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May 7, 2011 / senpul2006

Western Digital My Passport Essential 500 GB USB 2.0 Portable External Hard Drive (Midnight Black)

Western Digital My Passport Essential 500 GB USB 2.0 Portable External Hard Drive (Midnight Black)

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Western Digital My Passport Essential 500 GB USB 2.0 Portable External Hard Drive (Midnight Black)

List Price: $ 99.99

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  • Automatic, continuous backup
  • Visual backup control center
  • Password protection and 256-bit encryption
  • USB 2.0 interface
  • Several colors to choose from including Black, Pacific Blue, Real Red, Cool Silver

The world’s most popular portable drive is now smaller than ever. And it’s smarter than ever with WD SmartWare data management and backup software that backs up your data automatically and continuously, shows your backup as it happens, and restores lost files effortlessly. Password protection and military-grade, 256-bit hardware-based encryption lets you secure your data. One of the five beautiful colors is just what you need to make you look smart (and very stylish). WD’s smallest portable drive ever – WD is an expert in portable storage, so they designed a smaller, high-quality integrated USB hard drive inside a stylish package. With a variety of fun colors, there’s sure to be one to suit your style. WD SmartWare – control center for your drive that gives you the power to: Protect your data automatically – Relax. Your data is secure. Automatic, continuous backup will instantly make a second copy whenever you add or change a file. See your backup as it happens – Seeing is believing. Visual backup displays your content categories and shows the progress of your backup. Bring back lost files effortlessly – Retrieve your valuable data to its original location whether you’ve lost all your data or just overwritten an important file. Take control – Customize your backup, set drive security, run diagnostics, and more from the WD SmartWare control center. Drive lock – Gain peace of mind knowing that your data is protected from unauthorized access or theft with password protection and military-grade 256-bit hardware-based encryption. Ready to plug-and-play with Windows PCs – if you’re a Mac user, check out our Mac version of this product. USB 2.0 powered – Powered directly from the USB port on your PC. No separate power supply is needed*. * An optional cable is available for the few computers that limit power from the USB port. Planet friendly – We designed a small box that uses recycled material and minimizes waste. We encourage you to recycle it.

The world’s most popular portable drive is now smaller than ever. And it’s smarter than ever with automatic, continuous backup software and password protection. Choose your favorite fun color to look smart and stylish.

Our smallest portable ever.

We designed a smaller, high-quality, integrated USB hard drive inside a stylish package. With a variety of fun colors, there’s sure to be one to suit your style.

See your life safe in one place.

WD SmartWare software – A visual control center with a single screen view of all your data. From it you can back up, retrieve, and secure your files.

Password protection.

An extra level of security with password protection and 256-bit hardware-based encryption.

Features at a glance

  • Automatic, continous backup
  • Visual backup control center
  • Hardware encryption, password protection
  • WD SmartWare software
  • 2-years limited warranty

Our smallest portable drive ever – We’re experts in portable storage, so we designed a smaller, high-quality, integrated USB hard drive inside a stylish package. With a variety of fun colors, there’s sure to be one to suit your style.

WD SmartWare™ – A control center for your drive that gives you the power to:

— Protect your data automatically – Relax, your data is secure. Automatic, continuous backup will instantly make a second copy whenever you add or change a file.

— See your backup as it happens – Seeing is believing. Visual backup displays your content in categories and shows the progress of your backup.

— Bring back lost files effortlessly – Retrieve your valuable data to its original location whether you’ve lost all your data or just overwritten an important file.

— Take control – Customize your backup, set drive security, run diagnostics, manage the power settings, and more from the WD SmartWare control center.

Find out more about WD SmartWare™

Drive lock – Gain peace of mind knowing that your data is protected from unauthorized access or theft with password protection and 256-bit hardware-based encryption.

Ready to plug-and-play with Windows PC’s – if you’re a Mac user, check out our Mac version of this product.

USB 2.0 interface – Powered directly from the USB port on your PC. No separate power supply is needed*.
* An optional cable is available for the few computers that limit power from the USB port.

Planet friendly – We designed a small box from recycled materials to minimize waste. We encourage you to recycle it.

Ideal For

  • Protecting your data with automatic, continous backup
  • Retrieving lost data effortlessly
  • Adding extra storage space for photos, videos and music
  • Securing private or sensitive data

Compatibility

Formatted NTFS
Windows® XP, Windows Vista®, Windows 7
Mac OS® X Tiger®, Leopard®, Snow Leopard™ (requires reformatti
ng)

Note: Compatibility may vary depending on user’s hardware configuration and operating system.

What’s in the box

Ultra-portable hard drive, WD SmartWare software, USB cable, Quick Install Guide.

Backup software you’ll really use � WD SmartWare

Five great reasons to love it:

1. It’s easy – Data backup can be a chore, but it’s your family photos, your movies, your music – your life – and it’s important to protect it. So we made this software extra easy because we really want you to use it.

2. You can see your life safe in one place
See your content displayed in easy to understand categories like movies and photos. Watch the progress of your backup as it happens with the instant-feedback color bars. Now you can truly be sure that all your stuff is backed up.

  • A unique visual interface lets you see the drives connected to your computer.
  • WD SmartWare will automatically scan your computer and find all of your personal files, including e-mail.
  • Content category gauges show how much information you have to be backed up in each category. You can even mouse over a category to see a file count.
  • Simply click Run Backup and WD SmartWare will automatically start backing up your files.
  • As your backup is running the category gauges will change color showing you the backup as it happens.
  • When finished, you’ll see a status screen and information about your backup. You only have to do this once. After the first backup your files will be backed up automatically every time you change or add a file.

3. It’s always on the job – WD SmartWare is always watching your computer, so when you change a file and save it, create new files, add new pictures, movies, or songs, WD SmartWare will instantly back them up.

4. You can bring back lost files effortlessly – If you ever accidentally delete an important file, or need to get an earlier version of a file, you can find and retrieve it in seconds with this easy-to-use interface.

  • Restore files and folders by categories – photos, music, video, for example.
  • Find a lost file with the search function.
  • Go back in time to retrieve an older version of a file.

5. You’re in control – WD SmartWare software is also a control center for your external drives. From it you can:

  • Customize your backup
  • Set drive security
  • Run diagnostics
  • Manage the power settings, and more…

[ more detail ]

BUY Western Digital My Passport Essential 500 GB USB 2.0 Portable External Hard Drive (Midnight Black) from Amazon.com

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3 Comments

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  1. Jerry Saperstein / May 7 2011 1:42 pm

    259 of 264 people found the following review helpful:

    Be very careful and make sure this drive’s features are what you want., December 22, 2009

    By Jerry Saperstein (Evanston, IL USA) –
      

      

    This review is from: Western Digital My Passport Essential 320 GB USB 2.0 Portable External Hard Drive (Pacific Blue) (Electronics)

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What’s this?)

    I have been using Western Digital My Passport model drives for a few years now in my work and have more than a dozen in a various capacities. Until now, there has been nothing unique about these drives. Plug them into USB port and you’re ready to go. Some older laptop computers might not have enough power for them, but that means nothing more than using a special cable that plugs into two USB ports instead of one. The My Passport units have always come with some kind of backup software, which I have never used because I have preferred backup solutions. So I would simply get a new drive, reformat it and be ready to go. This unit with its WD SmartWare solution is different: very different. Different enough to ruin the day for many people who find that they have something they don’t want – an automatic backup system. Thus, this unit must be reviewed from two very different perspectives. One as a standalone backup system – and the other as a standalone external drive. Essentially (pun intended), Western Digital blew it on this product line. I guess some MBAs decided that people wanted a plug-n-play backup system. Maybe some people do. But they sure don’t make it clear on the box that when you plug this puppy in, it is very insistent on installing its backup software. And there is as virtual CD that pops up and pops up and pops up and pops up: you seemingly can’t get rid of it. As delivered – unless you want a simple backup system – this My Passport model is bad news. Western Digital got the message after the marketplace blasted it with reviews running from bad to awful. They finally introduced some software that would update the firmware and suppress the virtual CD function. So now if you’re willing to take the time to download and run the firmware updater and the software manager, in about thirty minutes or so, you’ll have what you might have been looking for in the first place – an external hard drive without any bells and whistles. Western Digital did this one wrong. The advertising and the outside of the box should make it absolutely crystal clear that this is intended as a standalone backup system that can be converted to an ordinary external hard drive. As a backup system for people who don’t want to learn anything about backing up hard drives, it isn’t bad. It is simple to use, configurable for default operation and even provides for whole drive encryption. However, it is not a system experienced users will like. It is inflexible and it is WD’s backup way or no way. It is, effectively, backup for dummies – and the unsophisticated will probably appreciate it simplicity. A lot of people, however, are going to buy this unit without reading the current descriptions or the notice of a firmware updater from Western Digital and are going to be very aggravated as they try to get rid of the virtual CD and defeat the backup software. Physically, the unit is smaller than previous My Passport units, which is nice. I am told it is because the external micro-USB connector is soldered directly to the drive, which makes the drive unusable for any other purpose, which is not so nice. Also, Western Digital has opted to use a micro-USB connector instead of the more common mini-USB. This means you must remember to carry the micro-USB cable with you and not confuse it with the more common mini-USB cable. For someone like me who may carry several small form external hard drives around on field assignments, this is as showstopper. Try finding a USB cable with a micro-USB connector in the field. Until all small from factor external hard drives use micro-ISB cables, this unit will be staying out of my travel kit. In their quest to be brilliant and different, the MBAs at Western Digital also put the USB symbol on what amounts to the wrong side of the USB connector. Western Digital would be well advised to do some housecleaning of its personnel: the people who designed this product line don’t know which way is up. Literally. So, the bottom line(s). For someone seeking a simple backup solution, this is a pretty good idea. For someone who just wants an external hard drive, it works, but only after you remove the backup features. The design is nice, but don’t forget to keep an eye on that micro-USB cable. (Many Amazon reviewers have complained of the micro-USB end of the cable being loose. On my review unit, the connection was very firm.) The hard drive itself is a Western Digital product and I have been pleased with them over the hundreds of drives I use in my work. If you’re looking for just an external hard drive, don’t buy this unit unless you don’t mind getting rid of the backup features: get one without the WD SmartWare features. If you’re looking for a very simple backup system that doesn’t require you to learn anything, this unit works well. Jerry

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  2. skimetron / May 7 2011 2:23 pm

    153 of 163 people found the following review helpful:

    Not a proprietary cable, October 1, 2009

    By skimetron (Palo Alto, CA USA) –

    This review is from: Western Digital My Passport Essential 500 GB USB 2.0 Portable External Hard Drive (Midnight Black) (Electronics)

    Contrary to what many other reviewers are saying, the USB interface on this drive is not proprietary. It’s the new (about 2 years old) Micro USB interface which we’ll see on many new electronic products. My Samsung cell phone has it and it’s used on some bluetooth headset chargers. The advantage is it allows a slimmer product and is supposed to provide a more secure connection. But WD should disclose that they’ve switched to this new cable. ** Update ** After trying out this drive I decided not to buy it (and bought a Toshiba drive instead). The micro USB connector worked fine and was secure. Perhaps WD fixed this. The drive itself is a marvel — tiny and very light. But that Virtual CD and the software is a showstopper. What was WD thinking? They listened to the complaints and now have downloads on their website to disable it. But the 700 MB software can’t be deleted from the drive. Experienced users already have a backup solution and don’t need this software. Less technical users (like the one whose drive I tried out) are completely confused by the virtual CD dialog box always popping up when plugging in the drive and don’t know how to disable it (a complicated process requiring first updating the drive firmware then updating the software). Amazon now allows me to change my stars rating, so I’m decreasing it from 4 stars to 3 stars. WD has needlessly complicated their very good drives. Instead I bought a Toshiba, a very good USB drive with none of the WD problems. For more details, see my review on this drive.

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  3. K. Knudsen / May 7 2011 3:09 pm

    170 of 189 people found the following review helpful:

    Pretty, but dumb., October 2, 2009

    By K. Knudsen
      

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

    This review is from: Western Digital My Passport Essential 500 GB USB 2.0 Portable External Hard Drive (Midnight Black) (Electronics)

    This is simple. Don’t even think about buying this drive. I bought this just before the other reviews were posted. They are correct. My bad. 1. The cable is horrible. It disconnects and/or pulls out easily. They previous models with the standard USB cable were perfect. These are the opposite of perfect. 2. Even worse is the process to “install” the disk drive EVERY time you plug it in. I reformatted the disk to wipe everything from it, hoping that it would turn into a standard USB external disk drive. No luck. Since I had other WD Passport drives (previous model) that were all excellent, I didn’t give this much thought. I just bought it. I even tossed packaging away, being so sure it would be fine. Now we will see if Amazon will take this back with no packaging… If you want the poster child for how to “update” a very good product into something that is virtually unusable, this would be it.

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