… Was the tech who advised you a senior guy , was his advice off the cuff or did he say that was WD policy now?
He sounded like a senior guy, and was helpful. He didn’t mention anything about policy (and I didn’t expect him to), but he didn’t sound surprised about the firmware issue.
Can we totally do without the wd software.???
My WD drives are running fine without the WD software. I formatted them with Apple Disk Utility. I use Apple Time Machine rather than the WD backup software. However, if you want to do some of the fancy things (like change the text in the drive’s LCD display, you might have to use the WD software. One idea I had (I haven’t tried it) is to boot from a drive with an older OS - like 10.6 Snow Leopard - and install the WD software on that drive to run those utilities, if you really need to.