Smartware Alternative?

Hey guys, first post… so be gentle.

Just bought the My Book 2TB Elite, so far it hasn’t died on me (yikes, please tell me this is a rare thing and not something overly common with recently purchased models???) .  I haven’t started a backup yet as I opened up the Smartware included and was shocked and dismayed by the lack of customization it allows.  Not to mention, why must I do a “retrieval process”… why can’t the files just copy in the same folder trees as the original drives?

All that said, here’s my questions:

  1. Is there a way to specify folders to backup from drives?  I have repeated content on multiple drives.  I only want to backup certain folders on each drive.  I don’t want all pictures, video etc… from each drive saved multiple times on the backup.  Why would WD create such a generic product and stick it on ALL their drives with no alternative offered???

  2. If not using the Smartware software is the best choice, is there another FREE or cheap good alternative out there where I can incorporate continuous backup and select specific folders to backup instead of choosing file categories?

  3. Seriously, doe these drives fail consistently?  Should I return it and buy another type while I can and before I backup to it?

Thanks for all the help you can offer folks!