I bought one of these to store all of my work on - i am currently writing up my PhD thesis and need all of the past 3 years work on a convenient storage device so that I can take it between work and home easily. This device was great value for money (£80 when I purchased it). It is designed very well - looks nice on my desk not like some of the other uglier external hard drives. It is also cross-compatible with my Mac that I use at work and my PC at home. You are able to put password protection on to the device too - which is very useful in my case. The read and write speeds for the device are also very quick. The device also comes with SmartWare back-up tool loaded on to it - which detects changes in documents and automatically backs them up for you.
I recently bought one of these large HDs to archive all of my downloaded stuff and have it sit by the telly, wired into my portable DVD (which has a USB in port) and thenconsign my huge, wobbly piles of CDrs and DVDrs to the attic.
I looked at various options, and then plumped for this one, as it seems to have the best price/perfomance/capacity ratio.
It actually does work very well, but I have had something of a frustrating week, and I will outline why, below - hopefully it will prevent people from falling into the same trap that I did!
In coming to choose this HD I read a LOT of reviews, both here and on Amazon etc, and the consensus seemed to be that it worked fine for a couple of months and then failed. There was quite a lot of debate as to why this should be, and several people suggested that it was the format of the disk (FAT32) which was the problem, as this particualr format has a tendency to become fragmented, a primary cause of drive failure.
The solution? Reformat the drive, out of the box, to NTFS, which allows larger file sizes and is more stable - it is also pretty easy to do, using XPs inbuilt formatter.
This I did, with a little trepidation, and the NTFS reformat worked like a charm - the partition was clean, the computer recognised the disk - everything was hunky-dory.
Apart from one thing: my media player (the one that sits by the telly) could no longer recognise the HD. It could only "see" FAT32 systems. (this was not mentioned anywhere in the documentation for the media player, but I digress...)
"OK," I thought, "I'll simply reformat it back to FAT32 and it'll all be frosty again." WRONG!
It is EXTREMELY difficult to reformat the drive back to FAT32, for two main reasons:
1) It's largely uncharted territory for such large drives, and
2) Windows sets a limit (the "32" in FAT32) on the partition size that you are allowed - 32 GB - a third of the capacity of the drive, which means that two thirds are wasted.
After a lot of to-ing and fro-ing with the techinical people at Western Digital, basically going through a series of munchkins until I got to the Wizard, I managed to reformat the drive back to a full-capacity 1 terabyte, but it was heavy weather, I can tell you.
So the bottom line - LEAVE IT AS IT IS out of the box, unless you have a good reason for changing it.
Anyway, I've got it half full now - it works extremely well - basically like a large USB stick or similar, and I'm very happy with it.
I have become (unwillingly) something of an expert on these drives, so if you have a question, PM me and I might be able to help!