I have been wrestling with Smartware for 6 months now. My dream for a remote backup software is something (a) easy to use, and (b) “just works” (see a). Smartware is far from that. I even shelled out for Smartware Pro in hopes that they saves the good stuff for the money payers, but it really is no better. The UI is opaque, the software is poorly documented, the tech support is weak and (most importantly) is doesn’t “just work”.
The problem of the “greyed out back up and retrieve” is cited in a number of Forums. After nearly an entire day of troubleshooting this issue with multiple long calls with Tech Support and doing every solution proposed (reboots, reinstalls, resets), we finally seemed to come up with a solution - TURN THE FIREWALL OFF.
Voila. Not so fast.
Problem 1 - The whole purpose of an over-the-air backup system is to incrementally backup constantly. I can’t really have my Firewall off all the time.
Problem 2 - It doesn’t solve it completely. Turning the firewall off does all Smartware to finally connect to the WD MyCloud…but it doesn’t stay connected. I periodically checked on the backup process and regularly find that the Smartware has disconnected itself from the MyCloud (ie. Backup and Retrieve greyed out) and I would have to manually reconnect.
I have tried configuring the Firewall…
1. Setting Smartware as an program allowed through the Firewall.
2. Enabling WD Smartware in the Advanced Setting rules.
But even with these modifications, the Smartware would not connect unless I turned the Firewall completely off.
I asked WD Tech Support for guidance on how to get their Smartware software to work through the Windows Firewall (the most commonly used Firewall on the planet), and they refused to help. They said that the Windows Firewall was not their software and therefore it was not their responsibility to support it. That’s like having a word processor not print and saying that it’s not their fault because the printing software in Windows is not their. When they slapped me in the face with that total lack of support on an issue central to the functioning of their product, I gave up and disavowed ever buying WD products again.
I post this here in hopes of helping in two ways. If you haven’t bought WD - DONT. If you have and are desperate to fix this problem, try turning off the firewall completely.