Pros Beautiful Drive, Compact
Cons You may have power issues on some laptops
Summary I was really excited about how this drives looks. Apparently, however, it doesn't conform to the official USB spec for power consumption. This may be just during the initial spin-up, but it prevented me from using the drive on both a PC and Mac laptop. WD sells a cable that allows you to draw power from two USB drives, however it will cost you another $10 and it's currently out of stock.
"Close to perfect!"on by asemeco
Pros High-capacity; fast; no separate power source
Cons Attracts scratches and smudges like an iPod
Summary 1) Buy the carrying case. Also buy the power booster cable if you have USB power problems with Mac computers.
2) Sync software won't do synchronization without encryption. Don't sync your music! I only synchronize address book, calendar and browser favorites. Having those encrypted is perfect for me, in case I lose the disk.
3) Always stop the drive (in Windows; on Mac, drag it to the Trash) before unplugging. If it won't stop, you probably have something still running and accessing the disk.
Pros Dont know yet
Cons Requires special USB cable for "some" laptops
Summary I recently bought a WD Passport, 120GB. Upon opening & plugging in, since it says it is "plug & play", I was very surprised to see it wouldnt work. Reading the "Quick Install Guide" I discovered the following "A special cable may be needed for computers with limited bus power. For more info ... visit store.westerndigital.com..."
The special "USB 2.0 Power Booster Cable" will set you back $10; per WD's online store.
Here's the link: http://www.wdc.com/en/products/accessories.asp?ProdID=170
Of course the special cable, which is simply a two head USB cable which combines the power from two USB ports into one USB mini plug, was "out of stock".
No where on the product was the possible need for a "booster cable" noted.
Below is the letter I left on the Western Digital web/customer support site: [and I send WD a copy of my reviews posted on Circuit City, here, PCMag, Newegg, Dell, PCConnection, etc....
I recently bought two WD Passports. No where on the product packaging was it stated that a special USB cable, a "USB 2.0 Power Booster Cable", may be required for the drive to operate!
To find out I have to shell out more money to get a drive to work is absolute BS! Now to find out that the product is "out of stock". Im really pissed. Im going to take this email & copy & paste it into the CNET, PCWorld, Best Buy, Circuit City, Wal-Mart and all the other "review" sites I can find.
This is absolute CRAP!
"Know Specs"on by andrewnc21
Pros Size, speed, ease of use
Cons Errors are possible
Summary I have a Gateway notebook computer and this seemed perfect for it. It worked flawlessly with ease for about two and a half months and I started getting unrelenting "delayed write" errors. The small print disclaims that you may need extra power to run it on a laptop. But it worked fine for months. Nevertheless I bought a powered USB hub and I still had the same problem. I tried to format it and got numerous sector errors. After a failed attemt to format, the drive will not read at all. WD will replace it with no problem but I have to pay shipping and I really dont want to have to deal with this thing anymore. I am yet to have a good recommendation for external hard drives. ALWAYS BACK UP YOUR DATA! Never assume everything is safe on one drive.
Pros Very light weight, fast, looks professional, easiest setup, no ac adapter.
Cons Backup software isn't to my liking.
Summary The Western Digital Passport WDXMS1200 is just what I was looking for to backup all my data. I nearly lost all my computer data and decided to by a extenal hard drive to keep my files alive well beyond the life of my computer. At less than 4oz this baby is wonderful. I hate thumb drives because they're too easy to lose and not enough storage. At 4 oz it weighs barely more than my Razr phone, and big enough to know that I'm not going to leave it in a pocket and put in through the wash (you know who you are). Who it's for:
Going from computer to computer it's neccessary to keep your files with you, and to be able to take them home at the end of the day. It's small size and light weight would allow it to fit right into a briefcase without you noticing a difference in weight. It loads onto a computer without the need for drivers just like a thumb drive. I use a Windows 2000 machine at work that restricts users to load programs on their computers. This is totally plug and play.
There are only 2 truths in life, laptop batteries never last as long as the manufacturer states and computers will eventually crash and die. I've had to learn that the hard way before. I have over 4000 family photos and I'm not letting any of them just sit on my laptop, waiting to be lost. MP3's take up a insane amount of space. Give your computer's hard drive a well deserved break and put your music on an external. It makes it a lot easier to transfer songs amongst other computers (legally of course) without the need for iTunes or other 3rd party software. The transfer rate isn't too bad either.
The backup software is it's downfall. Sure it'll automatically sync with your computer and keep files updated. It will even will encrypt the drive with a password which was a plus for me. The downfall however is the it stores the files as random data that can only be used by the backup program, and the 'wdsync' program isn't like windows. For example, if you have 5 MP3's on the external hard drive and you want to play them you can't just highlight them all and play them into windows media player (or what ever you use) you could only play one at a time, opening them after the end of each song because the MP3 files are in different folders split up into multiple encrypted files. I recommend using the program only to create backup files of your hard drive that you would never use unless you lost your computer files. Otherwise treat the drive like any other hard drive and save MP3's pictures, word docs, etc in self made folders.
It's taken some getting used to, but having an external drive is great. Those 3.5" externals are great for the price and amount of storage but most people don't need more than 120GB, and who wants to carry around a 1 pound hard drive + an a/c adapter? Not me. USB plug and play is wonderful. I picked mine up at Buy.com for $139.