My Passport Essential confusion and I'm just plain stuck :(

From 4 - 3.5 years ago, I used My Passport Essential on a PC (the last backup was in mid/late 2008). About a year ago, I retrieved files from said passport onto a Mac (10.4) and again to an identical 10.4 Mac a few months ago. I have no access to those computers so I decided to connect my passport to my current, indefinitely accessible Mac (10.5) to retrieve my files again. Time Machine (which I’d never experienced) popped up and I elected to start the process of using my passport with it for future syncing… Thoughtless of me, in my ignorance. Time Machine: created a backup folder containing nothing; required my passport’s password which I’m clueless to; said my passport needed reformatting. I am not sure in which order those things occurred as it was a month ago.

I forgot about this until this evening when I contemplated buying an MP3 player. I downloaded WD Smartware, being stuck with Time Machine. The ‘Backup’, ‘Retrieve’, and (in ‘Settings’) ‘Set Up Drive’ tabs were unclickable (I assume because my passport is formatted for PC). So I played around in ‘Set Up Software’ settings and noticed an option to change the Retrieve Folder. Upon browsing my folder options for default retrieve folder, I saw my old folders and files that I’m trying to access!

…I got stuck at this stage, registered My Passport Essential and started writing here. I need to retrieve my files using this 10.5 Mac but I don’t know what to do or how to do it. I’d love some help with this so I can access my files and move on/avoid a computer illiteracy-related aneurysm. Thanks :slight_smile:

Regardless of the format the drive has you SHOULD be able to access its content.

On the desktop open the drive and look on the folders you have there. The drive will be showing as My Passport unless you formatted the drive with Time Machine which in this case will show as Time Machine Backup with an icon for TM.

If you formatted the drive, then all data was erased and you’ll need a partition recovery utility. 

You don’t need Smartware to retrieve the files, I don’t even think Smartware was out when you purchase this drive so chances are this drive does not use Smartware.

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The only folder in My Passport is Time Machine’s backup folder which is empty. I never reformatted. It shows up as My Passport, not with the Time Machine icon.

Smartware was not out indeed, I just wanted to see if I could find my files and I did see them.