Western Digital’s new 1TB external hard drive won’t share your media files.

A lot of folks buy external hard drives so they can share their collection of music and video files with other PCs on their home network and the bigger the hard drive, the better. But if you’re hoping to make use of Western Digital’s new 1Terrabyte MyBooks you may be in for a rude awakening:

“Due to unverifiable media license authentication, the most common audio and video file types cannot be shared with different users using WD Anywhere Access.”

It doesn’t matter what the files are: If you try to share these formats over a network, Western Digital assumes not just that you’re a criminal, but that it is its job to police users. You see, MP3, DivX, AVI, WMV and Quicktime files are copy-protected formats.

The manual says the DRM client software included with the drive is “required”, but it turns out you don’t have to use it and can avoid having Western Digital policing your file transfers. There’s instructions in the manual for setting it up as a SAMBA device and there’s a mod community out there making Linux based firmware replacements. That said I still wouldn’t recommend buying the drive if for no other reason than to show the assholes at Western Digital that we aren’t going to put up with that kind of crap. There’s other HD makers putting out 1TB drives if you simply must have one and you can buy one of those and toss it into your own external HD case if you want to.

5 thoughts on “Western Digital’s new 1TB external hard drive won’t share your media files.

  1. That’s a damn shame, I haven’t had any problems with their hardware in the past.  It still sounds like their hardware is good, it’s just their DRM software that’s once again limited the legitimate use of a piece of hardware. 

    I was going to ask… never mind just RTFA.  So its only if you install the software bundled with the hard drive it sounds like.  First off, if I _ever_ have to install software to make a hard drive work I would consider it POS hardware and return it.  Western Digital is just shooting themselves in the foot with this DRM software.  I certainly hope they catch some kind of backlash from the community about this. 
    DRM a square peg for a round hole…

  2. Cant think of any other reasons to buy a 1TB external drive. Would make an excellent paper weight though.

  3. Hard drives should have about as much say in what goes on or out of them as Ford has a say in who gets in and out of my Taurus. What a bunch of douchebags.

  4. I don’t understand technology companies thought process behind using DRM. I find it hard to believe they make more money with DRM enabled devices. I bet they are getting some kind of kick-back from the RIAA and MPAA for using their DRM bullshit.

  5. WD’s drives are crap anyways. I bought two of their 1TB MyBook drives and BOTH of the drives inside were DOA.

    The MyBook housings in general suck ass anyways. I bought a 500GB model last year and the damn thing kept spinning down every 5 minutes! It got so annoying that i ripped the drive out of the enclosure, bought a SATA card and made it an internal drive.

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