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WD My Book® Studio™

Written by Sherwin, published on May 18, 2010

Having purchased the one Terabyte external hard drive to back up my data, I made the mistake of letting it sit on my shelf for two weeks before actually trying to use it. It’s the WD My Book® Studio™. The first indicator that it’s wasting my time is the propriety software that it assumed I wanted to install on my computer in order to run the external hard drive. The software is slow, loaded with branding and attempts to get me to “shop“. And the software uses up a significant portion of the drive itself. So the drive is no longer even 1 TB! This kind of thing makes me angry. But then I wasted time trying to re-purpose it to use as a simple external hard drive. Apparently Western Digital doesn’t want me to use my own software. I even tried using my disk utility to wipe the drive and reformat it – but I was somehow prevented from doing this. I think the software additions might actually be firmware. Anyway, it’s going back to the store. This is a big hassle, but I refuse to buy their crap. I found this article by Jeremy Kessel1 singing it’s praises. But what is super funny is the 70 plus comments almost unanimously slamming the Western Digital product:

If you want to relinquish ALL control of your computer to Western Digital, then this is a good choice. If you get annoyed with software that auto-starts, can’t be shut off, and consumes virtually all computer capacity for extended periods of time “categorizing your files”, then stay away from Western Digital Smartware (I prefer to call it “Dumbware”). I bought the 1TB Essential and it will be my last Western Digital purchase. My second drive was a Seagate — and that’s where I’ll stay. Software developers and distributors who usurp control (apparently because they know what I want to do better than I do), should look forward to a purgatory of infinite loops! — Ron Williams – December 18th, 2009 at 1:27 pm EST

  1. Seriously, Jeremy, what were you thinking. I hope they payed you well for this advertisement posing as an article.
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Archived comments

  1. Hugh says:

    Synchronicity. Just before I left to go north I decided I needed a 1 TB portable, and I was going to get the WD MyBook. But then I saw all the negative reviews posted on newegg.ca, specifically about the self-installing, non-removable “utility” software and decided to with a Seagate instead.

    Now it’s sitting on my desk unopened, because I see on the packaging that it comes with some utilities of it’s own, and I don’t want to take it out of the box until I’m sure I know how to wipe it clean.

    Why do they balls up good products with this software nonsense? I guess they need more bullet points for the marketing copy. Too much software design is done from a reductive perspective; the designers imagine how it would work in a perfect environment with a platonic ideal of a user, but don’t imagine how that software is going to fit in with all the other default-installed bloatware that comes with modern electronics, or what happens if the end user doesn’t happen to want to use their products in exactly the manner anticipated by the designer. I don’t want your backup software! I just want some free bit registers to imbue my data into.