My Book Essentials not backing up

I have made a few posts about my Book Essentials not working but have not had any feedback on how to remedy it.


The issues are:


–Can’t update firmware and software as per instructions on the WD website


–More importantly, after the initial set up and backup of my files, the “backup” on my My Book Essentials (750Gb HDD–model WDBAAF7500BK-NESN) does not work…although my computer recognizes the ext HDD.


I have a HP PC, 32 bit with Windows Vista and a quad processor along with a Security suite.


Can anyone at WD respond as to how I get this software and backup to work again? There have been no backups since the end of May 2010.


Looking forward to hearing what to do with this ext HD. Thanks so much.





Re my problem with “My Book Essentials”–not backing up since the end of May 2010.


Have not heard from anyone as to how to fix this problem…am anxious to move forward so if someone at WD would not mind looking at my problem and responding, i would be grateful.



What version of SmartWare do you have on your computer now?  Also, what firmware version does SmartWare identify for your drive?


To WDJeremy:


The version of Smartware is  I do not know what version of firmware I have…tried to find it but without success…Can yo assist in this regard if you need to know the firmware?


Just let me know if you need any additional information.



You can find your drive’s firmware version if you go to SmartWare’s “Settings” tab and then choose “Set up Drive”.  You have an outdated version of SmartWare installed so I recommend that you install the latest one off our website in the link below.


To WDJeremy:



Thanks…re: firmware…I looked where you said…it’s “firmware revision 1.030”.


Regarding your suggestion to update the smartware, I have tried as per the instructions on your website ( each step)…but i am unable to download the firmware or smartware as per the 2 step process indicated. All my PC does after I try is the desktop ‘flashes’ as if my windows is about to shut down. The only way out of the ‘flashing’  on my desktop is for me to reboot my PC.


Can you give advice on how to remedy this as well as how can I get the ext HDD to work( model #…Please refer to previous posting above).


Thanks so much…Garry

I recommend that you disconnect the drive from the computer until you can get SmartWare operating properly.  Can you get SmartWare functioning if you do the following?

  1. Click the Windows “Start” button and type “MSCONFIG” (without the quotations) in the Search Bar.  Press “ENTER” to start the System Configuration Utility.

  2. Click the “Services” tab, check the “Hide All Microsoft Services” box, and click “Disable All”.

  3. Click the “Startup” tab, click “Disable All” and click “OK”.

  4. Restart the computer and let it fully boot into Windows.

  5. Reinstall SmartWare directly from the updater.

Edit: Please also make sure that you have enabled all Microsoft .NET frameworks enabled within the Windows Features on the Windows Control Panel.

@ WDJeremy:


Before I go thru all these steps, given I am not very ‘tech savy’…I tried dowloading the WD Smartware as suggested in your ealier thread ( without updating the firmware). Nothing happened as I.E.explorer 8 was the default software to try and open the downloaded software.


Do you need special software to ‘unzip’ , ZIP files? If so, which is a good one for the Smartware ZIP file?


Thanks for your help so far. ( still no luck in updating files since May, 2010!)



Windows XP, Vista, and 7 have their own ability to open ZIP files.  You can use any computer to download the file but you must use one of those three versions of Windows to extract the files contents.

To WDJeremy:


Thanks for the response.


I have Windows Vista (latest updates) 32bit system. When I try to install the firmware or simply the WD Smartware update, my computer uses I.E. 8 …which makes my screen flash constantly until I reboot it.


Any suggestions of how to simplify fixing my problem, given I’m not very tech savy?



I recommend that you try the MSCONFIG start and then reinstall SmartWare directly from the updater.  You can verify that you have all Microsoft .NET frameworks enabled within the Windows Features.  Please see the link below for more information:

To WDJeremy:


Thanks for the reply…been away for a few days.


However, read your suggestion and did some research on MS site about your recommendations. If I understand it, what you are suggesting I do is to make changes to my registry which, from all I’ve read is very tricky and potentially dangerous for a “non-techy” person like me. I am reluctant to play with MS windows registry due to my lack of understanding as to the implications of making just one mistake ( I know that much).


What we’re talking about is updating software… Can WD not make this easier than what is suggested? For example, can I download 7-zip software and unzip the latest software release? …OR… Is WD contemplating changes to make downloads easier for its customers …like any other software update?


All I want to do is use this external harddrive for a backup…so as an alternative, can I erase what’s on the drive now and then “drag and drop” what I want to back up …or does the “erase function” in smartware cause the external harddrive not to be recognized by my computer?


Any feedback on my questions would be great as I am reluctant to start playing around with the Windows Registry.



My My Book Essential is approximately 2.5 years old.  Can I install the Smartware software and use it versus the trial software that came with the unit? 

Garry: You don’t need to change your registry to install the Windows features that SmartWare relies on.  If you wish to discontinue using SmartWare, you can drag/drop data to your drive now.  Otherwise, you can use other backup software such as the backup utility built into Windows.

Hexmate: The previous generations of MyBook Essentials drives lack the hardware that SmartWare relies on to operate.  Unfortunately, you cannot use SmartWare with your drive.

To WDJeremy:


Thanks for the feedback.  I am using the ‘drag and drop’ approach presently and it works just fine. Will wait a bit to see if I can get the smartware to work properly…however, not a priority.


Again, thanks for your help Jeremy.



I did all the procedure that was suggested but the updater software simply uninstall the old version and it’s look like is going to install the new version, but when finishes the update simply uninstall. I look from the directory where the software is installed and at the end no files exist.

LuisFreitas, have you visited the Microsoft Windows Update website and installed all optional and high priority updates using the “Custom” option?  Please note that you’ll need to revisit the website if Microsoft’s website found updates for your computer before and installed updates on your computer.

Thanks for your feedback. I already had all the critical and optional updates installed on my computer with the Windows 7 Ultimate and I also have the Net Framework  3.5 activated. I already have installed so many times the update of WD software without success. I think there must be doing something you must find, that already are in yours computers, because there is so many users which are having the same issues that I have.

To WDJeremy :


Not to create an ‘knot in your stomach’, Jeremy, but there is something fundamentally wrong with WD’s update process AND SOFTWARE if every/many users of WD’s external hardrive must go thru so many hoops to try and make WD’s software and Harddrives work properly.


WD did a masterful job in “marketing” this product as being easy to use…that is, indeed, not the case.


I would suggest that you talk to WD’s engineers/architects and find our why a simple update to software is creating soooo much of a problem.


Here’s one buyer who is still looking for a solution to updating software WITHOUT having to reconfigure my computer that is working very well!


Take care…Garry

LuisFreitas, I recommend that you also start your computer with all non-Microsoft services and startup items disabled using MSCONFIG and then reinstall SmartWare directly from the updater.

Garry, SmartWare relies entirely on the Microsoft .NET framework to be fully functional on the computer.  Since Microsoft distributes that through the Windows Update service most of the issues getting SmartWare to work revolve around updating or reinstalling Windows components.