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Western Digital - My Passport Essential 500 Gb Usb 2.0 Portable External Hard Drive

Currently unavailable.
We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock.
  • Automatic, continuous backup
  • Password protection and 256-bit encryption
  • Visual back up screen
  • USB 2.0 interface
pOWER Cyber Power

Garmin Back to School

System Requirements

  • Media: Personal Computers
  • Item Quantity: 1

Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 8.1 x 1.5 cm ; 200 g
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Item model number: WDBAAA5000AD6-NESN
  • ASIN: B003ZK5NZY
  • Date first available at Dec 21 2010
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
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Product Description

See your life safe in one place with wd’s ultra-portable my passport™ essential™ usb drive. wd smartware™ software automatically and continuously backs up your data, gives you a visual display of your backup as it happens, and helps you easily restore files. the drive also features password protection and hardware-based encryption.

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa5f6b36c) out of 5 stars 139 reviews
61 of 61 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa6490bac) out of 5 stars What a nice drive!! Dec 6 2010
By Rebel_X - Published on
Verified Purchase
Okay, despite of all the negative reviews I have seen for this portable drive, I would say there is a doubt
about them.

This is the Second drive "My Passport Essential 500GB" I get, the first was Black midnight color, the second was
the Amazon Exclusive Robot Design. Both comes already NTFS formatted with 465GB ready to use. you could format it
to other File Systems if you like to make it work for MacOS X or Linux.

The Black one had the Virtual CD that keeps nagging me. And popping up every time you hook up the usb with your
computer which can disabled by updating the firmware from Western Digital website. but you can not delete it,
nevertheless it's not taking any space from the drive itself.

The Robot Design one, on the contrary, doesn't have the Virtual CD installed, and the first time you plug it in
you could see Western Digital SmartWare backup solution on the drive itself, which you can easily delete.

One of the folders that comes installed by default contains the drivers for WD SES Device, you need this to fully
install device driver without failing, although the drive will work and appears in "My Computer" without it.

I admit the Glossy finish on the black drive is fingerprint/dust magnet and can be easily scrathed, but its
beauty makes it tolerable. Robot Design makes the dust, fingerprints and even scratches harder to see.

About performance, I wont lie to say it's faster than my old laptops internal drive, I copied 3GB of data in less
than 2 minutes, allow me to go out of this review's scope a little bit so you can even improve the drive's
performance further if you go to "My Computer-> Right Click on My Passport drive -> Properties -> Select Hardware
tab -> make sure WD My Passport is selected from the list that contains available drives in your computer ->
Click Properties -> Select Policies tab -> Now select Optimize for Performance click Ok then Ok again. Now you
will notice significant improvement on drive speed, but that way you can't unplug the drive without clicking on
Safely remove drive from system tray icons near the clock" running Win Vista here, Win7 will differ a little bit,
but there is the same option around in these tabs.

The cool thing about this drive it doesn't need external power supply, despite of saying it needs USB 2.0 to work
with I successfully plugged it in Playstation 2 which uses USB 1.1 and it works flawlessly, this is just an
example you wont benefit anything from doing this unless you have the reasons to do so. but this means it could
work with older computers with USB 1.1 boards.

The USB cable a bit short, it would be better if it's 1ft longer.
The Drive is calm, no noise while operating the drive and no heat.
The Size is so small you could put it in your jacket's chest pocket.

The last thing to say that Amazon's Exclusive Robot Design a little bit better than the Black since it doesn't
have the Virtual CD thing, and you can't beat the price it's $30 cheaper (at the time of writing this $49.99 for
Robot Design VS $79.99 for the Black midnight) I couldn't resist but to buy one..

I hope this review would be helpful to some, and forgive my rants if I went off topic.

Regards, Rebel_X :)
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa6490dd4) out of 5 stars Great External Hard Drive.! Dec 3 2010
By Allan - Published on
Verified Purchase
I bought the Limited Edition Robot Design before to read any review here. After I bought it, I felt very frustrated because of the virtual cd and the firmware update and all that bad reviews....

I received it and plugged it, and it was like a miracle! it did not request to install anything, It does not come with any virtual cd or anything like that. It works perfectly.!

The unit has a separate folder where you can find the WD SmartWare software, and you install it just if you want to use it as auto backup drive, but what I needed was extra storage only, and it works perfectly.!! The same way any other external hard drive.

I write this review just those who have doubts about buying this unit because of the other reviews.. I want to let you know that if you buy the Limited Edition Robot Design, you will not have to deal with any firmware update nor anything like that.

I hightly recommend this product.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5dfb054) out of 5 stars Passport Drives Oct. 19 2010
By Lou T - Published on
I have purchased 2 similar models to this one and I have been very happy with both of them. They are slim and compact and work very well. The price here on Amazon is not bad, but if you do not mind refurbished, you can save tons more right from Western Digital. If you go to their site and look for refurbished you can get a very good deal with the same 1 year warranty. I got my 320gb and 250gb drives last year both under 50$. Good luck and enjoy!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa6490fb4) out of 5 stars great little hard drive Dec 7 2010
By swzine - Published on
Verified Purchase
I love this thing. Replacing a bulky old external USB hard drive that required external power. This one is twice the capacity and 20% of the size, super quiet, and it's the cheapest 500GB hard drive on Amazon at the moment. Everyone is complaining about the back-up software. I have done nothing special to this drive and that condition doesn't exist for me. Maybe they stopped auto installing it on newer versions. I plugged it into my Windows XP machine and it installed as a regular drive. I'm able to drag and drop documents, create folders, etc with no issues. I do see some extra folders that came with it like WD SmartWare, User Manuals, and Extras - but that doesn't bother me as it seems common practice to bundle a few apps on hard drives and USB memory sticks. I bought this thing expecting to spend an hour updating the firmware, but it doesn't seem like I need to. I went with this model knowing that it had low reviews for that sole reason and I really don't mind saving $10-$20 to click a button and wait an hour for a firmware update. I intended to rate it well even if I had to update the firmware, but I found that unecessary. I also have a Windows 7 machine so we'll see what happens once I plug into there.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5dfb5b8) out of 5 stars Can Confirm No Mandatory Backup Dec 9 2010
By Aristotlenova - Published on
As the most recent reviewers have noted, this drive does not have the mandatory backup software issues that the prior version seemed to have had. There were a ton of negative reviews on here (which seem to have disappeared now -- presumably since this is a slightly diff't product) centered on the fact that there was a buggy piece of software on here for mandatory backups that made the hard drive difficult to use as a plain dumb storage drive. Well I just purchased this from Amazon when the price got knocked down to $49 and can report that no such mandatory software problem exists. When you plug it in, it behaves like any other storage drive. No prompts to install anything or run any backups. Two minor issues though: a) it still has some silly bloatware that can be easily deleted and b) there does still seem to be an invisible partition for the backup software stuff and it's challenging to remove. But all in, those two items encompass about 35mb I think. Nothing major.

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