Hello WD

Hello WD,
a year ago I purchased “my Passport”. Because of reputation of reliability and drives i had that worked for >10 years without failure I chose WD.
Though the drive had miscellaneous software (inside the drive itself not as optional disc, which isn’t really polite) I easily got rid of that and was a lucky user with no problems.

A couple days ago I bought “new version” of the same drive. Same as before, this one have no separate disc with software. Instead, it has firmware built-in virtual CD that cannot be deleted, only disabled (that’s my drive and i have right to keep the data I want in it, not something that even is only licensed not owned by me). Selling the drives is selling pieces of hardware, not selling a service of “having a dive”!
Furthermore the drive is not happy with default system drivers. Every computer I plug it in asks for installation. Do I really have to install driver on every client’s machine I plug it in? Message boxes asking for that is a high degree of unprofessionalism, leading to quite an unprofessional and suspective look when client sees it. In other words this drive is NOT portable while portability actually should be it’s primary advantage!
It should be the same sophisticated firmware, that is not allowing to boot a system from this drive (in contrast to previous version and every drive in the market).
One more glitch - plugging both drives and moving files between them is impossible. One of drives restarts as if it were unplugged and plugged again as soon as moving begins. (though this is tested on one computer only)
And today, plugging this drive in a brand new computer (running by the way a few quite important real-time tasks) I got a blue screen of death within a few seconds.

It was a good portable disc. Now it is made a peace of @#it I want to throw away. What might be the reason of making it so? Didn’t WD tried to use that thing once?
By the way - new drive’s USB port is changed. It’s not usual mini usb that can be bought almost everywhere anymore. Instead it is something even smaller, less durable, easier to accidentally unplug. Is there any reason for that too?

Have a nice day.

Expletives are in order when it comes to the new line of WD portable drives and the ludicrous piece of software firmly installed thereon.  I’ve been using WD drives for over 20 years now dating all the way back to their SCSI line.  The Smartware installed on the Passport line is THE MOST WORTHLESS PIECE OF SOFTWARE i’ve ever had the opportunity to utilize.  It consumes massive amounts of CPU whilst touting that it’s an efficient way to maintain back ups.  Sounds like false advertising to me!

On top of that, the documentation fails to address, what appears to be, the fact that the restoration destination for recovered files should be the directory (and its associated subdirectories) that you also want to back up.  I found this out the hard way by happenstance.  I wasn’t getting files to back up and, after changing the restoration destination to a separate, unaffiliated subdirectory, all of my data was backed up. The PROBLEM: It just took over eight hours to accomplish the task for about 100Gb of data on a 320Gb drive.  In my professional opinion, though the drive itself may have the integrity of the old drives, this is a ridiculous way to control the drives operation.  I’m reverting back to the old MSBackup when I can control when and what goes to my backup without impeding my daily work.

Totally agree with kivig.

I hope WD people are reading this forum.

Well, you can put me down as another dissatisfied customer also. 

Waiting for WD’s response…

The responso of WD:

If you have suggestions or ideas for changes to products please enter them in our Idea Exchange. Be sure to vote for Ideas you like and want to see implemented.



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This will be my first and only post as I am thoroughly disgusted with this product and will never consider WD as a resource again.

I bought the My Passport Essential 320GB as a backup/storage device.  Excellent!  That’s what is says right here on the box!  Sweet!

Awww!  But guess what?  WD says (in the little itty bitty small print) that this is a synchronizing device and using it as a back up device may result and complete loss of files.  WTF?  How can you market something as a backup/storage device and then say it should not be used as such?  Yo no se.  And don’t get me started on the mandatory saftware install that hogs all my resources and runs like ■■■■ on top of it.  Apparently the s/w synch up with your rig.  Cool…but what happens if your rig stb’s and you need those files that you just went through the hassle of backing up because that’s what you bought this friggin thing for in the first place?  Can’t do it.  It can’t synchronize with something it’s never talked to before.

But I digress.  I figure I can drag and drop files and circumvent the system a litle and still salvage some usefulness out of it so I don’t have to drag my self back up to the Somersworth Wal-Mart and return it (God, I hate Somersworth).  So here I am transferring my music files over…about 109GB…at an advertised transfer rate of 460Mb/s that should take about, oh 4 minutes.  Guess what?  78 minutes.  You got to be friggin joking me.  Now there’s always the possiblity that I don’t know what I’m doing or have missed something somewhere…but a real-world transfer rate of 25Mb/s is unacceptable.  But Skyp67, you may say, you must not be hooked up to a USB 2.0 port.  Au contraire, mon fraire.  I have ONLY 2.0 ports on my rig. 

So, now I have to drag my self up to Somersworth to return this near-brick POS.  And having to go up to Somersworth is reason enough to never buy WD again.  Bah.

Thanks, WD…you really ruined my day.  Gonna take a half-handle of  the Cap’n to set me right, now.


My New Year’s Day has also been totally ruined by this “Passport” thing which, like you, I bought as a backup drive for photos and music. Isn’t that what it should be able to do? I missed that bit of small print relating to the risk of “LOSING FILES” you refer to, so small and lost in so many other languages!! As you say, why promote it as a back-up for valuable files? I HAVE LOST VALUABLE PHOTOS AND VIDEO CLIPS!! Don’t risk doing the drag-and-drop thing.  Some photos moved then I got error messages etc. I have wasted my day, got very frustrated and annoyed, and lost data I can’t replace. And it will be days before I can even TRY to talk to anyone!

I thought WD hardware had a good reputation but I am seeing that plummet fast form the feedback I am reading. I wondered why Amazon only gave the Passport 2 stars…

Any suggestion on ALTERNATIVE manufacturer’s products that might do the job of storage more easily and safely?

You guys think you have it bad?

I bought FIFTY of these guys because of WD’s reputation! The first thing I noticed was that this drive was going to attempt to install a driver on the machine of every customer who borrowed the drive for even a few minutes! I will have 1000s of people plugging in this drive over the course of a year. That’s not good. No one should install anything to use a USB drive.

So guess what I had to do? Yep, firmware updates, and VCD disabling on 50 drives! fun!

And even after doing that, everyone who uses the drive gets the stupid request for the driver to be installed even though it is not needed because the WD virtual drive has been disabled. I have to explain to each user to ignore the driver request when they borrow the drive. Anyone at WD who is thinking “whats the harm, just install the driver on every PC that borrows the drive”, has no idea what they are doing.

The hard drive uses micro USB which is designed for much smaller device and is not sturdy enough for something like a hard drive. Mini-USB would have been a much better choice.

Finally, it looks like the 500 MB disk space reserved to WD software is lost for good.

Whoever was the product manager for the WD 320 GB should be fired. I’m a product manager myself so I know what I am talking about.