Multiple Backups from multiple computers - where did they go?

Hello all.  I work from home and my IT guy told me to purchase an external drive to back up my work laptop.  I purchased a 500Gb Passport with the WD Smartware software.  I used it to back up my personal desktop, my personal laptop, and my work laptop.  Since I have Norton on my personals, I used Norton backup and sent the files to the Passport.  I used the Smartware software to back up the work laptop.   Recently my personal laptop was stolen, and so I bought a new personal laptop, and now it’s time to restore my files from the Passport to my new laptop, except there’s only one backup set on the drive.  A Norton backup set for my desktop.  It’s called DefaultSet.  I don’t see any other backups on this drive. 

Is it because the name DefaultSet comes up every time I back up, that I was overwriting the last computer I just backed up? 

Why is it that when I go into Windows Explorer that I don’t always see the drive?  I only see a drive that has the SmartWare files (SmartWare.exe and other folders and files).  I don’t see my actual backup files. 

I fear I’ve lost all the docs and pics that were on my personal laptop.  Can I format this Passport to act simply as an external drive?  Then I can copy any important information to it when needed?  It would be more cumbersome to do but at least I could see what I copied to it and be sure it’s on the drive. 

Any help would be greatly appreciated. 

Hi and welcome,

Once your start the backup using Smartware, it will create a folder named “smartware.swstor”, inside this folder you will see the name of all of the PC you backed up. Unfortunatelly if you cannot see any folders with this name, the backup was not initiated correctly. You always have the option to use the Passport as a regular drag and drop, copy/paste hard drive, even when using Smartware. 


Thanks.  You’ve given me something to look for.  Unfortunately I don’t have the “smartware.swstor” folder, although I’ve seen it before.  I did have back ups on here, I saw the files for my desktop just the other day.  Now it seems I’ve lost those too.  When I plug in the drive to the USB port I get:

1.  Password screen pops up first.  I enter my password.

2.  Welcome to WD Smartware.  Here I can choose to backup, set up drive, do not install, or retrieve backup.   If I try to retrieve backup, it doesn’t find any backup sets.

If I look at the drive in Windows Explorer (Vista) I see:

CD Drive (F:) WD Smartware


   Users Manuals

   WD Smartware

There are sub-folders as well in the folders above.  If I try to drag and drop a file to the F:drive, it says that there are 614Mb used and 0 bytes available.  So I cannot put anything on the drive as it is.  I assume the folders above are on their own partition.

Lastly, my work laptop runs Windows NT 6.1 and my desktop runs Vista.  I think my personal laptop ran Vista as well.  I used Norton to backup the personal computers and WD Smartware to back up the work laptop. 

Could it be that I chose to set up the drive and I wiped out all my backup sets?  Wouldn’t I be warned first?  I saw only one backup set the other day, now I can’t find any.  I don’t want to set up the drive, or format it, or repartition it just in case the backup to my personal laptop is still on the drive somewhere.  I fear that my backup for my personal laptop, which I did regularly, is somehow gone for good.  Any further help would be greatly appreciated. 

Don’t really know how Norton Backup would work, but it is possible. Another option you can try, is using a data recovery program, if the help of Google, you should be able to find several options.