I've got a 1TB Western Digital "My Book Essentials" (http://support.wdc.com/product/install.asp?groupid=120&lang=en
When I plug it into my Dell Optiplex running Vista, the Autoplay gives me the option of installing WD Smartware or "Open Folder to View Files".
When I choose WD Smartware and install it, I get an error message: "No Writable WD Smartware Partition Found".
When I select Open Folder to View Files, I get a window that opens up showing me the CD drive with the Smartware software. I can also now see a new local disk listed ("G"). When I try to open the new local disk, it says it has to be formatted. When I try to format it, it gives me an error message: "Windows was unable to complete the format".
I've also tried connecting it to a different computer running XP with very similar results. I also tried formatting the drive with Norton Partition Magic 8.0. That formatting also fails.
I obviously have no data on this drive that I need. I ultimately need to connect this drive to an old Mac to copy some files.