Why the My Passport Essential SE is about to lose you another customer

I’ve been a longtime fan of WD and it’s the only drive brand that I’ve bought and recommended in the last 5 years. However, I’m considering a change of heart.

I purchased a My Passport Essential SE 1TB on sale and went to format it for Mac, only to discover that it employes forceware to “encourage” users to use WD’s backup and partition software by dedicating about 800MB of the drive for “smartware”.

Any attempts to wipe the drive (using Disk Utility, for example) result in the intended formatted partition and a 2nd partition with the software still on it. The partitioning appears to be locked in the firmware and there is no method to remove it.

What I want is to be able to just format it like a normal drive! Why is WD treating me like I’m not worthy of making my own choices? I’ll be returning my purchase within the return period if WD does not provide a method for removing their software. I’ll also be recommending to my clients that they avoid purchasing WD products (especially the Passport drives) for their departments.

As nothing more than an explanation, it was a choice WD made in order to provide password protection for the drives.  However, having the VCD has no effect on being able to format the drive, or use it in anyway that you’ve used a drive before.  You can copy and paste to it, or use any other backup software.