After reading forum discussions (especially the ones where people were fuming about not being able to disable the VCD) as well as many WDC docs I was expecting to see the VCD automatically (and uncontrollably) regonized as a drive on my PC (both Linux and Windows XP). When it never showed up and running “WD SmartWare Virtual CD Manager for Windows Web Release-v18.104.22.168.exe” kept coming back with the message:
“Please connect a WD SmartWare drive to continue, then click Rescan”
I thought there was either a defect with the drive or my PC had a problem dealing with it. Lengthy e-mail exchanges with a very helpful tech-support person (Alvaro G) finally confirmed the following (in Alvaro’s words):
“After verifying with higher techs we could determine that the VCD on newer drives will only show up when the drive is locked using WD Smartware. If the drive has a password protection enabled the VCD will appear so you can unlock it first and then use the hard drive.”
“Since the VCD on newer drives will only show when the drive is locked and will immediately hide after the drive shows up, there is no need to use the VCD Manager in order to “hide” the VCD. For this reason, the VCD Manager will not detect the VCD in newer versions of WD Smartware drives.”
I thought I would share this information in case others are as puzzled as I was about this unexpected behavior, but also hoping to spur the maintainers of documentation to update relevant sections regarding this significant change in how the VCD operates.
Can anyone find out as of what WDC models/model numbers/serial numbers this change took place?
Other than this bit of confusion, I found the drives worked like a charm. Re-partitioning in Linux for both ntfs and ext3 formats was a breeze, so now I have one giant device to plug into all of my systems for practiically instant data transfers and backups. Like most, I recommend junking the pre-loaded software, which (other than a windows driver) is really not needed for basic drive access.