I've got a dual boot setup for work on my laptop made up of Windows Server 2008 R2 (x64) and Ubuntu 10.04 (x64). I just recently got a WD Passport Essential 750GB external harddrive to use with my laptop. After first plugging it into my laptop for use on Windows, I noticed a bunch of so-called SmartWare that automatically creates a virtual drive on my machine, houses a bunch of other documentation, supposedly enables other software updates (to the external and/or internal drive?), and in general just takes up space (although not much).
I did not want any of this trash/malware, so I used the 'diskpart' command and other commands on Windows to repartition the entire drive as one single partition, thereby eliminating any hidden partitions which might house this SmartWare. Then, I formatted the whole thing as NTFS. Note that I am not sure if there was even a hidden partition to eliminate; I was simply hoping that this was the source of my problem that I could easily handle by reformatting.
After completing this process, I noticed that Windows could not see the external drive anymore. So I rebooted, disconnected and reconnected the drive, tested a second USB cable, and still could not get it to recognize the drive. I then booted into Linux and could see the drive. And not only that, the SmartWare that used to simply appear on the desktop in Linux had disappeared. So clearly, the 'diskpart' process I went through did something to erase or disable the SmartWare.
The problem I have now is that Windows will not recognize the external drive by simply connecting the drive via USB. It used to automatically install drivers upon connecting. Now, nothing happens, and I cannot even see the drive in the 'Computer' view or Device Manager. After poking around on the Western Digital website, I think I might have to reinstall the SmartWare to get the drive functioning for Windows again (if that is even possible, since Windows cannot currently recognize the drive). Unfortunately, this SmartWare seems to be some sort of coupling of both software and firmware, making it such that I can either have all of it or none of it. I fear I am stuck with either a functioning drive that has additional Smart/MalWare lingering or with a drive that Windows will never recognize but is cleansed of all SmartWare. Are these my only two options? Have I potentially ruined this drive? Is it even possible to get this drive back to its original state?