WD smartware

I bought a 500 GB Passport portable drive back in 2010 as a backup for my laptop which I bought at the same time.  At first I was pleased to see the proprietary backup software and then discovered how useless it was and how user unfriendly.  I started using different backup software (GFI backup) which I would recommend and tried to get rid of the WD software which, by comparison, was useless.  That was the last straw.  I found, as have many others, that WD had locked the software into the system, taking up space on the portable drive  and using one of my drive letters.  Frankly it is a pain, and even more annoying in that I can’t get rid of it.

I have only just found this forum.  Back in 2010 many messages were written complaining about WD Smartware and I was wondering if any one has found a way to get rid of the inappropriately named Smartware and free up the spaceit takes, apart from hiding it.

I have since bought other portable drives and am sorry to say that one of my criteria was ‘it mustn’t be WD’

Welcome to the Community.

Newer generations of the WD Passport addressed the used space by only reserving 20MB for the unlocking mechanism partition alone, which is automatically hidden when there is no active password while Smartware itself was stored as a regular erasable file within the actual hard drive partition.

However, this was an actual hardware revision instead of a software/firmware update.

Many thanks for replying so promptly.  My understanding is I am saddled with losing 10% of the drive, that is 48GB out of the 512GB (500gb nominal) that I bought.  For me it is the principle of the thing and it has made me unhappy with Western Digital’s behaviour. It should have been sold as a 464GB drive with additional backup software.   Once again thank you for replying.

The Smartware partition is only 700MB; not 48GB. All hard drive manufacturers use decimal numbers for hard drive capacity, however, Windows shows binary numbers.

465GB binary is actually 500GB decimal, and you will see either number depending on the operating system you are using. For example, Mac OS and Linux will show you 500GB while Windows will show you 465GB. Both numbers are correct for the respective binary/decimal capacity system as file size is also affected system-wide.

For additional information please visit the following link:


I bought a 2TB My Book thinking that I would be able to access it with Smartware “Pro” as easily as I can with any other peripheral (eg. CD drives, my smartphone, my flash drives, my cameras…) and basic application software (eg. my photo viewers)

I was in systems for 40 years and this is a pretty fundamental capability that was obviously solved a long time ago by the manufacturers of CD drives, smartphones, flash drives. etc…

I just wanted the drive for systems backups from all the PC’s on my home network.


Smartware “Pro” will neither access nor even recognize the WD My Book drive when the drive is plugged into the USB port on my network’s router. I can map a drive to it with my ancient Windows XP but Smartware won’t recognize it. Smartware won’t even recognize the WD drive as a Windows Share, forget about mapping a drive.

My Windows Explorer recognizes it and I can move files back and forth and share them with others on my home network.

But for automated backups???

My Kaspersky Anti-Virus software comes with automated backup software that recognizes the WD drive and works just fine and there’s probably lots of other automated backup software out there that would work just fine with the WD drive.

The manufacturer of the drive however can’t seem to get it straight and from my reviews it appears that this problem has existed for YEARS!

Now! Smartware loads automatically at startup and there’s no way to keep it from consuming resources unnecessarily than by manually turning off the Windows Services and Processes for it, a nuisance.

Even if you flag it to only start manually at boot time, it still starts.

There must be something in the Registry that overrides my flagging.

I’m not about to go looking through my Registry however and changing flags and possibly causing problems.

So, once I make sure I’m not shooting myself in the foot, I will uninstall Smartware.

I have to make sure I can still access the drive even if Smartware isn’t there and doing who knows what and that there isn’t something on the drive that expects Smartware to be there.

“Smartware Pro”???


“Dumbware Amateur”

Anybody have anythng on this?

Sure would like to know before i entrustmy 48TB and 50 years work to yet another hack job.  Seems that I spend more time fixin stuff screwed up by bonehead software.

I should have stayed with the old drag and drop backup system.

Maybe I  should step back yet one more…  burn everything to 3,982 gold disks and bury them in the back yard next to the chicken coup.

Better yet, throw the computers in the hole too and stick to chickens.  They don’t need no stinkin’ backup!

Anybody have anything on anything?



PS  Backup anywhere worked great with one drive, but those days ae long gone…

The best way to do a backup, is to manually copy the files.   There have been other users who also suggest this.   I have used WD Smartware software with 3 of these drives (2TB models).     In my case, I’m backing up a 2TB storage drive with music, and pictures.        I recently wanted to check the results of the folders in detail and found the following.

1.   The WD Smartware software does not remove old directories if you delete from the source disk.     Let’s say you decide to clean up your source directories.    The target will still have the junk you cleaned off the source disk.

2.  The WD Smartware will not create empty directories on the target disk.

3.  The WD Smartware will not copy the following files, thumbs.db, WS_FTP.log.    There are probably many other files, these are the files I found do not copy.  

What is the big deal about this?     If you go into a directory on the source disk, click on properties, then do the same on the target disk, the numbers will be differerent.   

If any Devs are reading this, the WD Smartware software needs to have a replicate mode, that copies the folders exactly.

For now this is what you do.

Open an explorer window for your source disk (usually a storage drive).    Open an explorer window for your target disk (the WD Passport drive).    Now manually copy each folder from the source to the target.      You can use the properties command to check the size of each folder and verify they are the same.      Do this once a month or whenever you make a bunch of changes.   

If you are backing up your C drive, then you need to use an image software like True Acronis 2014.   In my case, I clone my C Drive to another disk, and also make images of it which I put on the storage drives.      

The WD Smartware software is a good idea, but they need a replcate mode for people who like to clean their source drives and keep everything exactly in sync.      Otherwise you have no idea of knowing what is on the target.