Use of My Book Essential

First, let me state I am not a computer expert–know enough to get myself in trouble–

I purchased this unit (My Book Essential–1 TB) to “Back-up” three (3) different computers --all Laptops–one Acer w/ XP Home OS about 1 yr old–One Sony Vaio w/ XP Home about 7 yrs old and one Sony Vaio w/ Vista about 3 yrs old.

I started installing the unit on the two XP Units–updated the “Firmware” and “Latest Updates” on Smartware.  It was then I found the Smartware would “Back-Up” the “Documents & Data” only–I wanted to back-up the “complete unit”, including OS and added software (which is sometimes downloaded from Internet without benefit of “disc”).

If I am reading various messages in the “Community” correctly, it might be better to “erase” Smartware,etc and use my existing Norton 360 to “back-up” each of my units to the “My Book” unit as a “removable” Hard Drive Storage Unit.

Am I understanding the situation correctly?—If so, how do I go about “removing” Smartware??–Also, I believe I read somewhere that I can not reverse the “Firmware” update—that may or may not be an issue–not sure??

OR—Is there a way to use the “My Book” unit in its present state and accomplish my objective—i.e.“Back-Up” the OS/Software and Documents/Data (i.e. pictures, letters, etc.)…

Appreciate any comments / suggestions–Thanks in advance.


The Smartware is nothing but ■■■■. It won’t do a system backup. Try this instead

I’d retrieve any data I wanted remove your password and reformat the drive and start clean.



Thanks for your reply / info—I took a look at the link for Acronis(sp)—It appears to be what I am looking for…

I have not transferred any data at this time—I did “update” the Firmware" and update “Smartware”–at least I think it was updated–then I “hooked” up two of my laptops with Windows XP OS (on separate occasions), where the WD Unit read the systems, identified the unit and indicated the files to be “backed up”----I did not take any action on either unit…It was at that time I realized the unit would not accomplish my objective–i.e. “backup” (clone) the unit–

Question: Do I have to remove the Smartware prior to downloading the Acronis Software???----If so, how do I accomplish that??—I presume I can not reverse the “Firmware” update and that will not be an issue–Is this a valid assumption–(I normally try not to “assume” any thing-LOL)

Question:  If/When I “download” the Acronis–Do I download straight to WD Unit??—or to my computer, then to the WD Unit?

Thanks in advance for your comments/assistance.


I installed the Acronis software without removing the Smartware and the installation went without a hitch (Win7 X64) I then proceeded to do a system backup to my WD My Book Essential 2 TB and that also went ok. I created the boot disk and tested it and everything seems to be good.