I've seen a lot of bad press on WD SmartWare (I think it comes on most WD backup devices now, such as their MyBook product line), mostly related to how it's impossible to remove properly or replace. There are allegations (I couldn't tell how true they were) that it has/is a rootkit, as well. Most of the articles are a couple of years old, so I'm wondering if SmartWare is still just as problematic as it was. Does it still have a nasty rootkit reputation and should I just stick with the Windows 7 built-in backup system, or is the current SmartWare generation improved and better behaved?
The WD Community thread Software Update - WD SmartWare Windows Version 220.127.116.11 (8/16/11) about the latest version contains very many posts, almost none of them positive (!). Here are some of them :
Conclusion: SmartWare still has problems.
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I haven't used it much, but it was on a recent drive that I bought for my aunt, to back up her Electronic Auctioneer data. It didn't give me too much trouble, and she hasn't called bugging me with any problems that she's had with it.
On the other hand, if you know and love Windows 7 backup (as I do), you could go ahead and remove the smartware. This question has steps to remove the smartware from the drive by updating the firmware, and I was successful in removing it from my drive (last year) using these steps.