Friday, 27 July 2007

WD My Book Premium 500GB

(icons and link courtesy of MacUpdate)

I got hold of a WD My book yesterday, basically for making backups of my MB Pro and my wifes machine.

So far my first impressions of the drive are good, its quite compact and fairly elegant looking when compared to my other external drive cases and although there is some fan noise when switching on, afterwards it is quiet and runs quite well. The fans in my MB Pro were louder than the My Book when they came on, just to provide some perspective.

When I received the drive it was formatted for Windows, so I connected it to my mac via firewire , split it into two partitions, one to make a clone of my macs hard drive that I could boot from, the other to store a backup of the bootcamp partition and an image of my wifes notebook.

I then realised that in formatting I had of course erased the software that came with the drive (backup program and the button manager) - a quick trip to fixed that error on my part (but have the serial number of your drive handy as you will need it to download).

The backup program I confess to not using or even installing, I used Super Duper for my OSX partition and Winclone for the bootcamp partition, I didnt do my wife's notebook just yet.

The button manager is basically a small driver that on the mac at least, enables the second LED on the drive to display how much space has been used. This is represented by a ring that starts to fill up as the drive does. There is a second LED ring around this one that indicates the status of the drive, for example the LED lights circle the circumference when the drive is reading or writing and when inactive the whole ring pulses slowly. In the centre of the rings is a button which is you press it powers the drive on and off.

On the back of this model of drive there were connections for USB and firewire (two firewire ports), the power cable and a socket for a kensington security lock, otherwise the back, top and bottom edges have a grill effect to allow the air to flow through the case and cool the drive.

It took around 1h 30min, perhaps slightly longer to perform the initial backup of my drive from Superduper, thats for a 172 GB partition with 70GB free and using the erase and copy option in Superduper.

After Superduper had finished I started Winclone and made a backup of the 60GB Windows partition that I have, I believe this took around 45-50 minutes but I didnt time it so cant be sure.

During both of these operations I occasionally touched the drive to see how hot it was getting and was suprised to find it was quite cool still and certainly was quiet the whole time.

Overall so far it made a good first impression on me and based on this I might get on of the terrabyte drives in the future to store our ever expanding itunes and iphoto libraries. Its basically done what I would expect a hard disk to do, do its job quietly and efficiently without being a nuisance.

Incidentally, according to Superduper when I was backing up the transfer speeds start at 9mb and then increased to 17mb, this was of course over firewire.

If youre on a mac and looking for some good icons for this drive, theres a good set available here.


Dom said...

Hey. I just got the same drive for Christmas so I can backup my and my girlfriends laptop. It seems like a really great little drive.
I've used Carbon Copy Cloner to create a disk image of my laptop, and then I'm also just using it to store TV and Films I've got.

Glad to hear you like it, and how you do your backups.

Andrew Proudlove said...

Hi Dom,
Yeah its a good drive Im really happy with it so far.
Ive got the drive itself partition off into 2 partitions, one thats around 170GB which is the size of my OS X partition on my MBP and the rest of the space is in the second partition.

Im using SuperDuper! to clone my MBP HDD to the first partition on the My Book and Winclone to backup my Windows (bootcamp) partition to the second partition on the my book as well as storing various other files there.

Quite a good drive :)