There isn't a lot of documentation that comes in the box with the WD My Book drive. This article will provide you with additional information will hopefully answer some of your questions regarding the My Book drive. The instructions are for Windows users and may be different if you are using a Mac/OS X or using a newer/different version of the software.

Getting Started with the WD MyBook Drive

  1. Plug in the power supply to the wall/powerbar and to the drive. Don't worry if it doesn't turn on right away. That will happen in the next step.
  2. Plug the USB cable between the computer and the drive. If you have a USB 3.0 port (usually blue) on your computer, use that as it will make a huge differences in the speed at which your computer gets backed up.
  3. The drive should now turn on. After a few seconds (up to a few minutes), the drive will appear in your "My Computer". Be patient.
  4. Look for the new hard drive in My Computer. It will be called My Book.
  5. Double click on it and then on "WD Apps Setup". This will start the installation process for the backup software. If you don't see the "WD Apps Setup", look for a folder called "WD Apps for Windows", if you are using Windows or "WD Apps for Mac" if you are using OS X to find the application installer for your operating system.
  6. Just follow the prompts to install the software.

About the My Book drive (Things they don't tell you up front)

  • The user manual is on the My Book drive in \User Manuals\ENG\UserManual.pdf
  • If you set the security password on the drive, you will be prompted for it if you connect the drive to a different computer. If you aren't, open My Computer and look for a CD drive called "WD Unlocker". This is a partition on the My Book drive that contains the software that will allow you to unlock the drive. Open this drive by double clicking on it and then double click "WD Drive Unlock". Once the drive is unlocked, it will appear under Hard Drive Devices.
  • If you lose the password, even WD won't be able to help you regain access to the drive. Keep the password in a safe place.
  • If you've encrypted the drive, it will only work in its enclosure. If it fails, the only way to regain access to the information on the drive might be to replace the circuit board in the enclosure with one of the exact same model. You may find replacements on eBay. Because the drive is hardware encrypted using this circuit board, only the exact same model will unlock it.
  • You can download The Acronis® True Image (ATI) WD Edition software for free. It allows you to backup your whole computer and restore it, even if restoring it is to a new hard drive. There is also a manual available for the the Acronis True Image application.
  • The WD SmartWare is included on the hard drive itself. It allows you to backup your data files which are very important. However it doesn't backup your whole computer.
  • WD SmartWare backs-up your files in a folder on the My Book drive called "\WD SmartWare.swstor\YourComputersName.
  • Before disconnecting your drive, right click on the WD QuickView icon in the system tray (near the clock in the task bar) and select Safely Remove My Book. If you don't do this, you may lose data on the hard drive and it may get damaged.

About WD SmartWare Application

WD SmartWare can backup your computer on a schedule or ongoing in real-time. Just remember, if you use it in real-time and you delete or change a file by accident, you won't be able to restore it from your backed-up version because it will be instantaneously updated. On the other hand, if you worked on a file for several hours but only sync up your drive periodically and something happens to your computers drive or the file itself, you won't have a backup to restore from.

So what's the solution? Have two of these drives. Connect one drive one day and the other drive the next day. That way you always have a real-time backup and, if you need to restore, you can always go back to the other drive to gain access to yesterday's version.

If you want to backup more than 1 computer, keep in mind that you can use this software on up to 4 computers. Also,BE SURE THAT EACH OF YOUR COMPUTERS has a unique computer name or the backup file locations will conflict between computers and likely end up with inconsistent results or backups that fail completely.

After installing the software, you may be offered a free upgrade to WD SmartWare Pro. I notice this only happened on my computer with Windows 7 Professional. If it doesn't get offered to you, you might be using Windows Home edition.

You can choose Continuous Backup or Scheduled backup where you can choose Hourly, Daily, Monthly and specify the day of the week or month and the time you want your backup to start.

If you have more than one drive, just repeat the process to add a backup of the second drive. Here is the process:

  1. On the Home tab, select your drive letter and My Book.
  2. Click the Backup tab.
  3. Check the box next to the drive letter. Then check any folders or files you specifically don't want to backup.
  4. Click Enable Backup. Once you do this, backups will be automatic from that point on.

That's it, you're done!

If the drive starts giving you trouble, keep in mind that it is under warranty for 2 years from the date of purchase. Western Digital (WD) also has telephone and email support available.