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A Gas Gauge For Your Data

Western Digital My Passport Elite 320 GB USB 2.0 Portable Hard Drive Review

Nothing sucks more than to run out of storage space while you’re out on the road. Western Digital has included an innovative storage capacity gauge that tells you, in four leds, from left to right, whether you’re coming up on full or if you still have a ways to go. One means you’ve got a ton of room while four means you’re full. This gauge works whether you’re plugged into a computer or not so if you have a charger for another device with a mini-USB port on it, you can quickly find out if your drive is full or not without having to boot up a computer.

Setting It Up

Western Digital My Passport Elite 320 GB USB 2.0 Portable Hard Drive Review

The device itself is basically plug and play and will show up on your desktop as a new drive in either Mac or your favourite flavour of Windows. Just slide open the protective USB cover and plug in the USB cable and the other end to a computer and you’re good to go. I really liked how Western Digital protected the USB port. I mean, if that thing gets hosed, you are not getting at your data easily. The only thing that actually needs any real setup is the software.

Software

Western Digital My Passport Elite 320 GB USB 2.0 Portable Hard Drive Review

In an effort to differentiate itself from the other portable hard drives out there, they gave the MyPassport Elite a whole whackload of software in addition to its cool physical features.

Western Digital My Passport Elite 320 GB USB 2.0 Portable Hard Drive Review

Unfortunately, the two coolest pieces of software are demoware and expire after 30 days. Since there is no CD with the drive, they do give you an option to backup all this wonderful can’t use it after 30 days software, but I wouldn’t bother with most of it. However, they did manage to include a CD Key hidden in the depths of the Japanese side of the quick start guide that gives you a fully functional version of WD Anywhere Backup which is a very useful and easy to use utility that comes on competing products from other competitors.

I still can’t fathom why they would want to hide it. If I wasn’t pointed in the right direction, I probably would have turfed the quick start guide, and my free copy of WD Anywhere Backup. Unfortunately, this software is only good on the PC however both Mac and PC users do get one freebie: A tray tool that gives you the 411 on your drive like its SMART status and its capacity. Yay.

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