WD Backup Anywhere

For software you are required to buy this program has far less usefulness than the free alternatives

My Rating: nonononono

Pros

Cons

Review

Just trying to install the WD Anywhere backup software onto each of your computers can be a problem. You need to be careful when running the software for the first time as there are several things which can cause problems. The first problem is that the default one click backup option will back up all files that don't meet certain criteria from your C: drive (assuming you are running Windows). There is a small link at the bottom of the screen "Customize My Backup" that allows you to go in to configure the backup yourself so that you can have the system backup what you really need. Another problem with the backup configuration is that all drives except the C: drive are disabled in the backup by default. If you have sensibly partitioned your drive so as to separate the operating system, application software, and your data then all the backup can see until you override it is the operating system. Since what you really want to backup ii's your data you need to go into the advanced settings and enable the partition where you keep your data. If you don't do this then all the backup will actually copy is garbage.

In order to not end up with the trial 30 day version of the backup software when you are running the software with a device from WD that is supposed to include a full version of the software, the install process needs to actually find and recognise that WD device. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be able to always recognise the device even though it finds it and actually starts the backup. There are several pages of options on the WD support web site on options to try to fix this all of which can be a complete waste of time. Fortunately when you register the software on one computer where it does find the device there is a way to enable the full version of the software on another computer that doesn't recognise it where the software asks for a product key. When you register you will get an email providing you with the product key for that computer. You can use the product key from one install to register a second install and thus bypass the inability of the software to recognise the device. You will then be issued a different product key for that registration. Since the device comes with a five computer licence this isn't a problem unless WD complain about your using the wrong product keys to activate the product.

The next problem with the backup software is that when you create a backup plan it only exists for that user on the computer. So if you create the backup plan under admin then you can't see it from your everyday user account and if you create it on your everyday account you can't see it on your admin account. Also if you have multiple users sharing the computer then if you create it on one user then it doesn't exist for other users. Unfortunately there does not appear to be any easy way to copy backup plans between users so that the software can run one common backup for all users on the computer (also WD second level support say that the software can't be run that way). You will therefore need to set up a separate plan for each user on the computer. If you have one regular user plus an admin user then the solution is to set up the plan on the regular user account. You can copy all the plans from one login to another by going into the "Application Data" folder for the user whose login the software is set up for and copy the "WD" folder from there to the corresponding location for other users but based on the answer that WD second level support gave me after a three week wait that isn't going to work properly.

The backup software keeps an up to date backup of all your selected files. Unfortunately it does this by constantly copying and recopying the files which can use up most of the system resources of your computer leaving you without the resources to get any actual work done. The only way around this problem is to pause the backup until the system is idle. If you are like me then when you stop actually using the computer you turn it off. This means that the backup software will not actually get any idle time in which to do the backup. The only solution I could come up with to this problem is to throw away the WD Anywhere Backup software that you purchased with the device and replace it with some free backup software. Almost all of the free backup software I have seen works far better than the WD backup software and I therefore recommend placing this software in the bin without bothering to even try installing it and use any other backup software instead.

go to top

FaceBook Follow
Twitter Follow
Donate