Now, there are many reasons to dislike SmartWare.
- An extra drive letter in Windows explorer
- Extra software on the Virtual CD that you cannot easily remove.
- The extra letter can cause many problems with existing external drives that are being used as automated backup drives… I hate it (and most non-technical users get severely confused) when previously working backups to, say, drive E:, now don’t work any more.
- Your computers drive layout is effectively changed without your permission.
An initial look for a solution resulted in a huge 20-step process (involving updating the firmware to each WD drive, then disabling the virtual CD).
It shouldn’t be so hard.
Then I found a much simpler solution:
in XP (you can use a similar process for Vista and W7):
Control Panel -> System -> Hardware -> Device Manager -> expand DVD/CD-ROM Drives -> right click on the “WD Virtual CD device” -> disable -> OK
I didn’t have time for a comprehensive test, so its possible for the VCD to re-appear if you plug the WD drive into a different USB port… but if this happens, just repeat the process.