WD My Passport Essential 1 TB as Time Machine backup?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by reubs, Jul 11, 2010.

  1. reubs macrumors 68000

    Jun 22, 2006
    I've been looking for an external for back-up/data storage for a while now. Best Buy has this one on sale this week for what looks like a decent price.

    A few reviews are knocking it because they say you can't remove the WD SmartWare software from it, but it looks like that can actually be done. 1 TB of external storage (even at USB 2 speeds) seems like it should cost a lot more. Should I worry about problems with it, or might this just be one of those times when there's actually a good deal to be had?

    I'm running a mid-09 MBP, btw. I'll primarily be using this as a means of Time Machine backup for now. In the next few months, though, I plan to hook it up to an Airport Extreme to back up our two notebook computers.
  2. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    1 TB for $129 is by no means cheap. You pay about $40 for "SmartWare" that you don't want. And if there is any _question_ whether or not you can remove some so-called "SmartWare", then this is unacceptable for a _backup_ drive that must work under all circumstances. You wouldn't want to use a backup drive, thinking it's all fine, and when you try to restore from the backup you find that "SmartWare" has outsmarted you.
  3. brucem91 macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2009
    yea, you can probably get something a bit cheaper. But I doubt that "Smart Ware" is non-removable. it is probably a windows software that "backs up", but isn't really need. You will have to reformat the drive for hfs+ anyway to use with Time Machine, which will completely wipe the drive and change the filesystem from fat32 to HFS+. A simple Amazon search btw found quite a few drives that could be good for your needs, and cheaper.


    Look for the ones that say 1 TB, and look for reviews. One of the results I found had 4.5/5 stars, and 259 customer reviews. That is probably a good HD(its the top right one on that link I gave you).

    Good Luck

  4. Penn Jennings macrumors 6502

    Apr 22, 2010

    You will not find a 1TB USB powered hard drive for much cheap, mostly because there are very few at the moment. yes, you can find an external USB 2.0 for $80 but those are full size require external power.

    The "extra" software which shows up as another drive is really only slightly to moderately annoying. It is by no means the end of the world. And to be honest, it's in WD's best interest to include it. If people never use it, that is their choice. Everyone hates it until their external drive is lost or stolen. When things that they would prefer to be private become public, many wish they had used it. I personally don't use it but I always but anything sensitive in an encrypted disk image, even on my internal HD. Most people happily put their nude home videos and tax returns on these things and run around happy. There should be an easy was to disable it though.

    As far as time machine backups go, this should work just find.

    If you need the mobility, this is probably a great choice. It's great to be able to backup and/or recover anywhere and without having to look for an outlet.

    Just my 2 cents.
  5. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

    Mar 1, 2010
    New Jersey
    Consider one of these from OWC. For that price you get free ship and no tax and plenty of software

    I partition my backup to have both TM backup and a clone using Carbon Copy Cloner - which is included.

    Another way to go, and something I use as well is the Voyager which works with both 2.5 and 3.5" drives and you can can backup, clone, store off-site several drives with this one device - I think everyone should own one of these
  6. reubs thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jun 22, 2006
    Thanks, but that's almost a hundred bucks more for the same storage and connection. I know there's software included, but I can't tell if there's a list of what software it is. I've bought from them before, so I'm familiar w/ the company.

    As far as other suggestions, I had looked at the WD Elements. That might be a really good option, too, since I'll be using it as an Airdisk to back up two notebooks.

    Thanks for the suggestions everyone!
  7. Hisdem macrumors 6502a


    Jul 3, 2010
    Boca Raton, FL
    I use the same drive, only in a 500GB version. It's quite good, the SmartWare software is indeed inside it, but it doesn't require you to use it. I just ignored it and used TM. One thing I noticed though is that this WD drive is muuuuuuch slower than my 3.5" iOmega ScreenPlay Plus 1TB. But it must be due to the size, slower RPM, etc. I recommend the My Passport, portable, light, and in the silver version it matches the MBP perfectly!
  8. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816


    Feb 11, 2010

    I bought a similar model with FW800, and, I like it. You can ignore the SmartWare and just use it for Time Machine. I partitioned my drive into two smaller partitions because Time Machine likes that -- a partition dedicated for Time Machine. I like FW800 because it is faster.
  9. EzhnoWolf macrumors member

    Jul 12, 2010
    Vancouver, Canada
    I own a WD Elements 1TB external HDD and couldn't be happier. If you're looking for a portable, bus-powered external HDD, this is the one I would recommend because of 3 factors:

    1) Price: I looked into buying an OWC 1TB bus-powered USB 2.0 external HDD, but you're looking at a price between ($219 OWC) vs. ($119 WD). I'm sure the OWC might be of a bit better quality, but I would rather save a $100 to get almost the exact same thing.

    2) Portability: This drive is tiny. It can easily and comfortably fit into your pocket. Brilliant for those who travel. I'm still amazed that such a small drive can hold 1TB.

    3) Ease of use: No junk smartware on this like some of the other WD drives. Just plug in, re-formt, and use. It is perfect for time machine IMHO.

    Here is the link on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digital-Elements-Portable-WDBABV0010BBK-NESN/dp/B003B8PPEY
  10. reubs thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jun 22, 2006
    Thanks; I'm pretty sure this is the one I've decided on. I really want to utilize the FW800 port on my MBP, but not for more than $100 extra. I was going to pick it up today, but Best Buy doesn't pricematch Amazon here. Instead, I'll try to be placing an order soon.

    For now, I think I'll actually split this in two. I'll use one partition for media and the other as a clone drive. I've already got a TM backup w/ another drive going, so this will help with redundancies.

    Thanks again!
  11. EzhnoWolf macrumors member

    Jul 12, 2010
    Vancouver, Canada
    Great choice! :)

    For the price you can't go wrong. Enjoy!
  12. iambasil macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2010
    London, UK
    How come you decided on the Elements instead of the Essential? Isn't the Essential a fair bit more compact?

    Was it simply price?
  13. EzhnoWolf macrumors member

    Jul 12, 2010
    Vancouver, Canada
    When I went and compared the WD Elements Portable HDD and the WD Essentials Portable HDD, they were pretty much the same size with the exception that the Essential HDD has rounded edges.

    The only drawback of the WD Essential is that it comes with Smartware; the WD Elements does not come with Smartware.
  14. silverFox505 macrumors newbie

    Jul 27, 2010
    Can I backup two MBP's to one WD Passport SE?

    I just received my WD Passport SE, 1 TB from Amazon today and I already have a question - can I format it into two partitions and use TM to backup two MBP's each to their own partition?

    This same question applies to the Passport Essential model, as I may send this back and get the Essential - I'm not wild about the Smart Ware on the SE, since I don't plan to use it.
  15. Penn Jennings macrumors 6502

    Apr 22, 2010
    I'm not sure. I know that you you can backup multiple systems to one drive. Each system gets it's own folder under the TM main folder. However, if you want to dedicate space using partitions, I would guess that you can... I don't know how though.
  16. reubs thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jun 22, 2006
    So, after much hemming and hawing, I think I've done a complete 180* turn and will go with this one. It's got a two year warranty, and I can utilize my FW 800 port when I pick up that cable. I ordered it from BB last night (on sale for about the same as the WD, and it's got a two year warranty.

    I'll hopefully pick it up today. I hope it's the right decision; that's a lot of data to put in one place, but I'll keep an eye on it. Also, if I can't get the Seagate backup software off of it it will be going back...
  17. Amasashi macrumors member

    May 17, 2010
    I use a WD My Book 1 TB external drive for Time Machine, which I picked over My Passport because I leave it connected all the time and don't need the portability. It's been working great for over half a year and I've had no problems so far.

    The WD crapware can be easily removed. Just go to WD's site and download its removal tool and it's like it was never there.
  18. reubs thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jun 22, 2006
    After picking up the Seagate GoFlex, I noticed in the system specs that it's only good w/ Macs that have 32 bit kernals. Instead of worrying about compatibility, I went back the next day and swapped it out for a 1 TB WD Elements Portable. This thing looks like a beast on the box, but it's smaller than the My Passport I have from a few years ago.

    I'm in the midst of transferring files from the old My Passport to the new Elements (to consolidate), and I wish I had thought about how slow USB to USB would be...

    Anyway, I've settled on this one. So far, so good.

    Thanks for the info!

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