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on 19 July 2009
I've had a USB 500MB MyBook for some time and it has never given any trouble. I've also had my eye on the Studio Edition MyBook because it is Mac-friendly and has FireWire 800, which I want for video editing in iMovie. So when the time came to upgrade to Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) I took a quick look at what I could get and went for the Western Digital MyBook Studio Edition II 2TB Firewire 400/800 & eSata External Hard Drive. The 2TB size allows me to have a 700GB Time Machine partition and still have over 1TB for video storage. I'm using the time machine volume for both my iMac and my new 13" MacBook Pro. If you use the disk with Time Machine, first select the disk and choose Get Info from the File menu in Finder and untick the "Ignore ownership on this volume" check box.

The disk is attached to my iMac and enabled as a shared disk. The MacBook backs up wirelessly over WiFi to the shared disk. The initial MacBook backup would have taken a long time over WiFi so I plugged the disk directly into the MacBook for the first backup to get the benefit of the 800Mb/s speed. The transfer was very quick.

To get this to work properly, you start the first Time Machine backup over WiFi and then, once it gets going and starts copying files, you stop the Time Machine backup and restart it with the disk plugged directly into the laptop using the FireWire 800 cable (which comes with the disk). This ensures the Time Machine backups are correctly configured for remote backups over WiFi in normal use: For a remote backup, Time Machine needs a disk image on a shared drive. I created a sparse image volume using Disk Utility and then selected it for the first Time Machine backup from the laptop over WiFi. When I attached the disk directly to the MacBook for backup, Time Machine noticed the previously created .sparseimage for the MacBook and used it rather than creating a fresh backup.

As with my previous 500MB MyBook, this 2TB MyBook Studio is effectively silent.

Recommended.
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on 18 March 2009
I have recently replace all the external drives on my file server. Previously I was using four Lacie 1TB jobbies (each of which was really four 250GB disks internally), but wanted to replace them because they're noisy and draw a lot of power. So I ended up with two Western Digital Mybook Studio II 2TB devices, which I've been using for 3 months (one of them) and one and a half months (the other).

I've got the same amount of storage as before, but it's now pretty much silent, drawing a lot less power. They were easy to install - as is expected these days with a modern operating system they're "plug n' play". They even came out of the box pre-formatted with HFS+ instead of something retarded but PC-compatible,although if you are lumbered with a legacy Windows machine reformatting them should be trivial. Speed is ... not something I care much about, as all my access to them is over a nyetwork that is slower than the bus connecting the disks to the host machine, but they're not noticeably slow.

I chose those disks because they were the ony ones I could find that were the right capacity and had both USB 2 and Firewire 400 ports. I need FW400 because the machine hosting them is old enough to have that and to have Ye Olde Slowe USBe. I want USB 2 for future compatibility. Turns out that they also have FW800 (which I'll probably never use) and eSATA, which may be useful one day.

They're also upgradable. The old Lacies I had aren't - they're sealed units. With these WD units, you're supposed to be able to lift the lid and replace the disks. And there's the only small niggle I have with 'em. On both the drives, the lid feels really cheap and plasticky, and wouldn't open properly. Yes, I did read the manual. I ended up levering them open with a screwdriver, and now they won't close properly.

But that's a small gripe. I might care if I had to carry them around with me, but I don't. I might care if I was the sort of shallow fool who cares what his disks look like, but I'm not. I reckon they're damned good value for money.
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on 21 May 2009
This drive is quite a commitment as it costs a fair amount however if you need the space it really is worth it.

You can set the drive up in 1 of two ways, RAID 0 or RAID 1.
With RAID 0 both drives team up to deliver 2tb of space and increased speed. With RAID 1 you have 1TB of space available but the other drive is a clone of the first drive for redundancy.

It has usb, two firewire 800 ports and an esata. It includes usb, firewire 800, 400 and esata cables. The firewire ports can be used to daisy chain to other drives. (windows only) The usb and firewire ports are quick but the real gem is the esata connector that allows the drives to really flex some muscle, where you can see speeds up to 110MB/s (raid 0) Up from the 40MB/s of firewire 400, and 30MB/s of usb.

It has a 5 year warranty if it does go under and after using WD RMA service for other products I can safely say that they are no problem at all to deal with.

The raid is also done in hardware and is automatic. You don't need any drivers for the unit and you can swap it from pc to pc without a problem. The raid 1 array will automatically rebuild once you insert the new drive. The unit makes use of two 1TB GP drives, which you can pick up for retail should you ever need to.

Last of all, this unit is good for the home environment. The GP drives are very quiet and cool, allowing the unit to remain fanless. The drive also powers off after a period of inactivity and just powers back up when you need to use it saving energy while keeping noise to a minimum.
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on 25 April 2009
I have had this installed on my iMac for about a month now and it seems to work faultlessly. I use it to store my large photographic library and have it in Raid 1 configuration so everything is mirrored on the second drive.

It was very easy to install and configure just plug it into firewire or USB install the enclosed software click on the icon in the toolbar to configure to Raid 0 or Raid 1 and away you go!

I have this drive daisy chained by firewire 800 to a MyBook 1tb Studio Edition which is my 'Time Machine' drive.

Would thoroughly recommend this to anyone with a Mac looking for a high capacity external hard drive

I have had 2 WD drives for about 2 years - a WD passport and a 1tb MyBook Essential Edition which have been used with a laptop and PC desktop respectively and both have been heavily used and have prooved to be completely reliable.
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on 1 May 2011
If you're thinking of buying this then the main question you need to ask yourself is what you really want from an External Hard Drive. If you simply want 2TB of disk space then there are cheaper options available, even a Western Digital model if you want to stick with the brand and can make do without an eSata connection option. These could be better for a number of reasons and you should probably go with one of them. On the other hand, if you think you may one day need to upgrade, want incredibly fast connections and want great backup options then this is ideal.

Essentially there are 3 main Pros to this product.
1) RAID enabled
2) User upgradable
3) eSata

If you don't know what RAID is, basically it's several hard drive disks being used in different ways. This product is capable of RAID 0 or RAID 1. With RAID 0, you get the combined storage of the 2 disk drives mounted on your desktop as a single drive. 1TB + 1TB = 2TB. Unfortunately there's double the risk of hardware failure because with 2 disks, you have 2 chances for for them to fail rather than just 1 and due to the way data is broken up and spread over both disks, if 1 disk fails, you effectively lose most if not all the data on both. Before you let this scare you off, bare in mind that it all depends on the failure rate of the disks used. In this case, the MyBook uses 1TB WD Green Drives which have a failure rate of between 1.5% to 2.2% (depending on model) so that comes in at 4%-ish so not THAT high. With RAID 1, you get backup to protect against this but at the cost of capacity. You don't get the combined capacity of both disks, you get the capacity of 1 disk with the other disk being a mirror copy. Should some data on 1 disk become corrupt, the data can be restored from the other and in the worst case scenario, should 1 disk fail completely, you should hopefully still have all the data on the other disk. Obviously there's still some risk but to lose all the data, you'd need BOTH disks to fail which effectively reduces the failure rate dramatically. This mode is great for backing up vital data if you don't mind only having 1TB of space.

As it's a RAID, it has to allow the user to be able to open it up relatively easy and install new drives if need be. This gives you the option of being able to upgrade the overall capacity yourself and potentially save a lot of money. You can buy a 4TB version of this HD but at a very high price. Alternatively you could buy this version, 2 X Western Digital Caviar 2TB to replace the drives inside it and still come in at less than it would cost to buy the 4TB version from the start with the added bonus that you are left with a couple of 1TB drives to use as you want (there are 3TB WD Green Drives though it's unclear if they could be used in this enclosure). It's worth remembering that other WD Green Drives have different (higher) failure rates.

eSata is an incredibly fast connection option and is far faster than the firewire and USB options though of course is only useful if your computer is also eSata enabled.

Personally I use the Firewire connection and find it adequate. The drive comes with RAID managing software. I generally avoid the various pieces of software that come with external HD, often because they're buggy and cause problems but the RAID manager is not optional if you want the drive to be recognised. The software monitors the drives and gives you a constant status report so you can easily see if anything is wrong with either disk. There is one slight conflict with my machine which was initially alarming. The power save settings on my machine were set to power down hard drives after any period of non-use but later the RAID manager software powers them both up again to check their status, meaning every 15 minutes the array emits 2 short whirring buzzes as the drives come online. Hard drives and buzzing sounds aren't a great mix so it can be alarming. Unfortunately I have yet to find a way to prevent this buzzing other than turning off the energy saving options to power down hard drives or unmounting and turning off the drive when not in use, hence the lack of a perfect score.

In conclusion, if you simply want 2TB of storage and are not bothered about upgrading or built in backup options, go for an external HD which comes on a single disk and will probably be a lot cheaper. If you want the option to upgrade yourself in the future or you want to use the built in backup provided by using RAID 1 then this is a good buy.

Incidentally, if you choose to buy, I'd suggest adding it your basket but using the save for later option rather than going to checkout. The price seems to fluctuate wildly (generally by around £40 or so though one seller jumped from £140 to £451!) so leave it a week and see what happens as well as looking to see if it's cheaper elsewhere.
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on 18 September 2008
There's really not much you can say about a hard drive system, other than it works! I've got about 8 Western Digital MyBook products now, and they are each flawless.

Setup cannot be simpler -- take it out of the box, and plug it in. The drives ship pre-formated, and anyone spending £300+ on a piece of equipment will know how to set it up for their requirements. I'm using mine as a media storage unit for movies, photos and music in a RAID1, so 1TB of data is mirrored on two physical drives.

I only wish larger drives existed. But for now, it's the best out there! Strongly recommended!!
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on 12 October 2011
This drive arrived today and I've had a number of issues with it already, although I have no idea how the drive operates in practise yet.

I bought this drive purely for its ability to work as a mirrored RAID. My plan is to use it with my Mac and to store home video on it (the mirroring working as an automatic backup since I don't trust hard drives with my memories!)

First impressions: nice packaging but the unit itself does feel flimsy on the sides. Overall it's fine and would, I imagine, complement a Mac Pro very well.

So, onto setup...

* Firstly I used Disk Utility, hoping to use that to set it up as a RAID. This didn't work however and I quickly released I had to use the software supplied. This is where it went downhill.
* All I wanted to do was set it up as RAID 1 - I had to install the software for this.
* The software on CD was installed, but didn't work (something should have been installed on the menu at the top).
* I looked on the Internet and had to find the new version that works with OS X Lion.
* I installed that version and it finally appeared in the top menu bar. It did not, however, show the hard drive as connected.
* I used Firewire instead of USB and the drive appeared and I was able to set it up as required.

My main problem, apart from this process taking much longer than it should, is that I absolutely resent having to install software to set something up as simple as this. I just need a manual switch: RAID 0 / RAID 1.

Also, I can't stand software that installs itself into the menu. It reminds me of the old AOL days. It's a pain to get rid of (find original CD/installer and remove that way) and for something like setting up a RAID, I probably won't need to do it again anyway so I don't want a Western Digital logo on the top of my screen forever.

I'd still be irritated if it were a normal app, but at least I could have deleted it with ease.

Anyway - I'm sure the drive itself will work well enough and most people - I just had to vent some anger before getting on with some real work!
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on 2 April 2010
I bought this after a major crash on my Mac. I had backed everything up using time machine to a Fujitsu Siemens 1TB USB2 disk which did it's job in storing my whole digital world (1.5million items according to the backup) including all of my digital photos (and I take a lot) and Aperture vaults, and all of my Music (All 40Gb of it). The problem with the Fujitsu is that being USB 2.0 only it took five days to restore the data! I knew that I should have bought a Firewire 800 drive, so I scanned Amazon for reviews and came across this one. It arrived promptly (thanks Amazon) and looks the part in brushed aluminium case. I plugged it in, followed the instructions on the CD, installed the WD drive manager only (thanks to the other review for the tip off not to install the backup software if you want to use Time Machine). I reconfigured it for RAID1 which could not be simpler - right mouse-click, select RAID 1, then click on configure. Job Done. An interesting note in the user manual (C) Western Digital states: 'The HFS+ setting formats with an HFS Extended w/ Journal volume using a partition map type which best matches the Macintosh model the drive is currently connected to. On Macintosh computers with PowerPC processor(s), an Apple Partition Map structure is created. On Macintosh computers with Intel processor(s), a GUID Partition Table is created. For information on how to make your My Book bootable on an Intel-based Macintosh, go to support.wdc.com and search for answer ID# 1787 ' - if you have a power PC mac, I suggest you read it.

I then set about running a clean Time Machine backup of approximately 750Gb of data from my iMac G5 (2.33 GHZ Intel Core 2 Duo with 3GB 667Mhz DDR2 SDRAM). I left it running when I went to bed and was staggered that it was finished when I woke up the next morning. Considering it took 5 days to restore under USB2.0 (I know it should be quicker, but it wasn't!) 10 hours to save everything (it might have been quicker, I was asleep) was blisteringly fast. I tried some sample backups and I reckon it was writing at about 600MBits/s but that was just by a very unscientific watching the progress monitor and timing with a stopwatch.

The drive is exceptionally quiet - in fact I can't hear it at all. it is well vented on the top meaning the sides and bottom remain cool and even the vented top is only just warmer than hand temperature. I love the cylon-style vertical activity indicator - I know it's a gimmick, but it is quite useful to know if the drive is being written to, before you close down the machine. It also (when in quiescent mode) shows a 'used capacity' guide which is again a useful visual indicator as you start to fill up the disk. The bit I really love is that you can drop in replacement WD Caviar® GP disks, so it would be really easy to drop in two x 2TB drives and have 2TB raid1 or 4TB RAID0 (I haven't go the courage to go RAID0 with my life's data). All in all I am really pleased with the buy. If I was being very slightly critical, it would be nice to be able to daisy chain the old Fujitsu drive to the enclosure, but there is no obvious way of doing this and I suspect it's not supported by the driver software. Thoroughly recommended product though.
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on 11 June 2009
As a Mac owner, this external drive is fantastic. Plug it in, configure it as Raid 1 and away you go. The backups via Time Machine are seamless and quick. The drives sound a little like a rumbling tummy but otherwise they are pretty quiet. Daisy-chaining to an existing drive with an 800-400 cable that came with the WD drive was easy. All cables that night be required are included.
Easy, quick and reliable. What more could you ask?
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on 6 January 2011
Wouldn't work at first. Then it did and all was fine. Then, it decided to unmount itself but stay powered on. Switching on-off sometimes works sometimes not. This went on for days until I finally realised that it was pointless me trying to find the power on, unplug, press-button combination that might make it work.
Getting inside the unit. The press with your thumb instruction on the top to get to the drives is dreadful. So cheap and plastic and flimsy. You think you're going to completely wreck it buy pushing your thumb through it. Getting the drives out. Well it looks easy in the diagram. The thing is hideously constructed, but essentially very simply. So, if it was working, and you never needed to get inside it, you probably wouldn't mind - or know.
The drives I am sure are of a high quality. The case is really bad. The electronics in the case is minimal. Amazingly little is needed and the quality of the little board is pretty rubbish really. But, I got bad one, if you got a working one, you'd probably be happy with 5 stars.
It is very quiet.

I will try again because I like WD drives and I don't know what other alternatives I have. My other WD external drive, which I've had for a couple of years, (a single 1TB one) works well but it has some nice looking white LEDS that scan up and down when the drive is in action. One of those LEDs broke day one on that drive. Not essential but sort of indicative of build quality outside of the Hard disks themselves.
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