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on 15 October 2009
Being a long time fan of Western Digital drives this was my first choice when purchasing a new portable drive.
Having received it I'm returning it for the previous 500GB model.

Pros:
- Smaller size than previous models
- USB cable uses new micro USB connector for the drive. It is not a proprietary connector.
This is the format that will be used in future for European cellphone chargers.

Cons:
- USB cable uses new micro USB connector for the drive meaning you need a second different cable if you have any older portable drives which use the mini USB connector.
- Micro USB connector feels loose and likely to disconnect when bumped.
- WD SmartWare software is built into the firmware of the drive and works by creating a virtual cd drive to mount a cd image. It can not be removed, only disabled. Note you have to disable it per machine you use it on.

The biggest gripe is about the software. Western Digital have tried add value by including it however the manner in which they have done it stops the drive from being a bog standard drive and makes it frustrating when using it over multiple computers and non-Windows computers. Previous models have included software but allowed you to format the drive you can get rid of it - not so with this model.
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on 5 September 2017
Broke down after a year of use...
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on 20 October 2009
I was delighted with my old model WD My Passport, so when I needed another USB drive I naturally went for this one.

It is even smaller than the previous model and looks good, BUT... It uses a micro USB plug rather than the earlier mini USB and it fits very loosely with a lot of lateral movement. The slightest movement on the cable will cause the connection to be broken resulting in read/write errors and cable can also just fall out. Other micro USB cables that I've seen have small grips that give a firm connection, but this doesn't have any form of grip. I find it unbelievable that this could get through WD quality control.

The emulated CD which has the lock utility was also unexpected and it needs drivers to be installed from there for the main drive to be seen on my Vista machine. This is also a pain as you need to install the drivers on any machine to be able to use it.

If the cable problem was fixed I'd probably give it four stars. Micro USB cables are not so readily available.
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on 9 July 2010
Beware of the new My Passport WD Hard Drives (2009 onwards). After happily using WD hard drives for years, I will never buy from them again. These are the reasons why:

1. They have changed the mini USB connection to micro USB. Is thinner and a lot WEAKER and if you loose the cable you will not be able to reuse any of the cables you may have around from other electronic equipment. This new connection has not proven advantages and is harder to find replacements...

2. There is a partition with WD bloatware that you will not be able to erase. This means that every time you plug your hard drive, an emulated CD will appear and the annoying WD software starts, even if you don't want to. This is annoying if you don't use their software and slows down the time from connecting your drive to accessing your data. Why do they bully people into using their software? Is this even legal?.

3. The internal hard drive does not have the standard SATA connection. This means that if you want to use the My Passport hard drive to upgrade your laptops internal HDD it will not work. It also means that you could not use the enclosure to connect other hard drives.

4. They are very unreliable. Mine died after 2 weeks. The replacement they sent was tougher and doubled that... 4 whole weeks!! 2 dead hard drives in less than 2 months. This is not just bad luck. Coogle it.
I think the hard drive itself is not bad but the connection and enclosure may be what is going wrong. The problem is that as it is not a standard SATA, you can not just take the drive out, plug it into another enclosure, recover your data and send the drive back for replacement. IT IT FAILS, YOUR DATA IS GONE, even if the drive itself is still finctional. You just can get the data unless if you want to pay an expensive data recovery service which WD guarantee wont cover.

5. Is more expensive than other brands with out absolutely no advantage (other than it looks cooler and is 5 mm shorter...)

For those reasons, Western Digital have lost another customer. The next replacement I will receive, I will sell it on Ebay. Apologies to whoever may buy it...

Really, think twice before buying it.
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on 30 October 2009
Had great expectations after purchasing this drive, but the loose cable connector and the very short cable were probably just the beginning of my disappointment. Then "USB drive not recognised" error messages started appearing intermittently after plugging into any PC, and would only work after 2nd/3rd attempt. I was forced to return the drive when I/O error messages started occuring and it became virtually unusable. I think all the faults stem from the unstable and loose connection b/w the cable and the drive and I dread this becoming the "standard" for all USB mobile devices as being reported! Most other reviews have not been complimentary either and it's a shame that I too cannot recommend anyone buying this.
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on 14 November 2009
This is my 3rd WD hard drive (the other 2 are still going and i use them continuously) and I am almost as happy with this one as the others. The only annoyance is that they bundle software on a 500mb partition on the drive and everytime you plug it into a computer it tries to install it. The other con with this drive is they have sent it with a new type of USB cable which will probably cost a fortune should you need to replace. Why cant they just leave things as they were!!

UPDATE: 27/11/09

The USB cable is so loose that even the slightest nudge or move of the table causes the drive to disconnect. NOT A GOOD DESIGN. In 2 minds whether to contact WD or just tape it on so it cant be removed again. As you can imagine this was a nightmare when trying to transfer to Windows 7 with easy transfer as I'd leave it for a few hours and come back to find out that it had disconnected again.

Does anybody know any other cables which can be used with this drive??
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on 27 October 2009
I bought this because of the hyped security feature and size.

Plus
-Small size

Minuses
-The USB connection is so loose even a bump on the table severs the connection
-The actual size is 465GB, where did the rest go?
-The smartwave software is a real nuisance, keeps getting in the way during file transfer. I had to disable to before I could save any data on the drive.
-When transfering large volume of data to the drive, transfers suddenly stop, making the whole operation rather tiresome.

I wouldn't recommend this product. It needs to be redesigned.
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on 18 October 2009
As mentioned by other reviewers this drive has WD SmartWare built into the firmware of the drive. There is no way to remove this software, the only option you have is to disable it from the operating system on each machine you use it on. WD needs to supply a method of removing this virus / trojan vector from their drives.
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on 7 June 2010
I own a few MyBook products from WD and was always happy with the quality. So when it came to buyinga lightweight solution for my Macbook Pro, which i can take on my travels, this was my very first choice. I regret it now.
While it does exactly what it says on the tin (and the specially MAC formatted version saves you time from reformatting the harddrive), the quality of the Micro USB Connection is very poor. Micro USB connector feels loose and comes loose (and disconnects) as soon as the cable even moves a few millimeters. This happens so often that i actually used black scotch tape to stop the cable to move. It still does!!! I would never buy this product again and would recommend anybody considering this product to look at alternatives. It is not worth the hassle.
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on 22 October 2009
* The loose cable! Why have they used a "non-standard" connector for this drive? Tends to come loose anyway.
* Resource hogging software! Why does it need to use so much memory to run. Always ranks in Top3 for memory usage in Windows Processes.
Otherwise, great in terms of portability for the drive capacity.
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