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Western Digital debuts PiDrive Foundation Edition with pre-loaded OS

Western Digital announced a new hard drive storage solution for the Raspberry Pi, calling its latest iteration the PiDrive Foundation Edition. Although similar to its previous releases, this edition comes complete with a microSD card with a pre-loaded, custom New Out of Box Software (NOOBS) operating system installer, letting you install the Raspbian PIXEL OS without any additional files.

“This third-generation WD PiDrive solution uses a USB HDD or USB Flash drive to run the OS and host multiple Raspberry Pi projects instead of having to do this on a collection of microSD cards. We have combined our technologies to work as a team,” said Dave Chew, chief engineer at WD Labs.

He went on to describe this release as similar to the debut of the first commercial hard drives, which meant people could do away with endless floppy disks needed to load an operating system. In the same sense, Western Digital wants Raspberry Pi users to do away with their microSD cards and instead use a larger Western Digital hard drive.

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Of course, though, the strength of the Raspberry Pi and its sequels are their compactness and versatility. That is why Western Digital is offering a number of solutions for its new PiDrive Foundation Edition, to cater to as many users as possible. The drives come in two distinct sizes: 375GB and 250GB. Both versions come with the additional microSD card pre-loaded with the NOOBS OS installer.

The third option is for those who do not need all that storage space or simply do not want to take up as much physical space with their Pi project. It is a 64GB flash drive, which has all the same functionality as the hard drives, but in a smaller package.

Do not just take Western Digital’s word for it, though. The Raspberry Pi Foundations’s product evangelist, Matt Richardson also released a statement talking up the drives. He was especially fond of the PiDrive’s Project Spaces feature, which lets users install multiple versions of the core Raspbian Lite operating system, letting them make individual spaces for separate projects on the same drive.

The PiDrive Foundation Edition will cost $38 for the 375GB version, $29 for the 250GB version, and $19 for the 64GB flash drive. You will be able to order them all on the Western Digital site, though at the time of this writing only the 250GB version seems to be available.