MyPassport Wireless - Pre-Sales Support to Determine if Drive Meets My Needs


I just learned about this device but am having trouble finding level of detail I need in the User Manual, which I did download.


I am hoping to be able to take this drive (probably 2TB) on travel to back up SD cards from my wife and myself from 3 cameras. The idea would be to avoid having to carry my macbook pro on travel. We have 2 Canon superzoom bridge cameras and one Panasonic bridge camera, each with 256G SD card. The two canon cameras each name their SD card CANON_DC, which may be confusing. It is possible that I can change this. But, I am not sure.

My ideal setup would allow the following:

  1. Back up all three cards every day or two.
  2. Leave the data on the cards so that I have two copies of everything.
  3. Preferably using auto copy, have only the new photos since the last backup copied to the disk. If necessary, I would be OK doing this from a droid phone interface, but would prefer it to be automatic.
  4. Keep the photos and videos from each camera separate so that files from one camera do not overwrite files from another.

Note that by the end of a trip, we will likely have on the order of over 10,000 files. So, manually selecting the new ones from a phone interface will likely be difficult. I would strongly prefer some way to at least automatically default to picking only the new files each time I back up.

Does anyone know if this drive can be used in this way? Or, am I going to be stuck lugging around my existing laptop and LaCie Rugged RAID drive, which is my current solution?

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide,

This all sounds like a big order, and I would suggest you stick with the current solution since you have that one down pat. Nevertheless. the MPW is not that large, so pack one of those along and back up the SD cards that way as well. Do one after you finished backing up the first one your regular way. This seems like a great field test of the MPW, and if it fails, you have your original method with you. And, please report back your experience here in the MPW forum.

The MPW did have some issues early on with backing up SD cards, and WD got right on the issues. Haven’t read of any complaints about it lately.

Let’s see who else responds to your post.

Thanks Mike.

The problem with my current solution is the weight. We’ve got some small flights coming up on this trip with strict weight limits. My laptop, including the brick is about 5 pounds. Add another pound or so for the RAID device I currently have.

I’m looking for a way around that.

Perhaps I’m thinking about it differently than intended. If anyone knows how MPW drive is intended to be used for this purpose, please share the “normal” work flow of using this drive to back up SD cards. Can it be done with just the MPW and a cell phone? Or, is a computer or tablet required.


OK, I think you should get a MPW in plenty of time before your trip to do some trial tests with a photo-filled SD card you have backed up already, and then, this is what you do once you have your MPW completely set up and operating as it should:

Plug its power into your MPW since the copy process can take a while and you do not want the battery in the MPW to run down while doing it…
Follow the instructions in the manual for when to insert the SD card, and begin the process of copying. the SD card contents to the drive. You may need to use the MPW dashboard and you do not need a computer, I usually use my iPad to access the dashboard and the Safari browser of the iPad, but an iPhone can also be used, but of course the dashboard screen will be much smaller to see. You can also use an Android device to access the dashboard. In addition, there is an app called My Cloud to use with the MPW for either iOS or Android devices.

Since you have the user manual, go through the chapter(s) pertaining to copying the SD card to the MPW, and I think you will have a pretty good idea of what to expect before you get a MPW.

Also check the Support area of WD at and take a look at some of the FAQs for the MPW that pertain to what you want to do. There is also a Learning Center for the MPW as well, with videos and such.

As far as I know there are not too many solutions for what you want to do with the SD cards and MPW, but I have not explored other options or products. The MPW is unique as a wireless drive with the SD card capability.

Hi Mike,

I might have to do this. Unfortunately, once I perform any tests, it cannot be returned.

The problem is that I’m getting conflicting information based on what people are saying about the drive’s behavior on repeated backups of the same device with an increasing number of photos.

People on this forum are saying that each new backup is a complete backup, which would be showstopping. They say it gets dramatically slower as well, which concerns me less.

Professional review sites say that each new backup will only copy the new files, not the ones that have already been backed up.

The user manual, which I have already downloaded and read the relevant section, says nothing about the behavior of automatic backups when the same card is repeatedly inserted with the old files still on it and new files that have been created since then. Video tutorials on the site and other sites are only about doing that first backup or setting up for automatic backup and say nothing about workflow of using this in the field.

So, if I spend the $200 (or a bit less) on the 2TB drive, I have no indication of what will actually happen. I could end up just throwing away the money.

Nor do I have any indication about the behavior with multiple different cards, either with the same or different names. Since I won’t be reformatting the cards if I don’t take my computer, I should be able to give them all different names before I go.

But, there is no specification. The information about the behavior of this drive is just completely missing from all sources of documentation.

Perhaps I just need to call support and ask. Hopefully, they will know. If I get an answer, I will post it here so that others will know as well. Then, if I do buy it, I will also post my results of actual use in the field.

Thanks for the help,


I called support. The answer I got is good.

Autocopy will copy only the new files. It will recognize each of the 3 cards as different. I should give them different names to make sure. I can do this as long as I don’t reformat the card in the camera. This is fine for a trip where I will not be erasing the cards.

The copy may slow down with each new backup. It will have to start from scratch for each copy checking whether each file is already there or must be copied. So, as the number of files on the drive increases, more time will be spent each time checking for new files to copy.

This makes perfect sense to me. I can’t imagine any way around it.

Each of the three SD cards will get its own subdirectory under the directory into which the files will be copied.

If this works, it is exactly the behavior I would hope for.

So, it looks like I will be ordering this and will try it out at home before leaving.

Thanks for your advice Mike,

This all sounds good. The MPW may not do all you want it to do with the photos, but I am sure it will do a lot and you will get your money’s worth. I have had my MPW since it was released, and I use it mostly for storing and accessing my digital music collection from iTunes and videos I make for viewing on the iPads, We take the MPW with us when we travel.

I know some of the older messages in the forum talk about issues with the SD card. If you see any posts where Roderick made comments, he is a guy who early on found out how to use the SD card to best advantage, so pay attention to his comments. He has not been at forum for a long time, though.

Good luck with it all.

If you have a phone and are willing to type some commands you can make the MPW do just about anything…

For example… I use my phone to connect via SSH, and use rsync both to do a differential backup of the cards, and then to wirelessly backup the whole drive by FTP to my home server, when I have connectivity.

If you know a bit of basic linux, you can do everything I think you require (and that pretty much what I use mine for)

Oh and certainly in the earlier F/W it did a new backup each time… which is why i started using rsync… Maybe i should retest that in the latest F/W as they may have improved it… (its not a showstopper though as I say … you just might need to issue a command instead of pressing the button)

Thanks sambartle.

I am a geek and have worked a lot in linux (as a programmer, not an SA). However, I have not yet had reason to root my phone to install bash on it. And, I hate typing on the phone’s “keyboard” or rather keybored.

So, I did some testing. I have the new version of the firmware (v1.06.06).

The drive thus far in testing it is definitely behaving as well as I could hope. It is creating a new directory per date. But, it is not re-copying files from prior backups. Each of the 3 SD cards I have is going into its own directory.

For anyone who is curious, the directory names are not the volume label from the cards. They seem to be a descriptor of the card and a 5 digit hex number. All 3 of my SD cards are PNY 256GB cards. So, the directory names are similar SDCard_SD256_xxxxx.

So, I don’t need to use linux commands to sync.

I do expect that the file copy will slow down over time as there are more and more files that must be checked and ignored. But, I don’t see a way around that, meaning I’m not sure I could write it any better.

The short answer is that I’m thrilled this product exists and am glad to say that it meets or exceeds my expectations. I was not optimistic about it, as this thread shows. I had seen devices that had a built in screen instead of the wifi option, but none had the disk capacity I needed and all were much more expensive.

It will be great not to need my computer on trips where weight limitations are strict. This product appears to be in a class by itself for now.

Its possible I wasn’t clear enough there…

I didn’t mean root your phone… I meant use an SSH client application (JuiceSSH I use) on the phone to give you a console to the SSH server on the MyPassportWireless (it can be turned on in the UI of the WD firmware)

So basically using the phone as a screen and keyboard to control the WD device… which is how i start my backups… then i can disconnect the phone and leave the WD backing up from a hotel room for example.

That is good news about the latest F/W doing SD backups correctly… I will try that and see what the speed difference is vs doing it with rsync as it’d be easier to just stick a card in and tap the button than to log in and start it like i have been doing. I’ve just upgraded to the latest F/W so will have another go.

I think the 5 digit Id is the first 5 digits of the cards internal serial identifier by the way.

Well, Geeks Connect!

When I saw Sam’s post last night, I thought not too many people will know what he is talking about, and fewer would know how to do it. But, looks like Scott knows, and well, he also has his MPW doing its thing for testing and all seems well. I will keep up with this thread, since I will likely learn some new things about the MPW.

A word of caution. Do not leave the MPW plugged into power for extended periods of time, meaning 24/7 for months at a time connected to home network, etc. I, and others have damaged the battery capacity on wireless drives doing this, and WD even has addressed the issue with recent FW battery improvements. It seems OK to do, and even necessary, when the MPW is doing big tasks, but if not being used, remove it from power.

Enjoy your new gizmo, Scott.