Top critical review
Drive works fine, but beware included utility software
October 25, 2013
Based on the drive itself and the backup software, I would have given this product 5 stars--it is very quiet in operation, quiet enough to be left running full time on your desk. The easy-to-use included backup software can continually backup files each time there is a change or you add a new one (or you can choose to do periodic backups), and even automatically can keep up to 25 earlier versions of files that you've modified (you set the number archived). Why then only 3 stars? Because the drive comes with drive utility software that has a glitch. After installing the drive, before doing anything else, I ran the drive diagnostics; it passed the SMART Status and Quick Drive tests (both very quick to run), but about 30% of the way through failed the Complete Drive Test, which takes hours to run. I ran all the tests again, got identical results, then called WD tech support. Based on my results, they said the drive was defective, and that I should return it to Amazon, which I did. Amazon quickly sent a replacement--which again failed the Complete Drive Test at around 30%. Another call to WD tech support, this time with someone more competent, and I learned that yes, the diagnostic software that is packaged with the drive is defective. He then had me download the utility software they use in-house and use it run a complete test. 16 hours later (I'm using USB 2.0, which probably runs slower than if using 3.0) the drive passed, and in actual use since then seems to be working just fine. So because WD is packaging the drive with glitchy utility software I had to spend hours running diagnostics, talking twice with tech support, and returning what was likely a perfectly good drive to Amazon. Ridiculous! One would think WD would test and de-bug their software before packaging it with a brand new drive. Bottom line: The hardware is good, but don't use the included diagnostic utility, it will give erroneous results (unless they've fixed it--and yes, I did check for updates before running it). Instead, if you want to check the drive integrity, download the Data Lifeguard Diagnostic program from the WD site (I used Windows version, didn't check to see if there is a Mac version) and run that.