Remove the VCD from my drive

I want to remove the VCD from my drive and free up the space.  Any reason I should not?  I absolutely loath the back-up software and do not want the password.  Any ideas how to go about this?


I too would like to know how to remove this unecessary and annoying partition.

As of now, I have removed the drive letter in disk management and it stops it from popping up every time I plug in the device-- but I would like to completely remove it.

You might not be able to remove the WD Smartware from the drive because it’s embedded into the drive’s firmware, but you can disable it so it doesn’t show up or pops up when you connect the drive to the computer.


and why WD don’t create a new firmware update that let us remove it? mine is taking 500 MB or so, but 500 are very valuable for storage.

1 Like

I will have o echo JCF2009 and ask…


Why hasn’t WD Issued a firmware update to allow for the removal of the drive.  500 meg is allot of space to be wasted.

I just read your reply again, first thank you for answering my question.  Are you saying the VCD is actually a firmware drive and does not even exist “physically” on the drive platters?

The space wasted exists but is protected by the firmware, so it don’t let us delete the content ,example the smartware program inside that i don’t use, i started using Windows 7 Backup and Restore to do System Images and is great. I really don’t know why WD want to make us use their program if it a free program in the first place.

1 Like

Adding my endorsement to the options of others in this thread: I would ask WD please, please, please, please release ASAP a firmware update that allows the drive to be used as a drive by eliminating the VCD and recovering the space. I would also like to know how to remove all “legacy” code modules associated with SmartWare from my machine so as not to clutter up the system with unused bits of code…

1 Like

Come on WD no need to spend 22k on a focus group to tell you what is up.  The VCD being filled with worthless software is NOT a selling point.  Whoever engineered that software was negligent.  The back up software is worthless and frankly an ebaresment to anyone who purchased the drive.  The password scheme ■■■■■ BUT could have been entirely firmware not wasting ANY disk space.  Come on WD help your die hard fans stay true.  Presently I am more impressed with Seagates FreeAgent than my WD Passport.  Someone dropped the ball on developing this garbageWare.

The ‘solution’ works, but only kinda-sorta. Pardon the length of this note, but here is my complete experience: I was able to successfully disable the VCD by:

  1. Downloading and updating the passport firmware.

  2. Downloading and running the VCD Manager and disabling the VCD.

  3. Powercycling the drive.

After powercycling the passport, I was prompted to install driver software for “your WD SES Device USB Device”. The options (as usual) were to

a) locate and install driver software

b) Ask me again later

c) Don’t show this message again for this device

Before responding to these choices, the drive appeared to be browseable and writable, and showed up in the Windows Disk Management. I also verified that the VCD (F: on my machine) was not ‘installed’ and the drive letter was ‘available’ for assignment. So that was alright then.

However, the Windows Device Manager shows “WD SES Device USB Device” as an “other device” that is “not configured correctly”. Despite the warning about “non-functioning” devices, I choose option © “Don’t show this message again” (accepting the risk that, as I had been warned, the device would not function).

The “Other device” was still present in the Device Manager, which indicated that, indeed, it was not functioning because it was “not configured correctly”. Wanting to eliminate the “incorrectly configured” device, I uninstalled the “WD SES Device USB Device”, indicating that the driver should be deleted, and it disappeared from the Device Manager. The Passport was still functioning—perfectly as far as I could tell.

After powercycling the drive, I was again prompted to install driver software for “your WD SES Device USB Device”, and was right back where I was after disabling the VCD.

Checking the FAQ/Knowledge Base at WD, I found an answer to the question “How do I get the SES driver popup to stop?”

The short answer appears to be “your can’t”. Specifically, the answer begins:

“Your new Western Digital My Passport/My Book hard drive requires a special communications channel (SCSI) between your PC/Mac to enable certain features such as password protection and Mac/PC cross compatibility.”

As I do not want to enable password protection or to run SmartWare, and as I do not use a Mac, I don’t really want to load this driver. As noted above, the drive seems to function just fine without it. The WD “answer” continues:

“This driver is only used by your hard drive and is installed by default when you install SmartWare. However if you did not install the driver upon first install and chose not to install WD Smartware, Windows will continue to prompt you to install the driver each time you connect the drive to you computer.”

In other words, even if you don’t need it you have to install it. Great. The driver may only be used by the WD drive, but it is clearly not needed for the drive to operate successfully; at least I can’t see what functionality is impaired if the driver is not installed—other than the SmartWare functionality which, as already noted, I have no need for and no interest in using.

Then WD provides their “solution”:

“We recommend that you install the driver by selecting the Install the software automatically option on the popup screen. Windows will automatically find the Windows SES driver online, and the prompting will disappear. This will not affect your operating system negatively in any way.”

Well, installing the driver may not “affect [my] operating system negatively in any way”—but it is loaded into memory and so does create a certain amount of overhead all for no purpose. Come on, WD, I have been a very loyal customer because I like your hardware and have had (generally) better experience with it than with the hardware of your competitors.

Please, please, please, please don’t require users to install software and drivers that are not needed for your devices to perform the basic functions (in this case file storage) for which they were acquired.

Less, in this case, is more.


To avoid the message i copied the folder with the drivers to windows folder and now don’t ask anymore. I thought this would help the gauge indicator too but it didn’t it only works with the smartware installed, that stinks. I’m thinking to buy another one but i don’t know if i risk again with this.

1 Like

Try this:

Install the WD Smartware software.

a. Click on the “Settings” the last tap to the right.  

b. “Drive Settings”

c.  “VCD”

d. Select the “Disable” to hide the VCD.

e. Recycle the power to the WD external drive.

That should hide the VCD from being show up.

If you need to show the VCD just go back to select Enable. 

FYI: This is to only hide the VCd from showing up, I do not know how to remove it permenently.

1 Like

Thanarath, Thank You for your response but it is still not resolving the problem at hand.  You said it yourself “I do not know how to remove it permanently.”  We need a firmware patch that allows us to get rid of the VCD drive.  THAT will resolve the problem.  Anything short of that is just an outright act of denial that the problem exist…  BUT thank you for the input.

1 Like

yeah, with that extra space i can storage an avi movie or internet programs.

bMorHon, are you able to safely remove the hardware from the PC using the icon in the system tray?

I too removed the VCD while attached to a XP machine.  Everything seemed to be fine with it there.  I could safely remove the hardware from the machine using the icon.  When I attached it to my new Win 7 64-bit PC, it would recognize it but wouldn’t let me safely remove it.  I ended up just pulling the USB cable from PC.  I haven’t tried to plug it in again mainly because I’m scared of what I did.

Any response would be greatly appreciated.


I’m so diseappointed right now. Been a satisfied Western Digital customer for many many years until i bought the my passport 500 gig yesterday. Tried the “solution” with updating the firmware and “disabling” the firmware, and still im sad… I was gonna use it for storing my kids movies on and connecting it to my usb dvd player, but even though its been disabled it chrashes my dvdplayer.

This must have been the worst idea ever. Let us have the option to remove the “smartware” asap, or im gonna smash my disk with a sledgehammer and never touch WD again ever!

[text deleted] 

1 Like

Recently got my WD Passport Essentials, and was looking for a way to remove the annoying VCD-“feature”, when I came along this thread.

I haven’t tried any of the proposed solutions, because from what I have understood, there are no final solutions, they only hide the problem.

OK, I don’t need the space. I’m only annoyed with this handholding ■■■■.

I guess this was my first and last exernal WD drive, if WD doesn’t provide a fireware update (if it is at all possible).

I second the previous speaker:

!"#!“¤” Jefvla sket!!!

1 Like

Well that is about all the negative press WD is going to allow on there own site.  

This moderator will delete the thread - hide/burry it - do something to eliminate it & make the embarrassment go away…


WD will release a firmware update to eliminate the annoying offender and win back some die hard fans…

What will corporate WD do??? 

I need to vent as well - this VCD is intensely annoying and so detrimental to WD’s reputation. I recommended it to one of my clients (I usually do recommend WD external drives) but it’s just a total embarrassment. What were you guys thinking when you came up with this useless bloated feature?

It is causing so many stupid issues in normal use how can we rely on it to work in a disaster recovery situation. The whole concept is so unconventional that no IT department would want to include it in their backup regime.


1 Like

And another thing…the gauge indicator works only if smartware is installed, unbelieve.

1 Like