Western Digital My Passport Essential SE 750GB Ultra-portable Hard Drive Review

by Harlan Yee on December 2nd, 2009

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We’re storing more and more files on our computer these days. And not only are we storing more… files are getting bigger and bigger.  Music, videos and email attachments quickly eat up hard drive space, especially when you’re working with HD video. When you’re running low on space on your desktop or laptop computer, the 750GB Western Digital My Passport Essential SE Ultra-portable Hard Drive can help. It is super compact and offers an enormous amount of storage for such a small package.


The sleek gloss black enclosure of my particular drive houses a 2.5″ 750GB laptop drive. The Western Digital My Passport Essential Ultra-portable models come in 500GB, 750GB and 1TB capacities. and is preformatted NTFS for Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7. Reformattting is required for use on Mac OS X Tiger, Leopard or Snow Leopard.

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The only interface you see on the enclosure is the mini-USB port on the botton of the drive. There is no need for external AC power because this drive is powered through the USB port which makes it nice when you’re out and about with your laptop and don’t have access to an AC source. When the drive is powered up, you’ll see a tiny pinhole sized LED that lights up on the left side of the enclosure. Included is a padded carrying pouch that holds the drive and USB cable to protect your drive as you transport it around.

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How Much Can You Store?

Here is the amount of data you can roughly expect to store on the various models of the Western Digital drive.


Automatic – Continuous Back-up

For convenience, the My Passport drive includes built-in software to automatically back-up your files. I’ve been doing manual back-ups for years and sometimes forget or miss files. With this feature, I’ll never have to worry about it again. You can assign folders/locations from your computer to automatically sync up on the external drive when connected. Your data is also secure if you enable password protection.

Warning If You Use Password Protection

If password protection is enabled and for some reason you forget your password, you will not be able to gain access to the contents of the drive. The user manual states in the case of a forgotten password, you will have to reformat the drive and erase it before it can be used again. Even Western Digital cannot access your drive without the password. So keep that in mind. I have decided not to use password protection on my drive.




Graphical Display Of Contents

Western Digital also includes a nice graphical representation of the amount space used on your drive which allows you to quickly get an idea of what’s stored and how much space is used.



Final Thoughts

The Western Digital My Passport Essential SE Ultra-portable Hard Drive is super small. It’s easy to use and is powered only by the USB port on my computer. It takes my mind off of having to remember to back-up my files. I know my laptop bag is going to be a whole lot lighter carrying this drive around vs. my full size external drive. I can take entire video projects on the go and work on my projects anywhere with my laptop.

I was curious how much this hard drive costs now and found that the price has dropped since I first purchased mine. Here are the 3 models available from Amazon:




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The Western Digital My Passport Essential SE 750GB side-by-side with my Razr phone. This drive is small!

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