WD Unveils the Black Squared Dual Drive

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Mikeytron

Josh, in the magazine which I have received "FOREVER" the word "SEAGATES" supposed to be WD? Simple typo or alternate reason?

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aarcane

If they provide a little API documentation so that Linux developers can provide a driver to enable this drive in Linux, I'd be glad to own a few of these.

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kixofmyg0t

I was interested in it....til I saw the price. no effin thanks.

WD, get off your ass and make a 1TB Scorpio Black already.

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Vano

Can you provide your speed test results for both partitions?
Also speed results of transferring data from one partition to another would be nice too.
And how about performance when both partitions are in use at the same time? - I can't imaging it will be any good, after all they both share the same port.

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Bullwinkle J Moose

Speaking of which,...

128GB Samsung 840 Pro's "Internal" transfer speed is around 70MB/sec on a SATA 2 port with a Core i3

That is the speed at which you can copy and paste from one partition to another partition on the same drive

Copy and paste to and from the same partition gives you Bogus results as can be seen from several copy paste results of the same data

and...
If Windows 7 or 8 gives you the same internal transfer speed regardless of how fast your drive is, try XP!
and...
Time the results with a stopwatch to prevent manipulated software test results!!!

I also noticed that the SSD speed increased after restoring a backup to the same partition a few times

1st restore resulted in a slower SSD than 2nd and 3rd restores

Very odd!

You should test internal transfer speeds of ALL drives

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joshnorem

For sure - we are working on a full review.

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TheFrawg

What a bizarre concept. I can't see how this is aimed at enthusiasts. Desktop 3.5" bays are rarely very limited, and this makes 2 devices in one enclosure that can fail (most likely the mechanical drive).

Maybe someone out there thinks this product is ideal, but both of these items (120g SSD and a 1TB mechanical) are bargain items now.

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Paul_Lilly

Less cable clutter for desktops is one reason why this is nifty. It's also convenient for SFF systems (think: Steam Machine) where space is at a premium, especially with systems like Intel's NUC and Zotac's Zbox solutions becoming more powerful, and thus more viable.

Ultrabooks and notebooks with single drive bays come to mind, as well.

It does suck that if one fails, you need to replace the entire unit, but I think the 5-year warranty is pretty generous in that regard.

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mark_b_smith_II

It's an excellent drive, wish I could go into more detail, but it's going strong in my laptop :)

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Vano

Good concept, but not being able use both partitions during OS installation means, you can't have your drivers and whatnot stored on 1tb partition. And if your system goes south, you won't be able restore it from backup stored on that 1tb partition...

Not sure if it's worth it.

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joshnorem

You could use the 1TB during OS installation if you want, it's up to you. You would just need to unlock it prior to the install. 

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Vano

My understanding the unlocking process done via software installed on the computer, which acts as a driver. (like locking feature of WD passport drives).
It's not like once it's unlocked, it's unlocked forever even if put into different system without the software installed...

I could be wrong though.

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joshnorem

Once I unlocked it I plugged it into another computer and the partition was visible, so you should be able to plug it into a working computer, unlock it, and use it however you wish.

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Vano

Hmmm...what's the point of locking it in the first place then?

I'm not question your review, it's great, it's the reasoning behind the locking is what's confusing.

"First, it recommends users perform a clean install of the OS on the drive, so hiding the other volume simplifies this process."
A user who is capable of installing OS is capable of selecting proper partition and why WD would care if user chosen the 1TB for their OS or not? This reason is redundant.

"Second, software is required to delineate the two partitions according to WD."
If after unlocking no software required to use on other computers, then this reason doesn't make sense, as this process could be done before shipping the product.

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joshnorem

I totally agree with you, and when we had a conference call with WD this question was brought up. They said they wanted to keep the other partition hidden in order to not confuse people who are installing their OS. They then said the software was required to establish the boundary in the OS between the two drives, so there's likely something specific about how the drives are configured that prevents them from doing it at the factory. I'll follow up and see if I can get some details.

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Bullwinkle J Moose

From what I understand, BOTH drives would appear as one single drive if it did not have the unlocking software and the user would have no control over what was installed where

In other words, some of your O.S. might be on the SSD and some on the hard disk which would eliminate the benefits of having an SSD on the same SATA Port as the hard drive

Being a Western Digital though, you should be able to use the FREE Acronis Backup Software for WD drives and restore backups directly to the SSD from a bootable thumbdrive or SDHC card as you can with WD hard drives and store the drivers on that as well

Acronis boot disks work on Read Only SDHC cards so you can keep them virus free