"Once working, it works well"4.0 starson by Mergatroid Mania
Pros: Multi shared virtual drives, works great as a media server, fairly fast compared to older versions.
Cons: White case (sux), setup not quite right for Win 7, poor remote access software (from what I hear).
Summary: Was looking for a network storage drive/media server for my PS3. I picked up the 1TB white Vertical-LED version of this drive locally for $174 CDN plus tax.I have upgraded my system to Gigabit speeds.
When I tried to install this drive from my Windows 7 Pro 64 system the computer saw the drive on the network right away, but I ran into a problem trying to use their install disc. The install software said it had to use the latest version of Active X and ran the Active X update software which reported that the system was already using a newer version than what the WD software wanted to install, so it just stopped. If I tried to cancel the Active X install myself, again it would just stop and not continue with the rest of the installation. To be fair the box did say Windows XP and Windows Vista. Strange incompatibility.
So, with the drive working perfectly on the network I went to WDs site to see what software should have been installed. It turns out the only software I was really interested in was the WD Discovery software for mapping the drives. I downloaded this software and mapped the drives with just a couple of clicks.
Another problem we found is that we couldn't locate the log-in credentials for the browser based settings. We actually had to do a search on the internet to find the default credentials.
At this point we logged into the configuration software and set up the drive with a Static IP Address and the correct Workgroup name, and changed the log-in credentials. Since the drive is not being accessed remotely we left the shared drives set up for Public access with no user credentials required to access the shared content.
I have never used a network drive before, and so these findings may apply to you if you are also new to this type of storage.
I found the default directories that are mapped as drives to your computer are: Configuration, Public and Download. Apparently these are the defaults for iTunes? I don't use iTunes and wanted to change these directories but the instructions say that if you change the directories is may affect performance as a media server. That sucks, I really wanted it set up my way. However, not being familiar I don't know if this is common for network media servers these days.
The Nitty Gritty:
With everything I wanted finally working I'm pretty happy. I turned on the PS3 and it found the server. Everything I copied to the drive was accessible. I did find that the PS3 seems incapable of waking up the My Book when it is in power save mode. I've had to disable power save on the drive and have to remember to shut it off at night.
I do not want to access this drive from other Internet addresses remotely so I did not install the MioNet software everyone is complaining about. I also have an external USB2 drive I use for backing up our computers so I don't use the backup software either.
Drive speeds are fair, but slow compared to SATA. I saw the review for the older version of this drive with the Ring LED and it was way slower than this drive. Using Inhousetek.com Diskbenchmark V1.2.6 I get the following results using my 100Mb LAN (100 Mb Hub plugged into a 100Mb router).
First for a SATA drive: (W) write (R) read.
Average W 93.24 Mbs, R 93.65 Mbs
Using a 4Mb write and read test: W 37.81 Mbs, R 76.89 Mbs
On the WD My Book
Average W 9.10 Mbs, R 8.53 Mbs
Using a 4Mb write and read test: W 10.55 Mbs, R 8.55 Mbs
For a little better perspective CNET reviewed the older Ring LED drive and found that copying a 5Gb assortment of files to the drive took about 30 minutes along with about the same to copy the files from the drive.
On this newer Vertical LED 1TB drive, on my 100Mb LAN it takes 8 minutes and 24 seconds to write 4.8GB to the drive and 8.04 minutes to read that same assortment of files from the drive.
We have been using the drive from three computers, 2 x Win 7 64 and 1 Win XP 32 and the PS3. The installation on the XP computer went smoothly without any problems. The streaming to the PS3 is flawless.
Plugging in a USB drive and then clicking on the mapping software again will map the USB drive to your computer. It will work just like any other mapped drive and can be shared with all systems on the network. Unfortunately if you turn the USB drive off, and later turn it back on the icon in My Computer (XP) or Computer (7) will not refresh until you double click it to access the drive. So the USB drive may look inaccessible when it's not.
Also, save yourself a head ache and use a static IP address instead of a dynamic IP. If the IP address of your mounted network drives changes you will have to remap them. Using the static IP address option in the browser-based settings software will alleviate this little problem.
Once getting everything set properly, this drive is giving me no problems for the use I'm putting it to. Media Server for the PS3 and shared network storage for three networked computers. I'll be keeping it.
Updated on Sep 15, 2010
This unit will not transfer data at gigabit speeds. From what I hear this is a limitation of the Arm processor it uses internally. So, although it will connect to a Gigabit LAN, it will not operate at Gigabit speeds.
This is very misleading, bordering on false advertising.
Although everything works the way I want it to with the exception of the directory structure, the speed is not as advertised (gigabit) and I would not recommend this drive to ANYONE except some one using a 10/100 LAN who has no intention of upgrading it.
Rreduced to 2 out of 5 stars.
I will NEVER purchase another Western Digital product again. Sorry WD, but by not making it clear on the box that this unit will not transfer data at gigabit speeds you have lost this customer for life. I consider your company to be a liar, lie to get my money. I only wish I had of upgraded my LAN before the 15 day return policy ran out.
DO NOT PURCHASE WD NETWORK DRIVES.
Updated on Dec 16, 2010Wow, this must be the longest user review in history. Yesterday, for the first time, I decided to use Windows backup to this drive. I'm using Win 7 Pro so backing up to a NAS is supported. Unfortunately, it kept getting network errors during the backup. To be fair I think this is a Windows 7 issue, but it only happens on this drive. First it said the network name was no longer available. Then it keept losing it's permission or access level in the middle of the backup. Tells me suddenly I no longer have permission to use this drive after doing 1/2 of a 200G backup. I stopped using it for anything except as a storage drive for video and audio files and a media player for my PS3. It works good for that at least.