Although preformatted with HFS+ file configuration for Macs, the My Book can be reformatted for PCs easily, using the included WD Drive Manager software. It comes with a software CD that includes a manual in PDF format, WD Anywhere Backup software, and the WD Drive Manager utility. The utility enables you to change the RAID configuration from RAID 0 to RAID 1 and vice versa. It also helps quickly format the drive. In our trial, the included version of WD Drive Manager didn't work as expected, and we had to download the updated version from Western Digital's Web site before we could manage the drive's RAID configuration. Note that because of the limitations of the legacy standard, the drive, especially in the 4TB and 6TB versions, works only with Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Mac OS 10.5 or later. In our test, it took about 20 minutes to change the drive's setup from one RAID to another.
The My Book Studio Edition II performed well in our testing.
In tests with eSATA the drive registered 98.8MBps for writing and 109.2MBps for reading. These numbers were very fast and close to those of a typical USB 3.0 external hard drive. In USB 2.0 tests, it scored 26.5MBps and 46.1MBps for writing and reading, respectively, slightly higher than the average among USB 2.0 drives.
In FireWire 400 test, the drive scored 20.2MBps for writing and 42.6MBps for reading, again, about the average, which met our expectations. We didn't test the drive with FireWire 800 as our test machine wasn't equipped with this type of connection.
Other than the sleep mode issue mentioned above, the drive worked well in our tests. It seemed hot, however, after being used for an extended amount of time.
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Service and support
The length of the warranty is the most important thing for storage devices, and Western Digital delivers. The company backs the My Book Studio Edition II with a generous five-year warranty. At the company's Web site, you'll find a section dedicated to the drive where you can find all you need in terms of support.
The My Book Studio Edition II makes an affordable backup and storage solution for both Macs and PCs. Its intermittently and seemingly buggy firmware and lack of support for USB 3.0, however, make it less of an ideal home direct-attached storage device.