No, unfortunately thus far, the problem still exists. Per the suggestion of "pizzamaker" who has been very kind to respond and willing to make suggestions, I have searched for "smartware.swstor" and I also tried *.*swstor to The drive will plug in and windows (Vista) makes a sound like it recognizes a USB device, and after a REALLY long time, windows explorer finally shows an "E" drive which is: CD Drive (E:) WD SmartWare however, the files are not there and the software does not finish loading despite my download of the SES device driver and the smartware from the www.wdc.com website.
Very fearful of doing any firmware update IF there is a chance the data is still on that drive somewhare. It showed up fine as the files and folders on the Vista laptop as well as a laptop running Windows 7 just a week or so ago when I backed up the drive - there was a "F" drive with all the data there. Now, I cannot access any F drive..... What next? Could the data still be there? Deb from Australia