My Passport Essential SE - Allow us to Disable SES just like we can disable VCD

After reading all the comments from disgruntled users, WHY doesn’t WDC just provide an option to disable the SES functionality (which requires a driver) just like they provide the ability to turn off the virtual CD (VCD) with the Virtual CD Manager (outside of all the SmartWare stuff, which I don’t want to load), as shown in this thread:

I’m not worried about the hidden 0.03% of the 1TB drive and don’t care if the partition stays there, however, it would be nice not to see the popup for the driver EVERY time I plug the drive into a new machine.  Now, before someone chimes off about why didn’t I buy an ELEMENTS drive, vs a PASSPORT, guess what - there isn’t a 1TB ELEMENTS with USB3 yet, or I would have.

WD, how about it?



This will explain the SES driver!!&p_li=&p_topview=1  

If you read my post, I wasn’t questioning what the SES driver does.  I was pointing out that it’s a PITA to have to go through the circle-jerk of windows asking for the driver every time I plug the drive into a new machine to pull some files off of it.

Now, I went ahead and followed the instructions in the FAQ for my model home WDBACX0010BBK-NESN, the 1TB USB3+USB2 My Passport Essential SE,  to disable the VCD.  The FAQ referes to answer ID 3835 for the procedure.  Following this procedure, neither the firmware updater ( or Virtual CD Manager for Windows ( recognizes the drive (it shows up fine in the device manager, and Window can access it fine).  Looking around the website, I came across newer version of both utilities - firmware updater (, and Virtual CD Manager for Windows Web Release (  This firmware updater DOES recognize the drive, and reports it as already having the latest firmware.  However, the Virtual CD manager for Windows Web release still does not recognize the drive. 

This leaves me with the impression that this is a rushed to market product without proper testing and software support.  Since I’m unable to disable the Virtual CD, every time I plug it into a system, it wants to autorun the Smartware stuff from the VCD AND load the SES driver.  Pretty much useless for my needs.  I’ve used WD drives for years, and this is a REAL disappointment.  It’s going back to Office Depot tomorrow. 

I have exactly same problem. Already updated to the newest firmware, but I couldn’t even see the drive!! What the heck WD is doing??? This is VERY disappointing, horrible software!

It will want to run the SES driver whether the VCD is hidden or not.  Windows is detecting the SES at the USB port for the plugged device.  The only way to get Windows to stop asking, is to not have the SES on the USB circuitry – which would make it an Elements.

RoofingGuy wrote:

It will want to run the SES driver whether the VCD is hidden or not.  Windows is detecting the SES at the USB port for the plugged device.  The only way to get Windows to stop asking, is to not have the SES on the USB circuitry – which would make it an Elements.

Wrong.  There is no “USB circuitry” mandating SES, it is an option presented by the drives FIRMWARE to the USB enumerator on Windows.  WD could allow an option to turn this off it it so desired, just like they did previously with the ability to hide the VCD, which originally wasn’t there either.  Whether they will is another matter.  The market will sort this out, and WD will get a black eye in the process.

The VCD comments were made to point out that the new production 1TB drives (WDBACX0010BBK-NESN) have changed the VCD implementation once again, and now you can no longer disable the VCD with either SmartWare or the Windows Virtual CD manager.   So, unless you load SmartWare on every machine you plug the drive into, you’re going to get a VCD that autoruns.  Until this gets fixed (which according to the Level 2 tech rep, it won’t), I believe these new drives will be one of the most returned retail items WDC sells.  The product manager who allowed this idiocy to get to the market under WD’s name ought to get the boot!

So, I’ll go buy an Elements USB3 1TB drive that runs on USB power.  Oh, wait.  They don’t offer one.


It’s over a year that so many customers are complaining about VCD, SES etc.

The greatest problem is not only that WD refuses to issue a firmware update to permanently remove them (if this is possible).

It is that WD refuses to clearly inform customers about the “special features” these drives incorporate BEFORE THEY DECIDE TO BUY THE PRODUCT. Especially if these “special features” are permanent and do not allow the free use of the drive at customer’s will and needs.

I just bought the WD My Passport Essential SE 750 GB and I am very disappointed that the drive is not just plug and play. I want to use the drive to exchange files with others and they might scare from installing drivers from other peoples hardware.

I to would like an option to turn this SES of so Windows will not ask for a driver.

(What, if somebody that connected the drive and does install the SES driver gets problems on his PC thereafter (dispite the fact that it  does or does not have anything to do with the driver)  accuses me that it is after installing the WD My Passport. Would not like that.

 For now I can put a sticker on top that the SES driver can be ignored. Does not look nice I would say.

O, like everyone else I can not disable VCD using the utility. It does not find the drive.