Wednesday, 21 March 2012

How to remove WD Smartware for Windows machines with multiple access privileges

I bought a sleek WD Passport 500GB recently to backup my work in a networked Windows XP machine. But, soon I was having difficulty getting the folders I want to backup. The Smartware software in the hard disk do not allow me to do this but instead lets me backup the entire "Document" folder. This does not help because this is a university machine with access privileges set up. I had run as adminstrator to install the Smartware and now it is backing up the "Document" folder for that administrator account, which is inaccessible to me and not useful to my work. The administrator access was given to me purely for installation purpose. So, through several helpful websites, I am able to remove/deactivate the software and do the usual drag-drop or copy-paste to the hard disk like all other hard disk, which with the Smartware, I could not do. I've compiled steps I have taken, some from helpful websites, and others my own, to hopefully help someone who wishes to remove the smartware from their WD hard disk.

Thanks to for his tip on Step 1 and Step2. I had switched the two the other way round because when I did Step 2 first, it couldn't remove the VCD Manager when it couldn't detect the My Passport drive.

Step 1: Remove VCD Manager
  1. Download VCD Manager for Windows to your desktop. (mirror here)
  2. Unzip the file using any extraction program.
  3. Double click on WDSmartWareVirtualCDManagerforWindows-v1.0.7.4.exe.
  4. Click Continue to disable the VCD.
  5. Once the utility has found your drive, click Configure Drive and then click Exit.
  6. Turn off  or disconnect the drive.
  7. Wait 10 seconds and turn on or reconnect.
  8. Check that the VCD no longer appears.

Step 2: Update Firmware
  1. Disconnect all other external drives from the computer except for the My Passport hard drive you want to update.
  2. Download the Firmware Updater for Windows. (mirror here)
  3. Unzip the file and double click to open the Firmware Updater.
  4. Click Continue to update the firmware.
  5. Click Update Firmware.
  6. Click Accept the End User’s License Agreement (EULA). The updater will scan the drive; this may take a few minutes.
  7. Once the updater is finished, click Exit.
  8. Disconnect the drive.
  9. Wait 10 seconds. Reconnect and you will find that My Passport no longer appears.

At this point, I tried to access the hard disk using another two Windows machines and the My Passport icon no longer appears in My Computer. So, I formatted the hard disk just to be sure that everything is gone.

Step 3: Reformat the My Passport hard disk. I used KillDisk's Kill option.This has to be installed using admin access. Simply right-click on the .exe installation file and Run As admin and enter your password for the admin account.

KillDisk Kill completely clears the HD, including partitions. The HD is now unallocated. If you run Smartware, it will says "No writable WD SmartWare partition found".

Step 4: Partition hard disk using Disk Management (wd community link)
  1. Right-click on Computer from the Start Menu and then click on Manage. This will bring you to a window called Computer Management. Alternatively, go to Control Panel>Administrative Tools>Computer Management. Right-click and select Run As to start the program as admin.
  2. Click on Storage.
  3. Click on Disk Management.
  4. There should be a disk that is unallocated. Right-click on this box and select New Partition. This box should have a black bar. If it has a blue bar, it means it has already been partitioned and formatted. You can right-click on the blue bar and select Delete Volume. If you require more information, go to the WD Community Link for partitioning hard disk using Disk Management here.
  5. Go through the wizard, clicking Next and finally Finish.
  6. Wait for a few seconds and you should see the box with the unallocated disk showing the text "Formatting".
  7. When it says "Healthy", you can close the program and check for your hard disk icon on My Computer. 
  8. You can now use your WD Passport hard disk like any other hard disk.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Canada Trip Day 27: White Rock BC Canada

9 July 2010 - It was finally and properly summer on our last day in Canada! My cousins brought us to White Rock to enjoy the sun. It was pretty busy at the promenade but it was a merry sort of busy, which was nice. It was nice to see Mount Baker over in the States from White Rock.

That night, we had a barbeque with our Canadian family as well as other friends who had migrated from Brunei. I felt rather sad and somewhat regretted organising many days traveling around rather than spending more time with family. That can only mean another trip back to Canada.

Nice house at White Rock, BC

Nice house at White Rock, BC

White Rock has many nice houses

White Rock neighbourhood

Construction of house in White Rock

A drive along the beach

Pretty house in White Rock

"Be sun smart" board on the beach

People enjoying the sun at White Rock

People enjoying the sun and water at White Rock

Our sunbathing spot was somewhere here. Green grass and blue sky and BY THE BEACH!!! My kind of perfect day!

We walked along to the boardwalk

The beach became busier as time passed

View of Mount Baker in US from White Rock promenade and pier

Sea gull at White Rock, BC

Walking along to the pier - White Rock

Board walk at White Rock BC Canada

Coast of White Rock

White Rock BC Canada and a glimpse of Mount Baker

White Rock BC Canada and a glimpse of Mount Baker

Canada Trip Day 26: Muttart Conservatory, Edmonton

8 July 2010 - This was our last day in Edmonton and also the second last day of our entire Canada trip. Mum's friend took us to the Muttart Conservatory. I'm impressed by the large varieties of plants in a not-so-large conservatory made up of four glass pyramids. I particularly love the showcase on the different types of cacti. I wish the labelling can be more complete. There are some plants which were without labels and I did to do a good bit of investigation online before I stumble upon them. To be fair, I came across a very interesting term, inflorescence and there are so many types in the way the flowers of plants are arranged while trying to find the names of the plants. It's amazing to actually see the physical appearances of the plants which we only know by name on bottles and packaging of shampoos, lotions, soaps and so forth.

Stone engravings on the wall at Muttart Conservatory 

Mermaid lying on a bed of flowers - Muttart Conservatory 

Witch Hazel

Mexican Orange - Choisya ternata 'Aztec Pearl'

Lotus corniculatus "Plenus" Bird's Foot Trefoil

Dragon Mouth (Horminum pyrenaicum) Europe

Woolly Thyme (Thymus pseudolanuginosus) Asia

Maidenhair Tree (Gingko biloba)

Sleeping lady sculpted from moss, Gaia Mother Earth

Common Fig (Ficus carica)

Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis): An interesting fact is the chemistry of jojoba oil is similar to that of sperm whale oil but cannot handle the high temperatures to be a replacement of the latter, as a lubricant for machinery.

Moonstones (Pachyphytum oviferum) North America
Kangaroo Paws (Anigosanthos sp.) Pacifica

Elephant Foot Tree (Beaucarnea recurvata) North America

Shaving Brush Tree (Pseudobombax ellipticum): Its bark was used to make tea in El Salvador to treat diabetes and floral tea can be made for gastrointestinal ailments.

Woolly Rose (Echeveria 'Doris Taylor') North America

Golden barrel cactus (Echinocactus grusonii) North America

Bishop's Cap (Astrophytum myriostigma) North America

Blue Chopsticks (Senecio serpens) Africa

African Milk Tree (Euphorbia trigona) Africa

Aloe burgersfortensis Africa

Aeonium arboreum 'Schwarzkopf' Africa

Sisal Hemp (Agave sisalana) : Interestingly, this plant was extracted by Mayans and Aztees to weave the sisal fibers into rough garments.

Panda Plant (Kalanchoe tomentosa) Africa

Corkscrew (Euphorbia mammilaris) Africa

Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum) North America

Soap Aloe (Aloe saponaria) Africa

Dwarf Coral Tree (Erythrina Zeyheri) Africa

Agave Americana 'Marginata' (Century Plant) North America

Peruvian Apple (Cereus peruvianus) South America

Totem pole cactus (Lophocereus Schottii 'Monstrosus') North America

Silver Torch (Cleistocactus Strausii) South America

Borzicactus sampipatanus South America

Joseph's coat cactus (Opuntia vulgaris 'Variegata') North America

Costus barbatus

Pachystachys lutea
Different types of cactus in one of the pyramid rooms

Camphor Tree (Cinnamomum Camphora) Asia

Coffee (Coffea arabica) Africa - I love this coffee!

Calamondin (Citrofortunella mitis)

Fancy-leaved caladium (Caladium X humboldtii)

Rex Begonia (Begonia X rex-cultorum) leaf and flowers (pink petals, yellow stamens)


Aechmea fasciata 'Silver Vase'

Queen Sago Palm (Cycas circinalis) flower: How beautiful are these golden and regal looking flowers

Queen Sago Palm (Cycas circinalis)

Snow Banana (ensete glaucum) Asia

Purple orchid

Spider Orchid - patterned petals brown and yellow; purple labellum
 A type of Cholla tree

Spines of a cactus plant

Barrel cacti; two species; two barrel cactus on top of another species with finer spines