File Back Up vs Category Back Up

Noticed that the Category Back Up omits a lot of files.

  • Please advise the pros and cons of both back ups
  • My browser, email client, contact manager is SeaMonkey; does category back up omit many of these files?
  • Is it easier to restore a complete installation or can it even be done from a File Back Up.

How do I now switch to the File Back Up from the Category Back Up

  • Is it necessary to delete the category back up or will the WD software make use of it.

Welcome to the Community.

  1. It’s a personal decision based on convenience. If you have no interest in copying music files, the Category mode allows you to skip all music-related file extensions. File Backup gives you manual control of every folder in your system.

  2. Only if the extensions are supported. Best way to test is with a File Backup specifying the target folders for these files.

  3. WD SmartWare does not make system backups or copy programs/applications even on File Backup mode. You would need to restore the system by other means and then use WD SmartWare to restore your files. For example, all your Microsoft Word documents will be copied, but not Microsoft Word itself.

  4. No. WD SmartWare will re-purpose the backup unless it’s manually manipulated.

Yo, great answer!  What part of the community do these questions belong in?  Where did I wind up?

A couple of questions.

  1. Can you delete all the WD software and use it to do a system image or use it with other back up software.  Can this be made to work with scheduled back ups or it’s not practical?
  2. There’s enough room on My Passport to do a system image and a file back up using the WD software with a partition maybe.  Is this practical?  The allure of pushing a button to re do everything is this workable once you install a new hard drive? …or if you just clean the old one?
  3. The mission is to guard my system against one of the CryptoLocker style viruses.  My wife’s computer got hit and we had to trash all the files.  It probably is not necessary to reinstall everything but it would be more reassuring in the event of any stay behind viruses.
  4. Will the CryptoLocker Virus infect My Passport if it is connected at the time?  Does it matter if it is password protected?  Would it be better to have scheduled back ups or better to disconnect and reconnect occassionally.
  5. Last question: I moved My Passport from another computer.  This will be the only machine.  To delete the prior files it seems that you have to do something besides just delete the file.

Thanks for you help.


Since the questions are related to WD SmartWare, the “Software” board is the most appropriate.

  1. Yes you can. While WD SmartWare is the default tool provided with your unit, it is not required and can be replaced by other tools that better suit your personal needs. I use Windows 8 File History myself instead of WD SmartWare.

  2. You can partition the hard drive and keep separate backups from different engines. However, this is normally not needed as they tend to create their own directories (SmartWare for example will store its own backups in a folder named “swstor”.  

  3. Automatic backups can transfer viruses when copying over infected files. An anti-virus is needed to scan your external hard drive as well.

  4. While the hard drive is password-protected there is no way to access it, and as such, no way to infect it. However, even when working on scheduled mode, if an infected file is copied over the entire hard drive may become compromised from that point over.

  5. It depends. If you delete a SmartWare backup manually off the drive it’s recommended to re-install WD SmartWare. If you only delete files that were copied manually (Copy/paste) or by means of other applications unrelated to SmartWare then this is not needed.

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