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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Remove Smartware Drive, Western Digital, WD, External Hard Drive

You have bought a Western Digital external hard drive and every time you plug it in a window pops up and asks if you want to install the automatic backup software.


Now, this is jargon for Western Digital will now put a virtual drive on your computer to automatically backup your files. The problem is no one can understand how it works or how to restore the files to your computer when you want to. Don't waste your time trying to contact Western Digital - they won't respond!


There are two ways around this.

I. Disable the drive so it doesn't show in Windows Explorer or any other file program you have.
  1. Go to "Control". Select "Classic View" in the left panel. Click "System". "Hardware", then "Device Manager".
  2. Click the cross to the left of "DVD/CD ROM Drives".
  3. You will see "WD Virtual CD 1110 USB Device" or similar with a different number depending on the drive you have.
  4. Right click this. Select "Disable" from the list then right click this also. Close all the windows you have open and reboot.

Voilà! The virtual drive is not visible any more.


II. Uninstall the Smartware virtual drive.
  1. Go to "Control". Select "Classic View" in the left panel. Click "System". "Hardware", then "Device Manager".
  2. Click the cross to the left of "DVD/CD ROM Drives".
  3. You will see "WD Virtual CD 1110 USB Device" or similar with a different number depending on the drive you have.
  4. Right click this. Select "Uninstall" from the list then right click this also. Close all the windows you have open and reboot.

The files that you have manually installed on the Western Digital external drive will still be there.

Warning! Do not reformat the external drive. You will lose storage space.

An example of this a 160 GB WD external hard drive. The Western Digital virtual drive takes up 0.650 GB, leaving 159.350 GB of usable space. If you reformat it you will only have 148 GB on the whole external drive. There is an anomaly here but I am not sure what it is. You don't gain any more storage memory by hiding the virtual drive or uninstalling it. Perhaps hiding it is enough. At least you don't see it any more.


A little advice - use Paragon Backup software to store an image of your computer after a fresh Windows install when you have put your main programs on and set everything up as you want. Then in the future when your computer slows down, gets a stubborn virus you can't remove or will not System Restore any more, you can make a fresh start as you want it to be.

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1 Comments:

At June 8, 2012 at 2:28 PM , Anonymous myob training said...

This is a great features of install the automatic backup software. I also want install this software in my PC. Such a this paragon backup software is really excellent.

 

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