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Western Digital (WD) My Book Essential 1TB External Hard Disk Drive With Smartware Review

Updated on November 7, 2010

The Western Digital My Book Essential, WD's best-selling external hard disk drive, is a sleek and elegant high capacity storage solution that can be used either as a backup or an expansion drive depending on your need. For those looking for a backup external hard drive, the new edition of the WD My Book Essential features a backup software that does automatic and continuous backup with a visual, easy-to-use interface. You can also choose to disable the program if you want to use your WD My Book Essential as an expansion drive instead.

Western Digital My Book Essential 1TB
Western Digital My Book Essential 1TB

The Western Digital My Book Essential comes in the following capacities:

  • 500GB
  • 750GB
  • 1TB
  • 1.5TB
  • 2TB

I bought the 1TB edition as an expansion drive.


  • The Western Digital My Book Essential is shaped like a book standing in a shelf, and you can put two or three of them side by side without sacrificing too much space.
  • WD SmartWare instantly does an automatic and continuous backup of your computer files as you make changes to an old file or create a new one.
  • You can secure your external drive against unauthorized access or theft with password protection and hardware based encryption.
  • An illuminated capacity gauge shows you at a glance how much free space is left in your drive.
  • My Book external hard disk drives are designed to save energy by going into sleep mode during idle times. It also turns on and off with your computer.
  • High storage capacities allow you to keep more data.


  • WD SmartWare's automatic and continuous scanning for files tends to hog system resources and slow down your computer.
  • Password protection can only be used if you install WD SmartWare.
  • Illuminated capacity gauge only functions if you install WD SmartWare.
  • WD SmartWare virtual VCD mounts itself automatically and prompts you to install every time the drive turns on.
  • It is impossible to delete the WD SmartWare virtual VCD, you can only disable or hide it.


Briefly stated, the Western Digital My Book Essential was primarily designed to be a backup external hard disk drive seeing that they made it impossible to permanently delete WD SmartWare. Some people would argue that there are much better backup software out there than WD SmartWare, and they would be right. But since I'm using mine as a plain old expansion drive, I don't have issues with that. I did, however, have to go through quite a few steps to disable WD SmartWare and keep its virtual VCD from mounting itself every time the disk powers on.

My advice: Get the Western Digital My Book Essential if you plan to use it as a backup through WD SmartWare. If all you need is an expansion drive without the software bloat, you might be better off with Seagate Expansion External Drives.


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    • lahoriamplifier profile image

      lahoriamplifier 7 years ago from Lahore

      wow nice