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Pros: fair to middling price, 2TB capacity
Cons: performance is only fair (just USB, no firewire or eSATA)
Virtual CD - a 650MB non-removable partition for the Western Digital software suite. That's right, non-removable. You can download a utility to *mask* the partition (e.g. so your motherboard doesn't try to boot from the "CD"), but that's all.
And of the 3 WD MyBook USB drives I've purchased in the last year, 2 have gone belly up after 3 months or less.
Overall Review: I'm starting to think WD is not the right place to look for external drives, after 2/3 failure rate.
Pros: OK price, OK performance, no compatibility issues with Vista x64
Cons: Western Digital software is just plain... quirky. The drive comes with a Virtual CD partition -- about 650MB -- for the extra special (facetious mode turned ON) Western Digital MyBook Software Stuff. This Virtual CD partition cannot be removed. Period. If you have your PC configured to boot from CD (if loaded), it will try to boot from the virtual CD. You can download and run a utility to MASK the CD, but the disk space is not recoverable.
Overall Review: Other than the Virtual CD bogusness, this drive is boring. It works, no problems. No flash, no pizzazz... just another USB backup drive. And that ain't bad...
Pros: This is a good amount of storage for the price. It is also nearly as fast as my current internal hard drive (although it is probably 5 years old or more and I'm sure current ones can be much faster) so I didn't notice a difference in read/write speed.
Cons: A few days after owning it for some reason, 60% of the time, when I plug in a USB device or turn on my webcam or open Cubase or any other random assortment of things, this drive will act like it has been disconnected from the USB port and eventually reconnects. It is annoying because I have all my music on the drive and when it happens the song I'm listening to skips like a bad CD and won't stop. If I go into disk management I can still access the drive this way for some reason, it just doesn't show up in my computer.
Overall Review: I would of given this 5 stars if it didn't have the disconnection issue I can't seem to figure out the cause of at this time. It used to keep doing this entirely at random for no apparent reason until I reinstalled it and so far it is much more stable but still the problem is ever present.
Pros: Huge Storage for the price of <$80 with free shipping. All drives no matter who makes them are subject to problems and failures. They are made dirt cheap overseas. I have a Maxtor 1TB from Newegg that failed after a couple years because the cheap electrolytic caps started drying out on the controller board. I replaced them with tantalum caps like were used on all things way back but they became way too expensive.
Buy the cheapest biggest drive possible and make sure you back it all up in two places if it's that important to you. Or burn it to DVD like family pictures and even then make a couple copies.
If it does fail ASAP I'm sure Newegg will take care of sending a replacement or refund in the first 30 days like they always have done. We've bought from them since the first week they were in business.
Cons: No E-Sata(SATA) or Firewire
Overall Review: Things anymore are not PERMANENT .. they are disposable for what they cost. Do you fix your electronics anymore or just replace them ? Hmmmmmmm....... It's the way society has become.
Pros: low cost, high capacity
Cons: There's a 678MB partition on the drive which you cannot get rid of (yet).
Overall Review: WD is so proud of their smartware disk management software that they carved out a 678MB partition for storing and accessing it. Permanently. If you don't need or want the SW, or you just want it moved off the drive, you can't get rid of the partition. You can hide it, but it's still there. WD is aware of the issue and is promising a downloadable fix. Reminds me of the U3 SW installed on USB Flashdrives, which you couldn't delete without downloading a utility from Sandisk. Loses 1 egg for the nuisance factor.
Pros: See "INeedModding" review below on 1/5/11.
Cons: See "INeedModding" review below on 1/5/11. I paid shipping costs to return drive to WDC.
Overall Review: Well, I RMA'ed my drive to WD because customer support had no idea why the drive hangs 10 to 15 seconds for every file transferred.
What they sent back was a refurbished drive in literally a plastic bag in a beat up box. A scuffed, cheap power adapter from another model too. Looks like they just took someone else's return, ripped off their shipping label, and shipped it to me. Not happy about getting a refurbished drive since I only used mine for less than a month. Now I have to do a full format to thoroughly check this drive for errors. Next time, I'll check for defects right away and deal directly with Newegg. As for WD, those guys can drop dead. I'm done with them.
Pros: Same height and depth as my 1TB and 500GB WD My Book Essentials (actually thinner), cooling vents (I avoided WD Elements HD because it didn't have any), quiet, power button in back but I don't use it
Cons: Pre-installed Smartware, very slow write/transfer speed compared to other My Books (as low as 10MB/s, but 25MB/s avg - speeds varies considerably during copy process from 80MB/s in beginning winding down to 15MB/s towards end of copy process). Not specific to WD, but 2TB is really 1.8TB free less ~10% for defrag/performance = 1.7TB
Overall Review: I disabled the Smartware by updating the firmware and then running VirtualCDManager.exe in the virtual drive folder. I hate processes running in the background without my knowledge. After formatting, I had 1862.36GB free with a hidden 93MB used somewhere.
I did a full format (to try to completely cleanse the drive of Smartware but also to check for bad sectors). It took 21 hours, so you should disable any PC sleep settings before formatting just in case. Without the Smartware, the light on the front panel doesn't work anymore - it's mostly dimmed out but occasionally blinks for no reason. :(
When I copy movies to it, the transfer speed varies (5 mins changes to 10 mins), it pauses in the middle of the copy process, and it almost always freezes at the very end of each file transferred. I do not have much confidence in this My Book.
I would not recommend this drive for media storage to hook up to media player because of a possible hidden partition which some don't like.
Pros: Really good drive quiet, and really good price too
Cons: none really at the time