Summary: Having owned about two dozen WD drives in the last decade, this is the first to give the impression of an inferior product. Flaky connections necessitating constant resets, wildly variable transfer speeds, ghost drives, software of dubious usefulness urging me to pay extra for a subscription. Very disappointed in this drive which turns a simple task into an ordeal, and cannot recommend. Perhaps it's the Hitachi drive they've used under the hood...
Summary: 2TB for this price seems a good deal, and WD is an established name... so, I grabbed it without checking for reviews. This was a mistake which you, gentle reader, are hopefully not making... The software for this device is haphazard, confusing, actively harmful. And it takes up space you paid for! Given all the other negative reviews of the software I've found online since, it leaves a bad impression of WD that they have not done anything about it.
Summary: I'm disappointed in this WD drive. It's a bad design. First when you plug it in, it appears as two drives. One drive is used for the utility/backup software install disc. This is a dummy drive that is only there to hold the installation software. It emulates a CD ROM drive. The second drive is the actual drive. You can't get rid of the dummy drive. So if you have multiple WD My Book Essential drives on your computer, for each drive you will use two drive letters.
Summary: The reason I dislike the hard drive is because of the WD software is unremovable and the hard drive is very slow when starting up with a computer or media player. I would recommend this product if it at least was able to read files faster.
not recommended for someone just looking for extra drive space
Eric Noel, Amazon
7 March 2010
Summary: This drive comes pre-installed with multiple pieces of software that interfere with the ability of just using it as a simple extra drive. The worst part is that one of the applications is installed as "virtual cd" (an extra drive) that automatically appears every time the main drive does too. Not only is this annoying, IT TAKES UP SPACE ON THE DRIVE THAT SHOULD BE YOURS TO USE AS YOU WANT.
Summary: Let me start by saying the two stars are purely because of the WD SmartWare VCD that accompanies this drive. I have always bought Western Digital for the reliability of their drives, and this one seems to be no exception in that regard. As for the WD SmartWare, this seems to be just another case of a vendor thinking it knows better than the consumer, so it goes and protects its software on a hidden partition.
Summary: Like the MANY other reviews, the SmartWare should be avoided and NOT installed. Backing up media files is slow but it does work as an extra drive. I will research WD products in the future before purchasing. I was able to UNinstall the software but cannot get back the HD space used by the offending software. Back up your files and unplug it until needed. This is my 3rd external HD and the worse so far.
OK Drive, horrible backup software that takes over your PC
25 October 2009
Summary: I have seriously mixed feelings about this product. It's a decent hard drive, but the bundled software sucks (see below). Pros: - HDtune was showing an average read transfer rate around 32 MB/s, which isn't bad for USB 2.0. - The outer casing is very nice looking, but somewhat flimsy. Part of the back panel wasn't snapped in completely on mine, so I had to pop it back into place.