WD My Passport Essential 500GB USB 3.0 External Hard Drive R

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WD My Passport Essential 500GB USB 3.0 External Hard Drive R

Postby Apoptosis » Tue Sep 20, 2011 7:58 am

WD My Passport Essential 500GB USB 3.0 External Hard Drive Review

The Western Digital 500GB My Passport Essential portable hard drive features a SuperSpeed USB 3.0 port for fast file transfers along with data backup software called WD SmartWare that helps keep your data safe. Read on to see how the WD My Passport Essential performs and how the backup software actually works as we put this external drive to the test!

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The Western Digital My Passport Essential portable drive first came out in 2008 and not much has changed visually. WD nailed the looks of this drive since it was released and hasn't made any major cosmetic changes to the design over the years. The one thing that they did change just this year, was to update the interface from USB 2.0 to USB 3.0 and that is huge for data transfer speeds...


Article Title: WD My Passport Essential 500GB USB 3.0 External Hard Drive Review
Article URL: http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1715/1/
Pricing At Time of Print: $69.95 shipped
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Re: WD My Passport Essential 500GB USB 3.0 External Hard Dri

Postby Major_A » Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:26 am

Spending ~$70 to protect your marriage photos or the birth of your child is a small investment to make in the long run as recovering data on a failed drive could take months and cost thousands!

People just don't get it. Nobody I know backs up anything. They expect the computer to work without issues all the time. I've preached at my sister about backing up stuff when their last hard drive crapped out and I fought with it for hours on end to pull her stuff. Has she backed up since then? No. What's that saying about leading a horse to water?
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Re: WD My Passport Essential 500GB USB 3.0 External Hard Dri

Postby Kaos Kid » Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:28 am

A useful and affordable product, this looks like a pretty good deal for what you get. Can you ghost the software yourself to a larger drive in the future to do an end-user upgrade, or is the backup program in the firmware of the enclosure itself and proprietary to the original drive?
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Re: WD My Passport Essential 500GB USB 3.0 External Hard Dri

Postby Apoptosis » Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:43 am

Kaos Kid wrote:A useful and affordable product, this looks like a pretty good deal for what you get. Can you ghost the software yourself to a larger drive in the future to do an end-user upgrade, or is the backup program in the firmware of the enclosure itself and proprietary to the original drive?


Nope the backup program is in the folders, so you can remove it if needed and use other software if you like. You can ghost it if you like as well.

You can also re-download or update the version that is in the box online - http://www.wdc.com/wdproducts/wdsmartwareupdate/
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Re: WD My Passport Essential 500GB USB 3.0 External Hard Dri

Postby Kaos Kid » Tue Sep 20, 2011 9:10 am

Cool. I've never taken apart one of these, can you swap out the drives for larger ones, ie: re-use the enclosures?
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Re: WD My Passport Essential 500GB USB 3.0 External Hard Dri

Postby Apoptosis » Tue Sep 20, 2011 9:41 am

Kaos Kid wrote:Cool. I've never taken apart one of these, can you swap out the drives for larger ones, ie: re-use the enclosures?


No as I mentioned in the review, WD soldered the SATA to USB connector/adapter onto the drive, so it's not removable.

I've already gotten three e-mails on this and now since you are asking I'll go ahead and crack open the drive.

wd5000mbvw.jpg
wd5000mbvw.jpg (54.5 KiB) Viewed 1578 times

usb-connector.jpg
usb-connector.jpg (59.48 KiB) Viewed 1578 times


As you can see the PCB design is very different and it doesn't feature standard SATA power or data connections on it. You can't swap out drives to upgrade the capacity or take it out and use it in a laptop or gaming console.
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Re: WD My Passport Essential 500GB USB 3.0 External Hard Dri

Postby Kaos Kid » Tue Sep 20, 2011 9:57 am

#-o I missed that part of the review, sorry that you can tell I just skimmed it :oops: ...thanks for the addendum and pics, that's what I call above and beyond! :supz:

Not as versatile as I originally thought, but then we would be getting something for nothing if you could just swap them out. Still, a pretty darned good deal for what you get.
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