Western Digital My Book Mirror Edition Review

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WD My Book Mirror Edition Photo Storage And Backup Solution

Western Digital My Book Mirror Edition Press Release >>

Western Digital’s new My Book Mirror Edition external USB hard drive is a digital storage and back-up solution for people who need to store and back-up large amounts of data. Digital photographers – that means you! With digital camera resolution averaging 10-megapixels, and more photographers shooting RAW, reliable high capacity storage is no longer just something for the pros to worry about. Every digital photographer needs to be thinking about high-capacity, redundant storage for his or her digital images. My photo storage needs seem to double every year and the thought of losing photos because a drive kicks the bucket makes me want to cry. The My Book Mirror Edition USB drive offers 1 or 2 terabytes of simple USB storage with automatic backup in an attractive, compact, and inexpensive package. The 2 TB My Book I installed offers 1 TB of mirrored photo storage for an MSRP of $550. That’s a pretty sweet deal for 1 TB of redundant storage.

Western Digital My Book Mirror Edition USB Drive

The WD My Book mirrored hard drive system I am using has two 1 terabyte drives installed and comes RAID-ready with RAID 1 as the default. RAID 1 means everything you save to the My Book is accessible on one drive and copied to the other in case one of the drives fails. For people who want the full 2 TB capacity, the My Book Mirror Edition can be set for RAID 0, but you give up the backup functionality and sort of defeats the purpose of the drive. The included drive management and monitoring software is pretty straightforward and non-threatening – even for people like me who have a poor relationship with computers. So if you do want to change the drive to RAID 0, it’s pretty simple to do. I have the 2 TB version (two 1 TB drives) and left it set on the RAID 1 default. That gives me 1 TB of backed-up photo storage. The box says that the 2 TB RAID 1 setup will store 285,000 JPEG files. But if you’re like me, and you shoot all RAW you won’t be able to store that many photos. At 18 MB for a Canon EOS Rebel XSi (450D) RAW file, the My Book Mirror Edition will hold about 55,000 original photo files. That should last most photographers for a while.

The Western Digital My Book Mirror Edition is pretty simple to install and use, although there were a couple of hiccups when I tried to set it up. I installed it to my main imaging machine, a Pentium 4 Windows XP desktop with 1 GB of memory. I’m no computer expert and I don’t always have the best relationship with computers. Fortunately, Western Digital’s customer service identified the problem quickly and it was really easy to fix. It turned out I had a BIOS issue related to the Intel chipset on my Asus motherboard. All I had to do was turn off the “Legacy USB Support” option in the BIOS and all my problems disappeared. They walked me through the BIOS change and everything is running smoothly now. Apparently, this is a common conflict between Intel chipset motherboards and USB devices – not just the My Book drive I installed.* I did a Google search on “Asus BIOS legacy USB” and found plenty of information to confirm what the WD support team told me. That being the case, I am hoping the BIOS change also solves some other USB connection issues I’ve been having. Thanks, Western Digital customer support!

Western Digital Drive Manager Status

I successfully transferred about 26 GB of photos from an older USB drive to the My Book Mirror Edition. Now those photos are safely stored on one of the My Book’s two drives, and backed up on the other. If one drive crashes, the photos will be safe and sound and recoverable from the other drive. It’s easy to monitor the space and “health” of the My Book drive. A quick mouse hover over the WD icon in the Windows System Tray (lower right of your monitor) and a bubble with status info pops up (see photo above). Or you can open the WD RAID Manager to check or change settings. The My Book Mirror Edition is user-serviceable, so if a drive fails or reaches capacity, all I need to do is open the case and replace the full or damaged drive with a new, matching drive. Being able to replace just a hard drive instead of the whole enchilada is cost effective and makes the Western Digital My Book Mirror Edition even more attractive.

Whether you’re just starting out with digital photography or you’re already in deep, you should be thinking about a serious, long-term photo storage solution. There are lots of options, from simple USB hard drives to network-ready servers with hot-swappable drive enclosures. No matter what you decide on, you should have plenty of capacity and be backing up your image files regularly in case something goes wrong. It does happen. With current digital camera resolutions, 500 GB to 1 TB is a reasonable amount of storage for digital photographers. If you’re doing video, you’ll want even more. The Western Digital My Book Mirror Edition is a solid digital storage solution that offers a lot of bang for the buck and does it in a compact, effective, and easy to install package.

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Western Digital Web Site

* More information about the USB BIOS issue on the Western Digital Knowledge Base


Dual-drive System Automatically and Continuously Duplicates Users’ Data

Western Digital My Book Mirror EditionLAKE FOREST, Calif. – June 18, 2008 – WD® (NYSE: WDC) today introduced its new My Book® Mirror Edition™ dual-drive storage systems, which can automatically store valuable personal content not once, but twice, to maximize data safety. This RAID-based continuous data protection feature, called mirroring, makes WD’s My Book Mirror Edition storage systems the safest place for storing irreplaceable data.

Personal collections of digital content, such as photos, music, and videos, continue to grow on desktop and notebook computers around the world. Consumers are increasingly aware that taking precautions to protect their data is vital and are looking for a simple solution.

When users store their personal content on a My Book Mirror Edition system, their valuable data is automatically mirrored for extra protection – making it easy and economical to benefit from the data redundancy typically found in corporate data centers. This mirroring technology makes the new dual-drive systems an ideal storage solution for photographers, home users and small offices and anyone looking for extra assurance that their data is safe.

Consumers can also use the My Book Mirror Edition storage system and the included backup software to automatically and continuously back up their personal computers. The mirroring feature provides users the added assurance of a redundant backup of their data.

Jim Welsh, vice president and general manager of branded products and consumer electronics groups for WD, said, “Personal and business content are extremely valuable – both emotionally and financially. Our new My Book Mirror system helps users sleep easy, knowing that their data is safe.”

Formatted for Windows® computers, these new storage systems feature:

  • USB 2.0 interface for flexibility and convenience;
  • Configured out-of-the box in RAID 1 (Mirrored) mode [RAID 0 (Striped) configurable];
  • Available in capacities of up to 1 TB and 2 TB, the My Book Mirror Edition storage systems ship in Mirrored mode and use half the capacity for file redundancy;
  • Cool, eco-friendly operation with GreenPower™ drives that consume approximately one-third less power than standard dual-drive external storage systems and efficient convection cooling architecture and power-saving mode;
  • Designed without a fan for whisper-quiet operation in a home or office environment;
  • Automatic and continuous backup software that allows users to simultaneously save a change and have it backed up on the second drive for the ultimate in data protection;
  • User serviceability1, enabling owner to open the enclosure and replace the drives inside;
  • Capacity gauge to see at a glance how much space is available on the system;
  • Intelligent drive management features, including automatic power-up, Safe Shutdown™ and LED status and activity lights; and,
  • 3-year limited warranty.

RAID 1 (Mirrored)
Using RAID mirroring technology, this system automatically and continuously duplicates your data for the ultimate in data protection. If one drive in this two-drive system ever fails, the My Book Mirror Edition system continues to run and your data is safe. The My Book Mirror Edition storage systems ship in Mirrored mode and use half the capacity for file redundancy.

RAID 0 (Striped)
Users can choose to use the full2 capacity of this system by reconfiguring the drive to RAID 0 (Striped) mode. With RAID 0, users can have up to 2 TB of storage in an elegant, small footprint design that offers plenty of room to store an entire digital photo library and hundreds of hours of HD movies or digital video (results will vary based on file size and format, settings, features, software and other factors).

Cooler, quieter, eco-friendlier
Designed to use only WD’s GreenPower drives, this system, with its efficient convection cooling architecture, fan-less design, and power saving mode, consumes up to 33 percent less power than standard systems, is reliably cool, and remarkably quiet.

Pricing and Availability
My Book Mirror Edition dual-drive storage systems are available now at select retailers and WD’s online store (www.shopwd.com). MSRP for My Book Mirror Edition with 1 TB is $289.99 USD; MSRP for My Book Mirror Edition with 2 TB is $549.99 USD.

Back It Up
Backing up data is no longer the chore that it once was. In an effort to educate and build awareness among consumers about how to best protect their precious memories and important files, WD has put together some tips and tricks to make it easier than ever to back up data. Visit www.backituponwd.com to learn more.

Western Digital My Book Mirror Edition External Hard Drive

About WD
WD, one of the storage industry’s pioneers and long-time leaders, provides products and services for people and organizations that collect, manage and use digital information. The company produces reliable, high-performance hard drives that keep users’ data accessible and secure from loss. WD applies its storage expertise to consumer products for external, portable and shared storage applications.

WD was founded in 1970. The company’s storage products are marketed to leading systems manufacturers, selected resellers and retailers under the Western Digital and WD brand names. Visit the Investor section of the company’s Web site (www.westerndigital.com) to access a variety of financial and investor information.

1 See instructions for details.
2 System can be reconfigured to RAID 0 (Striped) to utilize the full capacity for data storage and eliminate the extra data protection offered in RAID 1 (Mirrored) setting.

About the author: Photo-John

Photo-John, a.k.a. John Shafer, is the managing editor of PhotographyREVIEW.com and has been since the site launched back in 1999. He's an avid outdoor enthusiast and spends as much time as possible on his mountain bike, hiking or skiing in the mountains. He's been taking pictures for ever and ever, and never goes anywhere without a camera.

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