WD offers a set of utilities that are provided with number of external storage devices. The file can be downloaded directly from the official website. The entire download size is around 161MB. The following article is a short review of Western Digital Utilities. The package comes with WD Drive Utilities, WD Security and WD SmartWare. Each of them offers a different set of functions which are necessary for any portable drive you buy from WD. We will see each of them one by one in detail what all the software offers you and how to use them. The prime tool which is used in much external hard drive is WD SmartWare. This tool is a kind of pc suite software. It allows you an easy to use interface of WD Drive where data is simply categorized in terms of video, audio, photo and data files. You can create an exact copy of entire internal hard drive to the portable storage. Due to 2TB space, you can simply add as much data as you want. The software is available for Windows and Mac platform. There is nothing provided for Linux. So in that you can just use it as plug and play device. Let’s check out all the software one by one.
WD Drive Utilities:
This is a set of diagnostic software for WD drives. It consists of four columns. When you connect a hard drive it is detected at the top part. The Drive Utilities offers you some testing software with completely format utility. It is beneficial when you forget the drive password. You can use it to erase the disc completely and access the internal storage again. Let’s check out each option provided under Drive Utility.
a). Diagnostic: In this section you can perform a set of test to check the health of external hard drive. The test offered is Smart Status, Quick Drive Test and Complete Drive Test. SMART status allows you to get a prediction before the drive fails. Sometime it might work slowly or you can face connectivity problem. You can perform Smart test to find out whether the drive is working fine or is going to fail soon. When you press on SMART Status it shows you whether it’s passing or not. While compared to that Quick Drive Test takes some more time to find out the errors. And so much more time is taken by Complete Drive Test to find out all information on bad sectors and other stuff. So this is some set of quick utilities that work well and offer you to get alert before the drive stops working.
b). Sleep Timer: This is just a tiny feature that allows you to manage time before your drive goes to sleep mode from idle.
c). Drive Erase: Wipe out the entire drive with all protection applied to it. It is just like formatting the hard drive back to original state.
d). Registration: This section offers you option to register your drive online with WD so that you can receive product updates.
Now this is separate software which is added so that you can get rid of encryption if you forget the login password. One password is applied to the hard drive; it only shows a 1.7mb of drive in My Computer. There is an executable utility that ask your password for accessing the content. And unless you do not provide that your drive remains locked. This option is secure but risky also. If you forget the password you won’t be able to access the files. You have to erase it completely and that will lead to loss of your data. So if your password protecting your hard drive then it is necessary that you must keep a hint or simply record the password somewhere for future. The specification of WD Drive’s does not define what kind of encryption standard they are using.
WD SmartWare is an easy to use utility that helps you to run automated backup solution. It is a kind of ready to use software that gives you a data categorize on the basis of type. Like photos and videos are categorized separately and you can backup them on the drive. Unlike other drive, SmartWare overwrites the only modified files so your time is saved to copy huge data again and again. Backup process is not at all time consuming but automatic. Each time when you connect your hard drive the data is sync and it is updated. You can later on add more files or location for backup. SmartWare comes with a user friendly interface. Due to a visual representation of backup files, it becomes easier to copy them and move ahead. So you do not need to waste time the total size of your entire photos, videos, or data file. SmartWare is also loaded with a utility that can help you to recover detected files or an older version of files which you had modified and is overwritten. Along with this it is possible to lock your drive and secure it against unauthorized usage.
The home screen gives you a visual representation of your system and the hard drive. We are testing this on Windows 8 and it works well. At the home screen it is easy to find the type of file utilizing the amount of space without going in much detail. It is just a kind of visual image of your pc partition and the hard drive. This is a bit time consuming process if you have a good amount of multi-media files. Due to 2TB space you can simply sync your entire hard drive instantly with WD My Passport. On the same screen to know more about the partition files you can right click on that and choose Properties. And the WD icon on the right side allows you to check the drive properties and context menu to eject it.
How to Create Backup on WD SmartWare
After connecting WD My Passport 2TB run SmartWare. It will scan your partition and arrange the file. Then click on the WD My Passport icon on the Home Screen and then click on Backup. You will see the following screen:
Here on the left side is your system partition and the right side is your WD Drive. You can click on Start Backup to copy all the content instantly or you can click on Switch to File Backup and choose files and folder that you want to copy while ignoring others. You can see your partitions listed on the left side. You can then by just putting a tick choose the file and create the kind of backup you want. This is extremely easy to use and has simple configuration features. The left section allows you to choose entire folder while the right one allows you to choose specific file only.
In this way your backup plan is saved and you can move ahead with the existing setup. At last the setting section allows you to configure minimum option. Like enabling auto update and other stuff. If you are looking for more information then you can click on Help to find out about the same. The Help section has all required details about each process. Also the types of files are categories in the form of colour code.
After clicking on Start Backup you can see the extreme right panel the backup process is started. SmartWare has a small bar on the top side that can tell us what amount of data is copied and what amount is pending. It just gives a right column where you can see a Yellow warning mark showing backup in process. Above that file number which is copying keeps changes. There is a small link View More where you can find out what files are pending for backup.
How to Retrieve Deleted file or Overwritten file on WD SmartWare
This is a bit crucial process. You must use this carefully. Because it replaces the file from where it is copied. So just do not click anything on Retrieve section blindly. Once you click on Retrieve section choose the last backup and then click on Next. The next screen will allow you to choose the original location or simply a separate place where you want to put the files. You can find the 3 step process in below images.
So in this WD SmartWare works. As we have already seen there is no complicated process. It comes with a set of simple option that allows you to create backup and file retrieving abilities. There are many important things that SmartWare lacks. But still it is very handy software to work with. In WD Utilities you can also apply an auto-unlock feature. The drive does not ask for password if auto-unlock is enabled on your personal computer.