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Customer Review

The manufacturer commented on the review belowSee comments
216 of 277 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Proprietary Software Requirements, Incomplete compatability, January 18, 2011
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Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: WD My Book 2TB External Hard Drive Storage USB 3.0 File Backup and Storage (Personal Computers)
I purchased this hard drive expecting it to behave like a typical external hard drive. I wanted to plug it in and see a single drive letter in My Computer.

However, this drive has more "advanced" features that require WD software. The drive presents itself as a CD-ROM drive as well as a hard drive. This virtual CD drive is supposed to contain the drivers to use the advanced features. The hard drive is inaccessible without the WD software. However, Windows 7 x64 is unable to locate the drivers for the virtual CD drive. Therefore the advanced drivers cannot be installed. The drive is unusable on Windows 7 x64. WD does not provide any downloads on the website allowing you to manually install the proprietary software. I contacted support, they told me to wait for an update. They recommended an RMA, even though we both agreed that this was a software, not hardware issue. Even so, if this had worked properly it adds extra bloatware to your computer that is not necessary. I replaced this with an equivalent Seagate. The Seagate behaved exactly as expected, plugin -> drive letter, done.

In summary, this drive requires proprietary software to function. This software does not work on Windows 7 x64 at this date. Get a drive without these requirements and save yourself a headache.
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The manufacturer commented on this review(What's this?)
Posted on Mar 10, 2011 10:31:58 AM PST
We appreciate your feedback and apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced with this product, as this is not the typical experience with the device. These drives can be used as a standard external hard drive without the use of the WD SmartWare software and are Windows 7 64-bit compatible. Based upon the description of the issue you are encountering, your system may be having issues loading the SES device driver. This driver is available as a Windows Optional hardware update directly from Windows or our support site. We do strongly recommend checking to ensure that you are using the latest firmware and software for this drive. This can be found here (http://www.wdc.com/wdproducts/wdsmartwareupdate/Step1.asp?id=wdfMB_Essential&os=win).
If you are not interested in a drive that comes with backup software, you may want to consider our WD Elements drives, as they do not come with any preloaded software whatsoever. Is there anything we can do for you at this time? If so, you may contact us at 1 (800) 275-4932, or via our support website at: http://support.wdc.com/rs/. Please indicate within the online case creation or with the first support agent you speak with that you are responding to an Amazon review so we route you and your information to the correct team members.
 
 
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Showing 11-20 of 52 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 9, 2011 6:12:09 PM PST
Dan says:
The drive is inaccessible without the software. However, the software *should* be present on a virtual CD drive that shows up on the system along with the hard drive.

For me, the virtual CD drive did not properly function, therefore I was unable to access the drive. It is possible that there is a fix on the website. I decided to go with a Seagate drive that presents itself to the system just as a harddrive, and does not need any special software to be installed.

Posted on Mar 9, 2011 6:37:08 PM PST
M. Steine says:
i have a dozen seagates, but after they started making total garbage a year or so ago, WD walks all over them.

the argument presented by Dan is the ridiculous rant of a teenager, and is meaninless

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 9, 2011 6:49:02 PM PST
Dan says:
I haven't made any comment on the quality of the spinning disks inside of these enclosures. I recently purchased a pair of internal WD drives, and they seem great. I have no doubt that the disks inside this enclosure are top notch as well.

Rantish? Perhaps. My review was inspired by being unable to access the hard drive. WD decided to wrap the hard drive with a proprietary access method, requiring a virtual CD drive to install the required drivers. When installation of the proprietary software fails, the drive is inaccessible. I did contact support, they acknowledged the issue (noted by other reviews on amazon as well) and recommended that I wait for a solution to be post to their web site (although they suggested an RMA for a refurbished drive, although they acknowledged it was a software issue, odd.).

My guess is that they have updated the software on the website and (perhaps) virtual CD software for improved Windows 7 x64 support. But, in the end, this drive is only accessible through proprietary software. I personally do not want the *extras* they provide.

I did not intend to advocate Seagate drives over any other brand. I just wanted to mention that it was a breath of fresh air when I replaced the WD drive with a new drive from brand X that did not require a proprietary solution. If WD drives are superior (I haven't done any recent research on the matter), I would recommend grabbing a WD drive and an external enclosure.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 10, 2011 4:25:31 AM PST
bek says:
Which Seagate drive did you get, Dan... the 3TB external?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 10, 2011 6:14:36 AM PST
Dan says:
Sorry, I should have mentioned that in the review. I am referring to the 1.5TB version, although I assume the other sizes are similar.

A comment by the manufacturer   (What's this?)
Posted on Mar 10, 2011 10:31:58 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 10, 2011 3:48:14 PM PST
We appreciate your feedback and apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced with this product, as this is not the typical experience with the device. These drives can be used as a standard external hard drive without the use of the WD SmartWare software and are Windows 7 64-bit compatible. Based upon the description of the issue you are encountering, your system may be having issues loading the SES device driver. This driver is available as a Windows Optional hardware update directly from Windows or our support site. We do strongly recommend checking to ensure that you are using the latest firmware and software for this drive. This can be found here (http://www.wdc.com/wdproducts/wdsmartwareupdate/Step1.asp?id=wdfMB_Essential&os=win).
If you are not interested in a drive that comes with backup software, you may want to consider our WD Elements drives, as they do not come with any preloaded software whatsoever. Is there anything we can do for you at this time? If so, you may contact us at 1 (800) 275-4932, or via our support website at: http://support.wdc.com/rs/. Please indicate within the online case creation or with the first support agent you speak with that you are responding to an Amazon review so we route you and your information to the correct team members.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 10, 2011 11:05:58 AM PST
Paul G says:
I agree with Dan 100%. His posts were factual and unemotional, the insults leveled at him seem sophmorish and emotional. The fact is that even if one chooses the recently available utility to remove the virtual CD (obviously dan is not the only one with an issue here) it only makes it invisible. There is still a proprietary and unneeded translation of data going on in the background. I love my WD hardrives but will not buy any more because of my "simple is beautiful" philosophy. Lean and mean is how I like my system, no crap "convieniences" added to waste horspower and add complexity (read:problems)

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 10, 2011 12:49:41 PM PST
bek says:
After doing some research, I'm pretty sure the drive should have worked as you'd expect, without any software being installed. With that said, Dan made logical and mature statements about this drive and I value his review. I cannot say the same about some of the comments.

Posted on Mar 24, 2011 10:25:40 PM PDT
I needed this drive right away and could have saved $20 through Amazon, but I did purchase a USB 3 interface with it and simply started using it after installing the USB 3 card and cabling up the drive. Without your review, I would have never known I could have been upset about this drive, so thanks for your review even though it is a negative one; all reviews are worthwhile.

Posted on Mar 25, 2011 2:07:47 PM PDT
Frisco says:
I have to add it's exactly the same experience for me - just received drive today. Running Windows 7 64-bit and the drive is no where to be seen. Now I have to hunt for drivers and solutions. I expected this issue was fixed based on the WD Tech Support comment above.

I'm sorry, but I have to agree that when it says USB it's supposed to mean plug-n-play, not hunt down technical solutions, drivers, and software updates.