I purchased one of these units a few weeks ago to free up space on my laptop's solid state hard drive. The solid state drives are lightning fast, but they have limited space, so I needed more storage for my graphic work.
This unit installed flawlessly! That was my first surprise. Every internal drive I've ever installed required flipping DIP switches, formating, and manual file transfer. This unit came pre formatted, software and documentation right on the drive, and adequate instructions for a trained monkey to succeed! All that was required was to plug the unit in, connect the power supply, and turn it on. Then just follow the on-screen instructions, decide how you want to use the unit, and run your first backup. I did an initial update to the software, as included software is always one generation behind. But from there it was painless. I had one question (which I would have known the answer to if I had paid attention), and the support was quick, effective, polite and easy. No problems!
This was the first unit I have connected to my USB 3.0 port, so I was a bit lost here. The included cable has a blue mark inside the connector, as does your computer, if you have one. The documentation did say anything about that . . . on the box or otherwise. But blue to blue does equal USB 3.0, and lightning fast transfer rates. I was able to transfer over 175Gb in just over 20 minutes. Anyone who has worked with large file transfers knows that these speeds just don't happen on USB 2.0. This is a real timesaver. The unit is also extremely quiet. No more sounds of jet engines firing up to transfer files. And it goes into sleep mode to conserve energy when not used for a time. Wake up is quick, quiet and seamless when it is needed.
Western digital includes flexibility in the installation too. You can install it 3 different ways: With the included automatic software that does everything for you, as a free unit that you control completely that requires downloading a free software pack to keep the unit from reinstalling each time you turn on your computer, and the third falls someplace in between. I didn't delve into the other two methods, as the included software does what I want. It also allow me to use Explorer to manually create file folders, and do manual storage of files completely separate from the automatic system. I liked this feature, as I don't have to do a restore to access the files I am routinely working with. It just acts like any other hard drive on the computer when needed.
If you ever need to do a "Restore", they give you the option to restore from the automatic file system either to the original location, or a special file folder on your hard drive. Very useful, if you have added a lot of work since the backup was made. It will also allow for 5 completely different backup groups, so you can keep old footprints of your work. Never know when that revision from the beggining of the project turns out to be the one the customer wanted all along!
I know 3Tb seems like a lot today, but Western Digital likes to think ahead. The software allows for control of up to 3 of these drives. When I bought my first Pentium 100, it came with a HUGE 1Gb hard drive, and everyone thought I was nuts to buy that much storage space. Now my new computer could not even load the operating system with so limited an amount of RAM, much less hard drive space. Always good to think ahead.
All in all. . . This is a great little drive! Takes up hardly any space, it's easy to use, has gobs of storage capacity, makes hardly any noise, and I doubt it even uses much energy with the green features.
Go ahead and get one!
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