Etilqs files in Temp folder consuming 60GB disk space courtesy of WDFME.exe

After countless hours of mind numbing investigation I have ended up here. For as long as I remember I have noticed my disk space being used up by something other than downloaded files, photos etc. and today after noticing I only have 770mb free space on a 229GB hard drive, something had to be done. Here is a list of programs that I had to download and why:

WinDirStat - Helped me discover which folder contained the mystery files: C:\WINDOWS\Temp and what their file names begin with: etilqs

In C:\WINDOWS\Temp, click Tools -> Folder Options -> View -> Hidden files and folders -> Show hidden files and folders

Windows own Disk Cleanup could not help, nor could CCleaner

sysinternals Process Explorer - Helped me discover what was creating/running the etilqs files: WDFME.exe

I discovered 5,904 files dating back to when I first purchased/installed my WD product (August 2011) totalling 60GB

WD My Passport Essential SE 1 TB Black Portable Hard Drive (USB 3.0/2.0)

I don’t even use WD SmartWare! The version on my system is

The processes that automatically run on startup:




So I’m taking the time to post this for two important reasons:

  1. Please help me with the correct way to delete these files and advise how to stop them from being produced in future

  2. To clearly explain (in basic form) the problem, using KEY words, in hope that this topic will show up in search engine results to help others and save them a staggering amount of time! What a nightmare.

Any help will be greatly appreciated. I look forward to your replies.


Hello and welcome to the WD Community.

As a recommendation, contact WD Support directly for information on this case.

WD Contact info:

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Thanks. I contacted WD Support and they simply told me to delete the files and uninstall WD Smartware. As expected, problem resolved, but no insight into why this was happening. Was it to do with me running an old version of WD Smartware? Was it something to do with Avast Antivirus? Who knows.