Drive Erase Fails

WD My Book Essential, 2TB, 1.008 Firmware,  SmartWare

Running Windows 7 Professional, 32-Bit.

Drive is recognized, and works fine.  I used it to back up my son’s laptop when upgrading him to a new one.  Now I want to remove his data from my drive.  Since there’s nothing of mine on it, I want to just wipe it clean and start with a fresh drive, just like it was when I bought it a couple weeks ago.

One problem.  when I try running drive erase via the WD SmartWare app, I get the very vague and frustrating error:

“There has been an error erasing your drive.”

That’s it, no explanation, it just fails. I’ve rebooted, and everything else I can think of, but nothing gets beyond the error.  If I try running WDQuickFormatter.exe from the drive directly, I get this error:

“Your WD external drive is in use.  Please close all open applications and try again.”

The WDSmartWare app isn’t running when I tried running the formatter from the drive directly, and I checked running processes and there’s nothing WD related running .

I’m completely out of ideas on what to try now…  Any help out there?

If you are trying to format go into disk management delete the volume then try format with windows. This will delete all data.



Thanks, Joe.  That did work.  One thing I’ve noticed though is now all of the software/utilities that come on the drive are gone, it didn’t come with a CD,  and they don’t have it available for download on their website.

I’m OK for now, because the software is installed on my PC, but does anyone have  an idea where/how I get the software if my PC fails now that its no longer on the external drive?

When you deleted the partition and formatted it, did you delete the partition with the VCD as well? I’ve had the same issue as your original post and WD support hasn’t really addressed the issue of why the drive erase function fails in the first place. I wondered whether you could just open the K drive in My Computer and delete the entire backup there? Support indicates not? Yet I dug down and picked one file from the backup and just clicked delete and away it went to the recycle bin, so why not with the whole thing? When doing that I also found that there is no issue digging through the entire backup tree to find any file or folder you want. It works just as if you had manually copied the files to the external drive. This is something you can’t do with the Windows Backup utility.What I don’t know is if Smartware will scan my computer and replace the files I’ve deleted.

There is no way to delete the VCD it’s part of an inte4nal circuit board.

I’ve heard that about the VCD before. Do you have any ideas about the rest of my post?

I just thought of something else. The only other stuff on the K partition besides the backup folder is a Smartware folder and a PDF Manual. If one were to copy these folders (or move them) to your desktop and then format the drive and then put the copies back you should be back to square one??

You can’t get it all off. It’s on a circuit board and handles password encryption whether you install software or not. I’m not sure if the Smartware and PDF erase or not. On the newer drives it stays hidden.


Here’s what I’ve done. When I open  My Computer, the VCD shows up seperately and My Book(K) is there. If I double click on K drive it opens to reveal “WD SmartWare.swstor” folder which is the backup, a "WD_Smartware"folder and user manual. I copied the last 2 folders mentioned to my desktop and the right clicked on each folder on drive K and selected delete. Everything disappeared and the drive showed empty. I replaced the 2 copied folders by dragging and dropping on to drive K. I opened Smartware from my taskbar and it immediately started to create a NEW backup just as I wanted. It’s now complete and I have a fresh backup which is what I wanted. So, no need to delete partition or format, just delete the existing backup by opening the drive from My Computer and select delete and it does a new backup no problem.

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