First time user for Backups-My Passport Essential

I just purchased a Passport Essential, loaded in up on my old computer Windows XP, backed it up and would like to transfer all my files (word & excel docs, pictures, etc.) to my new computer with Windows 7.  First of all, after plugging the passport to my new computer, how do I view the documents that were backed up from my old computer.  Then what do I do from there.  I read the instructions on RETRIEVING the files but I don’t know what it means when it says to transfer to “its original location”  or to copy your retrieved content to a folder.  Do I set up a RETRIEVE folder first and copy my backup into that folder and manually copy/paste documents?  I’m not even sure if stuff were backed up.  Tried looking at them but don’t see any documents… please help.

I have the same situation as you-XP to Win7.  After I put everything from the XP on the Passport, I looked at the files on a different XP & everything was there.  Now on the new Win 7 PC, everything looks totally different and I’ve tried everything to access the files so I can copy them on the new pc but I can’t figure it out.  The instructions that came with the Passport are almost non-existent they’re so useless.  Somebody please help us First timers!

Hi guys the reason why you are having trouble is because Windows 7 can not read Windows XP files.

 You must use Windows Easy Transfer for transferring from Windows XP (32 bit) to Windows 7  you

 can download it here

I believe back up folders are created with unique names using computer name and structure of original computer. 

Trying to retrieve to non original creates confusion as it wants to look for original computer.

I am not sure if there are backup software that accomplish this kind of task (I maybe wrong).

I suggest manually copy all of your data to My Passport Essential and paste them to new computer.

Once you have done this, make sure to test all files on new computer to make sure they work.

Now, you should be able to run backup using new computer (you can erase the drive to start fresh using new computer if one wishes).

Yes that’s what I ended up doing.  Simply copying my files into the external hard drive and retrieving it from Windows 7.  Since I have everything in my new computer Windows 7, I can just use the WD for Windows 7 and get rid of my old computer. 

So to start the process, do you format the external hard drive in Win XP or Win 7?

You don’t have to format your Passport Essential.  On you Win XP, create a folder, for example you can name it “Backup” and save all your files into that folder and save the folder on your Desktop.  Plug your Passport Essential and copy your “Backup” folder into your external harddrive, the Passport.  Go to your computer with the Win 7, plug your external hardrive transfer and  your files.

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The “Smartware” software does not backup ANY .exe files, even if it is not a system file and is in the My Documents folder as far as I can see. Thus the WD drives are not a viable backup option using “Smartware”.

Many of us have .exe files from software we downloaded and need to save. This needs to be corrected by WD.


I bought my red external wd so i could transfer my data from my old lap top to my new one

I have saved all the data from it but when i try to copy it to my new pc is does it and stores it in the c drive as a copy of wd data but all the files are empty

Please can someone tell me how to transfer this data

I thought this was a simple process in transfer from one computer to another but i cant do it

i have tried online help, no avail, i have tried the manual

but i simply cant get anywhere

Have i just wasted my money ?


I am having a hard time understanding how the external drive works. According to the drive it states that the backup is working behind the scenes and yet in the detail view the date is from January 2010.  Today is March 18, 2010 right?  I have back up a few times(I just plug it in, working behind the scenes?) and see no update.

Along with that  I see yellow stripe in the column category file (my computor) at the same location, doesn’t that go away?

Is my backup really working?

Help anyone!


I am also having a hard time understanding how this external hard drive and Smartware is working. To test whether my file were being backed up “behind the scenes”, I attempted to retrieve an Excel spreadsheet that I had updated the night before (on 20th March 2010). My software is set up to save 5 versions, and 5 versions were listed but the latest one was dated 17th March 2010!?! I attempted to retrieve this file (just in case the date was incorrect), but the retrieve failed. When I clicked on “view files”, these details were given:

Account checks 2010.xls 22.98MB Jan 10, 2010 Failed to find metadata for file = N:\Home Finance\ Account checks 2010.xls, type =‘file’, checksum =‘xVDNxecpRE9MDOysEADILIA4YpDU’, attributes = Normal, create time =10/01/2010 10:09:21, last write time =17/03/2010 20:17:34, length = 0, compressed length = 0, instance id = 5265, file id = 0

I have tried rebooting & reconnecting the drive. Today is 23rd Mar and I am still unable to retrieve the file, and edited versions of the file are NOT being backed up. I may need to delete the backup set and backup again, but I don’t know how to do that – can anybody help?

Op.sys = Win7 - Firmware = 2.003 -  Smartware =

I also need to know  what “RETRIEVING” means.  How is that setting used?

I think I am in a similar situation.  Our old computer crashed but we have the WD drive.  Our new system has Windows 7.  I can connect the WD but when it connects itself it skips steps like the WD Sysexe (something like that) even though it says it has installed ok.  When I find my file folders,almost all of them are empty.  We had hundreds of photos and our tax info for 5 years on there!!!  Please HELP!!!