"Amazing Little Thing!"5.0 starson by Stephens12
Pros: Smart form-factor. Very small and sleek for a size
Automatic file backup feature
Excellent customer support
One USB cable( supplied)supports both 3.0 and 2.0.
Surprisingly quiet and runs fairly cool
Cons: WD Smartware software, surprisingly so-so for this cool little device
Short USB cable (approximately 17")
Summary: This drive is a marvel - 2 whole terrabytes of data in something you can slip into your pocket. It's dimensions are 11cm x 8cm x 2cm. As such, it's not very well padded and a case is probably a good investment. I did have some problems getting it work properly but don't let it put you off as that seems to be down to my own PC. I ran several Google searches and similar problems are clearly extremely rare. Having said that, just in case you have a similar setup I've described the issue further down. But for the vast majority of people, it will be irrelevant.
The built-in software on this drive is intended for data backup only. It doesn't and cannot backup your entire system. For most people this is absolutely fine - it is your data which is really the precious stuff after all. Techie types who want system backups will probably have their own favourite software anyway. It is a routine thing to re-partition the drive and setup your own sytem. WD even provide instructions. Actually, you may not want to do that. The security built in to the drive is probably worth keeping (especially on so portable a drive), so just use some of the spare space how you want. You can choose whether or not to install Smartware during setup.
If you're happy with data backup only, then you have two ways of doing it. You can let the Smartware take care of finding all your data files wherever they're hiding, or you can choose which drives and folders you want to back up. In my opinion, this is the best of both worlds - I hate trusting something to choose what to back up when I have my own idiosyncratic filing system, but beginners will be happy with the "no-brainer" aspect of just letting Smartware get on with it. If you keep the Passport attached, it will backup your files and all your changes in the background. If you remove the drive in order to keep your backup elsewhere (a very good idea) then it will resume backing up all changed files each time you plug it in.
Retrieving files is also pretty straightforward. If it's the computer on which the software is installed you can choose to retrieve files to a separate folder in Documents (especially useful if you're retrieving older copies) or you can simply have them restored to wherever they were backed up from. Smartware keeps a copy of the last five versions of your files by default but, again, you are free to change this to more or fewer. For the technically savvy, you can just go and fish the files off the backup drive - they're stored, plain and simple, in their file structure with their proper names. It's the whole drive that is security protected not the backup itself. Very nice.
So what if it's a new machine or a new hard drive? Plug in the drive and the security autoruns and asks you for the password if you have set one (which you really should do!). You can install the Smartware to access your files through that interface, or just navigate around the Passport and find the files you want.
Incidentally, it's perfectly possible to use this Passport drive as a backup for a number of machines.
An annoying wrinkle which had me floored at first: sometimes Smartware comes up with the Backup and Retrieve tabs greyed out and disabled. After much head-scratching and finally a Google search, I discovered that if you click on the Passport drive icon on the main screen all is well. An odd oversight in useability.
Overall, this is an excellent piece of kit. I really like the flexibility WD have built in; you can plug and go if you just want a simple backup system but if you have exacting demands of your own, the flexibility is there. And it's tiny. Did I mention it's tiny? It's also quite an expensive purchase of course. WD do Passport drives in smaller sizes - which will be plenty for very many people and quite a bit cheaper, before you will buy the My Passport check for best price at: hdd30.blogspot.com/p/wd-my-passport.html
Hope my review is helpful.
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