Installing drivers: flawed procedure?

I bought a WD My Book Essential 2 TB external drive and installed it last night on my XP Pro PC. But either I’m missing something or there’s a very basic flaw in WD’s installation procedure! Apart from an illustration of the cables there were no instructions (and no setup CD). That was actually what I’d hoped, as I’d read that it was a straightforward plug-in-and-use drive. But I immediately got the familiar Found New Hardware Wizard. I wasn’t surprised that it failed to find a driver automatically so I clicked Back and specified the location C:\Windows\INF, which has worked for other USB devices before. That was successful, and I repeated that procedure again when prompted by the wizard about the next new hardware, the USB drive itself, and that also was OK. It failed for the third component, ‘WES’, something to do with its Smart Software facility, which I don’t want anyway. But, of course, it was only after the above that I was able to read the User Guide PDF on the drive. And in that I see “4. If a Found New Hardware screen appears, click Cancel to close it. The WD SmartWare software that is on the drive installs the proper driver for your My Book drive.” Obviously I couldn’t know that until I’d installed the drive - Catch 22!! So my first question: is that just WD being incredibly daft? Or am I missing something? More important, how should I now proceed for the best? The drivers now installed are built-in ones from 2001, according to Device Manager > WD My Book 1140 USB Device: C:\WINDOWS\system32\DRIVERS\disk.sys C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\PartMgr.sys Should I now try to update to the WD drivers? Even though I don’t want this Smart Software stuff? That seem to be essentially a backup/restore app. I have several already. More to learn, that I can live without. In particular, would using the WD drivers would improve speed? Is there a simple test I can do, BTW, to check speed? How long should it take to copy across say a 1 GB file from a reasonably fast internal Samsung drive? – Terry, East Grinstead, UK

The drivers are required for the hardware to work with your computer. However it will not improve the performance what so ever. If the drive is recognized and working with your PC you’re good to go.

If you don’t want to use Smartware then you don’t need to install that application.