WD SmartWare FAQ


#1

UPDATED 7/12/11

With the release of version 1.5.0.17, WD SmartWare now has the capability of doing either a general backup based on categories, or a more specific backup based on files and folders.  For instructions on doing either type of backup, please consult the following Knowledge Base articles.

Note:  Due to the release of version 1.5.0.17, the following information will need to be updated.  Please be patient during this time.

  • What is the difference between the VCD and SmartWare, or are they the same?
  • How do I use SmartWare?
  • Do I have to install SmartWare to use the external drive?
  • Why do I get the WD SmartWare install window, even though I don’t want SmartWare?
  • Can I use other backup software, or just WD SmartWare with my external drive?
  • What is the SES driver and do I need to install it?
  • How do I get rid of the install driver prompt everytime I connect my WD drive?

 

Q: What is the difference between the VCD and SmartWare, or are they the same?

A:   They are not the same. 

The VCD (Virtual CD) is an area of the external hard drive made visible by the drive’s firmware.  It contains the WD SmartWare software and other drive utilities.  The VCD is what makes WD drive encryption possible.  It also contains the utilities for testing the drive.  Newer versions of the VCD no longer contain WD SmartWare as part of the VCD.  If you would like to make the VCD invisible (it cannot be completely removed), the YouTube video below can help you do that.

WD SmartWare is a backup software that you install.  It is also used for accessing the drive’s utilities and features, as well as for setting up drive security.  The WD external drives do not need to have SmartWare installed in order to function as simple drives. 

Q: How do I use SmartWare?

A:  I’ve listed some YouTube videos below to help get you started.

Q:  Do I have to install SmartWare to use the external drive?

A:   No, you don’t have to install SmartWare to use the drive. However, if you want to use any of the features of the drive, including the built in tests and password protection, then you will have to install WD SmartWare to do so.

Q:  Why do I get the WD SmartWare install window, even though I don’t want SmartWare?

A:   The first time you plug in the drive, two things should happen: 1) Windows will attempt to install the SES driver, and 2) Windows AutoPlay will attempt to install WD SmartWare.  If the AutoPlay brings up the install window to install SmartWare, and you don’t want to use SmartWare, you can just close the window and SmartWare will not be installed.  If you install SmartWare, and then you no longer want to use it, you can uninstall it from your computer through the Control Panel. 

Q:  Can I use other backup software, or just WD SmartWare with my external drive?

A:   WD SmartWare is a backup software provided by WD.  You are not limited to using just SmartWare as a backup software on your WD external drive.  You can use any backup software you choose.  Or, you can simply copy and paste.  However, if you want to use any of the features that come with the SmartWare drives, then you will need to install SmartWare to do so.

Q:  What is the SES driver and do I need to install it?

A:   Your WD My Passport/My Book external hard drives require the installation of the SES (SCSI Enclosure Services) driver to enable certain features such as password protection, LED control, and access to the drive’s label (if applicable).  If you are planning on using any of those features, then you will need to install the SES driver.  However, you do not need to install the driver if you don’t plan on using those features.  Nevertheless, Western Digital does recommend that you install the SES driver whether you’re using SmartWare, or not. 

Note:   If you did not install the SES 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 a computer. This will continue to occur unless the SES driver is installed.

Q:  How do I get rid of the install driver prompt everytime I connect my WD drive?

A:   The only way to get rid of the prompt is to install the SES driver.  See Answer ID 3739 in WD’s Knowledge Base for how to install the driver.