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WD Unveils New My Passport Studio Hard Drives

 
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 12:11 pm    Post subject: WD Unveils New My Passport Studio Hard Drives Reply with quote

WD Unveils New My Passport Studio Hard Drives
Monday, March 1, 2010
Posted by: Glenn

WD today introduced their new My Passport Studio portable hard drives for Mac users. These drives come formatted for the Mac out of the box and sport both FireWire 800 and USB 2.0 interfaces for connectivity. They also feature a customizable "e-label" that's always visible, even when the drive is unplugged, and 256-bit hardware-based encryption for security. The new My Passport Studio drives are offered in capacities of 320 GB, 500 GB and 640 GB, with prices ranging from $150 to $200.



http://www.123macmini.com/news/story/1455.html
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JohnnyBoy
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm already a big fan of WD Passport drives, but that FW800 connection makes them even more desirable. When I need more space, I'd love to get one of these. Cool
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not a fan!!!!

All WD hard drives are hardware rigged except the my book Series.

I had a friend who just purchased a 1.5 tb WD essentials drive for his mac mini and the drive won't function without usb 2.0.

Which sucks if you have a older mini..

Also if they do firewire 800 then if you have firewire 400 you won't be able to use the drive without some sort of i/o error message.

No thanks..
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Bandit Bill
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The last MyBook drive I had was hardware rigged. I took it back. It had backup software built into the controllers firmware. You couldn't get rid of it. I would look into this before purchasing another external WD drive.

The other thing to consider is WD is building the controller into the physical hard drive on some models.
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ESUNintel
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Only drives I buy from WD are they're black series drives (they're internal drives) - have not had good luck with the others.

Not sure if I like how this new enclosure looks ...like the simplicity and elegance of the G-Technology and Lacie drives a bit more.
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WheelSpinners
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bandit Bill wrote:
The last MyBook drive I had was hardware rigged. I took it back. It had backup software built into the controllers firmware. You couldn't get rid of it. I would look into this before purchasing another external WD drive.

Do you mean the desktop model with the same type of display on the front or one with two drives and RAID?
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

WheelSpinners wrote:
Bandit Bill wrote:
The last MyBook drive I had was hardware rigged. I took it back. It had backup software built into the controllers firmware. You couldn't get rid of it. I would look into this before purchasing another external WD drive.

Do you mean the desktop model with the same type of display on the front or one with two drives and RAID?


It was a desktop drive and it didn't have a display. MyBook Essential.
http://www.wdc.com/en/products/Products.asp?DriveID=730

The MyBook that I had prior to this one was good. It was the model prior these new ones. It had the round indicator on the front.
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WheelSpinners
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bandit Bill wrote:
It was a desktop drive and it didn't have a display. MyBook Essential.
http://www.wdc.com/en/products/Products.asp?DriveID=730

The MyBook that I had prior to this one was good. It was the model prior these new ones. It had the round indicator on the front.

I'm confused now. Embarassed

So that drive features a hardware-based backup system that built into the drive instead of using software? Which means the drive is running and checking for changes all the time on its own. Is that what they mean by SmartBackup?

Therefore, you should probably stay away from the drives with SmartBackup if you don't want something that runs all the time.

Are you sure there isn't a way to turn it off though?
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Bandit Bill
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WheelSpinners wrote:
Are you sure there isn't a way to turn it off though?


There appears to be a way
http://superuser.com/questions/44318/how-do-i-remove-a-mybooks-wd-smartware-virtual-cd-from-my-desktop.

At the time I had purchased the drive, I couldn't find this info. and WD support was no help.

If you read the thread you can deduct the the WD smartware software must be used to disable the firmware. If you simply format the drive the Backup software and partition are still there (because it is firmware).

I assume WD was tired of giving support to people that deleted or formatted or changed their software so they built it into the firmware.

I've also read stories of people using the WD software to back up a drive. It took 3X as long with the WD software.
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JohnnyBoy
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aww, you can't compare the Passport with the MyBook -- the Passport is a fine piece of kit... Cool

And what does "hardware rigged" mean? Confused
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WheelSpinners
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, thanks for the information. I honestly didn't know about that one. I thought everything was just based around their software for backups. I didn't realize it was firmware too.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JohnnyBoy wrote:
And what does "hardware rigged" mean? Confused


I was referring to the included WD backup software (virtual CD) being stored on a ROM chip on the external enclosures controller. You couldn't disable or delete it. A virtual CD would be mounted on your OS X desktop. Even if you dragged the mounted drive to the trash 2 seconds later the thing would mount itself again. If you formatted the drive it was still there. Who knows if this will conflict with Time Machine or your other back-up of choice? What effect does it have on your systems resources?

Also as I mentioned above... on some of the 2.5" drives WD has chosen to build the controller card into the physical 2.5" drive.

Being this drive external casing is <5" there is a good chance that the drive controller is built in (soldered/part of) the 2.5" drive.

http://www.123macmini.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=25839&highlight=western+digital

Take a look at the above thread. Note the part where Phil mentions that the 4.3" models have integrated controllers, the 5" models do not. The above Passport model is 4.88". The controller may be integrated into the 2.5" drive. This may not be a big deal for some people, but for others looking to scavenge the 2.5" drive to upgrade their mini's internal it is.

All this stuff said. This drive may be awesome and none of the above will pertain. I'm personally a little gun shy after my last WD experience. It's worth looking into.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, now I understand. If the WD backup software is designed to be used with Windows, would WD still install that ROM chip on a drive that's destined to be formatted for the Mac?
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JohnnyBoy wrote:
Ah, now I understand. If the WD backup software is designed to be used with Windows, would WD still install that ROM chip on a drive that's destined to be formatted for the Mac?


I don't know. Hopefully not.
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