Note: the following is the text of the instructions for installing the Western Data My Passport Elite 320 GB external drive. The instructions come on the disk, however the disk is preformatted in a format that restricts file size and is more appropriate to a MAC than Windows. The manufacturer recommends reformatting the drive before using with Windows. Reformatting will destroy any files on the drive, so it’s a good idea to backup everything and save the instructions somewhere–like maybe on a blog like this one:
This WD device is preformatted as a single FAT32 partition for compatibility with all
updated Windows and Macintosh operating systems. The FAT32 file system has a
maximum individual file size limit of 4 GB.
To create partitions larger than 32 GB in FAT32 when reformatting the drive,
download the External USB/FireWire FAT32 Formatting Utility from
Windows 2000 and XP users can overcome file size limitations by reformatting the
drive to NTFS using the Disk Management utility. See answer ID 1287 at
support.wdc.com and article IDs 314463 and 184006 at support.microsoft.com for
Important: Reformatting the drive erases all its contents. If you have already saved
files on the drive, be sure to back them up before reformatting.
Reformatting the Drive
1. Go to support.wdc.com.
2. See Knowledge Base Answer ID 207 for formatting instructions.
After formatting, go to Downloads, find your product, download the My Passport
utility, and follow instructions as prompted.
This product ships with utility drivers and software which are preloaded on the device.
To install the software, select from the list displayed on the autorun menu and follow
the instructions as prompted.
• WD Sync™ is a synchronization and encryption software that enables the
synchronization of your data between different computers using My Passport. It
also protects your data on My Passport with 128-bit encryption. (Windows only)
• WD Anywhere Backup™ is an intuitive and robust backup and recovery
application that provides around-the-clock data protection. It features automatic
backup to multiple destinations and synchronization of working files to keep them
• Copy Application Software allows you back up the software included in
Connecting the Device
1. Turn on your computer.
2. Connect the USB cable as shown.
3. Drive utilities are installed automatically. If a security alert is displayed during this
installation, click Accept or Continue.
4. When finished, a menu displays. To install software, double-click your choice on
the menu; otherwise, click Quit to begin using the drive.
Note: If autorun is disabled on your computer, you must install the utilities and
software manually. Double-click My Computer, the My Passport drive icon, the
WD_Windows_Tools folder, and Setup.exe.
- Under Windows XP, when the dialogue “Click on New Partition or New Volume” came up, only the “new partition” option was offered. Continuing to click though the dialogue gave the same results as in the instructions, and formatted the drive as a new volume without partitions.
- When the above “Click on New Partition or New Volume” message yielded only the new partiion option I attempted to format it in my Windows Vista system. However the drive had already been zeroed and the new drivers were not on it anymore. The Vista system would not recognize the new drive.
- For backup and restore of drivers and files of new disk on Windows XP: Start>all programs>accessories>system tools>backup (restore is done from Backup)
- After the backed up drivers were restored, the new portable drive was put back in the Vista system and it autoconfigured the drivers from the new disk with no problem. In fact for both the Vista and XP systems, autorun worked fine. Oops, I spoke too soon. Vista doesn’t give me that little icon to “remove the device safely’. Something is definitely wrong. Time to check the FAC over at Western Data.
Okay this started working for unknown reasons and automatically installed the software.
UPDATE: But how much software is real software and how much is a demo?
From a review:
A generous five-year warranty is included with the product, as is a good wad of software including WDSync (a folder/e-mail/bookmarks synchronisation tool); WD Anywhere Backup (based on Memeo technology); a diagnostic tool; and a Drive Manager Status tool, which reports capacity and temperature from your system tray. There’s a great thicket of unneeded software as well, including a MioNet trial (allowing remote access to your computer’s files/desktop/webcam), Google’s Picasa, Desktop search and Toolbar, and Adobe Reader. Mac users are less endowed with just WDSync and WD Anywhere Backup, but we consider this a positive.
So the Mionet program is a demo. “WD Anywhere Backup” program asks for a product key which is on a sticker at the bottom of the white “My Passport Elite” multilingual Warranty Information booklet. Backing up the recommended files to my VISTA system took about a half hour per 5 GB. But now I am trying to do the same backup on my XP system–the thing is supposed to “Sync” between computers and devices, right?–and it tells me I have 7 days left of the trial period and if I want it on multiple computers I have to buy it for thirty dollars. The product key can only be used on one computer. The back of the package says the features include “backup software” and “sync & encryption software (Windows only)”. Nowhere does it say this is trial software. The side of the package says “Automatic backup” ad “Mionet Free remote access (Windows only)”. No mention of Mionet being trial software either. [Note: Just to see what would happen, I tried the same product key on the second computer and it did appear to accept the key.]
I was unable to “remove drive safely”–it kept telling me some files were being used by WD Anywhere Backup–but where? what? — without running shutdown and restarting the system.
And now the XP system with the “trial version” of WD Anywhere Backup is deploying annoying little popup messages from the bottom row of icons informing me of various advanteages of the product. I’m starting to think of disadvantages on my own.