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  1. #1
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    Install WD software and utilities with WD My Book external hard drives?

    I have 2 of the older 2 TB WD "My Book Essential" External Hard Drives.
    Those are the older version of the more current "My Book" External Hard Drives.
    I just acquired 2 of the more current 4 TB "My Book" External Hard Drives.

    I previously used the 2 "My Book Essential" Drives on an older XP Desktop for System Images using the Norton Ghost Ver 10.0
    The WD Software was installed for both of those drives.

    When I converted the use of the 2 "My Book Essential" to my current Dell Precision Tower 5810, I formatted them both which removed the WD Software from the Drives and that WD Software was not on my Tower 5810.
    1 of the Drives is used for System Images using recimg and the other drive is used for System Images using File History - so I just did not see any need for the WD Software.

    I plan on using the 2 new "My Book" 4 TB External Hard Drives for System Images using Macrium Reflect Free and other Backups (Pictures, My Documents, & other items on my Data D Hard Drive).

    I will utilize "folders" to separate each separate item & will "rotate" the use of the new drives - so all of the above will be on both drives.

    QUESTIONs for those of you who currently use those WD "My Book" External Hard Drives:

    Would there be any benefit of installing the WD Software and / or the WD Backup, Security, Drive Utilities, & Quick View Software that is also available.

    I can install all of it or just certain parts of it.

    I am hesitant installing another potential source of problems if I don't really need the software.

    My initial thought is Why would I need any of that WD Software when I can do all of that stuff without it?
    Or is there something I am missing and the WD Software, Etc really can do something I cannot do without it?

    Or should I just install everything even if I may never use it?

  2. #2
    Silver Lounger RolandJS's Avatar
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    I have an indirect answer, cause I was using something similar. Now, like you, I formatted my 1TB WD ext usb HDs, and my Seagates [1TB @]. And, I only use two products for backup/restore:
    Acronis True Image
    Macrium Reflect [you can use either free or fee]
    "Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee." Ben Franklin revisited.
    http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forum...-Technologies/

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  4. #3
    jwoods
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    I have one, and never use the WD software anymore...the only tool I ever used was the Data Lifeguard Diagnostics.

    I use Terabyte Unlimited's Image for Windows and Image for Linux for disk images, and Scooter Software's Beyond Compare for incremental daily backups of personal data.
    Last edited by jwoods; 2015-12-05 at 17:28.

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  6. #4
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Steven,

    The old adage applies here: "you get what you pay for"

    I use a lot of WD drives and Except for the MyBookLive NAS I've deleted all of the WD software and use Macrium Refle {of course this is the exception that proves the rule but I do use the Premium version} to do all of my imaging. I also reformat to NTFS if they are not already. Of course as always YMMV!

    HTH
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

    PowerShell & VBA Rule!

    My Systems: Desktop Specs
    Laptop Specs

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  8. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by RetiredGeek View Post
    Steven,

    I also reformat to NTFS if they are not already. Of course as always YMMV!

    HTH
    They do come already formatted to NTFS, but the WD Software is on each WD drive & is meant to be installed on the computer from the WD Drive.

    So, I will still have to re-format each drive to NTFS to remove the WD Software that resides on each drive.

  9. #6
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    WD also advises that "if you do NOT install the WD software, you SHOULD install the SES Driver (SCSI Enclosure Services Driver) on Windows computers to keep the hardware pop-up wizard from displaying every time you connect your drive to your computer".

    "The SES Driver is installed automatically when you install the WD software."

    I have not yet used either of my 2 My Book 4 TB External Hard Drives - so I am not sure what pop-up wizard WD refers to.

    Maybe, re-formatting both drives will also get rid of that "problem"?

  10. #7
    Silver Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    Maybe just keep a copy of the software should future 'circumstances' arise.

    For myself I just build my own external drive with an enclosure.

    David

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

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  12. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by wavy View Post
    Maybe just keep a copy of the software should future 'circumstances' arise.

    Probably no need to keep a copy since one can easily download the WD Software in the future if needed.

  13. #9
    Silver Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    David

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

  14. #10
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    My general rule is that a lot of software that comes with hardware, isn't very good or very interesting. By all means take a look at it if you are curious but don't feel bad if you decide that it's just not for you.

    For instance, I believe the recent WD external drives include software that encourage you to use a WD cloud storage solution. Well most people who use cloud wind up with Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Box, Dropbox, etc. WD is a very small player in this group.

    When it comes to backup software, the rule is that regular use is the top priority. Automation and ease of use help this. But an average backup solution that you actually use is miles ahead of a top ranked backup system you are inconsistent about.

  15. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by wavy View Post
    For myself I just build my own external drive with an enclosure.
    That's always been my preference, as well.

    That aside, I've shied away from WD's MyBook series after a customer brought me a broken MyBook with valuable data he didn't want to lose. He had tripped over the cable, yanking it sideways off the desk, breaking the mini-B USB socket from the enclosure. The mini-B socket was left twisted and distorted, and where it had been soldered directly to the enclosure's circuit board the miniscule circuit traces were even ripped off the circuit board.

    Unfortunately, what seemed the obvious solution--removing the hard drive from the enclosure and putting it in another enclosure--didn't work because the drive contents were *encrypted*.

    It turned out the WD enclosure was designed to always encrypt the data before feeding it to the hard drive, regardless of whether or not you used the WD software to add a user password. Even though the customer had left it password-free, the enclosure's circuit board still encrypted the data such that the same enclosure was needed to read it back.

    I had to jury-rig a bare mini-B socket with tiny wires soldered to the enclosure's circuit board. Then I could extract the 1TB drive's contents, moved the drive to a new enclosure, reformatted it, and restored the contents.

    Bottom line is the MyBook enclosure itself was an additional reliability factor, so I recommend users take that into consideration when choosing an external drive.

    Of course, if one uses a proper backup strategy, then you're protected against a single failure point anyway.

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  17. #12
    Silver Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    Good enough reason to stay away! I think I need a magnifying visor if I ever have to do that kinda job!
    David

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

  18. #13
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    I installed the "utilities" and suffered a doubling of internet data. I discovered after much analysis with data tracking utilities that it was the WD utilities that was constantly checking in with home for updates and other unknown. I suggest not using anything other than drive locker. If you do, monitor your data consumption and act accordingly.

  19. #14
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    WD MyBooks are joke. Someone gave me one. Has all the nonsense software and SES requirements.

    My recommendation is to look for an external drive that is "plug and play".
    That may mean getting a "portable". The added benefit to portable is that it will likely be powered by the USB port and won't even need a power cord. Cool!

    Never install encryption or passwords if you value your data (unless you take it out partying with you).

  20. #15
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    Expressing my own opinion:
    Probably not good for ordinary consumers to have portable encryption hardware with the hard drive.
    When the hardware fails, it is mighty difficult to get back the encrypted data.
    WD My book encrypts and decrypts on the fly via built-in hardware electronics.
    When hardware fails, or broken, the decryption is gone. So is your data.

    Compared to Windows built-in encryption option? The difference is: It is software, not hardware. Use the same Windows OS, you are again in business. (Surely you have to know the password.)

    For business and pros, WD My Book is a blessing. If the portable drive is lost or stolen, no harm done. There is always a backup. Even if not, and if the hardware is broken, there could be hacking pro, for a fee.

    For capable consumers, build your own portable hard drive is far better (does not hurt to try. It is easy). At Fry's Electronics Store, the enclosure (USB3.0, up to 4TB) is as low as US$3-10 (last time checked: Nov. 2015).
    Beware:
    Some older boxes require you to format first, must be by the box itself. A must. No good if the drive is pre-formatted or already has data in it. From then on wards, the box 'owns' the drive; cannot be separated. However, when putting the drive into another, same enclosure, the drive can be read.

    I further that buy only 2TB or lower capacity for now. Some PCs cannot handle beyond 2TB capacity (cannot read it).
    Those >2TB portable drives has built-in hardware/firmware to 'translate', so that 2TB-limit PCs can read 4TB. Maybe one more problem to handle in times of crisis.

    To allowing a safe way to get it back, I advocate folder encryption, rather than whole drive encryption. Data is simply random bits if totally unobtainable.

    Why would I need to encrypt the entire disk, including the Windows OS? Because Windows has multiple copies, and temporary files, stored in various places. For total security, the entire drive should be encrypted.
    There are more copies in memory chip and buffers. But they are gone when you hard power-off (not hibernate or sleep).

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