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WD My Book  AV 1TB USB 2.0 / eSATA 3.5
  • Owned For: more than 1 year

Pros: A lot of storage capacity at a decent price.

Cons: Onboard firmware wants to load too much software (including in the system tray); footprint is way too big. Even if you do load all the software it wants you to, it will still behave strangely.

Other Thoughts: The onboard firmware automatically places a Z:\ drive on the computer, the sole purpose of which appears to be to provide you with superfluous software for someone who just wants a place to store data that is external (portable). No WD hard drive I've ever had before (including externals) needed fancy drivers to work. Maybe since this one is 1TB that changes things, but even when I did install all of the software it wanted me to, it still acted weird. When I go into my computer, and navigate more than a level or two into any of my drives, I hear a buzzing noise and then for the next five seconds or so, the computer will not respond to input from the keyboard or mouse. Any clicks or keystrokes made during that time buffer and take effect after the aforementioned five seconds. It happens a lot, multiple times a day. This started pretty much from day one.

After I'd had the hard drive for about a year and a half, it disappeared from among my drives in my computer/windows explorer. I tried uninstalling and reinstalling drivers, and it didn't work for me, although a friend of mine with more tech skill was able to get my computer to recognize the drive again and part of what he did was uninstalling and reinstalling drivers. That happened about a year ago and it just happened again this month. He downloaded updated firmware and "smartware" for it, which I successfully used as a means to get my computer to again recognize this hard drive, although I ended up having to reformat my C:\ drive first.

My friend told me that he saw over 2,000 registry entries associated with my external hard drive, and he believed that it effectively caused the drivers to get pooched, or at least caused degraded performance.

I will grant that this may be the result of user error. I have always left the hard drive plugged in and running, and it sits about a foot and a half away from the back of my computer. Maybe it's getting too hot, though I doubt it. I always left my WD external I got back in 2003 plugged in all the time and it never gave me these problems. But my friend suggested I only plug it in when actively using it, and only use it to store data, as opposed to mounting disk images stored on it for active use (ala alcohol 120). Maybe I was supposed to not have it plugged in under normal circumstances all this time. If so, couldn't WD have said something about it in the users manual? A warning of some kind?

And still, I strongly object to bloated software and drivers. WD used to not clutter up my computer with a heavy software footprint. I just need the hard drive to run reliably. I don't need automated backups, an icon in my system tray, and a drain on my system resources. I don't need registry entries accumulating to outrageous proportions and degrading my computer's performance, but that may be more of a windows issue than a WD one. Still, someobody needs to address it.

I hear WD is still the best. The competition must REALLY suck.

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Matthew W.'s Profile

Display Name: Matthew W.

Date Joined: 11/01/08

  • Reviews: 1
  • Helpfulness: 0
  • First Review: 05/13/13
  • Last Review: 05/13/13
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