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Windows 7: Make a WD My Book Ext Drive behave as a generic USB drive

08 Sep 2014   #1
BJBBJB

 
 
Make a WD My Book Ext Drive behave as a generic USB drive

Greetings. I have a Western Digital My Book 3TB USB 2/3 External drive.

It is USB 3 capable but for now, I have to use it as a USB 2 device as those are the only ports I have and it is supposed to work with both.

Like many people (from my reading) sometimes the drive is "not recognized" by windows when I plug it in. Of course it is loaded up with "WD specific" software. One item is every time you plug it in it installs the generic USB drivers but it also tries to install a third WD "SES driver" which allows some "special capabilities" like renaming the volume. Real important high level stuff. Anyway, since windows 7 64 bit does not natively have that driver that third driver install fails. So every time you plug it in, it behaves like a new drive.

Now of course I could install all the custom WD software and that driver, but I just want the drive to work as a generic USB drive! I don't like installing hard drive level drivers that I don't know what they really do and will they impact any other drives I plug in. Now if the fact that it is not recognized 100% of the time is a hardware issue, I need to return it under warranty. But if it is only because of it trying to install and reinstall these drivers every time, can I make it stop?

Their support site tries to get you to "hide" and do some workarounds. But if I just re-format the drive and blow all the WD software away, will it then behave as a "generic" USB external drive? Or are those instructions buried in the hardware?

Thanks,

BJBBJB


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 Sep 2014   #2
fireberd

Windows 10 64 bit
 
 

I can't say for sure about your drive, but I have an older 1TB WD My Book drive. I use it as a generic USB connected hard drive. I don't recall having to delete anything, although I may have.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Sep 2014   #3
strollin

W10 Pro desktop, W10 laptop, W10 laptop, W10 Pro tablet (all 64-bit)
 
 

I can't say whether formatting the drive will get rid of the WD software or not, it could be part of the firmware for the enclosure. I personally don't buy those external backup drives, I'd rather buy a regular drive and put it in an enclosure myself.

You could try removing the drive from the WD enclosure and plugging it into a SATA drive dock and see if it behaves differently or not. StarTech USB to SATA External HDD Dock for 2.5 or 3.5in Hard Drive - Newegg.com
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

08 Sep 2014   #4
fireberd

Windows 10 64 bit
 
 

The 1TB WD My Book, that I have, is at least 7or 8 years old. I never used the software that came with the unit as I was using Acronis True Image at the time. There wasn't many options back then for external USB attached drives. Either something like what I have or buy a hard drive and an enclosure which, at that time, cost more than the 1 TB WD My Book drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Sep 2014   #5
jumanji

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

There is a lot of trash built into WD external drives' Interface Boards (aka Sata to USB bridge, Controller Board) inside like hardware encryption, Smartware backup etc., that in fact proves to be a pain and cannot be removed.. Why do you want to be hampered with something which you do not want in the first instance? My advice would be:

Return the WD external HD.

Buy a quality external casing, a good internal drive (avoid WD), mate those together, reformat to your own delight and live happily thereafter. You decide your destiny.

What I just read: http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r292...not-accessible

Also read the threads in this forum itself on the many problems reported with WD drives.

Why buy pain and try to remove it thereafter?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Sep 2014   #6
Berton

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit, Windows 8.1 64-bit, Mac OS X 10.10, Linux Mint 17, Windows 10 Pro TP
 
 

I also did not install any software to use the WD 2TB My Book on my USB 3.0 port on Win7 Ultimate, no special identity needed except I did reorganize the drive letters for it and the 2 USB 2.0 drives [one 2TB and one 1TB] so they were in a logical order. C: & D: are internal, E: & F: are Optical drives, G:, H: & I: for the USB. For simplicity I labeled each in the form or WDC2TB_1, WDC2TB_2, etc. One of the USB HDDs does still have WD SmartWare on it and identifies as a CD drive with its own letter, X: in my case.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Sep 2014   #7
BJBBJB

 
 

Thanks for all the input....this was a Christmas present that I am just now trying to utilize. So I cannot return.

I have a NAS and all my other external drives are home-built as are my PC's.

Was just hoping I could make this one useable.

BJBBJB
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Sep 2014   #8
ComputerGeek

Desk 1: Win 7 Pro x32; Desk 2: Windows 10 x64
 
 

"Device Recognition" is handled between the USB controller on the motherboard and the hardware/firmware on the remote USB device. Somethings you can try, tho sometimes this problem just happens time-to-time

1) Is your BIOS up to date?
2) Are the m/b chipset drivers up to date?
3) Any firmware updates for the drive?
4) Does the external have its own power supply? If so, see if it performs any different when device is powered on before connect the USB cable then power on, or power on first then connect
5) Try different ports. If you have a self-powered USB hub, try connecting through it too

All USB disks use the generic Windows drivers, so yea, you'll always see the generic loaded IF the device is recognized. Having the WD SES driver has no affect on device recognition
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Sep 2014   #9
BJBBJB

 
 

Computergeek,

Thanks, I'll try the power on timing thing and different ports. My motherboard and Intel rapid storage drivers are all good and up-to-date and I really don't want to mess with those.

Based on your description it sounds like re-formatting won't help. Which makes sense when I think about it, that is all hardware-based as to what it is calling for.

As far as loading vs. installing....since I chose not to install the SES drivers every time it is plugged in it actually re-installs the generic and SES drivers. 2 checkmarks, 1 big red X for SES.

So I guess until I succumb to installing the SES drivers that will continue to happen. I can look more at what they really do. A $29 enclosure would not have caused these issues and I may just rip that drive out...

BJBBJB
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Make a WD My Book Ext Drive behave as a generic USB drive




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