Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 45
  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    London
    Posts
    703
    Thanks
    256
    Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts

    External Hard Drives some questions

    I’ve bought a WD My Book Essential drive, including software which backs up data files and continuously updates them as one adds, deletes or alters anything on the PC.

    All very clever, and I can see the advantage of always having an up-to-date backup, but also some disadvantages:
    a) it must slow down work on the PC to some extent,
    b) slight extra cost for electricity,
    c) in the event of a power surge burning out the HDDs, everything is lost.

    Accordingly, I would appreciate the opinion of more experienced users as to whether this is worth retaining.

    In addition, there is an even more important question - is this software incompatible with the storage of backup images? Whilst receiving help from WD Support with the installation I was asked what I wanted to do with the drive, and was told that it was not suitable for images. At the time I thought the lady was wrong, and replied I had Macrium for creating them, but after reading the manual, I am beginning to wonder whether she was right.

    Maybe a separate partition for the images would work, but doubts are growing. Will the WD software alter the image as well as the data, or is it immune to change? Then there is the issue of restoring the image. I don’t know just how much the boot disk does – would it leave the desktop in a condition where it could access the image on the WD? – bearing in mind that the external drive switches on along with the PC, but only appears in the task bar late in the start up proces, apparently controlled by the software it installed on the PC.

    A couple of extra points. There is one file I would like to store on the ext. drive each month and retain as it is without any amendment. Is this possible, or should I continue to transfer to the laptop via memory stick?

    TIA
    Last edited by georgelee; 2012-01-29 at 16:28. Reason: additional info

  2. #2
    Gold Lounger
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Johnson City, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    3,202
    Thanks
    37
    Thanked 215 Times in 202 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by georgelee View Post
    Ive bought a WD My Book Essential drive, including software which backs up data files and continuously updates them as one adds, deletes or alters anything on the PC.
    George,
    Hello... Just my 2 ... I have been involved with several posters and WD My book drives ... Do yourself a favor and return it as soon as possible ...You will be better served with a "Plain Jane Hard Drive" without the WD software .... Problems with using other 3rd party Imaging software and WD's .. Also seems that WD's stuff is impossible to remove.. as it's not on the HD , but in the "Chips" .You could use a removable HD by HP called "Pocket Media Drive" i have a couple of em @ 500GB...comes with a dual power USB connector ...If you don't have a HP PC with the "Pocket" Regards Fred

    PS: I'll try and find the links to some older posts

    PPS: you can transfer files at a faster rate than Windows (with verification) using a free program TeraCopy
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Just Plain Fred; 2012-01-29 at 18:37.
    PlainFred

    None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free (J. W. Von Goethe)

  3. #3
    5 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    London
    Posts
    703
    Thanks
    256
    Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
    Fred,
    My worst fears confirmed, and it's too late to return it, as not only was it received before Christmas, but the box has been opened and the drive installed.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    California & Arizona
    Posts
    6,121
    Thanks
    160
    Thanked 609 Times in 557 Posts
    When you purchase a drive like this you will more or less be confined to the software application and all the features it entails, unless
    the drive is capable of being formatted and the software completely removed.
    If Fred is correct in this drive having the software, or some component of it, stored on a circiut board bundled within the drive, your options will be more or less restricted to that.

    It's not necessarily a bad drive, but these issues should be something you are aware of prior to purchasing the drive.

  5. #5
    Gold Lounger
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Johnson City, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    3,202
    Thanks
    37
    Thanked 215 Times in 202 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by georgelee View Post
    Fred,
    My worst fears confirmed, and it's too late to return it, as not only was it received before Christmas, but the box has been opened and the drive installed.
    George,
    Hello...I vaguely remember that you can switch off the software ,but can not remove it I can't seem to find that thread ..was a while ago... I'll do some more looking today....Regards Fred
    PlainFred

    None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free (J. W. Von Goethe)

  6. #6
    5 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    London
    Posts
    703
    Thanks
    256
    Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Just Plain Fred View Post
    George,
    Hello...I vaguely remember that you can switch off the software ,but can not remove it I can't seem to find that thread ..was a while ago... I'll do some more looking today....Regards Fred
    Thanks Fred,

    The manual states that the software can be removed via Control Panel/Add & Remove Programmes.

    I rang WD to ask whether that would enable the loading of images, or would it be prevented by the chip you mentioned. They need to know the file type in order to answer, and at the moment Macrium Reflect seems to be hiding from me, so it must wait until I find M.

    George

  7. #7
    Gold Lounger
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Johnson City, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    3,202
    Thanks
    37
    Thanked 215 Times in 202 Posts
    George,
    Yes...that's sounds about right... Once you do that i think that you can format the remaining partition to NTFS, and then use it for what you want (less the small WD partition). Regards Fred

    The screen shot show a Macrium Image .mrimg and an Acronis .tib
    Attached Images Attached Images
    PlainFred

    None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free (J. W. Von Goethe)

  8. #8
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Cardiff, UK
    Posts
    4,492
    Thanks
    284
    Thanked 577 Times in 480 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Just Plain Fred View Post
    George,
    Hello... Just my 2 ... I have been involved with several posters and WD My book drives ... Do yourself a favor and return it as soon as possible ...You will be better served with a "Plain Jane Hard Drive" without the WD software .... Problems with using other 3rd party Imaging software and WD's .. Also seems that WD's stuff is impossible to remove.. as it's not on the HD , but in the "Chips" .You could use a removable HD by HP called "Pocket Media Drive" i have a couple of em @ 500GB...comes with a dual power USB connector ...If you don't have a HP PC with the "Pocket" Regards Fred

    PS: I'll try and find the links to some older posts

    PPS: you can transfer files at a faster rate than Windows (with verification) using a free program TeraCopy
    Fred's right with this,

    I've also had a few online involvements in trying to recover data from these drives - the auto-install software supplied effectively encrypts and compresses data sent to the drive, bad form IMHO, making any data recovery almost impossible and certainly very costly.

    Stick to the vanilla solutions.

  9. #9
    5 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    London
    Posts
    703
    Thanks
    256
    Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
    Rang WD this morning with the info about the file type for Macrium (supplied by Fred). The person I spoke to was quite aggressive, saying I should use the web site, didn’t seem to believe that their site is a shambles, but eventually looked it up and said it was not compatible with the My Book drive.

    She must have been upset by my claim they are selling the HD under false pretences, as it does not perform one of the basic functions of such a machine. Anyway, she phoned soon after to say that it works with Acronis True Image, full details to be found in KB 3689.

    The only problem now is that entering the above only leads to a list of other kb items quite unrelated to the issue. Using the method tried earlier of entering a question about using the drive for image backups produces a form asking everything about the drive model, operating system, etc. etc., then produces another list of irrelevant kb items. Same with entering ‘Acronis True Image’.

    Finally had success with ‘How to find kb 3689, recommended by telephone support for use with backup images’. Success at last! An email said they endeavour to reply within one working day, though it may take longer.

    Let’s see what tomorrow brings.
    Last edited by georgelee; 2012-01-31 at 12:35.

  10. #10
    5 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    London
    Posts
    703
    Thanks
    256
    Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
    After 3 days I received a reply from WD yesterday. Unfortunately, not a lot of use.

    It illustrates the process of creating the image quite well, but that’s it. Nowhere on the site, or the Acronis site, does it mention how to get the Acronis True Image WD Edition which is the subject of the article. Nor does it explain what the ‘other items’ are which necessitate the use of Acronis True Image Home Edition 2009, or why such an old version.

    I have sent a list of further questions such as does the external drive need to be partitioned to separate images and incremental backups, and expressing my concern at
    the statement that if an image has the same name as an existing image, only changes since the previous one will be recorded. Obviously it is necessary to keep more than one, in case of corruption, and it’s not clear how much choice one has in naming the image – the illustration just shows D:\Backup.tib and a drop down list – can one include a date in the name. If not, is it possible to reboot the PC with two part images?

    I ended with the following:

    “Of most concern is the statement in the partitioning and formatting article that images can only be created from a WD internal drive. My PC is a Dell, and presumably so is the HD, there being no mention of the manufacturer in the system information. If this is the case, will removing the WD software enable images to be made from whatever HD may be in the PC. If not, I have bought a drive that is completely useless to me”.

    It will probably be the middle of next week before I get a reply.


    .

  11. #11
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    1,501
    Thanks
    30
    Thanked 205 Times in 163 Posts
    Without reading this entire thread, from just the OP's post topic, I was going to say right up front, don't buy a Western Digital.
    I guess my advise came too late. Eh?

    I have several WD drives laying around the house, that were given to me when the external enclosure blew its brains out. The drive controller interface in those external boxes, seems to be the breaking point.
    I use those WD drives for testing and scratch disks. I'll never put anything on one that I'm not willing to loose.

    I just had to return a little Netbook to it's owner with the bad news, that the WD drive inside had Crashed.
    It has several sectors that were totally "UN-Recoverable". Hopefully, he can get a replacement from the manufacturer. The netbook is only about three months old. It was a Christmas present for his daughter.

    You expressed concern about several of the USB drive Known Problems. They do draw power, produce some heat and data transfer is very slow and taxes the CPU and can slow down the whole computer, if an update goes off while you're busy doing something.

    From years of experience in setting up data backup schemes for home, office and Corp. HQ's, I've set up my own to be the least invasive and the most effective.
    It incorporates a "AirLink 101 external USB Enclosure, with a Seagate 500 gig drive inside."

    It's never turned on, unless I'm ready to do a whole C: drive backup, using Ghost 11.5, which I boot into DOS, from a bootable Flash Drive.
    When the backup is done, usually in less than 30 minutes, the USB drive gets shut off and unplugged from my PC.

    Your main backup should NEVER be on or even connected to your PC. I won't go into a long engineering explanation, but there are things that can happen to a PC that will wipe out every drive in the system and anything connected TO your system.

    To stay up to date, Daily, with all my documents and pictures, I run a simple Batch file on my PC, that copies all "My Documents" to like folders on a backup drive. It copies only files that are new or that have been changed since the last backup, so the whole process takes only a matter of seconds.

    Good Luck,
    The Doctor
    Last edited by DrWho; 2012-02-06 at 08:23.
    Experience is truly the best teacher.

    Backup! Backup! Backup! GHOST Rocks!

  12. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to DrWho For This Useful Post:

    georgelee (2012-02-28),IreneLinda (2012-03-14)

  13. #12
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    12,631
    Thanks
    161
    Thanked 936 Times in 856 Posts
    I also would stay away from WD. When I bought my Seagate, it was because the WD Ext HD I had purchased just flat out would not work from the get go. The Seagate has performed flawlessly as my backup media for my Images. I am very pleased with it.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  14. #13
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    1,501
    Thanks
    30
    Thanked 205 Times in 163 Posts

    Cool

    My first hard drive, somewhere back around 1983 was a Seagate ST-225.
    Capacity: 21.4 MB
    3600 RPM
    Access time: 65 ms
    MFM recording
    Half Height, 5.25" drive.

    I later upgraded to a Seagate ST-4038, a 30 MB drive.
    It was a FULL Height drive that weighed in like it was made of lead.
    It was truly a drive that looked like it was made to go on a Battle Ship.
    That drive was offered for sale in the "Computer Shopper" for $799.95
    I thought "how could anyone ever fill up a 30 meg drive?"
    (that is, for anyone who could afford to buy one. Eh?)

    Boy, have things changed! (in almost 30 years)

    Also amazing are the HD companies that have totally disappeared from the scene.
    I was going to mention a few names, but here is (mostly) the entire list, for anyone who cares.
    In print, it takes up more than a page. After reading the list, it's almost unbelievable that there
    are still some names missing, like "Xebec".
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of..._manufacturers

    I was even privileged to work on the old 8" Winchester floppy drives, of 30+ years ago.
    And on the old IBM PC's, XT's and AT's, I realigned a ton of those old 5.25" full height and half height
    floppy drives. I guess I won't be doing that anymore.

    I guess what I'm getting at is, that things do change. What was good, years ago, isn't always good now.
    In one summer, a few years ago now, I had to RMA three WD drives. Each one that I got back from WD
    failed within a few months. The last one I got back was so scratched up it looked like it had been in a car
    wreck. I just gave it away to someone for a backup drive. In three months, it failed and was thrown away.
    Now I will NOT even try to RMA a WD drive. If they fail, they go right in the trash.

    Y'all have a great day now, Y'hear?
    The Doctor
    PS: Please visit my thread on "Magic Jack Plus" and take the Poll.
    Experience is truly the best teacher.

    Backup! Backup! Backup! GHOST Rocks!

  15. #14
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    California & Arizona
    Posts
    6,121
    Thanks
    160
    Thanked 609 Times in 557 Posts
    Lets not get carried away here, there is nothing wrong with Western Digital drives above and beyond that of any other drive maker.

  16. #15
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Cardiff, UK
    Posts
    4,492
    Thanks
    284
    Thanked 577 Times in 480 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by CLiNT View Post
    Lets not get carried away here, there is nothing wrong with Western Digital drives above and beyond that of any other drive maker.
    That might not be the case where WD external drives with Smartware are concerned as it adds an extra layer or two of complexity which appears to make file recovery almost impossible should anything go wrong.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •