WD500 labeled as a "CD-ROM" by Windows XP--can't reformat it

I am trying to hid WD Smart Ware as it is totally useless for me.  I want to use the WD500 gb as a regular external disc drive.  I followed all the directions to update the firmware, and then to update the WD SmartWare.  Now, I right-clicked ‘My Computer’, left-clicked and opened Disk Management only to find my WD500 gb drive labeled by XP as a “CD-ROM” drive.   I think this is the reason that right-clicking the blue bar does nothing–the command to delete partitions is greyed out. 

Is there a way to get XP to see this as a hard drive rather than a CD-ROM?  I have a DVD drive that reads CD’s but I do not have any CD-ROM drives.

Thanks for any help you can provide. 

The CD ROM is probably a virtual CD. Go into Disk Management and see if the drive shows there. Make sure it has a drive letter and is online if not change them.


Thank you for replying so quickly. 

It said ‘CD-ROM 1’ so I changed it to Drive E.  However, It still shows up as a CD-ROM and properties shows that the disk is entirely full.  When I open  Drive E I find the following:

1.  “Extras” folder containing

     1) folder “quick install guide”

     2) WD SES Device Driver 3)Adobe Reader Download

2.  “User Manuals” folder containing: 

     1) folder “My Book Elite” 

     2) folder “My Book Essential” 

     3) folder "My Passport Elite 

     4) folder “My Passport Essential”

  1. “WD SmartWare” folder containing: 

     1) folder “Locale” 

     2) folder “what is this resources”

     3) program dotnetfx  4) program NetFX64 

     5) CD image labeled “SmartWare_CD” 

     6) XML Document labeled 'VCD Version" 

     7) Windows Installer package labeled "WD SmartWare Setup (x64) "

     8) Windows Installer package labeled “WD SmartWare Setup (x86)”

     9) Shockwave Flash Object labeled “WelcomeAnimation”

4.  Setup Information labeled “autorun”

  1. Unlock Utility for WD SmartWare labled “Unlock”

6.  Virtual CD Manager–this image appears to be a folder held in a vice.

7.  SetUp Application for WD Sma… labled “WD SmartWare”

8.  Firefox Document labled “What is this”

I want this to look like the other WD500 that I purchased at the same time–that’s just a drive with a letter to which I manually transfer folders and documents.  When I open the other WD500, all I see are folders with documents.

Can I delete the above 8 items–that is to say the entire contents?

Thank you

I would save them on the PC until you get things working in case you wanted the user’s manual or something. That should be all you need to do .



If you have both drives attached at the same time…

Have you tried disconnection both drives and attaching only one at a time to see if they will connect on their own. I think that the CD_ROM that shows up is just the virtual cd of the drive.

Also does any drive appear as offline in Disk Management when both are attached?

Let us know what happens.


Thanks for replying.

Here’s how it reads when both drives are hooked up:

Hard Disk Drives

500Mus (K:)

Devices with Removable Storage

WD SmartWare (J:)

When I unhook (K:), WD SmartWare (J:) still shows up.

When I unhook WD Smartware (J:), both (K:) and (J:) disappear.


Read this. It may be what you are looking for. It appears you can hide the VCD Drive, but cannot remove it. Hope this is what you need to know.


VCD Manager can be downlaoded from here



I need to know how to switch the WD Smartware drive to a regular back up drive with manual control of what files go onto it.

I have done the software update and the firmware update and neither made any difference to the performance of the drive.

I can manually transfer files to the WD500mb that is labeled “K”.

I cannot do anything with the WD 500mb that is labled “J”.  I cannot take files off of “J”–when I try to remove the user manuals that are in languages other than English, I get this message:

 “Cannot delete User Manual: Files on this CD-ROM drive are read only.  You cannot copy or move files over to this CD-ROM drive.”

“J” has all the WD software on it.  When I open the  “Virtual CD Manager” that is on drive “J” it only allows me to change settings on the WD500 that is drive “K”. 

When I disconnnect drive “K”, all the contents are still readable as long as drive “J” is still connected.

I do not understand this. 

How do I change “J” from a “read only CD-ROM”?

Hi there.

Drives J and K are the Wd500 passport. They are the same physical drive. The VCD is only a virtual CD drive. You can not change it only hide it.

Rocks wrote:


“J” has all the WD software on it.  When I open the  “Virtual CD Manager” that is on drive “J” it only allows me to change settings on the WD500 that is drive “K”. 

I think this is becasue drive J is a Virtual CD of drive K. Have you tried changing the setting of K through the VCD Manager.

Unless you actually have two physical WD500 drives attached with two USB cables then all is working as it should.

I just ignore the Virtual CD Drives on my PCs