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Western Digital My Book 500GB Essential USB2.0 External Hard Drive

3.0 out of 5 stars 160 customer reviews

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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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Product Information

Technical Details
BrandWestern Digital
Item Weight1.9 Kg
Product Dimensions14.1 x 5.7 x 17 cm
Item model numberWDG1U5000E
Hard Drive Size500 GB
Number of USB 2.0 Ports1
  
Additional Information
ASINB000EXZB0M
Best Sellers Rank 85,182 in Computers (See top 100)
Shipping Weight1.9 Kg
Date First Available11 April 2006
  
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Product Description

Product Description

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.

Box Contains

  • Western Digital My Book 500GB Essential USB2.0 External Hard Drive
  • USB 2.0 external hard drive
  • USB cable
  • AC adapter with power cord
  • Quick Install Guide


  • Customer Questions & Answers

    Customer Reviews

    Top Customer Reviews

    Nicely boxed, containing usb cable (about 1.5m), power block and power cables - both British and American. Nicely solid metal "pages", despite the black plastic "book cover". Quite stylish green circle on the side, although not ultra bright.

    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.
    Comment 106 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    I'm a big fan of Western Digital - my last two internal hard drives were from them as well. This one couldn't be simpler to setup - just plug it in and it's recognised by XP. Took two hours to format to NTFS from FAT32, but that's simple to do as well. Copying is fast over USB 2.0, super slow over 1.1 (as to be expected) and it does get a little warm after constantly transferring a large amount. Quite quiet, and heavy (in a sturdy way). Only had it for a week so can't comment on reliabilty. Actual size on disk is about 465gigs. Recommended.
    Comment 125 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Verified Purchase
    Bought this external drive to store music files and photos. It runs very quietly so is ideal for siting in a lounge or TV room, where ambient noise would be a nuisance.

    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.
    1 Comment 45 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    My first Western Digital My Book 500GB drive was dead on arrival. The second arrived this morning. (I'm very impressed with Amazon.co.uk)

    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.
    Comment 31 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Verified Purchase
    I guess most people buying these drives are using them as back-ups for photographs, work stuff, music, films etc. That was certainly the reason I bought one for my son, the intention being that he use it for all the above and, given the size, used it as a cross-saving back-up with his brother's (a different make). As such, the most important quality I was looking for in a HDD was RELIABILITY.

    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.
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    1 Comment 49 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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