How to restore the WD SmartWare VirtualCD (VCD) partition on My Passport Ultra drive?

Just picked up a My Passport Ultra drive and after trying to configure it for a user ended up blowing away the partition and re-formatting. Now the Virtual CD that used to show up when the drive is connected no longer shows up. I realize I can go download the SmartWare software, but I would like to restore the VCD partition.

I found this answer:

But it doesn’t seem to work for me. I copied the files over to the drive and tried to run “WD SmartWare.exe” on the drive, but all I get is a small window with the title “WD SmartWare” and a message “Application not started from drive” which is unhelpful.

How do I restore the Virtual CD partition to my Passport Ultra drive?

Does anyone have a list of the files/directory structure of that VCD Partition? I think I may know how to re-create this read-only partition.

For the WD Passport Ultra the VCD should only be vissible while a password has been activated to encrypt the drive. Otherwise it will remain hidden.

If indeed the partition has been destroyed then I am not aware of a method to recover it since this is not normally possible to begin with. The hard drive has been designed so the actual storage volume can be formatted/partition without affecting the unlocker VCD.


Hi Trancer, Thanks for the reply. I mounted the drive in Linux and zero’d out the whole drive. It effectively overwrote the partition table and all the partitions. I didn’t realize the VCD was part of the drive. I presumed it was separate flash storage on the drive.

Anyway, if you have a list of all the files in the VCD, I think I can recreate it. By creating a new partition table and creating a large partition at the front and a 700MB partition at the back of the disk, I can write all the files that are supposed to be there and then mark the partition read-only. It should have the same effect.

Could you give me a file/directory list of the SmartWare partition?

On a Windows Command prompt, it would look like this (say your SmartWare partition is M:)

dir /s M: > filelist.txt

This should create a text file called “filelist.txt” with a listing of all the files and subdirectories of the SmartWare partition.

What OS are you using to access the drive? I thought the VCD was on the circuitboard and undeletable. Check to see if VCD is in Disk Management or Device manager and is enabled.


Hi Joe,

     Thanks for the reply.

I’m using Windows 8.1 right now (but I used Linux to zero out the drive originally) – I presumed that it was part of the circuitboard as well, but it appears as if the VCD is just a 2nd read-only partition at the end of the drive as I managed to blow it away. It definitely doesn’t show up anymore.

The VCD is not in disk management or device manager. I did install the SES driver, but that shouldn’t affect the VCD.

Try to trigger a Password with WD Security just to confirm if the device will allow for the VCD to mount when the drive is encrypted (As intended). Before you proceed please ensure WD SmartWare is installed in order to have a secondary tool to unlock the drive.


Hello Trancer,

     Thanks for your patience with me.

Doing that got the Unlocker partition to re-appear. So that’s good.

How do I restore the Smartware partition to the drive?

Then the drive is working as it should. There is no dedicated SmartWare “partition” on the drive as the application will just create a regular folder named Smartware.swstor for storing the backups inside the drive.