WD Smartare cannot be removed through Windows Control Panel. And it is impossible to simply update the software for many, many users who have posted all over the net.
I bought a Passport Essentials SE 500 GB drive about 3 months ago. The bottom line is this: This is a GREAT piece of hardware that is RUINED by a company that clearly has an agenda to FORCE its Customers to pay their $14.95 per incident fee to address WD Smartware problems that are INEVITABLE for the average user over the life of the drive.
Customers paying hard earned money in good faith should NOT have to be FORCED to use WDs’ proprietary software… OR spend hours of their valuable time on the WD site or elsewhere to address issues that should NEVER occur to begin with.
WD is apparently completely clueless regarding the number of people each affected Customer will negatively influence in the marketplace.
NEVER AGAIN !!