greg, it is here, an actual user experience. How to remove hidden Virtual CD (VCD) partitions on your Western Digital external disks
Formatting with HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool seems to kill it effectively (provided it is an older model wherein the VCD is 700 MB containing the Smartware. As I gather from OP's screenshot, he seems to have this 700MB partition.)
In later models of WD hard drives, the VCD partition is only 20MB and serves only to lock/unlock the drive. The unlocker partition resides on an HPA ( Host Protected Area) set in the DCO ( Device Configuration Overlay ) making it much more difficult to get rid of.
Even the HP Tool may not be able to kill it ( someone with a 20MB VCD partition has to try and confirm it and I don't have an WD drive with it
). I understand that dd in Linux, HDat2 etc., can deal with it and annex it to the other main visible partition.
WD having consistently refused to help users in getting rid of it and directing them to buy only plain HDDs without Smartware/VCD if they do not want it, one has to be extra careful when buying WD drives to avoid these pains later.
EDIT: greg, This
thread and the links therein may be of interest to you. I know you can work on it and come with solutions when needed.