WD Passport essential vs WD My Book essential?

Discussion in 'The Barber Shop' started by Iakona, Feb 18, 2010.

  1. Anybody have experience with both of these? I'm looking for simple backup of my machine, so portability/physical size isn't much of an issue. I just bought the 500 gb passport for $80, but then I saw the 1 tb book for $100... considering swapping it out, but wanted to know of the "my book" has any significant downsides that the passport doesn't have.

  2. Don't own either, but I've read better reviews of the myBook than of the passport. For your money I don't think you can go wrong with the MyBook.
  3. I have a WD My book. it is hooked to my home network. It is about 3 years old and has had no issues. I have been really happy with it. For $20 I would switch.
  4. Well the big difference between the Passport and My Book is the MB needs external power because it is a 3.5 inch hard drive while the Passport is a 2.5 inch drive that can be self powered via usb.. For portability, Passport is the way to go but if you are not going to be carrying it around, then the My Book is great. I have a 1TB My Book Essential and it works great for backup a lot of my files..

  5. xillion

    xillion Contributor

    I have had two WD mybook drives die on me. The drive itself was not the problem, but it was the controller board that went bad on both. One was hooked to a mac via FW800 and the other a PC via USB. That being said all hard dies will die eventually, it is not a matter of if but when it will happen. Just look for one with a good warranty. I have used the Lacie Rugged drives on location for years now and have yet to have a problem. GDrive makes good, but pricey, drives as well. Check these out:


    The ones I use are the orange ones. Also, they do NOT need an external power brick, as they are powered by the system you plug them in to. But they also have the option to plug in just in case. One last thing, they do stock the rugged drives at both Fry's and the Apple store if you want to see them in person, but they are cheaper online.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2010
  6. Thanks for all the advice guys, the SATA drive w/external enclosure looks promising so far... it does seem that external drives die far more frequently than a standard drive (I've had only one standard/internally mounted drive die on me in more than a decade)
  7. The "My Book" drive should be faster than the Passport, as the Passport spins its platters at 4500 RPM versus 7200 RPM for the My Book. I'm partial to Seagate, as their drives come with a 5-year warranty which can be very handy for an external drive.
  8. gearchow

    gearchow Moderator Emeritus Contributor

    I got 3 My Book drives spinning now. I pretty much leave them going 24x7. I've had a couple earlier ones fail, but not infant mortality or anything like that. I felt I got my money's worth out of them. If you have ever spent your change on medium fast SCSI drives, then these things are like penny candy. I am going to get the 2TB drive as a backup to these.

    It's really chump change for these drives. My first disk drive I ever bought was 40M and I paid around $500 for it. A razor retains it's value so much better!


    Would I run my business of of them - not a chance. Home, family stuff - not a problem with a reliable backup.

  9. I own 2 500GB Passport Elite drives (6 months) and no problems yet. They come with a passport dock which I abhor due to its design as it can easily scratch the usb port on the drive, and the extra cable incase you don't use the dock is only 18 inches long. The software that comes with the drive also automatically eats up around 700mb of drive space which is a real waste. You can choose to hide it, but you can't get rid of it no matter what you do. I did not bother to try but that is a huge rip off to me. 700mb can mean lots of documents and spreadsheets. That said, the WD Smartware can be useful for drive readings like temperature, space, etc. However its huge size is completely unnecessary. Hence bloatware.

    Bear in mind that these drives are not intended to always be on and constantly reading/writing. I back up whatever I want to them and then disconnect. I may occasionally use one of the drives to watch a movie from or access files on applications just to see if the transfer was done properly and they seem to work at a decent speed. However USB does use CPU power and that's one of the main reason I try to avoid USB products as much as I can. I highly recommend Passport Elite drives as the warranty is longer, if you are going to be transporting large amounts of data. Even at 4500rpm, they are still pretty fast if you don't mind USB 2.0.

    Last but not least, I will never again buy from WD or any other manufacturer if they don't include the option to remove their bloatware. But these days, you just can't run from one manufacturer to another, there's always something you will not like. I only bought them because I needed something external to backup to.

    Goodluck and hope you liked my input.
  10. xillion

    xillion Contributor

    The drives at the link below have every connection you could want. eSata, usb2, firewire 800. They have a heatsink built in to the enclosure. We run these 24/7 in our edit bays and have never had a problem, yet...


    The Lacie Quadra, which is also a 3.5" drive, comes with the same connections as the G-Drive. The larger Lacie Quadras use Samsung F1 or F3 sata drives. I believe the G-Drive uses Hitachi sata drives. But I am not positive because I have never had to take one apart, yet. Some great deals on either of these drives can be found on the bay.

  11. After a disaster where I inadvertently deleted (and by the grace of God, managed to recover 95%) six years worth of my wife's pictures, I went out and bought a 500GB Passport and a 1.5TB My Book for the sole purpose of backing up our irreplaceable data. The Passport is the perfect size for keeping off site in our bank safety deposit box, while the My Book gets stored away in a closet when not in use.
  12. I've heard great things about the G-Drives, also OWC drives: here
    I have had bad experiences with Lacie drives, I had two die on me at work. I stick with Western Digital and Seagate and have not had major problems.
    Check Newegg for good proces and reviews.
  13. I have 2 x 320GB passports full of movies for when i go on Det. Can't fault their reliability, but choose the colour wisely as they have a crappy shiny finish - mine are black and look awful. in retrospect i would have gone for a couple of seagates (the ones with the aluminium finish - very nice).
  14. Dang, I'm really starting to feel like I am overthinking things here. I really only need to have the stuff on my current system backed up. I don't think I need to worry about drive longevity as long as my current machine and the backup drive don't both die at the same time. My current HD is only 145 gigs. The plain sata drive in an external enclosure is tempting as I won't have to deal with any proprietary backup software. Should be a simple decision I suppose, but I am overcome with indecision a lot these days :confused1
  15. xillion

    xillion Contributor

    I personally don't use backup software on my PC. I do all of it manually to an and external and I also keep a third copy of my high value files on my NAS.

    On my macs, Time Machine takes care of everything for me.

    Have you seen this, it is really easy to use. My friend has one and it works great for him:

  16. Seagate 500g USB powered 89.00us or Seagate 1tb External with power adapter 89us these look like great deals. they each have smaller capacities.
    Depending on what system you are on there are plenty of free backup software that works great. I manually did my backing up for years without and problems.

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