Friday, October 22, 2010

Hard Drive Surprise

With the amount of photos I take, I need some serious hard drive space.  Every photo I take gets uploaded to my PC hard drive, copied to an external hard drive, burnt to a DVD 4GB at a time, and then it gets deleted from my PC hard drive. One set of data is stored off site. All processed photos are then backed up on an off site server. 

I really like the Western Digital external hard drives. They have good reviews and have served me well. My Seagate drive had an issue and has a bad reputation via reviews. So as spaced filled up I went out to get myself another hard drive. I picked up a Western Digital My Book Essential that was on sale. That was a mistake. My other drives are all My Book Essentials also. You plug them in and you now have another hard drive that you can just drag and drop files and folders into. Slick and easy. The "new" My Book Essential drive has SmartWare program on it. This program turns the hard drive into a cheap and hard to use automatic backup system. It is horrible. You plug it in and you have no choice but to download this program before you can do anything. Once the SmartWare is downloaded, you spend hours trying to figure out how to disable the system to make it a normal external drive. After clicking on every option and setting that comes with the drive with no success, I was about to return it. A few minutes searching the internet led me to a solution. Western Digital offers a download that disables this SmartWare program and turn this drive into what it should have been out of the box. This was a disaster of a purchase. There was no indication that this was not a normal drive in the directions, packaging, or on the box. Western Digital dropped the ball on this drive. To save any of you this parasite of a program here is the link you will need to disable the SmartWare.

Western Digital needed to make the SmartWare program an option from the beginning and not mandatory. They also needed to inform buyers that this drive came with this program and or how to disable it. A External plug and play hard drive should not take 3 hours to get it up and working. Will I buy a Western Digital drive again? Yes, but I will do better research and make sure I get a SmartWare free version.

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