How to reset WD My Book Essential and start install over?

Purchased 500GB WD MY BOOK Essential last night to use as backup for MacBook Pro.  During install it said there was updated software and did I want to install it.  I said yes.  Should have waited til entire install was done.  After that everything went to hell.  Never asked me if I wanted to use Mac’s Time Machine software instead of its Smartware.  After the update was installed it asked for the password I had set.  I entered it (I know it was correct!) but WD would not accept it.  Said invalid.  I used the “uninstall” Smartware app in attempt to start over.  Now I have a “locked” external drive with nothing on it and my Mac will not recognize it (not listed under “devices”).  Is there a way to reset the whole shooting match and start over from scratch and use my Time Machine app instead of the stupid Smartware?


Yes, fail the password install 5 times, disconnect the power, and the usb cable.  Uninstall SmartWare, reboot you computer.  Once the computer is back up, plug the drive back in, both power and cable.  Time Machine should launch.  Let it reformat and everything. 

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You may have to re-format the drive to get rid of the password when you reconnect it and before Time Machine can take it over. 

I can’t fail the password 5 times as I can’t get it to ask for the password at all.  It’s like the WD drive is not there, even though it is.

I can’t reformat the drive because my Mac doesn’t recognize the WD drive. 

I thought you said you were able to see it, but not access it.  So, you don’t see it in Disk Utility?  Did you ever reformat it before attempting to use it on your Mac?  The drive comes formatted with NTFS.  That’s a Windows format.  The Mac can see it, but not write to it.  If it shows up in Disk Utility, then you can try to reformat it in HFS+, and see if that makes it readable and writeable.

No, I couldn’t see it in Disk Utility.  I did not reformat it before attempting to use it on my Mac because the quick setup guide that came with it only said to plug in the power, plug in the USB, and then you see the Main Menu of the WD SmartWare.  Of course all of this was in icons, no text.  It was only after I got it all screwed up that I looked at the written instructions.  If it had to be reformatted for the Mac there should have been some kind of warning or notice with the quick guide.  I just wanted a HD I could connect to my Mac and be able to use it at once without any kind of formatting.  The box said it was PC and Mac compatible.  That with the simplified quick guide would easily lead one to think that all one had to do was plug it in and connect it.  I’m returning it to Wal-Mart tomorrow.  Then I’ll find a 500 GB external HD specifcally for Mac so I don’t have to go through all that reformatting and setting up.  That’s one of the reasons I prefer Mac over Pc.  Almost every peripheral for the Mac is simply plug it in and go.


Robert M.

That’s probably a good idea.  Hope things work better for you next time around.