Access My Passport files without installing WD Smartware

I purchased my hard drive to backup my work documentation so that I can access it from my client’s PC without having to carry two laptops when I travel.  However, when I plug in the drive to my client’s laptop it is asking me to install the WD SmartWare.  But I do not want to do a backup from or restore to this drive.  I only want to access the drive’s files.  Can this not be accessed similar to an external thumb drive/memory stick for instance?

Similar problem. I am unable to view files on the drive without opening WD Smartware. Even then, the only way you can view the contents is from the “Retrieve” tab. And it takes forever to “rebuild the volumes.” I want to be able to open the drive from Windows, as you would any other external storage device, and drag-and-drop to backup and restore. But this doesn’t seem to be the way the drive works. I was told by tech support to re-format the drive, but this was after it took more than 15 hours to do a back up.

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I just got my new Passport Elite yesterday. I too want to use this drive as external storage, NOT just for backup and restore. Since I haven’t acutally done anything with it yet, I don’t have a problem re-formatting the drive, it just seems like an extreme solution just to use the drive for what I bought it for - extra storage to augment my laptop.

Is this truely the ONLY way???

After installing Smartware and the drivers on my Windows XP system, I was able to prevent Smartware from loading when I boot by deleting its shortcut from my Startup program group.  Now when I connect the Essential, it is assigned a drive letter (see “My Computer” and look under “Hard Disk Drives” and so I can write files to it and read them back.

I still haven’t figured out how to make the Essential work like a USB thumbdrive on other computers on which I have not installed the drivers, however.

Just bought the passport elite 500 GB today, installed smartware and went through the update process (with a lot of new features).

Works fine under Windows 7.

The smartware software is very useful when you want to backup all day long your data without any action.

The initial backup is a bit long but after you forgot the synchronization of all the changes and have always an up to date backup.

Smartware writes under a hidden directory called WD_SmartWare in which you can access the saved files with a little bit of research. The saved drives are accessible through _ directory and after you can see the original tree of your drive.

As far as i’m concerned, good software except the lack of filtering for the backup rules and the poor performance of the restore window.

Hope it will be improved in the future updates.

Hi everyone. I am also feeling similar kind of problem. My WD 320 GB external hard drive is not getting detected by phillips media player which i plug with my TV. Someone please guide me.