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Old 05-19-2010, 10:09 AM   #1
ArcticStones
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Remove "WD Smartware"?

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I have several Western Digital MyBook external harddisks. These come with so-called "WD Smartware" – an application that installed itself without my desire or approval.

I have a dedicated Time Machine harddisk, and can see no reason or benefit to Western Digital’s software. If anyone knows of any, please enlighten me.

When I try to remove it, the software symbol pops right back up again on my Desktop. In fact there are several; I presume because I have several MyBook disks.

Now, I found that the "virtual CD" contains an "uninstaller", and I’m tempted to use it.
Anyone know a compelling reason why I should keep it?


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Last edited by ArcticStones; 05-19-2010 at 10:17 AM.
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Old 05-19-2010, 10:17 AM   #2
NaOH
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I think you may want to read this Western Digital Support article explaining how to remove the stuff in question.
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Old 05-19-2010, 11:15 AM   #3
agentx
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No reason to keep it but in some cases it is impossible to get rid of it even with the correct firmware and the WD tools...formatting etc....been there done that !

Anyway the code below will stop the WD Smartware from mounting on any system that your run this command with drive attached
Code:
sudo sh -c "echo UUID=`diskutil info /Volumes/WD\ SmartWare/ | grep 'UUID' | awk '{print $NF}'` none hfs rw,noauto 0 0 >> /etc/fstab"

Last edited by agentx; 05-19-2010 at 11:17 AM.
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Old 05-19-2010, 12:31 PM   #4
ArcticStones
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Thank you, NaOH. And thanks for the sudo code, Agent10.
I’ll give it a shot a bit later.

I must confess I find it mighty peculiar that this software is embedded so deeply.

Having to download and install additional, special software?
To very the harddisk’s serial number?
To explicitly accept the EULA – twice?

???
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Old 05-19-2010, 12:35 PM   #5
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I just set up one of these for a user and used the software that came on the drive to uninstall it. This was a brand new one though. Then I used disk utility to wipe and create a new partition.
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Old 05-19-2010, 01:29 PM   #6
ArcticStones
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Hiding – rather than truly removing a rootkit?

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If I understand correctly, neither the Sudo command nor the longwinded instruction on Western Digital’s Support page actually remove the software – but instead merely hide it, i.e. prevent it from mounting.

Is this correct?

Take a look at some of the comments to a blog entry by Marc Cizravi:

Quote:
WDSmartware is causing major grief with my new MacBook Pro running Snow Leopard — if the machine goes to sleep then I cannot wake it without a force shutdown and restart. Also, machine is really slow when WDSmartware is installed. The log indicates all sorts of problems with WDSmartware…

Quote:
This hides the software, but does not delete it….

Quote:
It is NOT REMOVED. You’ve gone and hidden it! this IS a headache! ... Not even the worst 3rd party trash went so far as to put backup software onto an external as a rootkit!

Quote:
What a horror of design engineering.

Quote:
Well I followed the steps and after the firmware update the drive no long mounts… so I can do anything now, not even run the VCD step….dead in the water….

(and) We have temporarily suspended downloads of release 1.2.1.25 for Mac while we investigate a recently discovered issue with the software. We will restore download capability as soon as we have resolved the issue.

Well that explains why it did not work I guess and now no back up drive!

Worst of all, perhaps, is this:

Quote:
I called WD and the tech said the software was on a flash card. That’s why you can’t delete it.

I must confess that I’m confused as to what is really going on here, and Western Digital’s motive.


Perplexedly yours,
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Last edited by ArcticStones; 05-19-2010 at 01:37 PM.
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Old 05-19-2010, 01:39 PM   #7
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I don't know what motive is behind this, but from what you linked and some other quick research indicates is that the software is in the firmware, so it can only be disabled, not deleted.

Apologies for not catching that earlier when I linked their support document.
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Old 02-10-2011, 07:48 PM   #8
Denver Dave
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I'm bummed out about the WD Smartware software at the moment. I installed the drive and ran the initial backup which I thought ran in a reasonable amount of time. Today however, I realized that my PC was running unacceptably slow with many lockups for an extended time. I selected the pause backup until computer is idle, which may have helped a little, but not much. Then I selected stop backups which did help, but the WDDMService.exe , WDSmartWare.exe programs are each frequently taking up 2 % of all available resources. Looking into updating:

The following seems very out of place given how easy it was to install the drive and software. Also WD Smartware does not seem to provide a way to actually stop its own software. How about the following for a user UNFRIENDLY list: (I guess I'm bummed, because I thought I'd found an easy to use backup solution)

Failure to perform these precautions may cause data corruption/loss and/or drive failure.
How to install the Virtual CD Manager

Mac OS® X, Tiger®, Leopard®, Snow Leopard™
This update is recommended for the following versions of the Mac OS:

- Mac OS X 10.4.11
- Mac OS X 10.5.8
- Mac OS X 10.6.x
STEP 1: Firmware Update (4/29/2010)

Disconnect all other external drives from the computer except for the My Book or My Passport hard drive you want to update.

Disconnect all other external drives from the computer except for the My Book or My Passport drive you want to update.
Ensure that the My Book or My Passport drive is connected to a USB port on your computer and is unlocked.
Download Firmware Updater for Mac.
(Note: This Firmware Updater is NOT for My Book Studio or My Passport Studio drives)
Unzip the Firmware Updater and double click WD Essential and Elite Firmware Updater for Mac.
Verify the attached drive's serial number located on the back of the drive.
Select the drive displayed.
Click Update Firmware.
Click on Unmount USB Disk Devices.
Click Accept the End User's License Agreement (EULA).
Click Yes.
Once the updater is finished, click Exit.
Turn off the drive - For My Passport, disconnect the USB cable. For My Book disconnect both USB and power cables.
Wait 10 seconds. Reconnect the USB/power cables.
STEP 2: Download and run the VCD Manager

Download VCD Manager VirtualCDManager_v1003.zip for Mac to your desktop.
Unzip the utility and double click to open.
Click Continue to disable the VCD.
Click Accept the End User's License Agreement (EULA).
Click Drive to configure and select your drive.
Verify desired Virtual CD setting.
Once the utility has found your drive, click Configure Drive.
Once the Virtual CD setting is finished, click Exit.
Power cycle the drive - For My Passport, disconnect the USB cable. For My Book disconnect both USB and power cables.
Wait 10 seconds. Reconnect the USB/power cables.
Verify that the VCD no longer appears.
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Old 02-11-2011, 10:30 AM   #9
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@Denver Dave

As far as Firmware worth updating and removing the VCD is welcome too ;-)

There is an uninstaller for WD software and yes DELETE IT ALL !!!!!!
WD have dumped a ton of stuff all over machine, i know on mac side where everything is if you want to manually remove. Not sure on PC but the uninstaller should do the job and check your services afterward.

Overall from extensive support experience dealing with end users my conclusion is that WD Backup program is not reliable, resource hungry & buggy. Did i say DELETE it all ;0

Depending on your backup strategy i would look at
Time Machine, Carbon Copy Cloner and Crashplan or if you are brave then some well crafted rsync scripts and launchd.
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Old 02-11-2011, 05:36 PM   #10
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The Gods were smiling on me, I guess, when I bought my WD My Book -- I didn't trust their backup stuff, so I installed it, but have never run it. What turned me off was the boast that it continuously updated and I thought that would be a slow resource hog as several of you have found. Instead, I only run a little menu bar item called WD QuickView that doesn't seem to give me any grief, partitioned the disk with Disk Utility and let Time Machine back up to one partition, while SuperDuper! is set up to back up to the other. I also run it from my MBP as a FireWire 800 drive -- I want the USBs for other things. I like the QuickView menu because I don't keep disk icons on my desktop and it provides a quick and easy way to dismount them.

PS: Now I've uninstalled it completely using their unInstaller.
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Last edited by NovaScotian; 02-11-2011 at 05:48 PM.
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Old 02-12-2011, 05:58 AM   #11
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Many thanks to those sharing their WD grief. 'Tis a lesson or two well worth remembering, especially when having the option of selecting which brand of HD to buy.
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Old 02-12-2011, 12:21 PM   #12
NovaScotian
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I've always found WD drives to be very good -- where they've fallen down here is Mac OS X software. No drive company does that well.
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Old 02-13-2011, 11:44 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NovaScotian
PS: Now I've uninstalled it completely using their unInstaller.

You just hid the Smartware and didn't uninstall it. Read the posts above. It's in the firmware. Not on the platters. WD would need to release new firmware without it which they refuse to do. Run VCD Manager and it will be right back. Notice it says disable and enable. That's different than completely uninstalling it.
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Old 02-13-2011, 12:31 PM   #14
Denver Dave
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I've run a 1 TB MyBook for a year without the backup software and works for me. So when I needed more backup space I purchased the 2 TB and was anxious to try out the backup software.

I've been using ShadowProtect and it does what it does great, however, I've had to move away from the frequent backups to nightly or weekly. However, I am looking for a way to have backups that does not require the proprietary software to read and also allows be to backup other drives from other PCs through the network, so I was looking forward to trying WD Smartware.

My first impression of WD Smartware was good. While the initial backup of the software significantly impacted the speed of of my PC, the first backup of the software, the backup did seem to complete in a reasonable amount of time and I could access the backup files with Windows Explorer.

My issue for ongoing use, is that even when the WD Smartware is flagged as low priority AND the backup has been stopped, the software continually significantly impacts the speed of my PC. There does not seem to be an easy way of turning the software off - what it is doing when not backing up files is beyond me.

So I took the suggestion and used the msconfig utility to not launch the WDDMService, WD File Management Engine and the WD File Management Shadow Engine. I'm not sure if stopping all of these was necessary, however, somehow the taskbar icon still launches - wonder why, but doesn't seem to do any harm.

The result for may PC was spectacular! I have my PC speed back.

Pending other information, for me, I'm not running the WDDMService, WD File Management Engine and the WD File Management services. Wonder what each service does and if one of them could be the culprit and eliminated.

Dave
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Old 02-14-2011, 10:05 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitkit179
You just hid the Smartware and didn't uninstall it. Read the posts above. It's in the firmware. Not on the platters. WD would need to release new firmware without it which they refuse to do. Run VCD Manager and it will be right back. Notice it says disable and enable. That's different than completely uninstalling it.

I had read the preceding posts before I uninstalled -- the confusion is in what I uninstalled. In my case, it was all the software installed on my boot drive to control the smartware, including the VCD manager.
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Old 04-06-2011, 09:33 AM   #16
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How to turn on WD Smartware ?

Hi, I just used the following line in my MacOS X Macbook and got the WD Smartware finally not to appear on my Finder:

sudo sh -c "echo UUID=diskutil info /Volumes/WD\ SmartWare/ | grep 'UUID' | awk '{print $NF}' none hfs rw,noauto 0 0 >> /etc/fstab"

I am still hoping to get rid totally of that virtual disc somehow. I got that feeling that I actually need to see the Virtual Disc in order to try other things.

Please, advice how can I turn on the Smartware, make it again appear on the Finder. Sorry, I don't understand the code and have a very little idea of what it does. Seems like I will need to study each command just to return everything to previous stage. Actually the command works well. I just was not sure if I need to hide and was in a rush to make my My Book clean and working.

Can you please, help me by providing just one line of code to revert my previous action.

Cheers.
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Old 04-06-2011, 01:19 PM   #17
agentx
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Wd provide all the tools to remove it or have it. You have to plug the drive in with USB to configure. One problem with software is it installs all sorts of crap buggy backup software as well.
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Old 04-07-2011, 12:04 PM   #18
bigparohod
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Macbook doesn see virtual disc any more

Thanks for the prompt reply. I will make it short this time. My Macbook doesn't show Virtual Disc after I used the code line mentioned above.
Freshly downloaded WD Smartware Utility doesn't want to start because it says it is not compartible with my current hard drive firmware. I updated firmware even before I have got the utility from WD website. Every new update says that I got the latest version.
Circle closed.

If only I could undo that X code line I applied in Terminal thanks to that thread, If only I could see again that WD Virtual Disc in my Finder...

Any one here who knows Mac X code and can give me a hint how to reverse that thing:

I just used the following line in my MacOS X Macbook and got the WD Smartware finally not to appear on my Finder:

sudo sh -c "echo UUID=diskutil info /Volumes/WD\ SmartWare/ | grep 'UUID' | awk '{print $NF}' none hfs rw,noauto 0 0 >> /etc/fstab"

Thanks in advance. It might sounds a bit complicated but I ask for very simple thing. Just don't have time to seat and learn Linux commands.

Cheers.
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Old 04-07-2011, 12:07 PM   #19
agentx
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Ok you just need to open the file /etc/fstab and delete the line.
It is an invisible folder so use Finder > Go > Go to Folder > /etc

I would get http://www.barebones.com/products/textwrangler/ as it allows you to edit/save root owned files easily.
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Old 04-07-2011, 12:37 PM   #20
bigparohod
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Oh, thank you very much indeed. That what I was asking in my post.
I found the folder. Yes, the line is there:

UUID=84789XXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXXXXXXXX none hfs rw,noauto 0 0
UUID= none hfs rw,noauto 0 0

Hurray! Now is the second step. I guess I can't just delete text from the box and got to use an editor.
By the look at their website it's not a freeware. May be I am wrong?

Anyway, thanks for your help and useful tips, I just need a little more information about editing text lines in system files. New to Mac and love the experience. Cheers.
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