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If it bothers me, it may be bothering you too…

Chances are if you’ve purchased a Western Digital external drive, you’ve seen or still see this icon on your desktop. A VCD (Virtual CD).

01 WD SmartWare Icon

First, you wonder where it came from.
Then on closer observation and experimentation you realize that it comes with the external drive; attached at the hip, so to speak.

Resembling a disc you can eject, you throw it in the trash to get rid of it. Only to find that it comes back almost immediately, or certainly when you mount the drive again.

Western Digital was quite determined for you to have this software, whether you use it or not. You can’t delete this VCD and reclaim the space it takes up on the external drive, in some cases a few hundred MBs. But, you can hide it, to keep it from annoying you and your desktop.

To do so:

  1. First, copy the software folder to your desktop.
    You will be able to delete this later if you want, but you might want to just file it away on your computer for future use.
  2. Download and run the latest firmware for Mac (or PC) for the specific external drive.
    Following the instructions, you will have to disconnect the drive from its power source to complete the update, because the drive will not show up on your desktop after the firmware update until you do. The firmware for the specific drive you may have can be located here:
    02 WD Download pg
  3. Launch the ‘Virtual CD Manager App’ in the folder you copied to your desktop.
    You’ll have to accept the EULA to continue with the process to hide (or display) the VCD.03 WD Virtual CD Mgr
  4. Select the correct drive to configure.
    If you have more than one Western Digital external drive connected you may see a VCD for each one. To select the correct drive, you will need to know the correct serial number. If you have only one drive connected, there will only be one selection in this “Drive to Configure menu”.
    Make your appropriate choice.04 WD Virtual CD Mgr
  5. Select the “Configure Drive” button.
    The text under the menu will read the “Current” (displayed) configuration and “Target” configuration (hidden). Select Configure.
  6. Exit.
    The process takes a second or so.
  7. Power down your drive (unplug/plug-back-in).
    The drive will reappear on your desktop minus the VCD attachment.




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One Response to That Western Digital VCD

  1. Phyllis Evans says:

    I have this problem on a Hitachi 2 TB drive. They had a solution for those on Windows, but couldn’t come up with something that would work on Macs. Since then, WD bought out Hitachi’s drive division and sold the 3.5” drives to Toshiba, which leaves me with that stinking VCD that rears its ugly head whenever I restart or when I use Toast. No matter what I’m doing, Toast will always mount that stinking VCD.

    My latest backup drives are from Seagate.