Western Digital Elements 2TB USB 2.0 Desktop External HDD - Testing and Final Thoughts

Article Index
Western Digital Elements 2TB USB 2.0 Desktop External HDD
Features and Specifications
Testing and Final Thoughts


Today, most new boards have USB 2.0 on them and as such I connected this drive to a USB 2.0 port on the back of the P5N32-e Sli board by ASUS. CrystalDisk Mark and HD Tune were two programs used to take some benchmarks of the drive. Unfortunately some of the write tests in HD Tune were unable to be run do to various issues with the partition on the drive. Here are the results from CrystalDisk Mark.

 Crystal DiskMark

Now in switching to HD Tune there were some additional tests that were able to be done but the majority of the write tests were unable to be completed because it wanted to have the current partition deleted, which was not feasible with the current setup of the drive. Below are some of the results of those tests.\

HDTune Read Test
HDTune Read Test
HDTune Random Access
HDTune Random Access
HDTune Extra Tests
HDTune Extra Tests
HDTune File Benchmark
HDTune File Benchmark


Overall the tests showed some pretty good speeds for being a USB 2.0 external drive. Although the speeds may not be as fast as other methods that are offered on the market, the amount of storage provided is able to offset that as well. As displayed by the test results you can expect an average read speed of 34 to 35 MB/s and write speeds between 30 to 33 MB/s. Based on these results this drive is a great solution for media storage such as movies, music, etc, and is great for sharing media over a network as well. Even though the write speeds are a little bit slower than the read speeds, once you get the data on to the drive you can expect uninterrupted steaming of media from the drive to the destination player. The only time you may get an interruption of a stream is if there is an issue with the network that the drive is on.



If you crave faster speeds than what this drive is able to deliver, this drive is not for you. However, if you crave storage instead of speed, this drive would be perfect for you. This drive runs silently, smoothly and works pretty fast. The transfer speeds are pretty good and I have not experienced one problem with it. The only downside I have had with this drive is that after it comes out of its power save mode it takes a couple of seconds to spin up, but I can live with that. On another note, if you plan to purchase more than one of these, WD mentions that even though they look stackable, you should refrain from stacking them. The other great thing is that it seems as though this drive is almost always on sale.



  • Great performance for a USB 2.0 drive
  • Very easy to install and use
  • Runs quiet and cool
  • Massive amount of storage
  • Great quality overall


  • Limited by only being USB connection
  • Included USB cable is a little short
  • On boot up or restarts when the drive is plugged in, it stalls the computer from doing the post tests, have to unplug it and let the posting start before plugging it back in. Not sure if this is a byproduct of the way motherboards are now a days or if it’s just a problem with my own system. (Could not seem to resolve it from bios settings) 



If you have any questions or comments regarding this review, please post them at the "Comments" link below.