Help, retrieval

Hi, I have the WD external harddrive and I cannot tell if it is backing up.  I do it every month, but it still says April next to the categories and I connected it about 3 hours ago.  At the top it says “select contect to back up” but everything is checked and to the side pause backup can be pressed, implying it is backing up.   HELP.  

My frustration for this product could not get any greater.  Is there any other software that is used?  This is too frustrating and confusing to be useful.  


First of all, not a good way to start, but my external drive is the most hated electronic item I own.  I cannot for the life of me figure out how to retrieve a file.  I back up regularly, but it still says next to the items (pictures, movies) April 2014, though at the bottom of the screen it has the current date.  I can’t tell if it is working and I can’t look at any backed up files.  To make it worse, I back up my laptop and desk top, and there is no way if I am on my desktop to find laptop files.

This is useless to me when I only want to know if my pictures are backed up.  HELP.  Sorry for this frustrated post but I really hate this software and product and the fact that I can’t contact any customer service is irritating as there is no incentive for them to improve their software when you have to pay for help.  

  1. How do I know it is working when the dates next to the categories is an old date?

  2. How to retieve a specific folder.

  3. How to retrieve from a different computer backed up on same drive?


Welcome to the Community.

 1) WD SmartWare is incremental and does not add files to categories that have no new files. This means documents and pictures can have different dates depending on the category with newer files. A manual method to confirm if the files were copied is to navigate the actual folder holding the backup inside your external hard drive through Windows Explorer. The folder is called “Smartware.swstor” and has the following structure:


PC name (One folder per computer backed up as long as they have different names)

Volume (Representing hard drives/partitions on that computer).

Users/Documents and Settings (Depending on Windows version)

Name of your User account


This means the backup folder actually has the same structure as your “C” drive, and navigation is the same as in Windows Explorer.

2 & 3)

You can also manually navigate the SWSTOR folder, locate the file/folder you would like to restore and copy/paste the file to the new location. The files are not encrypted.

For additional information please refer to the WD SmartWare User Manual:

1 Like

This is helpful, but I always add pictures to my picture folder and it still says April.  So I guess it isn’t backing up then.  I will follow your instructions and see what I find. THANK YOU.

Any time.

How do I find windows explorer?  I tried searching for both windows explorer and smartware.swstor and nothing came up.

Windows Explorer is the name of the User Interface of Windows. When you go to “Documents” or “Computer” you are looking at Windows Explorer. 

The SWSTOR folder should be under Computer> Your External Hard Drive volume (E, F, G, the letter assigned by Windows).