I can't access an old backup

I bought a 1TB WD passport before I started my first semester of college back in 2013. Looking at this forum I learned apparently there are wireless ones now, but mine plugs in. I dont know how else to identify it.

I had a kind of crappy old laptop when I started college, and I used my passport to regularly back up all the stuff I didnt want to lose if the thing happened to crash on me. Then about a year ago I got a much nicer laptop. I really dont remember how I transferred all my important files over to it before I gave my old one away, because I cant access the old backup. I think I used my passport to transfer everything over one file at a time, using it like a really really big flash drive and dragging and dropping alot.

Now this scares me. Obviously, the whole point of this thing is to back up my stuff, so if I happen to drop my laptop and a truck runs over it, I have 99% of everything I need in my desk at home, and theres no worries. But this thing serves absolutely no purpose at all if I cant access a backup from one computer on a different computer. It’s been a year, and after trying on and off multiple times, I still cant get my computer to draw from my old laptops backups. There’s nothing on there Id need anymore, but I do need to know how to do it. I dont want to spend all this time backing up, and then if my laptop breaks, all my important stuff is on this drive, but the drive wont let my replacement laptop access it.

On the smartware software, on the backup tab where it shows whats in the drive in bricks on the far right side, It shows a block for “Files” one for “additional files” and one for “Other backups”. I think the Other Backups is from my old laptop, because thats the only one that never grows in size. But other than that one block there, I cant find any other evidence that my old laptops backups even exist. those 36GB are just there taking up space, and I cant reach them.

When I take files and drag them onto my drive like I would with any flash drive, those I can access from any computer, but of course I dont have the time or ability to back all my stuff up manually. \


I just need to know how to retrieve files from a backup of an old computer to my current computer, because without this ability, a backup on an external hard drive is completely useless. I can see my old laptops backup is still there, I just cant touch it at all.

If the backup was done with WD SmartWare there 2 ways to retrieve it.

  1. You can manually navigate your WD Passport in Windows Explorer and locate the SWSTOR folder with the WD SmartWare backup. Files are clean copies with no encryption, separated by computer name. They can be copied to any location in your system.

  2. In the Retrieve tab (Using WD SmartWare), change retrieve volume. By default, WD SmartWare will only show the files that belong to the current computer, but by changing the retrieve volume you are able to see backups from other systems. Next step would be to select a destination content folder to hold the files.