 rpm
- Buffer Size: 16 MB
- OS Required: Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition, Microsoft Windows 2000, Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition, Microsoft Windows XP, Apple MacOS X 10.2.8 or later
- Power: AC 120/230 V ( 50 - 60 Hz )
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The My Book external drive is an elegant, high-capacity storage solution for all the chapters of your digital life. Our latest edition now features visual, easy-to-use, automatic, continuous backup software and drive lock security protection.
Top Customer Reviews
It doesn't power on until you plug in the usb cable as well as the obvious power cable, but once set up it is automatically picked up by Windows 2000 (or above) and starts up a window asking if you want to install Google software (toolbar for IE, Google desktop search and Picasa), Acrobat and the pdf manual or Western Digital disk tools. WD Tools seem slightly pointless apart from a disk eraser tool but even then I would download a free open source military grade version from the internet to use rather than theirs. The WD tests just seem to say Pass or Fail - would have liked to see more information about these. Apparently the disk contained is a SATA WDC WD5000KS disk.
Copied 1.9gigabytes (as measured by Windows folder properties rather than the 2gb WD would call it) as represented by 2500 files, to the disk in about 7minutes 35seconds - so a rough throughput of 250megabytes a minute. Very quiet buzz&clicking when writing data - not bad considering you can actually look in through the cooling vents and see the physical disk inside.
Gets slightly warm after extended effort so placing it on it's end like an actual book seems best due to the cooling slots then available on top.
It powers itself down from it's already quiet state to utterly silent after about 15minutes and then takes about 7 seconds to power back up if you access it. Very quiet unless on a resonating surface (i.e. a wooden desk) when it makes a slight hum from the vibration - however the supplied sticky rubber feetpads only have mounting points if it's laid down on it's side so you'll need to improvise.
All in all, a very good drive for backups at a very good price point.
Comes with minimal documentation, although there is a web link where additional manuals and tech support can be found. Pleased to say, I needed neither. Plugged drive into the mains adapator and a USB port, Windows Explorer found it automatically and I was able to use it immediately.
Access speed seems fine. It took about 90 mins to write 150GB of music files, read speeds present no problem. My drive feeds Slimserver and a Squeezebox without any difficulty.
My only minor complaint and not enough to drop 1 star: The manual makes a reference to the FAT/ NFTS formatting issue, but the warning could be more explicit (if you start using FAT default you need to reformat the entire drive to switch to NFTS). That said, the drive is empty when you get it, so Windows Quick format option does the trick and formats in NFTS in about 10 seconds. Just make sure you know what format you need before using the drive.
The replacement powered up and was recognised, unlike the first. However, I was immediately aware that it was very noisy. I placed it on some foam to try to lessen the sound. That's when I began to hear the occasional sound of what I take to be the heads touching the discs.
I had spoken with the Western Digital telephone help desk when I had the first problem. I was told that it was best to replace through Amazon because "all replacement discs sent out by Western Digital are reconditioned units".
When I suspected likely future problems with the second drive I didn't hesitate for a moment and the drive was immediately packed up and is about to go back.
The first drive I received was Dead on Arrival (DOA), and I returned it without difficulty for a replacement. That was about 8-months ago, and the drive was OK until about a month ago when my Son told me his laptop would no longer recognise the drive. He tried it on a couple of other PCs, but with the same result and it was the same on my own PCs (XP and Vista).
I contacted Western Digital on 13 Dec 07, detailing the problem(s), my disatisfaction, and asking what they were prepared to do about it. I received a standard holding response:
Thank you for contacting Western Digital. Our goal is to answer emails within one (1) business day. However sometimes due to the volume of emails, it may take us up to three (3) business days to respond.
Since then I've heard nothing. The thing is, I could have just had a replacement (it's only 7 mths into a 2-yr waranty after all) but after one DOA and the replacement failing in such a short time, I no longer have any faith in this drive, and would prefer to opt for another model or get a refund. My other son's Drive (a Lacie) has given him no trouble whatsoever, even though he's had it for well over a year.
In summary, fine when it works, but we haven't found it reliable and the WD customer service is less than impressive. Look at other options.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The large capacity, the speed and the ability to ensure we get a great deal all in one!Published 12 months ago by M Khalif
great my lad adoptedit it ubnlike my 2tet drive didnt die and lose pics etcPublished 17 months ago by Mr T Martin
It just stopped working after a couple of years. Couldn't access the data on it so had to open it and scratch disc surfaces to ensure data was completely erased - and then binned... Read morePublished 24 months ago by MathGuy