Recently bought a Western Digital Passport Essential usb drive. It come's preloaded with something called "SmartWare" which is great - if you are an idiot or are happy to use the drive only in the Western Digital Approved way and only on Western Digital Approved operating systems.
I run Linux (Ubuntu). I also run XP and Vista and I run Windows 7. Yes, I have too many computers.
But when I buy a hard drive, I expect to be able to use it as a hard drive. I do not want to be locked into using some garbage software each and every time I plug it in. I do not like being lied to (moreso) about the amount of space on a drive. I do not like being forced to use garbage that does not do what I need it to do.
We already have to put up with hdd manufacturers fudging the numbers around so that they can claim bigger hard drive sizes. Having it use some of the space (230Mb) for their garbage is one thing. Having that be a lie since the actual space used is closer to 640Mb is a dis-service. Being completely unable to remove said garbage is like being spit in the face.
Sure, I can waste time and bandwidth downloading updates and programs from Western Digital that will turn off the GarbageWare but that's ALL it does - the garbage is still there!
I have previously only bought WD drives. They are good and reliable. If I can't get rid of this garbage or a full refund then I will not be buying any WD drives again and recommending to others that they avoid this brand like the plague.
On the tiny, miniscule, microscopic chance that anyone who is affiliated with WD in any way actually reads this - I DO NOT WANT SMARTWARE! I do not want to be locked into one way of doing things. I do not want to have to jump through hoops to use a product.
When I buy an external hard drive I want a hard drive that is external to my computer - that's it! Plug it in, transfer files, unplug it. Simple.