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Western Digital Passport WD1200U017-002

Western Digital manufactures hard disk drives only and has been quite successful at that. This is its Passport WD1200U017-002 model. The device looks cool with its shiny surface visible through the plastic package. This attractive surface may disappoint you somewhat afterwards. It is scratchable and will soon be covered with a web of microscopic scratches. It also gets soiled easily and your fingerprints will be just too visible on it. A soft pouch would come in handy here.

The connectors on the butt end pf the device are closed with a rubber plug which is firmly attached to the case. You shouldn’t worry it will get torn off accidentally.

When you connect this drive to a PC, you’ll find it to contain the WD Sync software. Following a Wizard with a user-friendly interface, you can copy files to the disk, and these files will be encrypted with the 128-bit AES algorithm. When synchronizing to the disk, you can create a protected copy of the Web-browser’s bookmarks and MS Outlook information like contacts, notes and calendar. These data will all be stored on the disk in encrypted form and will only be accessible after entering a password in the WD Sync window. This is a handy and practical solution for always having your confidential information with you. People who are constantly moving between several work places will surely appreciate this feature. But if you don’t want all this protection, you can just copy files to the disk without using this software.

Besides that, the HDD contains the WD Diagnostic Tool for checking the health of your hard disks, three programs from Google (Picasa, Google Toolbar, and Google Desktop Search), the indispensable Adobe Reader, and a short user manual. You don’t receive a CD with this software pack, so you may want to make a backup copy of it for yourself.

The drive comes with a short manual and a USB cable.

Testbed and Methods

The following testing utilities were used:

  • IOMeter 2003.02.15
  • WinBench 99 2.0
  • FC-Test 1.0

Testbed configuration:

  • Albatron PX865PE Pro mainboard
  • Intel Pentium 4 2.4GHz CPU
  • IBM DTLA-307015 system disk, 15GB
  • Radeon 7000 32MB graphics card
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 with Service Pack 4

We installed the generic OS drivers for the drives and formatted them in FAT32 and NTFS as one partition with the default cluster size. For some tests 32GB partitions were created on the drives and formatted in FAT32 and NTFS with the default cluster size, too.

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