Western Digital is a leading brand name in the world of PC storage solutions, so I was more than happy to take a chance on this 'basics' 500 Gb hard-drive when I saw it priced at around £50 two years ago. Of course the goalposts constantly shift when it comes to drive capacity and back then 500 Gb was one of the largest capacities you could entertain; if you are new to the hard-drive market today, you are probably looking at upwards of 1 Terra byte of storage for your external drives if you desire. However, 500 Gb is not too shabby; that's ample space for a load of movies, thousands of mp3 files and of course anything else you wish to store on here. In short, unless you are a really heavy user, most people will still find 500 Gbs of space absolutely plenty for the every day file backing up needs.
So then is this the best 500 Gb external hard-drive you can buy now? Well, it's a reasonably small drive (about the size of an internal drive incidentally and I'm sure you could house it in your desktop tower in a spare drive bay if you so wished), it also comes with rubber shock protectors on either side to presumably protect the drive and suspend the drive whilst you have it lying flat. It does require external power, so expect to need a spare plug socket handy when running this drive; the USB connection alone won't power it. It connects via USB 2.0 and although the official bit transfer rate for 2.0 is around 480 Mb/per sec, in the real world where bottle necks in the system apply I've found the rate of transfer to be between 20 and 25 Mb/per sec (of course it is file size dependent/how fragmented the drive is etc when it comes to read speeds). The drive goes at a respectable 7200 rpm (10,000 rpm is still pretty much the fastest drive speed you can get before you go into Solid State territory). So, as far as specs go, this is pretty capable drive. That being said, expect longer waits for files in the gigabytes region to transfer both to and from the hard-drive, capacity is definitely a greater factor here than raw speed.
Other things to note about the hard-drive are that it features no on/off switch, so after you've plugged it in and transferred any files my advice would be to unplug it, as otherwise the drive will be constantly spinning and will wear out eventually. You know if it is running or not by a handy blue led light on the side of the case (and the fact that it gets red hot after being left on for a while!). Sometimes I find the power connector doesn't always fit in to it snuggly, leading to a couple of loud crackles as it breaks with one of the connectors, all of which I can't imagine is too good for the drive. On a side note, the original power supply that came with this drive did pack in about 6 months ago and I had to purchase a replacement on Amazon; this set me back a further fifteen pounds. I don't know if I just got unlucky or if that particular part is a bit suspect but it is definitely worth considering when deciding whether to purchase this or not.
Overall, when you purchase one of these drives, you are getting the security of knowing you are buying a brand leader's product with their manufacturers warranty. Western Digital have a great name in the digital world, and they didn't garner this reputation by putting out shoddy products. Like any hard-drive though (or any product featuring so many moving parts) you could still get unlucky and receive a duff unit, but speaking from my own personal experience I am more than happy with this drive; it's reliable, impressive in capacity (I use it all the time and have yet to fill over half) and it's portable enough to take with me on the go. A satisfied customer.
After having a laptop fail on me numerous times with various different problems I felt it was about time to buy an external hard-drive. I worked out that I needed around 500gb of storage space I spent a lot of time researching into what I could get for a limited budget. After many hours of research I stumbled upon this Western Digital hard-drive on the PC world website; at the time (around two years ago) it was £45 which was £10 cheaper that most other 500gb equivalents. I decided to go for it as it was a good price and it looked pretty robust, it didn't disappoint!
This elements model from Western Digital is probably the easiest and most efficient hard-drive I have ever used. Once plugged into the laptop via usb, it is recognised almost instantaneously. There are many ways to copy files across to the hard-drive including a download wizard but the standard drag and drop/copy and paste method is by far the easiest way. The speed of transfer is also pretty impressive for a relatively cheap hard-drive, other reviews have mentioned that transfer speed is a disadvantage but I would disagree, I would only ever call it slow if you are copying an entire folder of films etc but in that case what do you expect!
Again some reviews have labelled the loudness of the unit a disadvantage saying it is loud when copying files, I would disagree completely, I think they must either have superhuman hearing or a faulty unit because my unit is almost silent, even when being taxed with big file transfers, the heat of the unit is also good with it never being remotely hot to touch!
All in all this is a fantastic external hard-drive for the price, and don't let any negative reviews put you off because as of yet I haven't found a disadvantage!
I will never ever again use a Western Digital hard drive to store my data on again. I should have learnt my lesson the first time around.
Basically I bought one of these to share with my house mate so we had somewhere to back up our files and after searching for a long time we found if for a bargain at Maplin. I trusted the name of Western Digital because I had only ever heard good reviews about them and my parents owned a similar hard drive so I thought they were reliable. I definitely made a rookie mistake in putting all of my photos and work on it and wiping my photos from my actual laptop but I naively thought that nothing could ever go wrong (this is something from which I have learnt to back up to disc as well!).
We had only had the hard drive about a year when it suddenly decided to just stop working. Neither of us dropped it or put it up the wrong way or damaged it, the hard drive just simply gave up and kept clicking when plugged into the USB port on either of our computers. The only positive was that you could go onto their website http://support.wdc.com/ and actually apply to send off the hard drive to be fixed using an RMA and their warranty services. This meant though that all of the data on the hard drive would be wiped...all my photos were gone and my other data, as well as my house mate's data were gone.
I dutifully sent off the hard drive as we had paid about £60 for it and wanted to still use it (there in lies my biggest mistake), though we had to pay about £10 to have it shipped which annoyed me greatly. It took about three to four weeks to get our drive back, though I am not sure we even got the same one back as I think we had to have a replacement as the codes on the side were different, which I didn't think was too long to wait for it as it went all the way to China and back again.
I was pleased when we received the hard drive back and working again and happily used it again for about another year...until the exact same thing happened, I was putting some files onto the hard drive and it suddenly just wouldn't register on my computer and just sat there clicking away...I did send the drive off again but after losing all my files twice and having to get my photos off of Facebook twice, I decided enough was enough and got my house mate to buy my half of the hard drive. In the end I opted for a 500gb Seagate one which is miles better.
There are some positives with the hard drive, the price we bought it for was very cheap, Maplin did a very good deal at the time, though I would recommend going for 1tb instead as it is twice the size for around the same price at the moment. The hard drive had a nice look to it, it is made of a metallic surround, with protective rubber outer layers at the ends that also prevent it from slipping on most surfaces. It is simple and stylish and plugs into your computer using a USB cable which registers immediately as it is a plug and play device. The hard drive is only powered up when you connect it to a computer which saves on energy and the environment, as well as your bills! When putting things onto the hard drive it is relatively silent, just hums a little bit, so isn't noisy and can be used when you are trying to watch or listen to something without it interfering.
I bought this external hard drive in a panic, after a computer crash which led me to believe that I had lost my entire photo and music collection. I did not reseach any others, but rushed into Dixons to buy what turned out to be an excellent product.
The unit is robust and weighty, with ruberised ends - all giving a feeling of an industructable and reliable unit which will keep all my data safe, even if it is dropped, or in a fire. Having said that, the relatively small size means that if fits nicely onto my computer tabel without taking up too much space. It is very quiet to use, and it is easy to drag and drop files across. I am not in any way a computer geek - I use my computer and laptop for very basic functions - and I found it extremely simple to plug into the USB drive, install and use immediately.
The advantages of being able to take it with me, either to work or elsewhere, is immense. I can just plug it into any laptop or computer to show people more photos than I could ever fit onto a memory stick. The reassuance of knowing that my work is copied onto a separate unit is great - my computer may blow up again but my work will always remain safe.
I paid about £70 for the unit off the shelf at Dixons and it was worth every penny.
When I got my very first PC, it came with a 6.4GB hard drive, at the time I was at university studying Media Technology & Production. A major part of the course involved video editing. Time in the digital edit suites at university was quite hard to come by as digital mac or pc based editing was just in it's infancy really and as such the University only had a few digital edit suites. To counter this problem I decided to buy myself a video capture card to capture footage recorded on VHS equipment which was plentiful.
Once I had the card and was doing some capturing, I noticed that my hard drive was beginning to fill up at quite a fast pace so I decided to install a second hard drive. I went for a Western Digital drive and got a second 6.4GB drive for about £100, I now had 12GB of storage space... that was quite a serious amount for a home PC back then!!!
In more recent times I have found my hard drives to be filling up very quickly indeed with downloads from iplayer, 4OD etc etc not to mention game installations which can be several GB! ANyway, I needed some extra storage space. Having already got internal drives installed, I decided to look at external drive options.
After reading several reviews I decided to go for a Western Digital Elements 500GB USB 2.0 drive.It cost me a total of about £70 delivered, which I felt was a complete bargain. A couple of days after ordering, it arrived on my door step.
Upon unpacking the drive, I was presented with a robust feeling unit with rubberised ends. Located at one end are the sockets for a power supply (included in the package), the USB slot and a power switch. I plugged it into the mains, hooked up a USB lead and switched it on. After a few moments, it came up in my drive list with the helpful name Elements. It was pre formatted (FAT32), so all I needed to do was start copying files across, it literally could not have been more simple! If you are using Vista or XP you may want to reformat to NTFS but that's up to you.
Since purchasing the drive, it has proved to be extremely useful, not only for storing vast amounts of data, but also it has proved handy when helping fix computers for friends and family. On a few occasions now, friends/ family have had problems which possibly required a system rebuild, it has been so helpful to be able to simply plug this drive in and back up all their valueable files to the drive before working on the computer as it has meant if the worst came to the worst, I could reformat and start from fresh without losing any of their work/photos etc.
When I eventually fill this drive up (I say eventually but in fact I think it'll happen sooner rather than later) I will most likely purchase another one because having paid out so much a few years ago for a mere 6.4GB hard drive, I consider these Elements drives a complete bargain!
I ordered this item recently to save my audio and video files to from my laptop to keep them safe. It was ordered from amazon and their service was as always outstanding.
The hard dive is a very simple to use USB 'plug and play' system. It loads almost insantateously with the computer and allows quick drag and drop copying.
The only down sides to this product are:
1. Actual space 465GB
2. Copying Files to it takes along time
3. The machine becomes very hot to the touch when copying files to it.
4. Does make some noise when copying, but in comparison to other models, this is normal.
However, it has been proven over the last couple of months that it is very reliable and playing audio and video files from it in windows media player is perfect. (it is not stop and starty like some models it have used, seagate)
As well as this it comes with a 4 year warranty, which gives piece of mind.
I would recommend this product to anyone needing a external hard drive to either speed up your CPU or just overflowing media files.