As you may know, we have reviewed both desktop hard drives and portable hard drives here at Using Windows Home Server, and we have our hands on one of the new HP SimpleSave SD320A portable hard drives and its time for the review.


HP say “the HP SimpleSave external hard drive series for customers needing a simple and automatic back up for photos, video, music and data. “

The new SimpleSave hard drive family consists of two products, SimpleSave Portable, available in 320 and 500 GB capacities, and SimpleSave Desktop, available in 1 and 2 TB capacities. Both devices feature pre-installed backup software. SimpleSave is so simple that anyone can use it. The software automatically finds and backs up the data on the PC, and after the first backup, automatically updates the backup with file changes whenever the computer is idle.

A single SimpleSave drive can be used to backup all the PCs in the home, with data from each PC clearly identified by name on the drive to make finding and restoring a specific PC’s data is a snap.

The SimpleSave hard drives are designed with heat-dissipating cases that stay cool and run quietly without a fan.  The SimpleSave Portable is powered by the PC’s USB 2.0 port and does not require an external power supply. In addition, the 2.5-inch portable model is designed with a shock-resistant case to protect the drive from the bumps and jolts of everyday usage.

Other features include:

· Generous storage space:  The ultra portable 2.5-inch SimpleSave portable is available in 320GB and 500GB. The 3.5-inch SimpleSave Desktop ships with 1TB or 2TB of storage.

· Hundreds of file formats supported:  Supports the most common file types for photo, music and documents including, jpg, mpeg, bmp, gif, tif, mp3, aac, xls, ppt, doc, pdf, tax, qdf and many more.

· Frequent backup update: Backs up new and changed files every time the PC is idle for five minutes.

· Plug-and-play storage: Connect it to a USB port and it’s ready to use.

· Support for large files: NTFS file system offers improved support for metadata and use of advanced data structures, improving performance, reliability and disk space.

· Two-year warranty

The SD320A drive is small, quiet, and has the same glossy black look about it as the HP MediaSmart servers. In fact, if it wasn’t for the HP SimpleSave logo on the front you would think it was just any other portable hard drive.


The only connector on the whole of the drive is the USB connector on the back. It is completely powered by USB so there are no extra power cables to have to carry along with you.



The box itself is small and only contains the SD320A drive, and USB cable and a quick installation guide.

IMG_1261 IMG_1263 IMG_1264 IMG_1265


Connecting up the SD320A was a breeze – well it should be really, it’s only a single USB cable connected to the SD320A and the other end into the computer you want use with it.

If this is the first time you have connected the SD320A to a computer, Windows will automatically install the relevant drivers for you.

Driver installation

At this point, two separate AutoPlay boxes pop up, one for the HP software and one for the drive itself.

CD Drive autoplay HP SimpleSave autoplay

While some may find this a little confusing, this is the norm on most USB storage devices these days. Effectively you have a virtual CD (that contains the relevant software) and then the drive itself (which also contains the HP software and the documentation).

Ignoring the HP SimpleSave drive itself for the moment, we shall start up the software by running the HPLauncher software offered to us via the virtual CD drive (the N drive in my case).

HP SimpleSave logo

The first thing that comes up after the pretty HP SimpleSave logo screen is the licence agreement.

Licence Agreement

This is a nice feature, after you have accepted the agreement, you are presented with the Welcome Screen, and a countdown clock telling you that the backup will automatically begin.

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Because I wanted to be specific about what I wanted backed up, I clicked on My Options. From here you can select the file types and locations that will be backed up.

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You can leave the defaults, which is just about everything everywhere, or you can be very specific. In my case I want to back up all my music.

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Once I have selected what I want backed up and from where, I just need to click the Start button.

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The backup is prepared for me – basically this is the program going and checking my drives for the chosen files.

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I can then see a summary of what will be backed up.

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I can look a little bit deeper if I want and even exclude items if I wish.

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Then again, it’s just a case of clicking the Start button and waiting while it performs the backup. You can see the status along the way.

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So just sit back and relax – you will be told when the backup is complete.

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If you do want to see the report, clicking the View Report button will fire up Notepad and show you some information.

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Now the backup part is only the beginning. You will at some point want to recover something from the backup. You will notice next time the software starts that you have two extra buttons there were not there before – Explore and Restore.

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Explore is useful for finding the file you want to restore before going into the restore function – although to be honest, it it just as quick, if not quicker to just fire up the restore process, and then look that way, although the explore option does allow you to access the file if you want to play them back for example.

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When you click on Restore you just have to pick the backup you want to use, what you want to restore (you can restore everything or just a single file, or any combination in between).

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Then you just need to decide where you want to restore to – the original location or somewhere else. This is very useful as you may not want to overwrite what is already there.

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Then you just wait while the restore takes place.

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And as with the backup, you can see a report at the end if you wish.

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Well it is so simple to use that even my Dad could use it. Just plug it in, select what you want to back up, and just wait while it backs up for you. So, it actually does exactly what it says on the tin – Saves Simply!!!

It is really easy to select or rather unselect what you don’t want to backup with a simple few clicks. The software is easy to use and is clean and simple to understand. It tells you how much space you need and how much is remaining, so no worries about getting half way through and it running out of space, then the pain of having to manually clean up files so that you can start the backup again.

If you want to gain access to anything that you have backed up it is easy as well, just open the folder on the drive and hey presto! It really is a dream to use.

You don’t have to use the software either, if you just want to copy and paste something to the drive you can. But obviously you have to go find the bits you want to copy yourself, where as the software will search all your drives to find “music” or “photos” or whatever you want.

The retail prices are as follows (for the US): SimpleSave Portable:  320GB, $119.99; 2.5-inch hard drive, 500GB, $149 and the SimpleSave Desktop:  1TB hard drive , $149.99; 2TB hard drive, $329.99.

Amazon have some good deals already on the drives, the 320GB is $75.95 and the 500GB is $119.99 at the time of writing.

So what are you waiting for? Go get one now! This is highly recommended.

  • Nice comprehensive review.

    Would you use this, or a set of these for backing up the folders of a WHS or are these overkill for that?

    • Andrew Edney

      Thanks Orchmid 🙂

      I think the answer to that would depend on if you already had any portable drives. If you didnt, then I would go for these and then you could use them for multiple tasks. If you already have drives, then I suppose its a judgement call and would also depend on how "technical" you were in the sense of having to do more yourself without the HP drives.

      Hope that helps?


  • Ken Sturrock

    If you want to use the Simplesave as a simple external hard disk you're in for a rude surprise. The backup software is installed on a "Virtual CD-ROM" partition that is installed on the drive in some very low level manner so that you can't get rid of the 500M of wasted "virtual CD-ROM" partition. Why didn't HP just put the software in the root drive of the data partition? Unfortunately, it's another typical "in your face" HP product.

    • CPU Techie

      Well if you actually take this drive apart you will find a wdc wd10eads which is an internal sata, just download a western digital low level format program like wdclear an virtual cdrom drive taken care of(You need to take it out of the external sleeve though) Have fun

      • CPU Techie

        Sorry this is actually for hp simple-save md1000h external not portable but may work the same way

  • Karen

    is this Mac compatible?

    • Andrew Edney

      Hi Karen

      No, it is Windows only.


  • Jon

    You mentioned that HP Simple save can back up multiple PC's at home. Is it also compatible with the PS3?

    • Andrew Edney

      Hi Jon

      No, it is Windows only Im afraid.


  • Tara


    I just purchased a new computer and I was going to back up my old computer, but will the information transfer to my new one when I back up my new one?


    • Well if you mean can you back up your old files to the drive and then restore them to your new computer, then yes. You will have to install all your software to your new computer though. Only your data will be copied using the drive.


  • kurt

    Wondering if you can remove the drive from the housing and format the drive in the PC to get rid of the virtual CD drive….otherwise, off to the store to return this drive.

    • I just returned mine. Tried to do a low level format but that stupid virtual cd drive was still there.

      The guy at the store told me that I wasn't the first one to return one of those drives with the same complaint.

      Now I have a Iomega eGo, should have bought it the first time.

  • Ellen

    Can you use this device as an external hard disk rather than a back up drive? I am looking for some additional hard disk space to add to my pc.

    • Andrew Edney


      yes, you can.


  • Neal

    1. Does it work with a USB 1.1 or 1.0 port on an older laptop?

    2. Is the 'virtual CD ROM' mentioned in previous replies an issue in any way?

    3. Are the ones that are sold at COSTCO older model or out-of-production models, and if so is that of any concern?

    • Andrew Edney


      1 – it is designed for USB 2.0, primarily because of the power issues

      2 – no, the virtual cd drive is what starts the software for you so there are no problems I have found

      3 – I have no idea Im afraid what model is sold at Costco – if it is the SD320A then it is the current model.


  • Mike

    I am using Windows XP Home Edition on a Dell desktop that is 4 or 5 years old. When I plug the HP Simplesave into a USB port…the blue light comes on but nothing happens beyond that. No pop up screen…nothing. I exchanged it for another and the same problem. Nothing happens.

    • Mike

      I dont know why it is not working for you on XP as I have tried it on XP and it works.

      Are you using the USB cable that came with the drive or your own? I found that when I tried mine with a cable I already had it didnt work.

      If that isnt the case with you my advice would be for you to contact HP support.


  • Dan


    Just purchased this a few days ago because I am very much in need of disk space on my laptop. With the memory nearly full i finally broke down and bought the drive. I really like it but is there a way to delete unwanted folders such as a music folder or old picture folder? If so please explain. I've been racking my brain all day and the people at HP are no help



    • Andrew Edney


      Do you mean delete it from the HP drive after it has backed up or stop it from being backing up at all?


  • Dan


    I want to delete a few things off of the HP drive itself. The files i want to delete have been backed up off of my computer and on to the drive.Like it's Almost as if it was a larger gig version of a thumb drive. Just want to delete a few things and leave the rest on there. I'm fairly new to external hard drives. Thanks


    • Andrew Edney


      To remove files from the drive itself is simple (no pun intended) 🙂

      Just plug it in, open the HP SimpleSave drive in Windows Explorer, open Backup Files and then just work your way through the folders until you find the files you want to remove.

      and yes, just think of it as a larger version of a thumb drive 🙂


  • Genia

    I have a separate external hard drive I wanted a mirror copy of. Can I still use this and just create a folder on this drive and move the other external folder over?

    • Andrew Edney


      Im not sure if it will work – my advice would just be to try it!


  • Dave


    If I backup my mp3 files to my HP drive and then delete them from my PC,then I do another backup will the mp3's still be on my HP drive or will the empty music file overwrite them as an update to the file?

    • Andrew Edney

      I think from memory they will still be there.

      I seem to recall it creating a new folder per backup.


  • Claire

    Hi can anyone tell me why my simple save 320gB wont work with my xbox i wanted to watch movies through it but its not picking it up as a portable hard drive!? please help:)

  • Carls

    Mike wrote: When I plug the HP Simplesave into a USB port

    • Cliff

      Carls situation is similar to mine. When I start my computer the SimpleSave drive does not start although it shows in device manager and 'Computer'. I have to manually start the drive each time. HP says go to knowledgebase in to override autostart but I cannot find that anywhere on their site.

      Any suggestions before I take the unit back to the store and get something that does automatic backups properly?

  • Frossa

    Dear Author !

    Absolutely with you it agree. In it something is also I think, what is it excellent idea.

  • Lisa

    Hi Andrew,

    Thanks for the review. Two questions:

    1. Can you really use this on more than one computer? If you read the licence agreement it says that the software can only be loaded onto one computer and indicates that if you load it onto more than one then it won't work within 30 days. But the box states you can use it to backup more than one computer.

    2. Is the software permanently loaded onto the computer? I cannot find it under 'programs' or on the desktop.



    • Andrew Edney

      Hi Lisa

      To answer your questions:

      1 – yes, I have it currently backing up 3 computers with no problem at all

      2 – no, the software launches from the drive itself when it is connected.


  • Alex

    Dear Andrew,

    I bought a HP Simple Save 1TB a couple of weeks ago. I made a couple of backups from 2 different computers. I wonder is it possible to delete a complete backup? ( Can

    • Andrew Edney

      Hi Alex

      I dont know how to do a factory reset on the drive – sorry.

      As for deleting a backup, I think if you just plug the drive in and open the drive in Explorer, find the folder that contains the backup you want to delete you should be able to just delete it. I dont know for sure as I havent tried, but I would imagine that would work.


  • Peter

    I too am having problems with this device. It ran the first time perfectly on my PC with XP and then on my Netbook with XP, and then on the second installation of the usb, i found it prompted me for an upgrade, which i did, then it just stopped working. Blue light on but nobody home….? I can open up all the files within explore and windows, but the executable files dont work and for some reason it wont run. I wonder if my Norton Antivirus has anything to do with not allowing this to work? I called customer support and the only advice they could give me was to update Adobe Flash? Did that, but still no sign of working. I then plugged it into a third laptop, and again no luck….? Its incredibly frustrating! Can anybody help here?

    • Andrew Edney


      I did the update on my device only a few days ago, and today I have successfully backed up 3 different machines (2 Win 7 and a Vista machine).

      Maybe Norton deleted a file?

      I would contact HP support again and find out how to reset the device and try again (copying off you backups first)


  • Peter

    Thanks Andrew, I will call support again. It really isnt executing the files, and seems to just freeze. Funny that, as my pc runs everything else just fine. I will keep you posted on what support says. The other really disturbing thing is that when I spoke to support earlier on today, I asked if there was an encryption capability on this drive to manage a password, I mean G-d forbid I lose this drive or it gets stolen, they said there is no such support on the HDD. Why produce such a storage device without the option of protecting your work? It just doesnt add up? This is truly looking like the biggest waste of money I have spent in a long time. Not only that, Tesco in the UK have a non return policy, which I only just found out. Should have bought it from Costco!

    • Joyce

      Peter, I have the identical problem as you have, and I also have XP. I have called HP and received the same advise (update Adobe Flash), which I did and it also did not work. I am wondering if you were able to reach someone at HP with a different solution? I am guessing I need to take back to where I purchased and see if they can figure it out.

  • shawn

    my hard is not working no more what con i do to fix it

    • Andrew Edney


      Contact HP Support or the place where yuou purchased it.


  • mike sabo

    Does the 500 gb simplesave drive have a buffer… and what is it? Typcially, drives of this type have 8 or 16MB buffers.

    • Andrew Edney


      I dont know – sorry.

      Have you looked on the HP website or contacted HP with the question?


  • chris

    can this drive be used to mirror an internal hardrive? I have had hard drive crashes and would like to create a mirror so my system can be restored to a new hard drive in the event of a failure.

    • Andrew Edney


      This drive is designed to be plugged into a computer and used for simple backups using its in built software.

      If you want to do mirroring of drives you should probably just look for a "normal" drive to do it rather than this one.


      • David


        Related to the threads for mirroring, I think that is what I am looking for….ie something that can back up all of my PC hard drive, data and programs.

        What products or class of products would you consider?



        • David

          What you are actually looking for is Windows Home Server! And this is the right site! Click on the link at the top of the page that says What is Windows Home Server?


    • Hilary

      This device cannot be used for 'mirror' drives per se.

      Maybe e.g. Norton could be used to automate a full backup, however this would duplicate what SimpleSave has done.

      The SimpleSave does exactly what it says on the tin: Backups

  • Francis

    I have the simple save TB 1 but my ps3 doesn't read my external hard drive I don't know what do I have to do????

    • Andrew Edney


      I dont know if it works with a PS3 – the whole point of this particular drive is that you connect it to a computer (XP, Vista, Windows 7) and it uses its own built in software to backup files on that computer.

      Try contacting HP support to find out why it isnt working with a PS3.


  • JD


    The problem about the executable files not working is strange. Do you mean that if you click on HP Launcher nothing happens, the backup software doesn't run? Or do you mean other executable files don't run, files that you copied to the SimpleSave drive? Is it possible that there is some type of virus on your drive and either the virus or your AV software is preventing the executables from running?

    As for the lack of password protection, I don't think it's a big deal. If security is an issue, there are independent software products available that you can use. SimpleSave isn't marketed as a security solution, it is just a backup for everyday items where security is not a concern.


  • connie

    will this work with windows 98

    • Andrew Edney


      The box doesnt mention 98 so I dont know if it would work or not.



      • Andrew Bragg

        It does not work on Win98, which I have on a pc that I wanted to backup with the SS. But there should be a driver that would enable use with Win98; does anyone know where I could download one? I emailed HP support and only response was to call them; havn't done that yet.

  • Pam

    I have lost the internet adapter on my old laptop and have a new laptop. I want to transfer old files from my old laptop (XP)to my new laptop (Windows 7). Do I understand that to do so I have to upgrade my old laptop's OS first? Can I do this without being able to access the internet with the old one?

    Thank you!

    • Andrew Edney


      You dont need to upgrade your old laptop or have access to the Internet to use the Simplesave drive to backup your files and then restore them to your new laptop.

      Just plug the drive in to the old laptop and follow the onscreen instructions, and/or the steps in the review above.


  • Pam

    P.S. I am trying to use HP Simplesave to transfer the files…sorry if that wasn't clear.


  • Laly

    My computer is a Pavillion Slimline s3505f Desktop pc. I have a pocket media drive bay. Would this portable drive work in the bay.

    • Andrew Edney


      I dont know – sorry, Im not familiar with that computer.

      You should contact HP and ask them


  • Lucas

    This isn't working with my xbox. Any help

    • Andrew Edney


      It isnt designed to work with your Xbox.

      The packaging clearly states the system requirements for the drive are Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7.


  • David

    Andrew, thanks for answering all these questions.

    As of Nov-30-2009 Best Buy has the 1TB on sale for $89 although it is backordered.

    I am in the process of evaluating WHS, does the HP drive offer any functionality under WHS?

    I was looking for an external USB drive to do daily backups/syncs in case my WHS dies someone can take the USB drive and use that to access their files.

    • Andrew Edney

      Hi David

      The beauty of this drive is when you dont have something like WHS backing up your computers – this drive will.

      So as long as you plug this drive into each computer it will backup those files as well – so you are covered 🙂


  • Andrew Bragg

    The SS packaging clearly does not include Win98 in its compatibility list, but I have a Win98 pc that I wanted to transfer files with the SS. Is there not a driver that I can load to the old pc, that would enable use with Win98? I emailed HP support and only response was to call them; havn

  • Penny

    I have a question. I bought the HP simple save to just back up my pictures and music but when I did the back up it saved EVERYTHING, and I cannot figure out how to delete anything from it! I've searched for answers and can't find anything. I would take it back but I don't want to have my entire computer on there when I do. Can someone please help me with directions to delete stuff off of there?

    • Penny

      If you dont configure the backup, it will backup everything.

      When you first connect the drive instead of just leaving it and the backup starting, from memory there is an options setting where you can choose what you want to backup.

      As for deleting things from it, you just connect it to any computer and open the drive letter that appears with the backups.

      If you cant find out how to do this, or it is not working, I suggest you contact HP Support for assistance.


  • Harris


    Two quick questions:

    1. Will these HP drives backup from a network drive (NAS)?

    2. Is the back-up a 1:1 version of the file or is it compressed?

    Thanks a lot. This drive looks great.

    • Andrew Edney


      To answer your questions:

      1 – no, it only backs up from the supported versions of Windows

      2 – i think from memory is 1:1

      I would suggest contacting HP if you have specific questions.


      • Harris

        Hi Andrew:

        Thanks for answering my questions. Just to be clear….you do realize that a network drive has nothing to do with a specific version of Windows, right? I am using one of the supported versions of Windows AND a network drive.

        Costco has a great deal on these so I think I will try it and if it is not able to backup from a network drive, return it. I hate to do that but I can't find much info on this one way or the other. For example, I can't find a page on the HP site with info on their Simple Save drives, other then in their store (which doesn't have too many details).

        Thanks again.

        • Andrew Edney

          Hi Harris

          Yes, I know, but this is a "simple" drive that requires it to be connected directly via USB to the supported version of Windows.

          If you read through some of the comments above you will see that a lot of people seem to think it can do a lot more than its designed to do – for example, it cant backup and Xbox or a PS3, yet people ask!

          You could try calling HP Support and asking them?

          I wish I could give you a definitive answer, but I think my guess of it not working will be correct.

          All the best


  • aswoc

    Can this drive be plug into the back of my wireless router to backup the 3 computers in my home?…if not then how do you install the SS to accomplish this?

    • Andrew Edney

      No, the drive needs to be directly connected to the supported computer so that the software on the drive can be run.

      You cant do it the way you want unfortunately.

      I suggest if you have any more specific question you contact HP for support.


  • mike

    I know this has been asked before (in regards to the ps3), but is there a way to partition the drive to FAT32 format? This will take care of the ps3 issue. PS3's don't recognize NTFS formatted drives. I just bought this drive a week ago in hopes to backup my ps3 so I can upgrade my HD. I would have to have to go out and buy something else in order to do that. Anyone know?

    • Mike

      I dont think so, no.

      You could try contacting HP support and asking them, but I really think I know what the answer will be – sorry!


    • indy

      how can you partition the 2T simple save so the ps3 recognises it? that was the pain reason i bought it for.. even with my tv, i plug it in and it powers it but doesnt pick it up.

  • Bernie

    One of my computers has a virus, can I do a back-up and then reload the computer. Wobdering if it will get rid of the virus. From reading through this website, I am wishful thinking.

    • It will depend what the virus has infected.

      If the data is infected, if you copy it off and then reload it then it will still be virused.

      Run your antivirus software against the data first and make sure it is clean.


  • bernie

    that word is wondering bingo need sleep

  • Andrew Bragg

    Sry, I've posted this before, but I still don't know the answer. Is there a way to use the SimpleSave with Windows 98… a driver I can preload to the W98 PC, etc.?

    HP by email only refered me to 'phone support, and work hasn't allowed the time to hold long enough to ask them.

  • Andrew Bragg

    By the way, for anyone researching whether to get one or not, this thing (the SS) is terrific! I have the terrabite size: load everything and anything to it, access and edit, play and copy; just like from your PC drive. Really happy with it.

  • james

    I bought the HP drive as my hard drive was failing. I backed up my data via the recovery manager in safe mode. It has not recognised that a backup has occured even though the data is there so I am not getting the "explore""restore" options in the simplesave screen. I can recover the data to my laptop but it goes to C: system recovery files and is inexcessable. Any ideas as to how I get the data to restore properly??

    • Andrew Edney

      Hi James

      Sorry, I havent had the problem with mine.

      I would suggest that you contact HP Support for assistance.


      • james

        Thanks, Great review all the same, it showed me what should have happened, should make my chat with HP a little easier.

        • thanks James – let me know how you get on.


  • mike


    Great detailed review. Am I able to insert a DVD-R with video already on it and back it up onto the N:drive for safekeeping?



    • Andrew Edney

      Thanks Mike 🙂

      I'll be honest I dont know if that would work. If the files were on the computer it certainly would.


  • Dear Sir,

    I have already purchased a SD500A hard drive and I have lost my driver software CD which i was got aong with the same KIt. So how can I collect the required drivers from internet or what is another way to come out from tis problem.

    Mangesh -India

    • Mangesh

      I would contact HP Support and request a new driver disk if that is what you need.


  • Mustapha

    My girl friend bought me a HP SimpleSave 320 GB USB 2.0 Portable External Hard Drive. It work only once ( I copied some files to it). But the next time i tried to use, it doesn't open. However the blue does come on but….thats it. Nothing happens after that. I can't return it because i'm in Sierra Leone (Africa) and my girlfriend is in California. What can I do?

    • Andrew Edney

      Hi Mustapha

      To be honest I think the best thing to do is to contact HP Support and they should be able to help you.


  • jd

    Just bought the drive- it backed up alright- but everything that I did not want it to, bunch of useless data and icons in all kinds of laungues and such. I can not figure out how to delete everything on it, so that I can return it…very frustrated and disappointed.

  • Clodoaldo Barros

    for mac users,just go to the disk utility,and reformat it,can use as well.

  • Gaiana


    I just bought a HP SimpleSave 1TB drive. It did everything it was supposed to the first time i plugged it in. Backed up my entire computer, and i could access the info really easily. But then day 2 and i turn on my coputer, and the drive is not there. The blue light is on, but i cant access the information. I really want to access the information so i can get it off, but it doesnt show up when i go to Computer, what can i do?

    • Gaiana

      Have you tried it in a different USB port or even a different computer?

      If that doesnt work you should contact HP Support for assistance.


  • Marilyn

    I purchased the HP SimpleSave md1000h this week and it installed and works automatically all by itself. The problem is: only the top portion of the software screen is being displayed. The lower portion where the buttons to click on for whatever you want to do, are not there. The program screen is cut off and so I can

    • Marilyn

      I think you should contact HP Support for assistance, however the software lets you choose what you want to restore.


  • Paul Essenfeld

    I bought the 2TB SimpleSave drive a couple of days ago and it worked fine… initially. I have 1.6 TB data to back up so it took two days to copy everything, but that was expected. I checked with Windows Explorer and everything was copied just fine.

    Now come the problems…

    To test the incremental backup promise, I created a new folder and some new files to save in that new folder. The I left the computer alone for more than an hour and checked to see if the new folder and files were backed up. They were not.

    I also noticed that some file extensions (pmd for PageMaker and ndd for In Design) had not been included in the original backup. I added them to the backup list and waited another hour for an incremental backup. No incremental backup again after the second hour.

    I tried to start a backup to include the new extensions but the software seemed to be starting a whole new backup and I didn't want to run it for two days again and make a duplicate backup… besides, the 2TB drive would not hold two copies of 1.6TB data.

    Unless there's a solution for this I guess I need to get a third party backup solution or wait to upgrade to Windows 7 which I believe have its own backup solution.

    Thanks for maintaining this site.

    • Hi Paul

      That's not good!

      I would suggest contacting HP Support on this one and seeing if they have any specific advice.


      • Paul Essenfeld

        I'll do that, Andrew… but from what I've read here, I don't have high hopes from HP support…

        • that seems to be the general comment! lets us know how you get on!

          sorry I couldnt really be of any help!


  • Paul Essenfeld

    As others have experienced, HP support is an exercise in frustration and futility. However, I am happy to report that THE SYSTEM WORKS! I just had to be patient. New files and changed files were backed up. Adding extension to the list of extensions resulted in those files being backed up. So far so good. Thanks for your help.

    • thats great news Paul 🙂

      • Paul Essenfeld

        uh oh… just tried to restore a backed up file and after choosing the backup that I want to restore (there is only one) a pop up window says Loading… Please wait. and the progress bar bounces back and forth but the restore never loads.

        I'll try to copy the file from the backup drive onto my hard drive and will keep you posted.

        • Paul Essenfeld

          … after a long time this error message appears: HP SimpleSave Backup has stopped working. A problem has caused the program to stop working correctly.

          I've been keeping the device plugged in all the time, but I think it's best to just plug it in when backing up… or trying to restore.

          • Paul Essenfeld

            turns out this is not a problem with the device, but I'm experiencing problems with Windows explorer being corrupted and a suspect that SimpleSave uses Explorer to access the files…

  • linda

    If I delete a video on my PC which has been backed up to the SS, I see it on the SS drive but when I click on it, the program opens to play the video but the video is not there to select to play. I don't have to restore the video to the PC do I? I was hoping I could play it from the SS by telling it what program to open it with.

    • you should be able to play it back – after all its just a hard drive.

      are you opening up the drive in Windows Explorer to try playing it or via the SS software? Try WE if not.

      Have you tried copying the file to your PC just to try it?

      Failing all that the usual advise of contacting HP Support for help is best.


  • Ema


    I've purchased Hp SimpleSave 500GB Portable, and was wondering how I should delete all the back up files. And is it safe to delete restored files that I restored from the SSave since I have the originals on my laptop?

    Thank you in advance,


    • Emma

      There should be instructions on how to do that with the drive.

      And yes, you can remove restored files if you dont want to keep them anymore.

  • Rick von Hoffman

    My new SimpleSave SD320A worked just like it is supposed to yesterday except that it seems to have a problem with long file names. 19 of my mp3 files did not get backed up because "File name or path name is too long." I didn't pick the file name. I just ripped the songs from CDs that I own. Windows can handle the long name. Why can't the SD320A?

    • Sorry to hear that Rick – I honestly dont know – maybe HP can help you?

      • Rick von Hoffman

        Thanks for all the useful help on this site. This seems like a no-brainer but I can't find the answer. If I delete files from my PC's hard drive, when the SD320A checks for new files, will it notice some are now missing? Will it then delete them from the SD320A?

        • Hi Rick

          I dont think it deletes them, I think all the files are still there – otherwise it wouldnt be very good!

          try it – delete a file you are not bothered about and see if its there.


          • Rick von Hoffman

            I may not have clearly stated what I meant. If I intentionally remove some files from my PC, I would definitely want the SD320 to remove them, too. Why keep a back-up copy of a file that I don't want anymore? I'll test it this weekend. Thanks!

  • JJ

    I attached my simplesave and it seemed to work fine – but I can'tfind it on my system, not in devices, programs, etc. I have tried to unplug and then plug it in again and am told that the 'site' is unavailable??

    • I dont know what to suggest JJ other than for you to contact HP support.

    • Chris


      I know your problem occured a while back. However I am experiencing the exact same problem. What, if I might ask, did you do?

  • JJ


  • neil

    hi can anyone tell me if my hp simplesave hard drive is compatable with my ps3 because my mate has got a different make and he stores a lot of films on is then he puts them on is ps3 but when i plug mine in yo my ps3 it does not recognize it

    • Neil

      I dont believe it is compatible. I believe this to be the case for two reasons:

      1 – when you connect the drive it tries to run the simplesave softare (Which wont work on a PS3)

      2 – I think the PS3 expects the drive to be FAT32 when the SimpleSave is NTDS.

      If you want a drive for storing stuff on then you should look at a normal drive and not one that is designed for automatic backups.


  • Milli


    We are a self storage facility and purchased a QuikStor program. Will programs such as Quikstor, that are copyrighted, automatically be backed up by HP SimpleSave?

    • Hi Milli

      The SimpleSave doesnt backup software it only backs up the data.


      • Kathleen

        Hi Andrew

        I would like to pull up the email folders. Please tell me how to do this off of the HPSS



        • hi Kathleen

          The backup of your emails should be in the same folder location on the simplesave drive as it is on your computer.


  • Brian

    I've had mine for about 3 months and have no buyer's remorse but the constant

  • Shannon


    I bought this so i could use the HD in my laptop but cannot get the simple save case open any secrets you know of.

    no screws and prying seems hopeless.

    Im sure there is a way to get in?

    Thanks shannon

    • Hi Shannon

      Sorry, no idea, I have never tried to remove the drive from the case.


  • Dil

    Hi Shannon

    One Word: Sledgehammer 🙂

    on a serious note, if you peel off the rubber feet on the bottom of the case. You will uncover two screws…you have your result

  • Judy

    I have a HP computer with Windows XP. I just bought the HP Simple Save 320 backup drive. I connected the drive and went through the steps to do the initial back-up and it went through the process with no problems, saying that the backup was completed. I then disconnected it, as I don

    • Hi Judy

      From memory there should be 2 drive letters appear in Windows – one that has the folders containing the backups and one containing the backup software. Have you got 2?

      If not, the best advice I could give you is to contact HP Support.


      • Judy

        Yes there are 2. I can get to the backed up data by clicking through several folders. But the owners manual states there should be a welcome screen that allows easy access to the data and for doing subsequent back ups. I can't get that start up screen to come up. I did e-mail HP about this and am waiting for their reply.

        • HI Judy

          The restore screen is available on the main program that fires up do perform the backups.


          • Judy

            Thanks for your attempts to help. I heard from HP and had to download a patch to fix the problem. They said that they have had this problem with some systems. Annoying! But it works like it is suppose to now. Thanks again.

  • Emily Dickinson

    I've been using my hp Simple Save for a few months now and I LOVE it! I just began to have a problem ejecting it from my computer. I get the error message "an error occurred while ejecting Cd Drive (F): HP Launcher'.

    Can anyone help me?

  • Graham David

    Hello, I need help. Have a HP (smart Save) 320GB external drive. I have inadvertently formatted the drive by mistake. Can I download the driver, from somewhere, to initiate auto backup again. Many thanks, Graham

    • Hi Graham

      I dont think you can download what you need – I would suggest you contact HP Support for assistance.



    I got this hp simplesave, 320GB but it is in exFAT file format. And i've tried dos command to convert it to NTFS but it did'nt work. Does anybody have an idea that can help me out plssssssssss. NOTE: it has no software installed in when i got it. And it was not new one.

  • Randy

    Is the HP portable hard drive compatible with Apple computer? Leopard?

  • Tyler

    I may be correct but I really Dont know if I am correct. If someone could help it would be great. I own 2 – 11TB Simple Save Drives and A 1TB Western Digital Drive. I want to use the drives all Solely as a drive I transfer files to as I select.

    The support for the WD drive (approx 1 yr ago) directed me to Not run the Backup Software on the drive and go into Disk Management and Re-format the drive as FAT32. I did This and the drive has worked without errors of any sort. I can connect to Xbox, PS3 and any other media extenders etc.

    Now comes my questions as since I cant get an answer from HP. (1) Can I not ultimately do the same to this drive. HOWEVER (2) If so could I not just reformat the HP Drive as NTFS and remove the backup software without ever executing the program. I ask this as In this day and age I may wish to save .iso files which are in general over 4 Gigs in size. I am aware that I would not be able to now use the drive on an Xbox or PS3 But should this not work in this matter. As really all that this product is, is a Regular Comp HDD encased in a Manufacturers Fancy case.

    OHH Oh and PS

    Can someone firstly tell me what the HDD Manufacturers name is on Drive in these cases. If it is indeed a Western Digital drive in the HP case I would seem to think I could use the device in the exact same manner I used the First WD Drive

    • Hi Tyler

      I dont think you can format the HP drive in the same way – it is partitioned in such as way that it stops you from removing that part you dont want!



      • Bill

        You can format the whole enchilada from a Linux computer however, if you do it that way Windows may not recognize the Linux NTFS formatting so just wipe it and leave unformatted, then format it to NTFS via a Windows OS

  • dust

    i think using partition magic will work making it a FAT32 and being able to use it for a ps3

  • Asaf Nissan

    I purchased an HP simplesave 1TB external hard drive – model hp md1000h
    There are two problems I am experiencing
    (1) On one of my laptops (Lenovo using Windows 7)ONLY the launch drive (F)appears. I cannot see the 927GB drive (G). It is as though the computer does not recognise it.
    (2) On another laptop (HP Pavillion)both the launch drive (F) and the 927gb (G) drive appear; however, when I use the software to safely disconnect I get a message: The drive cannot be disconnected because it is in use – which is not true.

    Has anyone else had a similar experience?
    Can anyone please give me advice as to what the problems may be due to, and how can I rectify them

    • I think the best thing to do is contact HP support to be honest….

  • Lesley

    Hi, Andrew. I have an HP SimpleSave Portable drive and have been using the USB cord to run manual backups. Today, I stupidly decided to try the drive in the pocket media bay on my HP pavilion with the HP Easy Backup. The SimpleSave fit perfectly, but is now stuck in the drive and won’t eject, and the computer is seeing the drive but not accepting it for backup. At this point, I’d just like to get the drive out of the media bay. I did a chat with HP Support and they say I need to open the computer and remove the pocket bay altogether. That is such a pain, so I’m wondering if you have any other ideas. The eject button isn’t doing anything, and there’s nothing to grab onto to get the drive out. Thanks for any ideas!

    • Hi Lesley

      To be honest I cant think of any other ideas other than what you have been told to try.

      Sorry – and good luck!

  • Lesley

    Never mind–I got the SimpleSave out with a trusty pair of tweezers!

  • viswas

    I have bought HP simple save 320 GB portable. now this is not working with my new DVD player. Is there anything can i do to play the movies inside the portable disc? the same file if i put in 2 GB flsh drive and connect, its working fine.

    • Has it worked previously? This drive is designed as a backup drive not as a standard hard drive.

  • Pam

    Oh, it uploads like a dream on XP, but try retrieving or restoring things on Vista — SimpleSave is a waste of time and money. So many documents lost because Dell Vista will not accept the program.


    • Pam, I have restored without a problem to an Vista machine – perhaps there is something else wrong? I would suggest you contact HP Support to discuss it with them as it really isnt supposed to cause you those sorts of problems.

  • M Muntasir K

    Hey Andrew. I recently formatted my desktop and before doing that I did back up of 60 GB data on my HP-SD320A portable HDD. The portable had enough space in it. When I try to restore, the portable HDD is not accessible. It says:-
    The disk in the drive is not formatted. Do you want to format it now?
    Now, If I format it I lose all my important data. The data is much important and valuable. Kindly suggest what to do?


    • Hi

      Have you tried reading the drive on another computer? I have had experience in the past of drives not reading correctly on one computer but fine on another?

      I assume when you did the backup it told you it had completed successfully?

  • M Muntasir K

    Yes, the backup was successfully completed. Also, I have already tried it on other computer. It shows the same result.

    • in which case I think the only thing I can suggest now is that you contact HP support – sorry!

  • Chris

    Can partition magic works on hp simple save? has anybody tried it? thanks!!!

  • Brenda

    Does simple save back up emails that are in Outlook?

    • Hi Brenda

      As long as the emails are stored on your computer then the Simple Save will back them up.

  • Bill

    Simple Save is an “.exe” application however, the disk itself (connected to pc via USB) can be read, write full control in Ubuntu 11.04 Linux operating system, I don’t know about Mac

  • Tarotrdr2

    I want to erase all files in my hp simplesave.exe pd500a

  • santosh kumar

    Andrew. I recently formatted my desktop and before doing that I did
    back up of 60 GB data on my HP-SD320A portable HDD. The portable had
    enough space in it. When I try to restore, the portable HDD is not
    accessible. It says:-
    The disk in the drive is not formatted. Do you want to format it now?
    Now, If I format it I lose all my important data. The data is much important and valuable. Kindly suggest what to do?


    • Have you tried another computer to see if it reads it? If you do format it you will lose data.

  • Manoj Yadav

    Hi , I have HP Simplesave SD500A Portable Hard drive but there is no software for recovery date please tell me how to re-install a software in my hard drive.