I just bought a WD My Book Essential USB 2.0 1TB model# WDBAAF0010HBK-NEWM.I have some questions and concerns. 1) Does this model store the SmartWare software in a hidden partition on the drive itself or is it located completely within the firmware?
Nope. The old drives had a hidden partition which appeared as a VCD, that contained both Smartware and the Unlocker bits and pieces. The new drives still have a hidden partition, but it’s much smaller, as it only contains the Unlocker bits and pieces… the Smartware application itself can be deleted off the main drive. Installing it was always optional. I’ve never used it.
- Did WD ever release a firmware version that will completely remove the Smartware software from the drive?
I don’t want it hidden, I want it gone.
As I said, on the new drives you can easily delete the Smartware software… but I don’t think not what you really mean to ask.
I think you wanna know about the VCD partition with the Unlocker stuff… and the answer there is “nope”. It is necessary for the drive to function properly.
If you don’t want the “Unlocker”, then don’t buy a drive that has password capabilities – problem solved.
But It has nothing really to do with “firmware”… it’s a physical partition on the drive.
- Assuming that no Smartware free firmware exists: if I were to buy a third party enclosure would I be able to use the drive itself with the new enclosure or does the drive indeed have a proprietary/otherwise nonstandard connector that would prevent me from doing this?
I may even just stick the drive in one of my extra internal bays if the connector doesn’t make it impossible.
Again, it has nothing to do with firmware.
Sure, you can pop the drive out of the case, and connect it as a regular SATA internal, and write zeroes to the entire drive and re-format/re-partition it… but then why not just buy a SATA internal drive in the first place? Why pay extra for the case and the power supply and the hardware encryption, just to throw all that in the trash?
The “Unlocker” partition is _ necessary _ for the proper functioning of a password-equipped drive. The non-password drives don’t have the unlocker, oddly enough.