Disappointed with new Passport because of Smartware

I am not the kind of person who registers on a forum to complain about a new piece of hardware or software I have bought - even though I have had my share of bad experiences - but this time I really couldn’t hold back. After using WD hard drives for years, always to my contentment, I am having real trouble understanding WD’s choice of software on their new Passport drives.

Some time ago I bought a 320gb Passport drive which came with WDSync. An unelegant tool for backing up data, but it did it’s job and I got to select the directory (sub)structures I wished to copy to my drive. Because I wanted a second backup device for my most important data, I bought a new Passport 1TB this week. It came with different software, namely WD Smartware. Assuming this software should definitely be superior to WDSync, I installed it.

First disappointment: I wasn’t able to select any directories to back up, just a generic overview of ‘pictures’, ‘movies’ and the like. Sure to be overlooking something I consulted the manual, to discover this basic functionality was nowhere to be found. Ok, so at least the software would autodetect what to copy, right?

Second disappointment: Smartware indicated there was 35gb of photo’s to be backed up on my hard drive. But in actuality I have 60gb of photo’s to backup. All in the same directory.

Third disappointment: A clone of a CD-drive that is not removable? This can’t be real.

So I bought an external hard drive with a backup program that provides encryption to my data, but turns out to be completely user-unfriendly, unreliable and… useless? Who wants software that offers no control over your data on a backup device?

I know all of this has been posted many times before and if my post is judged to be redundant, by all means close or delete it. I just wanted to express how abhorred and disappointed I am by this so-called 'Smart’ware. I am planning on sending back this device and unless WD shows penitence for this big mistake, I will not return to buying WD products again in the future.


First disappointment: The WD SmartWare categorizes your files into their corresponding categories, for example: pictures with pictures, music with music and so on. This software does not has a feature where you can select specific folders or directories. However, the software will auto detect the most important files of your computer, meaning, pictures, documents, mails, movies,music and many other files and will back them up automatically for you.

Second disappointment: Make sure that all the photos are fully compatible with the WD SmartWare and also that they are located in a supported path/directory where the WD SmartWare can back them up. See the following link for more info:


Third disappointment: The WD SmartWare virtual CD contains the backup software and the drivers of the unit. This cannot be erased but it can be disabled. See the link below for more info:


I don’t know where the issue is actually… You can still use the drive without any backup software. You can use copy & paste to transfer files to the external drive. However, let’s say that you wish to have a backup… In that case you can use the Windows XP, Vista, 7 backup utility… 

Also, this drives were designed for backup purposes, hence, is reasonable to believe that their main feature will be backups…

Hope it helps :slight_smile:

The sad part is if a person goes to Best Buy or Wlamart the WD drives frequently only have the models with Smartware or they are considerably cheaper than the plain plug and play drives like the Elements. I don’t know if this is WD marketing or the store’s idea. If they don’t get deeply involved with computers they don’t understand the password encryptyion  in part of that drive.