Western Digital My Passport Elite 320 GB

Western Digital offers no fewer than four versions of its portable hard disk My Passport: Essentials For Mac, Elite and Studio. We opted for the Elite, in particular because of its good staffing software.


Getting Started

In the family of My Passport Elite represents the top end. Among what distinguishes the entry called Essential, also bundled software, the finish of the product. The My Passport Elite is protected by a plastic shell mate "touch sensitive" as the likes to make Western Digital. Material with a texture reminiscent of the hull below the FreeAgent Go but note that the My Passport is the smallest in the comparison with the model from Seagate. Product Western Digital is a little thicker and heavier but less long.

What else?

Again, the hard drive has a 5 year limited warranty (unlike the Essential, restricted to three years). In terms of connections, same as for the FreeAgent Go USB 2.0 with a short cable and by a second source. The Elite board or a gauge of capacity: a small block of four LEDs located on the portion of the proceeds. It slides to reveal or protect the mini USB connector. When the drive is connected, the LEDs light up according to the disk space used. When the drive is active, the LEDs flash in succession in one direction then the other. Finally, Western Digital provides a cloth pouch to protect the hard drive.

What performance

By default, the My Passport Elite is formatted in FAT32, so as to be compatible with the Mac operating system. We strongly advise you to format it to NTFS if you use Windows. Already, you can copy files larger than 4 GB, something impossible in FAT32. Then you get better performance, especially for copying small files. During our test, which is to copy 609 files from a total size of 10.5 MB (or 17 KB per file), it took 21 seconds for 5 seconds against FAT32 to NTFS for writing! And 6.4 seconds against 2.5 seconds FAT32 to NTFS for reading. However, the results of the My Passport Elite remain slightly below those of Seagate FreeAgent Go, in both synthetic tests and in those applications. Do not over 23.16 MB / s write and 21.87 MB / s reading. The average access time is at about 17 ms.

Bundled software

WD Sync

This software developed by Dmailer enables data synchronization between multiple computers. WD Sync will not install on the computer, but runs directly from the My Passport: a real plus to synchronize several machines quickly! The first use WD Sync is divided into five stages: choice of language, validation of the EULA (End User License Agreement), create a profile with password synchronization options and synchronization. In the synchronization options you can check emails (Outlook, Windows Mail), Favorites (Internet Explorer or Firefox) and even the wallpaper, so that it is always the same wherever you go. And of course, you select all files to synchronize.

WD Anywhere Backup
Arranged under this name for the needs of Western Digital makes the cache Memeo AutoBackup software. The simplicity and effectiveness! Indeed, you only choose to save the files, the destination (My Passport Network Places, USB, iPod), the number of versions of files to keep, encryption possible and it does the rest. The selection of files to back up can be done either by tree or by "Smartpicks", i.e. by targeted locations or files (My Documents, My Pictures, emails, office files, music, videos, bookmarks.) So few options but good options. All we need now is data compression to be quite comprehensive. The backup activity is done in real time and completely discreet. The program runs, so all in the background but it would consume few resources (10 to 13 MB of RAM). You can however decide to stop whenever you want. For the restoration, nothing special to mention, in the presence of a bar search useful. Software perfect for beginners or lovers of simplicity, but can frustrate users be willing to have full control over the operation of their programs.


Like the FreeAgent Go, the My Passport Elite does not insensitive choice of 6 colors, very compact gauge, finishing serious, go-anywhere design. If we compare the Elite and The Essential, things go a little. There is a twenty euro difference between the two 320 GB version but no difference, except the backup software, absent from the Essential. So if the software does not interest you more than that, or if you just sync the Essential will be a wiser choice.