WD My Book Button Manager Removed and Some Frustrations

This post is obsolete and screenshots have been removed.

I decided to remove the Button Manager drivers (Mac) for my Western Digital My Book 500GB drive. The button manager software is used to provide:

1. the capacity gauge that shows the drive space used

2. Safe shutdown (by pushing the drive button)

Since installing the My Book drivers I’ve had one case when my iMac just pin-wheeled when waking from sleep mode and I had to force a power off. I can’t say it was the cause but when there’s a problem the last change is usually the place to start. The “features” of the button manager don’t really provide any value to me so I decided to remove it.

The problem was I couldn’t find any information about how to remove. So I did some research and this worked for me.

I found two process in Activity Monitor that seemed to be the button manager: WD Button Manager and WDBMService. (click the thumbnail to see process info). There wasn’t anything in the startup processes for my user ID or in the library files in my user profile (and since this is hardware I didn’t really expect any).

I did find some promising files in the Library files for the system. In the Library folder right off the root of the system drive there’s a StartupItems folder and in that there’s a WDBMService folder which was obviously the button manager software. I dragged the WDBMService folder to my desktop to remove it from the StartupItems but still have it in case things go really bad. Then I rebooted.

After the reboot there wasn’t any trace of the WD Button Manager drivers and all seemed well. So I deleted the WDBMService folder from my desktop.

The WD My Book drive has given me a few other minor frustrations. First, under Windows the auto-off feature worked great. I turned off my Windows laptop and the My Book powers down. With my iMac the My Book goes into sleep mode but stays on. I suppose it could be a Mac issue, maybe the iMac continues to provide power to the FW800 port when the iMac is off.

While the drive itself is very quiet the drive spins so fast that when I put it on my wooden desk I could feel the vibration through the desk and there was a slight hum from the wood. There’s no “feet” or other padding on the drive so the case sits right on the desk. I put a empty slim CD case under the drive and it eliminated the vibration and humming.

I was trying to think of some hard drive or CD burner which was bundled with software that actually worked and was worth using. I couldn’t come up with any which I guess is why I’m not really upset about the software issues. I bought it strictly for the hardware specs and not the software or bells and whistles, expecting the software to be a waste. So based on my expectations I’m happy with the My Book and would buy another. Has anyone every bought an external drive (disk or optical) and been happy with the bundled software?


14 thoughts on “WD My Book Button Manager Removed and Some Frustrations”

  1. Just so you know: When you right click on an install package like the Button Manager Install Package, you can see which files are installed by choosing "Show Package Contents" and then extracting the Archive.pax.gz file inside the Contents folder. The files and folders inside this archive give you the exact locations of all files installed. In the case of the Button Manager Software, you'll see that there is a file "uninstall-WDButtonManager" that goes to /usr/bin/.

    So, a "sudo /usr/bin/uninstall-WDButtonManager" in the Terminal should uninstall the software properly.

  2. My 24 inch iMac has been randomly freezing for months. I never looked at my crash logs until today, and in the root/library/logs folder, I see the all the crash logs.

    Every single one is titled WDBMService_date.

    Thanks for the tip.

  3. This post re the WDBMService is right on the money. My MBPro just came back from Apple and they confirmed that indeed, it was WD software running in the background that caused tons of problems and that removal of the stuff required more than just deleting the software you easily see at the user level or removing from "login" items.

    The WD software sucks. It just isn't designed and built in adherence to Apple's standards for 3rd party development thus such heinous problems as the original poster here and my own – where my Mac will sometimes not get past the grey screen or not wake up from sleeping.

    Solution: apparently you can use .mac to backup to multiple disks (the whole reason I was trying to use WD's software in addition to my TMachine software).


  4. I have seen this randomly freezing issue many times too, though not with the software installed. I found that unplugging the power from the drive in question usually unlocks the system immediately. Wish I could figure out why it was locking in the first place. quite annoying.

  5. You can remove the software by running the installer. It asks you whether you want to install or remove the software. Choose remove :). You can find the installer at WD's website.

  6. I also saw the same problem with crashes related to WDBM.

    The Install package from WD did not have an uninstall option,

    but there was /usr/bin/uninstall-wdbmsvc (or something like that), and it worked.

    (Do "ls /usr/bin/uninstall*" to find the correct name.)

    You've got to open a terminal window, and use "sudo /usr/bin/uninstall-wdbmsvc" to run it with

    the necessary privileges.

    Thanks, this was a very useful thread!!

  7. If you go into System Preferences, then Accounts, are they not showing under the Login Items tab? They are on my computer, so they were easy to turn off…

    • @Monkey David – I think the WD has changed a lot since I wrote this. At the time is was not a login item but it might be now.

  8. I just wanted a Firewire 800 disk. WD My Book makes system unstable and disturbs work by fast uncontrolled sleep. The housing look obviously cheap next a mac. It´s to big. Extreme ugly crap software on an own partition, always booted with ugly icon permanently on your desktop. Never ever buy this again.

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