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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Western Digital MyBook Essenial External Hard Drive - Backup My Important and Precious Data

May 9, 2009 (Updated Nov 29, 2009)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:easy to use, plenty of storage space, can hide easily in bookcase

Cons:will have to reformat for large files, no cooling system

The Bottom Line: Easy to use and great price make this a great way to backup important files for any novice user.


With the advent of the digital age, more and more my family photos weren’t getting printed but instead resided on my computers and online.  I was distressed a few months back when I checked my photo account at an online photo processor and noticed some of my older photos were missing.  Those I had processed from film, so I had hard copies as well as a photo CD.  However, it made me think about the security of these photos and I decided I needed to do something to keep all of my very important data safe.

The answer for me was to purchase external storage that could be a backup of all the data, music, and pictures I had spread across several computers and my online storage.  I browsed around and finally ended up purchasing the Western Digital My Book Essential 500 GB External Hard Drive.  500 GB?  I can remember when not so long ago having a hard drive that was 1 GB seemed like a big deal!

Anyway, the term “book” to describe this hard drive is good.  It looks like a book and can fit neatly into a bookcase if you’d like to use it covertly in your home and not have to worry about putting it in a secure place.  It measures just 5.4 inches by 2.1 inches by 6.5 inches and weighs just 2 1/2 pounds.  The case is sturdy and made of hard plastic with a glossy black finish.  It plugs right into a computer’s USB port with a cable that’s included.  The rate of transfer over the serial cable is Serial Bus Transfer Rate (USB 2.0): 480 Mbits/s (Max).

Setting up the drive to use is very easy.  The software installs on the system and can be set to auto-synch whenever the drive is attached, or you can select the files to backup.  I prefer the control over the files so it doesn’t synch all of the graphic files that get downloaded from the web.  The software is easy to use and pretty self-explanatory.

The Western Digital My Book Essential 500 GB External Hard Drive is preformatted to a FAT32 format.  This might be an issue for those who store files bigger than 4gb on their computers or who are running Vista or XP.  Since I’ve used it for small files, the pre-formatting was fine, but depending on your needs, it might have to be reformatted to the NTFS File System.  It will run on Windows 2000, XP or Vista and Mac OS X 10.4.8 or later.

I’ve been using it for about six months and have encountered no issues.  I still have plenty of room to store things and have backed up all of the photos and songs on three different computer plus what I had stored online.  The drive is supposed to have the capacity to handle:

- 142,000 digital photos
- 125,000 songs (MP3)
- 12,000 songs (uncompressed CD quality)
- 38 hours of Digital Video (DV)
- 220 hours of DVD quality video
- 60 hours of HD video

The only downside I see is that this is really designed to be connected to the computer and used as a backup, then disconnected.  There’s no on and off switch, it just powers off after about ten minutes of not being used.  There’s also nothing with the drive to cool it off, so keeping it running for long periods of time means you’ll run the risk of overheating the drive.  There is ventilation along the edges of the product on the top, rear, and bottom of the drive case.  This is also the why the Western Digital My Book Essential 500 GB External Hard Drive is fairly inexpensive as these devices go for this much capacity.  I use it exclusively as a backup tool, rather than something I continually read and write data from.  If you’re looking for something along that line, you’ll likely be better off with a second hard drive installed in your system rather than a product such as this.

I like keeping my files stored in multiple places and I would never advise anyone to use one single device as storage for important files.  Most of mine are now stored online, in the original location on a computer, and on this device.  With three places, I’m fairly secure that I could recover just about anything.  In case of emergency, I can grab theWestern Digital My Book Essential 500 GB External Hard Drive as I leave the house and know I have access to financial files as well as family photos if the need is there.



© 2009 Patti Aliventi


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