Western Digital PiDrive Foundation Edition, a 314GB hard drive just for the Raspberry Pi

WDLabs, a part of Western Digital (WD) Corporation has launched a new line of HDD called WD PiDrive offering storage solutions just for the Raspberry Pi. It comes in a slim form factor of 7 mm and is available in three versions offering different storage capacities. Based off of Western Digital’s Blue drives (as per Ars), they have been modified to draw all the power it needs straight from the bundled USB cable. Gone is the traditional SATA connector, and in its place, a USB interface has been implemented. WD insists it will allow for “sufficient performance to deliver maximum USB data transfer rates.”

Hassle-Free OS Installer

The WD PiDrive Foundation Edition device includes a microSD card that comes preloaded with a custom version of NOOBS (New Out of the Box Software) pre-configured with Raspbian PIXEL and Raspbian Lite. With this OS installer and starter operating systems, you can get started right out of the box, or download and install multiple Raspbian OSs directly onto your flash or HDD drive.

Setting up the WD PiDrive

Getting started, installation and booting the hard drive couldn’t be much easier: Insert the supplied micro SD card into the Raspberry Pi, hook up the PiDrive using WD’s special cable, and power the whole setup through a single micro USB port. Berryboot will take you through some basic system settings — display overscan, network, input devices — and all you have to do is select the PiDrive, listed as a MyPassport 24A0 and choose EXT4 as file system. Berryboot will format it next step.

The user has no intervention to do, everything is already ready in the system provided by WD Labs.

Final Verdict

So, what makes this kit different from any other hard drive? First, it comes with a 4GB microSD card which you can use for operating system files. With BerryBoot, it's easier to have multiple operating systems on the same storage drive and boot up from external drives. Second, it comes with a special USB 3.0 cable that’s designed to connect to the USB port and the power port of a Raspberry Pi letting you power both devices using a single cable. This eliminates the need of any additional converters or other hardware.

The only bottleneck is that you’re limited to the USB 2.0 bus of Raspberry Pi for connecting the drives. Moreover, this bus is also shared with the network interface, resulting in that you get around 31MB/s and 24MB/s in read/write speed respectively

Overall, it’s a great little product at a decent price and an excellent companion to the Raspberry Pi. For more details on the Western Digital PiDrive Foundation Edition jump over to the official WD website where it is now available to purchase for $37.49.

Source: WD