Western Digital My Book Studio Edition (1TB)

The My Book Studio Edition is a welcome addition to the My Book family, and should find a home on many Mac and PC users' desks.


8.5
CNET Rating
4.9
User Rating

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Western Digital's My Book Studio Edition is quite possibly the sexiest external hard drive we've seen, if we're allowed to call external hard drives that. The powdered silver casing is one of luxury, a single stretched ovoid line lit by white LEDs calmly and serenely tracks back and forth when it's in use, elucidating visions of a holy version of KITT from Knight Rider.

Design/Features
OK, so it's just a box with rounded edges and some air holes. But it is one of the nicest boxes with rounded edges and air holes we've seen, and has the benefit of including the most interfaces as well -- one USB2.0 port, one eSATA and two Firewire 800 ports dot the back of the device, with firewire 400 capability available through an included firewire 800 > 400 cable. All data cables are included, although the eSATA cable is far too short for comfortable use. A single power button is featured above the rear ports, and you'll need the included power brick to switch the thing on.

Western Digital is jumping on the power saving bandwagon as well, the drive smartly turning itself off when you power your PC down, and coming back up when you switch it back on.

It's advertised as "for Mac", as it arrives preformatted with HFS -- but it's more than easy to format over the top for PC users. Backup software is included on the hard drive, although you can download it from Western Digital's site once you've registered the drive online.

The backup software uses Memeo technology. Unfortunately it's dropped FTP backup since the last revision, and doesn't support incremental backups -- the best offer being overwriting changed files between backups. Admittedly at the consumer level, usually this is more than enough.

For the first time that we can remember, software for both Mac and PC are included with identical functionality thanks to Memeo -- this is a huge plus, although we would have liked a software CD included as well. Installing the supplied WD Button Manager software and connecting over Firewire or USB also gives you a visual indication of how full your drive is, using the light strip on the front. In practice, this didn't seem frightfully accurate or frequently updated, so it's worth simply checking the properties in Explorer.

Quite hilariously, the manual states "do not use My Book as a portable device". Hmmm. A five year warranty means the external drive is at least well protected should you choose to do so.

Performance
We tested the 1TB version, which houses Western Digital's 5400RPM drive -- slower than the competing 7200RPM drives, but should also mean it's quieter and generates less heat -- indeed, the My Book Studio Edition is completely fanless, although you can hear the drive crunch during heavy disk operations.

While we didn't have a Firewire 800 port to test with, performance over USB2.0 and Firewire was as expected, with the eSATA connection suffering fairly significantly compared to the My Book ES Edition. Currently Western Digital's only TB drive has a power saving feature built in that varies the spindle speed between 5400RPM and 7200RPM, with a focus on power saving rather than performance -- we can only surmise that this is the cause of the underperforming eSATA results. On the up side -- you get a quiet and cool external drive that's perfect for most people's uses.

The My Book Studio Edition is a welcome addition to the My Book family, and should find a home on many Mac and PC users' desks. It is available in 320GB, 500GB, 750GB and 1TB editions.

Sustained Transfer Rate (MB/s)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
WD My Book Premium ES (eSATA)
66.4
WD My Book Studio Edition (eSATA)
53.7
WD My Book Studio Edition (Firewire 400)
36.9
WD My Book Studio Edition (USB2.0)
32.8
WD My Book Premium ES (USB2.0)
28.4


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Bahhumbug
3
Rating
 

Bahhumbug posted a review   

The Good:Western Digital Hard Drive

The Bad:Poor design

I know this is late but I hope it helps someone if you're considering buying this. In short, Don't. There are lots of posts on the internet about this model not being detected by the computer, the click of death etc To get the sata connection to work, i had to cut off the end of the cable to make it shorter (chassis prevents it from fitting in properly), and the hard drive clicks a lot until eventually you can't get to it at all. Once it doesn't respond at all, you will need to open the chassis (or send away for it to have the data recovered) and remove, re-insert/fit the part that sits on top of the hard drive itself, pressing it against the hard drive to read the data properly. I managed to fluke this & am going to transfer the data to a a new external hard drive I'll purchase today.

Danny
3
Rating
 

Danny posted a review   

The Good:quiet, aesthetic, large capacity

The Bad:poor software, hardware issues, unreliable

I would not recommend this external HDD to anyone. Normally I would recommend any WD HDD as they rock. I bought this HDD, had it for 3 days and after the trouble I had took it back for a seagate HDD.
Everytime my PC would boot with the drive plugged in it would crash and cycle. Everytime I plugged the HDD in it would auto install it's drivers and often forget previous data I had stored.
I googled for 3 days looking for fixes but only found more horror stories.

Skip this HDD and look for another WD HDD solution.

sderooy
9
Rating
 

sderooy posted a review   
Australia

The Good:Speed, quiet, auto power off, sexy look

The Bad:Nothing so far

Just bought the hard disk as scratch disk for Final Cut Express video editing. I am very impressed by the speed with fire wire 800, works perfect. Also, there is an auto switch off which I didn't know when I bought it. Always on when you need it and off when you shut the computer down.

Bill
9
Rating
 

Bill posted a review   

The Good:Quiet, reliable

The Bad:None

I bought the 1TB size to use as a backup disk for Time Machine. Has been working well for over one month. Have another MyBook Studio which has been running perfectly for over one year. I do not care for the Smartware software that comes with the drive, so I don't install it on my computer. I've used WD internal drives in my G5 and they have worked perfectly for five years. I guess if you have success with a product you stick with it. I like WD stuff.

kovurt
1
Rating
 

kovurt posted a review   

The Good:nothing

The Bad:after 6 months i got the click of death

because of this piece of crap, i lost every foto, every song, and every movie i've ever had.

dont buy thinking all your storage problems are solved.
i suggest smaller hard drives to back up everything and cd's for your pics.

this device WILL take a crap, its just a matter of time.

 

Dan posted a comment   

The Good:Fast on firewire 800

The Bad:Firewire 800 stopped working, now only USB

This was great until the Firewire 800 stopped working on my iMac. Don't know if it's the drive, the cable or my mac, but mac hardware test doesn't report any firewire issue.

Loudlizard
10
Rating
 

Loudlizard posted a review   

The Good:Super fast

The Bad:Nothing

This thing works great! I use this drive for a backup to my media (music, movies, pics) and it works like a charm. I do not use the provided backup software, i use another brand. I have had this drive for over 6 months and have had no problems.

 

cliff posted a comment   

The Good:don't know, can't get it to work

The Bad:don't know, can't get it to work

Install directions are misleading. makes strange sounds when firing up that make me nervous about long term reliability. just freezes up during backup.
compatibility with time machine in set up is confusing, so i opted not to use time machine.

bought at apple store yesterday, taking it back today.

Authorised User
1
Rating
 

Authorised User posted a review   

The Good:Good price for 1TB of eSATA external storage

The Bad:Has "Click of Death"

Everything went swimmingly for 9 months . . . . and then it started clicking. It hasn't failed yet, but I'm a PC repairman and I know it is going to fail. When the drive is supposed to be idle, it clicks and the drive is being accessed - it's not supposed to do this.

Pituo
1
Rating
 

Pituo posted a review   

After couple of months using this crap I toss it in a trash can.. what $@#$@....


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User Reviews / Comments  Western Digital My Book Studio Edition (1TB)

  • Bahhumbug

    Bahhumbug

    Rating3

    "I know this is late but I hope it helps someone if you're considering buying this. In short, Don't. There are lots of posts on the internet about this model not being detected by the computer, th..."

  • Danny

    Danny

    Rating3

    "I would not recommend this external HDD to anyone. Normally I would recommend any WD HDD as they rock. I bought this HDD, had it for 3 days and after the trouble I had took it back for a seagate ..."

  • sderooy

    sderooy

    Rating9

    "Just bought the hard disk as scratch disk for Final Cut Express video editing. I am very impressed by the speed with fire wire 800, works perfect. Also, there is an auto switch off which I didn't k..."

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