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Item#: 9SIA0AJ1702186

WD My Passport Studio 500GB Portable Hard Drive

  • High capacity in a compact design, Two fast FireWire 800 ports
  • All metal enclosure
  • Compatible with Apple Time Machine
  • Password protection and hardware encryption
  • 3-year limited warranty worldwide
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Learn more about the Western Digital WDBALG5000ABK-NESN

Model

Brand
WD
Series
My Passport Studio
Model
WDBALG5000ABK-NESN
Type
External

Performance

Capacity
500GB

Physical Spec

Form Factor
2.5"

Configuration

Interface
USB 2.0 / Firewire800

Features

Features
Dimensions: 5" x 3.3" x 0.7"
Weight: 0.56 lbs.

Precision aluminum enclosure

FireWire 800 ports

WD Security

WD Drive Utilities

Formatted for Mac

No power adapter required

Compatible with Apple Time Machine

Compatibility: Formatted HFS+ Journaled for Mac OS X Leopard, Snow Leopard, Lion. Can be reformatted for Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7

Quick Info

Warranty

  • Limited Warranty period (parts): 3 years
  • Limited Warranty period (labor): 3 years


Customer Reviews of the Western Digital WDBALG5000ABK-NESN

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5 out of 5 eggsGreat External Drive

This review is from: WD My Passport Studio 500GB Portable Hard Drive

Pros: Nice small drive
Powered from the data cable
Great speeds via Firewire 800
It's from Western Digital!
USB2 and 2 Firewire 800 Ports (so you can daisy chain it with other stuff)
Completely quiet.
Comes with both cables (USB and Fw800)

Cons: There really are no cons for the drive itself... But Windows 7 won't natively talk to this without either loading software for it or reformatting the drive. I sorta think that's unfortunate, since a Mac will read a Windows (NTFS or Fat32 drive) without any special software. You'd think Windows 7 would play nicer with Mac hardware...

Other Thoughts: Speeds I achieved with this drive were about twice as fast via Firewire 800 as they were via USB2. That's all due to the interface and should be expected. Unless you're forced to use USB2 with this thing, use the FW800 instead.

I spent some time with both a Mac Pro 2.8 Dual Quad Desktop, and a MacBook Pro notebook. Both have the Firewire800 interface, and I also tried both with USB2. USB2 performance is what you expect from USB2. Basically 30-32 MB/sec read or write. Same as any other drive. When you plug in with Firewire 800, things move along a good bit faster.

Copying ISO Image files, here's the performance numbers I got.
MacBook Pro (New in 2011)
65.49GB took 18:55. So, 57.7 MB/sec. 1 Gig every 17.3 seconds. Read and write were within 1MB/sec.

MacPro Desktop
Probably due to a faster system bus and nicer hard drives, the Desktop system achieved 66.38MB/sec reading from the drive. So, almost 20% better. Of course I don't expect a notebook to be blazing fast. Still, most SATA2 internal hard drives are no faster than this so these performance numbers are pretty nice. Again, read and write were very close.
----------------
External drives as a rule, tend to have shorter lives than internal drives. This is not something that should happen if you're careful with your drive. Remember when using external drives that they have a platter spinning at extremely high rpms (basically a gyroscope) and it is VERY hard on the bearings to move the drive around while it is running. Especially if you move it off axis. Try to never move your drive around when its' plugged in, and it will give you a far longer service life!

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

4 out of 5 eggsWell-built portable HDD that's compatible with PC.

This review is from: WD My Passport Studio 500GB Portable Hard Drive

Pros: While this portable drive is meant for Mac systems, it does work fine on the PC (requires formatting). All my testing was performed on the PC as I no longer have any Mac systems running in my home. I connected this drive to my primary PC via the USB 2.0 port and it was detected immediately. Once I formatted the drive, I was then able to start copying files over to it. Doesn't get much easier than that.
Build quality is exceptional. The drive is encased in a solid metal case and it has some weight to it. It just feels like a quality product in your hand. It's rugged enough to take a beating and keep on going. It's also nice and lean, which makes toting it around a breeze.
Ships with a USB 2.0 and Firewire 800 cable, which is definitely a welcomed edition. The cables aren't very long, but why would you need long cables anyway?
As far as connectivity goes, this drive has one USB 2.0 port (PC) and two Firewire 800 ports (Mac). The second Firewire 800 port allows you to daisy chain another device as needed.
USB 2.0 transfer rates are around 25-30 MB/s, which is typical of USB 2.0. I found this drive to be reliable and haven't experienced any connection issues of any kind.
On the software side of things, WD's backup utility is basic but effective. It makes backing up user data easy enough for anyone (even my mom could do it, LOL).
You can use the “WD security” application to lock the drive with a password if needed. This is an important feature when you're talking about a portable hard drive. You don't want anyone accessing your sensitive data if you leave this drive laying around somewhere.
Having a portable hard drive of this capacity definitely makes life easier when you need to transfer a large amount of data to another PC. It's also useful for storing any essential software utilities that you might need on the go.

Cons: Being that I'm using this drive on the PC, I had to acquire all the software from WD's website. The software is actually included on the drive, but since I had to format it all the data was lost. Not a huge deal, but this is something you have to keep in mind if you're buying this drive for the PC.
No USB 3.0 support. While this drive is targeted at Mac users, I still think WD should have included a USB 3.0 interface. USB 2.0 is painfully slow when backing up a large amount of data.
I couldn't lock the drive from the main WD drive utility, even though I should be able to. I suspect that this is because the software is optimized for Apple's OS. I had to use the separate “WD security” app to lock the drive.
A little pricey for what you're getting, but I do think it's worth it for the most part.

Other Thoughts: I really don't have that many bad things to say about this product. It simply works as advertised. PC users will probably want to steer clear as it's certainly optimized for the Mac (Firewire 800 but no USB 3.0), however the drive does play nice with the PC if you need it to.
If you frequently find yourself relying on optical disc technology to transfer data from one PC to another, you should seriously consider dropping the cash on a portable hard drive like this. It will save you some headaches.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Anonymous
  • 5/6/2012 5:31:55 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year

5 out of 5 eggsExcellent Drive!

This review is from: WD My Passport Studio 500GB Portable Hard Drive

Pros: 1. Fast writes and reads.
2. High quality chassis; the metal has an attractive finish and is, well, an alloy; very durable.
3. Aesthetically pleasing; most external drives, of late, aren't very attractive to look at.
4. Professional-grade. (i needed a buzzword.)
5. I own the 1tb model, and it doesn't need an external power supply. (Pretty cool!)
6. Two firewire ports, and a USB!

Cons: Could be faster; could be an SSD!

Other Thoughts: My work bought this drive for me to do in-field ghost imaging. I have about... 500gb worth of high-quality images on this drive, and it still performs! Takes about 15 minutes to image a disc now, sometimes less!

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

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Item#: 9SIA0AJ1702186
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