Western Digital My Book Essential Edition 2.0 1 TB,External,7200 RPM (H1U10000N) Hard Drive Reviews
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Western Digital My Book Essential Edition 2.0 1 TB,External,7200 RPM (H1U10000N) Hard Drive

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Aug 12, 2008 (Updated Apr 17, 2009)
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Pros:Simple, reliable, quiet, quick installation, cheap, good electronic specs, and housing design

Cons:No software included. Formatted as FAT32 for Mac compatibility.

The Bottom Line: A best buy for large USB external drives

For an executive summary, read only the bolded items.   UPDATE: This drive works so well I bought another.  As a 'green' design, it consumes less power than many other models, including all the current external drives I use.  The automatic power down feature is excellent as one is apt to forget to turn external drives off most of the time and most external drives spin and stay ON until turned OFF, consuming power and wearing the drives needlessly.

Space on hard drives are quickly consumed as fast as available, and equally fast has fallen the price of more bytes. In 2008, terabyte sized hard drives have become prolific for consumers, and external drives are a simple way to expand data storage, leaving one's "work in progress" files and executables on exiting PC internal drives. USB is designed for 127 devices per controller, so given a single USB card plus many USB hubs, a theoretical addressable storage comes to about 127 terabytes/USB controller.

I currently have 3 terabytes of storage, 6 do-it-yourself "DIY" external drives housing various sized hard drives, and two  MyBooks. This review compares their performance. All drives are currently on-line connected to a 7 x 2 multiport port USB hub.

In the Box

A black box housing the drive, a brick power supply, and a USB cable are key items. 2 instruction sheets, and a warranty card complete the kit. The My Book is about the size of a bible one finds in hotel and motel rooms.

The drive case, power and cables leave a very clean design. All my DIY drives comes with stands, awkward sized power supplies and cable placements that are not well thought through.


Plug the USB cable into the MyBook, and into your PC USB port. Plug in the power supply to AC and the MyBook.

The MyBook has no power switch, and turns itself on/off if the USB port is powered, when the PC is on.

The drive was recognized by WinXPSP2 without a hitch, and re-formatting the drive to NTFS was easy using WinXP built in disk utilities. The drive ships with FAT32 format, which is less desirable if NTFS can be supported. I backuped the shipped "trial" utilities inside the MyBook in case they were useful; they were not, and it was not clear were it was stored: C:\Program Files\Western Digital. I used Western Digital's disk utilities that shipped with my other drives to check partitions and drive status. These programs can also be downloaded free from Western Digital's web site.


The drive ran over 1 week for 24/7 for a burn in, and has done a 24 hour long disk encryption format routine. it is currently a month old running 16 hours/day. Its surprisingly silent, and runs cooler than my DIY drives.

USB 2.0 Speed

It has a transfer rate of 10-13MB/sec. This is not the raw transfer rate, but includes delay from encryption I use. This is about 6x slower than the maximum USB transfer speed of 60 MB/sec but is the same rate as my other DIY drives.


Excellent bang for buck. The cost to build a DIY external drive today may often be more than buying a pre-made external drive.
USB 2.0 transfer speeds suggests the MyBook drive is a decent speed drive. The auto on/off feature is very helpful, given most DIY kits require manual power-down.

Note, there are a number of complaints about the higher end MyBook drives. The simple electronics of the low end 'Essential Edition' maybe the saving grace to this drive's performance, keep this in mind as the display boxes look the same.

Recommend this product? Yes

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