I hear you man! I just bought a WD MyBook Essential 1.5 Tb. After finding out that the software backs up every dang thing that goes by your desktop, even unwanted temporary files (such as large raw/unedited video files that are not to be backed up), but does not let you delete any single file after it has been backed up… (BTW: Smartware? Oxymoron indeed!)
…I decided maybe the firmware / smartware update would fix that. What kind of back-up system does NOT let you delete unwanted backed-up files, after all…? A back-up system designed to fill itself asap so you need to go out and buy a new drive, I guess.
Anyway, after reading the thoroughly complicated 3 pages of instructions before updating, I did so. Windows (vista) gave me a few crashed application messages and the WD “software updater” with the barbershop animation just kept going and going. I gave it over an hour, and then figured something was wrong. How long does it take to update low-level code on a hard drive? Surely not an hour.
After rebooting, the drive was longer recognised, and Windows just kept asking for me to point it to the drivers, which of course I don’t have. And a prize to anyone who has ever witnessed Windows find a driver by itself on the internet
Luckily enough for me, after running the firmware updater several times in a row with no result (it would not recognize anything plugged into the computer), in between bouts of pulling my hair out, after a while it strangely seemed to recognise something plugged in, yet it was unsure what it was, asking “MyBook or Passport?”. Incredibly, it actually managed to fix whatever went wrong and finish the firmware upgrade. This, after having rebooted both the computer and the MyBook. I consider myself to be extra lucky today.
I have still not tried out the updated software to see if I can actually DELETE unwanted files from backups, but my take on this piece of hardware is (MyBook Essential)… 2 thumbs down. Find some other solution for your backups. Their marketing is excellent, but the product **bleep**. WD should just stick to making hard drives and leave software to someone else (but maybe not Microsoft
By the way, the on/off switch has absolutely no tactile feedback, it’s like pushing into a rigid rubber cushion. Since the drive doesn’t like to be switched off manually, I actually managed to break the on/off switch when waiting for it to react, with just the pressure of my index finger reaching 'round the back of the unit. I would take it back to yell a little and get my money back, but the broken button actually gives better feedback on whether it is being pressed or not. And in the worst case, I have a drag 'n drop 1.5 Tb HD to make manual backups on.
Yeeehaw! A very disappointed customer, to say the least.