• Install WD software and utilities with WD My Book external hard drives?

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    #503470

    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?

    Viewing 13 reply threads
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    • #1540694

      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, revisted

    • #1540700

      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 ๐Ÿ˜† 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 :cheers:

      May the Forces of good computing be with you!

      RG

      PowerShell & VBA Rule!
      Computer Specs

      • #1540774

        Steven,

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

        HTH :cheers:

        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.

    • #1540779

      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”?

    • #1540795

      Maybe just keep a copy of the software should future ‘circumstances’ arise.

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

      :cheers:

      ๐Ÿป

      Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
      • #1540800

        Maybe just keep a copy of the software should future ‘circumstances’ arise.

        :cheers:

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

      • #1540909

        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.

        • #1541949

          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.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.

          scaisson also says (in Post # 15):
          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.

          I certainly am not trying to say that is not true.
          Plus, my pay grade is way below all of you!

          But, I have actually “read” the entire Manual & cannot find any reference to that being done “automatically”.

          Nor, can I find any reference on the WD website.

          Have I missed something obvious?

          A link to steer me in the right direction would be greatly appreciated.

          • #1541951

            scaisson also says (in Post # 15):
            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.

            I certainly am not trying to say that is not true.
            Plus, my pay grade is way below all of you!

            But, I have actually “read” the entire Manual & cannot find any reference to that being done “automatically”.

            Nor, can I find any reference on the WD website.

            Have I missed something obvious?

            A link to steer me in the right direction would be greatly appreciated.

            I could not find any definitive info on the WD site as well. Buyer be ware.

            ๐Ÿป

            Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
          • #1541957

            scaisson also says (in Post # 15):
            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.

            But, I have actually “read” the entire Manual & cannot find any reference to that being done “automatically”.

            Nor would I expect you to find anything. In fact, I’d be surprised if you did.

            From WD’s perspective, the MyBook is a single, integrated product. It’s not meant to be taken apart and have parts (e.g., the hard drive) substituted, so the manual is only going to talk about the complete product. As far as the complete product is concerned, you’re never going to see the encryption/decryption. If you feed unencrypted data in, it comes back out unencrypted.

            I don’t find it unusual that WD doesn’t disclose what actually happens between the individual subcomponents inside the box. Yet it’s inside the box where the encryption/decryption is taking place–between the enclosure’s USB-to-SATA circuit board and the otherwise standard SATA hard drive. You won’t discover the data is being stored in encrypted fashion unless you separate those two components, and as far as WD is concerned nobody should be doing that because that’s not a supported use of the product.

    • #1540809

      ๐Ÿ™‚

      ๐Ÿป

      Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
    • #1540843

      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.

    • #1541010

      Good enough reason to stay away! I think I need a magnifying visor if I ever have to do that kinda job!
      :cheers:

      ๐Ÿป

      Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
      • #1541262

        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.

    • #1541311

      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).

    • #1541409

      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).

    • #1541652

      AS an aside, I use the free version of Reflect and I am very satisfied. Somebody mentioned paying for the premium version. What features does this add?

      Mel

      • #1541657

        AS an aside, I use the free version of Reflect and I am very satisfied. Somebody mentioned paying for the premium version. What features does this add?

        Mel

        Here is the comparison of the available versions (Free & Paid)
        http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.aspx

        Someone who uses the paid version may be able to add their opinion as to what features in the paid version they canNOT live without.

        I will use the Free Version to do basic System Images.
        Just as an addition to what I can already do in Windows (recimg & File History System Images).
        That is all I really need.

    • #1541685

      Hey Y’all,

      As some who runs the Premium version of MB the feature I most couldn’t live w/o is the ability to have the Image automatically checked immediately after creation w/o any user intervention other than selecting that option when starting the Image. Which from the list Steven posted is now included in the Free version. Maybe some else can verify this.

      BTW: the other reason I run the Premium version is a good program like this which I use extensively deserves my financial support. Free is nice but the world can’t run on free for long. ๐Ÿ˜†

      HTH :cheers:

      May the Forces of good computing be with you!

      RG

      PowerShell & VBA Rule!
      Computer Specs

      • #1541701

        BTW: the other reason I run the Premium version is a good program like this which I use extensively deserves my financial support. Free is nice but the world can’t run on free for long. ๐Ÿ˜†

        HTH :cheers:

        Wise words indeed.

      • #1541702

        As some who runs the Premium version of MB the feature I most couldn’t live w/o is the ability to have the Image automatically checked immediately after creation w/o any user intervention other than selecting that option when starting the Image. Which from the list Steven posted is now included in the Free version. Maybe some else can verify this.

        It is listed by Macrium as a new feature in the Free Version.

      • #1541888

        Hey Y’all,

        As some who runs the Premium version of MB the feature I most couldn’t live w/o is the ability to have the Image automatically checked immediately after creation w/o any user intervention other than selecting that option when starting the Image. Which from the list Steven posted is now included in the Free version. Maybe some else can verify this.

        BTW: the other reason I run the Premium version is a good program like this which I use extensively deserves my financial support. Free is nice but the world can’t run on free for long. ๐Ÿ˜†

        HTH :cheers:

        And it works -well it at least claims it’s been verified

        Eliminate spare time: start programming PowerShell

    • #1541971

      Of WD’s current external PC HDD range, only the Elements version doesn’t have the encryption built-in, unless you buy in Russia, where the portable versions at least (WD doesn’t specify for the desktop versions) don’t have encryption. In their Mac range, only the Thunderbolt versions escape encryption.
      Portable
      Desktop

      That still leaves you with the likelihood of being stuck without a standard SATA interface to use should anything go wrong. See the OP’s post quoting an email reply from WD.

      Depending on model, the internal hard drive in an external enclosure could be either SATA or native USB.

      We can only guarantee drive capacity. We cannot guarantee a particular internal hard drive model, data interface, rotational speed, or cache size in the external hard drive enclosure.

    • #1543276

      One-day sale flyer from Fry’s (Los Angeles area) on Dec23,2015, for
      WD Mybook 2TB USB 3.0 – WDBFJK0020HBK-NESN
      http://www.frys.com/product/7859669

      ” Ultra-fast USB 3.0 connectivity
      WD SmartWare Pro automatic backup software
      Works great with Windows 8
      Password protection with hardware encryption ”

      “Password protection with *hardware* encryption”
      Not software encryption

      • #1543281

        One-day sale flyer from Fry’s (Los Angeles area) on Dec23,2015, for
        WD Mybook 2TB USB 3.0 – WDBFJK0020HBK-NESN
        http://www.frys.com/product/7859669

        ” Ultra-fast USB 3.0 connectivity
        WD SmartWare Pro automatic backup software
        Works great with Windows 8
        Password protection with hardware encryption ”

        “Password protection with *hardware* encryption”
        Not software encryption

        I got two 4 TB WD My Book External Hard Drives for that $99.99 price (each) at Best Buy on the Saturday after Black Friday.

        WD “swears” that no encryption exists unless you elect it.
        Here is their response to my Question to them about that.
        If you do not set up a password on the device using WD Security, then your files will not be encrypted.

        Only time will tell whether or not WD knows what they are talking about.

        Subsequently found this on the WD website at http://store.westerndigital.com/store/wdau/en_AU/pd/ThemeID.24355800/productID.288176100 (Under “Overview” at the bottom right corner (the underlining is mine):
        Use WD Security to set password protection and hardware encryption. Gain peace of mind knowing that your data is protected from unauthorized access.

        • #1543480

          I got two 4 TB WD My Book External Hard Drives for that $99.99 price (each) at Best Buy on the Saturday after Black Friday.

          WD “swears” that no encryption exists unless you elect it.
          Here is their response to my Question to them about that.
          If you do not set up a password on the device using WD Security, then your files will not be encrypted.

          Only time will tell whether or not WD knows what they are talking about.

          Subsequently found this on the WD website at http://store.westerndigital.com/store/wdau/en_AU/pd/ThemeID.24355800/productID.288176100 (Under “Overview” at the bottom right corner (the underlining is mine):
          Use WD Security to set password protection and hardware encryption. Gain peace of mind knowing that your data is protected from unauthorized access.

          Or you, you can take 2 apart and swap out the drives. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

          :cheers:

          ๐Ÿป

          Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
    • #1543303

      With promocode (a discount) from Fry’s (join by email to get it), the 2TB WD Mybook is $79.

      I still advise get 2TB (or 2x 2TB for 4TB) drives than one big >2TB drive … for now.
      The exception…
      You currently have a system that can read >2TB (4TB, 8TB, 16TB…) drive *directly*.
      Directly means you do not need external software to format/read the drive (using only the system default).
      Besides, distributed risk is a form of reliability. RAID is one.
      Typically, $$=reliability. I mean, typically.

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