Western Digital My Book

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A My Book Essential Edition External Hard Drive with 1 TB capacity

My Book is a series of external hard drives produced by Western Digital. There are currently nine series of My Book drives; Essential Edition, Home Edition, Office Edition, Mirror Edition, Studio Edition, Premium Edition, Elite Edition, Pro Edition, AV Dvr "Live Edition", and the World Edition.

My Book drives are designed to look like a standard black hardback book, with the exception of the Pro/Studio series which are silver and the World series which are white. Other than the book-like appearance of the drive's case, My Book drives originally featured vent holes on the top of the drives which spelled out a message in Morse code.

Classic Editions[edit]

Essential Edition[edit]

In addition to the book-like design, the My Book Essential Edition drives have an Intelligent Power Management feature that stops the drive platters after ten minutes of inactivity, rather than the usual expedient of slowing them down. The unit also turns on and off with the computer it is attached to.

Essential Edition My Book drives are almost entirely black, with the exception of a single blue light, used to indicate power and activity, or a circular green light that is located on the front of the drive. (The newer model has a white light.)

"Essential Edition" drives are available in capacities of 320 GB, 400 GB, 500 GB, 640 GB, 750 GB, 1 TB, 1.5 TB, 2 TB, 3 TB and 4 TB.

Premium Edition[edit]

Premium Edition drives are similar to the Essential Edition model but also include Firewire 400 ports, an integrated visual capacity gauge and Western Digital backup software.

Premium Edition My Book drives have the same black case as Essential Edition drives, however, the light surrounding the power button is blue. Also, inside the standard blue light is another blue ring light that contains 8 individual segments which indicate the remaining space on the drive. This edition is available with storage capacities of 160 GB, 250 GB, 320 GB, 400 GB, and 750 GB.

Premium ES Edition[edit]

My Book Premium ES Edition drives are nearly identical to their Premium Edition counterparts, the only difference being that the ES line features a single eSATA connection instead of the dual Firewire 400 ports present on the Premium Edition, allowing computers with available eSATA ports to transfer data at speeds of up to 3 Gbit/s. This edition is available in 320 GB and 500 GB capacities.

Premium Edition II[edit]

This edition is Black and is available with storage capacities of 500 GB, 1 TB, 1.5 TB, and 2 TB. It is also the largest physically.

Pro Edition[edit]

The Pro Edition My Books contain all of the features of the Premium Edition ones, but with added Firewire 800 connectivity for fast data transfer. In addition, the Pro Edition My Books replace the Western Digital backup software found on the Premium Editions with EMC Retrospect Express backup and recovery software.

Pro Edition My Book drives have the same basic case design as Premium Edition drives; however, the case is silver rather than black. In addition, it includes a circular blue capacity gauge LED divided into six segments (representing 17% of usage per segment) and an outer ring that represents drive activity.

The "Pro Edition MyBook" is marketed as a RAID solution that can be used as a backup device.

Studio Edition[edit]

The MyBook Studio Edition comes with quad interface: USB 2.0 / Firewire 400 / Firewire 800 and eSATA. It is marketed for use with Mac OS X. This edition is available with storage capacities of 1 TB, 1.5 TB and 2 TB.[1]

The current edition (as of Nov 2010) has two Firewire 800 ports and one USB 2.0 mini port. It comes pre-formatted as Mac OS X HFS+.

All current My Book Studio LX drives include a 5400RPM Hitachi branded Raptor hard drive.

The 'MyBook Studio Edition II' contains two drives and is designed to be used as a RAID system for increased performance. This edition is available with storage capacities of 1 TB, 2 TB, 4 TB and 6 TB.[1]
The two drives can be replaced by the user.[2]

The LED gauge has a design fault on these disks. Several[weasel words] users reported that some of the LEDs were burning out after 3 to 4 months of normal usage.[citation needed]

My DVR Expander[edit]

The My Book AV DVR Expander is intended to increase the disk capacity of consumer DVRs or compatible camcorders. It can also be used connected to a computer, if necessary. The Expander is available with a storage capacity of 1 TB.

The DVR Expander was originally designed specifically for the TiVo series 3 and onwards and, at that time, the only connectivity was an eSATA port.[3] Recent versions come with a USB 2.0 connection as well and are now also compatible with Direct TV, Dish TV and the Pace, Time Warner and Scientific Atlanta brands of DVR.[4]

World Edition[edit]

The World Edition My Books function as Network-attached storage (NAS), by way of an Ethernet interface. They also feature an extra USB host port to allow an additional USB drive to be daisychained. Data on first generation (Blue Rings) My Book World is accessed as CIFS/SMB shared folders. The second generation (White Lights) expands the access choices to include NFS, FTP, an iTunes server, and a Twonky media server.

In addition, the World Edition uses WD Anywhere Access to gain remote access to the drive via the Internet.

It has the same basic case design as the Premium Edition drives, including the capacity gauge, except the color of the World Edition is white. It also has the same Morse code ventilation as the other editions.

Network speed[edit]

Although MyBook Ethernet-capable disks come with a Gigabit Ethernet interface, the network speed is significantly slower. Especially for older "blue rings" models (200 MHz ARM CPU and 32 MByte RAM), where it varies between 3–6 MByte/s, with an average of 4.5 MByte/s.[5] The newer "white lights" MyBook World Edition 1 TB and 2 TB storage capacity models, WDH1NC and WDH2NC (oxnas810,[6] 380 MHz ARM CPU and 128 MByte RAM), compare to USB drive speed at about 10 MB/s write and 25 MB/s read.[7]

The "white lights" WDH1NC is Jumbo Frames capable and can achieve ~36 MByte/s reading and ~18 MByte/s writing speed over Gigabit Ethernet.

Internals[edit]

Controller board for My Book World Edition

This drive runs BusyBox on Linux on an Oxford Semiconductor 0XE800 ARM chip which has the ARM926EJ-S core. In addition it uses a VIA Cicada Simpliphy vt6122 Gigabit Ethernet chipset, and a Hynix 32 Mbit DDR Synchronous DRAM chip. The webserver is the mini_http server, although older "bluerings" use Lighttpd. The drives of the World Edition are xfs or ext3 formatted, which means that the drive can be mounted as a standard drive from within Linux if removed from the casing and installed in a normal PC.

With both sets of commands a utility such as Gparted can be used to determine which paths are relevant for a given setup.

Further details and support are available at the My Worldbook wiki.

Extending capabilities[edit]

The device can be 'unlocked' and accessed via SSH terminal (newer versions of WDH1NC10000 do not need to be "unlocked": MBWE SSH Access), meaning that the WD MioNet java-based software can be disabled so the device can be run with an unrestricted Linux OS,[8] at the cost of voiding the warranty.[9] The unlocking makes it possible to install other software on MyBook (i.e. run a different webserver or an ftp server (such as vsftpd) on it, use NFS for mounting shared directories natively from Unix, or even install a bitTorrent client such as rTorrent,[10] etc.)

Edition II My Books[edit]

In addition to the regular My Book drives, Western Digital has also released special high-capacity "Edition II" versions of the Premium,[11] Pro,[12] and World[13] Edition My Books. In addition to the features present in the respective My Book edition, these drives feature two 500 GB RAID configured hard disks which can be selected by the end user as RAID 0 (Data striping), or RAID 1 (Data mirroring), depending on personal preference. If selected as RAID 0, the end user has 1 TB of available storage. Either way, if one of the internal drives of the Edition II My Books fails, it can be easily removed and replaced by the user without voiding the warranty. Western Digital uses this feature to their advantage, claiming that their drives needn't be returned for costly service in the case of a drive failure.[14]

New Editions[edit]

In Late 2007, Western Digital introduced a new line of My Book drives. These included the Essential Edition 2.0, Home Edition, Office Edition, and Studio Editions, and ranged in capacity froms 320 GB to 2 TB. Some dealers offer the new edition My Book encased HD for a lower price than the bare drive it contains, and they have been purchased to dismantle them and use the bare drives.[15] The Home Edition features an Oxford 934 chipset.

WD MyBook World Edition shipping at the beginning of 2010 ("white light", e.g. Model WD10000H1NC with 1 TB storage capacity) come with single 3.5" hard disk from the Western Digital Green Power Series (claiming 30% more energy efficiency for the box), ox810 chipset (ARM926EJ-S cpu) and 128 MBytes of RAM. SSH root access can be enabled through the regular Web configuration UI. The hard disk contains a 2 GB System partition of which only 100 MBytes are used by the OS, and a separate 256 MB swap partition.

My Book Live[edit]

In 2011, My Book Live Edition NAS has been released by Western Digital. They range in storage capacity from 1 to 3 TB. My Book Live uses Applied Micro APM82181 processor working at 800 MHz and has 256 MB of RAM. Broadcom BCM54610 ethernet is able to support 10/100/1000 Mbit/s connectivity. Contrary to previous versions, Live has no USB ports. Instead of a Linux-Kernel & Busybox found in previous versions, Live uses a full-featured Debian GNU/Linux.

My Book Live Duo was released in January 2012.[16] It features two drives (totaling 6 or 4 TB, depending on the product version) that can be configured in a RAID array; in that case, all data is automatically mirrored and can be recovered if one of the drives fail (but effective drive space is halved). It sports a similar design to the previous My Book Live, but unlike that one this product has a top cover that allows for easily servicing and replacing the drives. It also has one Gigabit ethernet and one USB connection.

My Cloud[edit]

In 2013, My Cloud NAS has been released by Western Digital. My Cloud uses a Mindspeed Comcerto 2000 (M86261G-12) dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 Communication Processor running at 650 MHz. The Gigabit Ethernet port is a Broadcom BCM54612E Gigabit Ethernet Transceiver. Other components include 256 MB of Samsung K4B2G1646E DDR3 RAM and 512 KB of Winbound 25X40CL flash. The drive is a WD Red 2 TB (WD20EFRX).

My Cloud relies on air convection for cooling - there is no fan. As such, it runs very quietly and the only noise you hear is that of the WD Red drive.

Morse code[edit]

Morse code on a My Book Pro Edition drive case

The Morse code message written into the drive case is made up of a selection of the words "personal", "reliable", "innovative", "simple", and "design". The first occurrence of "innovative" on the My Book Pro and My Book World Edition reads "innovateve" ("e" is one dot in Morse, "i" is two dots).

References[edit]

External links[edit]