04-03-2010 12:58 AM
I go into a computer shop, and ask for an external hard-drive that I can use to back-up the photos and music I have stored on my computer.
The chap hands me a Western Digital My Passport Essential 320GB.
Looks good - it has Smart Backup, and Storage.
Well, I'm not sure about "Smart Backup" - I'd rather just copy over the files that I need every so often; I'm quite capable of managing my own backup, plus I know there's Windows Backup and other excellent Backup tools out there.
Plug it in - and suddenly, with no option to disable it, I'm in WD Smartware world.
What is this program? What is it backing up? I have no idea. Sure, it's backing up "pictures." What pictures? All my Jpegs? Just the ones in "My Pictures" or others? What about the gifs? What about my *.CR2 files from my Canon DSLR? How do I know? I click "details" and it gives me a little list with "pictures" and a ticked checkbox. In what way is that more "detail?"
The program slows my computer down abominably each time I start up, it's always scanning something in the background.
After finishing a back-up, nonetheless it seems impossible to get it "safely remove My Passport Essential" - it is never ever safe, no matter how long I wait, no matter how much it appears to be doing nothing. Should I carry my laptop with the drive plugged in forever, never switching it off in fear of losing my data?
If I log browse to the external drive in explorer, perhaps I can see what data has been copied? Not really - it is all mysteriously bundled up into hashed folders - there's no way of consistently seeing what's actually on there.
Currently I'm backing up my D:\. Well, apparently. Although "Run Backup" is pressed, and I can "pause backup" - at which time it tells me I really shouldn't interrupt the backup - it appears nothing is happening. At the top it just says "ready to perform backup." It has been like this for about an hour now. I don't know what it's doing - anything? Nothing? Is my stuff backed up or not??
This software is complete junk. It is clearly buggy, completely untransparent, gives no control or reassurance to the user, and the whole set-up is apparently impossible to disable.
When I bought an external hard drive, I expected to have 350GB of space, on to which I could copy or backup the items that I know need backing up on my computer.
What were you thinking, Western Digital? Do you assume every customer of yours is some sort of grandma that needs to have every ounce of control hidden from view? Do you also assume that there wont be some disappointment when even that grandma might be stunned that your program didn't backup all the data she thought it was backing up?
04-04-2010 07:31 AM
Unless they figure out a way to fix this mess easily, I'll never buy another WD anything ever again. This was my first one, and I am in no way impressed.
04-26-2010 07:39 AM
I JUST JOINED THIS FORUM DUE TO PROBLEMS WITH SMARTWARE AND WAS AMAZED WITH THE EXTENT OF COMPLAINTS WITH THIS PRODUCT BUT I AM EVEN MORE AMAZED AT THE APPARENT LACK OF RESPONSE FROM WD. RELEASING A PRODUCT WITH ALL OF THESE PROBLEMS AND THEN COMPOUNDING IT BY SUPPLYING VIRTUALLY NO USER DOCUMENTATION IS BEYOND MY COMPREHENSION.
ONE OF THE REASONS I BOUGHT THE DRIVE WAS IT CAME WWITH "SIMPLE" BACKUP AND RECOVERY SOFTWARE. iT LOADS AUTOMATICALLY BUT IS NOT USEABLE TO ME AND I CAN NOT FIND OUT HOW TO FIX OR USE IT.
IF WD IS PAYING ANY ATTENTION TO THESE POSTINGS I WOULD THINK A SERIOUS POSITION PAPER WOULD HAVE BEEN POSTED LONG AGO ON HOW THEY ARE GOING TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEMS AND THEN WITH FURTHER POSTINGS ON PROGRESS.
04-28-2010 12:05 PM
I just bought several of these for my customers and I was shocked! What a piece of useless undocumented, non-intuitive junk. I had used older WD external drive / backup products and expected the same useful intuitive sound sw I had gotten with the My Book products before.
Are you kidding me? Its not even useable by an IT professional. If there is no easy way to remove this crap and there is no substitute sw, I am returning all of the drives! No sw engineer (in North America) would allow something like this out of development let alone a product release. WD - what were you thinking????
Does anyone out there have a substitute for this inferior junk-ware, and an easy removal shot of reformatting??
Very dissatisfied customer.
05-19-2010 02:29 PM
07-07-2010 07:27 PM
I couldn't agree more with felixsapiens, well said! I gave up on the software the same day I bought it (yesterday!)
I'm using a free version of Syncback (2brightsparks.com) now and so far am far happier with it, it's not an app for dummies (WD's attempt on the app for dummies is a good idea badly executed) The speed of syncback is like a million times faster! (Note: I've tried setting "Optimize for performance" in device manager, still lousy speeds)
WD, this is my 2nd WD hard drive, I was not happy with the software of the first one and thought this would change... guess not. I will be trying Seagate next time unless you "fix" SmartWare.
07-08-2010 06:23 AM
True! This WD software is real crap.
Nothing straightforward to understand and implement.
It only sells by lack of awareness from customers.
Is there any safe way NOT to use it?
07-09-2010 06:05 AM
Want to add my two cents worth...I agree that the software is non-intuitive and practically useless. Would love to be able to reformat and find some simple password protection for the drive!