These WD external drives all come with their SmartWare software for drive management. This software is mediocre at best and completely unnecessary.
Unfortunately, its installed via the enclosure firmware and stored on the HD on a virtual CD taking up space.
There’s no way to reformat the drive to get rid of the VCD without taking the drive out of the enclosure and voiding your warrantee. And if you reformat it that way, it will no longer work inside the enclosure.
I think WD did upgrade the firmware so you’re not forced to used SmartWare anymore, but you still can’t do anything about the VCD. http://www.wdc.com/wdproducts/updates/?family=wdsmartwareutilities
As an N of 1 study, my 3TB external WD HD started to have read errors after 2.5 years.
Hi, you can remove the VCD software using this tool. You just plug in the drive run the utility and it will disable the VCD on any WD product. You can also re-enable it if you want later. I’ve done it on a bunch of WD drives and it’s really easy.