"Backup" and "retrieve" tabs greyed out, what?

i was hoping to avoid using windows backup in order to back up my system for upgrading to windows 7, and i also wanted to avoid just copying files over manually, so i’m trying to use the software incluided with the external HDD

however in the WD smartware window, the backup and retrieve tabs are greyed out and not clickable.

for that matter, if i got them to work somehow, would i even be able to backup my entire system a-la Time machine? or does smartware only backup certain files?

I do not have a solution, however I am experiencing the same problem with my new My Passport Essential - the same two tabs are greyed out and I need to do a manual back up as I do not keep it connected. 

I have the same issue. I am going to contact support since mine is relatively new, so I will post again if they give me an answer.

I have since found that this is an intermittent problem.  Sometimes I turn it on and it works, other times I have the same problem.  I was told that it is probably due to computer not “recognising” the hard drive, but don’t know why this occurs.

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