Why don't all my files show up when I try to retrieve?


I have a 2tb My Book that I’ve had for not quite a year. I’ve backed up two different computers on it - both PC - backing up only one for the last 7 months or so. I now need to make more space on my computer/laptop but I don’t want to continue deleting files without first making absolute sure they’re actually backed up. In the past when I open WD Smartware, click Retrieve and basically try to browse the files it wouldn’t show the most recent backups. Perhaps it was stupid of me but I went ahead and assumed this was because I was using the same computer so maybe it wasn’t showing current files already present on my puter??? But now I’m paranoid.

So I backed up the entire computer, Smartware says it was accomplished successfully (within less than a couple minutes). I then started up the original laptop to confirm presence of most recent backed up files from the 2nd laptop. Low and behold, they do not show up AT ALL. Trying to “retrieve some files” I only find folders and deleted files when I click the box to show them. No individual files are showing.

I desparately need to delete files but now I’m afraid they’re not getting backed up so I don’t want to. Where are my files and why aren’t they showing up? What does it mean that only my deleted files are showing? And when it says deleted files what does that mean? I did delete files before to make room but they were previously backed up on my drive so why does my drive say they’re deleted when I only ever deleted them from my computer? I’m quickly losing faith in WD products. Sometimes backups take hours, other times they take minutes or even seconds, which makes me not trust either. My older passport I used to be able to access without having to go through the software and just browse folders now I can’t do that. This is an incredible inconvenience, hopefully there is a resolution that doesn’t spell bad things for my files.

Thanks for any help.

I’m going to add that I just chose browse files in folder when the window came up instead of going through software and I’ve discovered that my drive has not done any image back ups (presumably nothing else either) since June. I have “successfully accomplished” many back ups according to the software since then. This is completely screwed up as I now know that the software has been lying and there’s no telling what I’ve lost believing it’s all backed up. 

I’m beyond upset at this point as I have deleted files that were supposedly backed up according to WD Smartware and multiple times at that. Only to find out that nothing has backed up between now and June, which includes the back up I supposedly “accomplished” last night!!!

Welcome to the Community.

If you delete the files from your computer you no longer have backup on your external hard drive. Instead you have the primary source of data. A “backup” by definition means a copy on both locations.

What version of WD SmartWare are you currently using? If you are using the latest 2.4 version then you should be able to manually navigate the backup folder inside your external hard drive without needing to restore/retrieve the entire backup from SmartWare. The copy is stored in the “SWSTOR” folder inside your external hard drive.

“Deleted” files in WD SmartWare are files it no longer detects on your system, so those are files the application labels as “lost” files that should be restored back to where they used to be.

On the other hand, WD SmartWare doesn’t create image backups, only file backups. It is possible you are using both WD SmartWare and Windows Backup at the same time with your hard drive, which would add to the confusion.