My Book Essential and WD SmartWAre

I just bought this drive today, brought it home, and downloaded the manual. I hadn’t realized I would have to use the supplied backup software! Can I install the drive and somehow avoid activating the software? I had planned to use the drive to image my laptop hard disk and to supply extra storage. Can I use the drive without running the software, or should I remove it? The manual indicated the SmartWare software can be removed via the Control Panel, but would this impair use of the drive in any way?

Thank you for your help!

This is now a moot issue. I returned the drive for a full refund. I’d prefer just a plain external hard drive!

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You could hide the virtual cd and just it as external hard drive. Since you returned i don’t think it would matter much.

As you’ve already returned the drive this likely won’t help you much, but for anyone else who finds themselves in a similar situation you may want to consider the WD Elements hard drives. They are bare-basic drives without SmartWare or any other software.

This should help you disable the smart ware :!&p_li=&p_topview=1

KB Article : 3835


I did just that! I’d read good things about the WD Elements drive, and it sounded like that was exactly what I’d wanted in the first place. I bought one today. Thanks for all the good suggestions!

I want to do more than not use the software and disable the virtual drive. I want the drive to work across computers without having to load the WD SES Device Driver everytime. Had I know about this, I would have bought a WD Essential drive.

WD should do the right thing, and offer a firmware “update” that gets rid of all this for those who request it.

I bought my drive at CostCo not knowing I would have this problem. I am planning on returning it.