My Passport Essential and full HDD image

Hi! I just bought a WD My Passport Essential 500 GB USB 3.0 HDD which I will use for full image backup of my internal HDD. I won’t be using SmartWare because I will be doing an image of my whole HDD every week with the Windows 7 built-in Backup & Restore function. My question is: should I installe the SES driver ( and the firmware update ( Why (please explain)? Thank you. :slight_smile:

Hi there.

Since you are not using WD Smartware you don’t need to install the SES Driver.- If you change your mind and want to install the WD Smartware software then you install the SES Driver.-

If the drive works OK now and you are not using Smartware I would not update the firmware. If it ain’t broke don’t fixit.


You don’t _ need _ the SES driver if you’re not setting a password and not using Smartware, but if you do install it, then you won’t get the nag screen asking you to install the SES driver every time you connect the drive. :wink:

The SES driver is for the secondary communications channel that exists between the drive and the PC… having it installed and unused is no different than having a printer driver installed for a printer that you basically never use… it won’t do any harm just sitting there unused, and you won’t be bugged about installing it constantly.

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Excellent point and very good advice. 

I won’t install the SES driver, I’m not getting any messages about it when I connect the drive and I won’t be using SmartWare or password protection. The drive itself seems to work normaly so I won’t install the firmware either. Thank you all for help!

I stand corrected: there was an exclamation mark on the SES driver in Device Manager so I downloaded the latest SES driver from WD support site and installed it. Now all seems fine and the drive works. I have two more questions though: 1. Should I enable the recycle bin for this external drive? Is it better not to or it doesn’t matter? I would like to preserve the drive as much as possible and only use it for the system image backup. 2. I deleted the contents of the drive (SmartWare etc.)m should I also format it in Windows before use? Which settings do you suggest for formatting? Thank you! :slight_smile:

I was about to say that if the nag isn’t coming up for the SES driver then it’s already installed.:wink:

The drive should have come formatted NTFS.  If you’re just writing system backup images to it, there’s no need to give it a recycle bin or re-format it – you should be able to just start writing your images to it as-is.

One last thing: when I connect my Passport drive to my laptop nothing happens. Only its light glows. I have to reboot the laptop and then the drive is found. Is that normal? I didn’t install the firmware, just the driver, is this the reason (probably not)?