How to Use a WD External Hard Drive

The Western Digital Corp. (WD) manufactures internal and external hard drives for computers. Their most popular line is the MyBook external drives that offer users flexibility and alternate options for data storage. Installing a WD external hard drive to your computer is quick and straightforward. You can then use the external drive as your secondary storage device or as your computer's data backup drive.

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Plug in both ends of the USB cable that came with the WD external hard drive. The smaller, rectangular end goes into the external hard drive's USB port while the other end of goes into your computer's USB port.

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Press the power button to the "On" position on the back of the WD hard drive case. Start your computer. Windows should instantly recognize the external drive. You will be prompted to follow the onscreen instructions for setting up the external drive.

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Insert the WD installation CD, if needed or when the Windows does not recognize the drive. You can also download the driver software from the official Western Digital website, if the software CD is not in the package.

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Follow the onscreen directions for installation. Wait for the computer to install the external drive. This may take under a minute to several minutes, depending on the USB interface. If you have an older computer using the 1.0 USB connection, expect a longer installation time.

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Click "My Computer" from the desktop once the installation is complete. Find the WD external drive, which will have the WD logo next to a hard drive icon. Double left-click on the drive icon to open it.

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Drag files, folder and any application from your computer to the external drive to use it as a backup. Don't move files for your operating system, which must be installed on your computer's main hard drive.

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Install programs and save files on your WD external drive if you intend to use it as a secondary storage device for your computer. To do this, simply choose this external drive as the destination for saving your data on the hardware list, when you press "Save" or "Save as" on the item to be saved.