My passport - wd processes causing high cpu utilisation

I’ve only had my USB3.0 Passport for a few months and recently I have found my notebook slowing down, freezing and some programs going “Not responding”.

Using Microsoft Task Manager I have noticed that the CPU utilisation is pulsing, sometimes from 20%  upto 90/100% every second or so.

Looking at the Processes tab I see that WD processes WDRulesEngine & WDBackupEngine are running with high CPU figures.

This is the case even when I don’t have My Passport plugged in.

I looked for help in the user guide and found nothing.

I thought that I would try to install the software but thought I saw a warning that I might to manually start a process to link to the archives on My Passport after software re-installation. Is this a real problem?

Has anybody else found the software loading their CPU?

My notebook is a couple of years old, running XP SP3 & 1GB RAM (I am looking for more RAM but I’m almost sure it will only take 2Gb).

The Smartware version is 1.6.5

This could happen if another application is conflicting with the backup engine.

Try testing the backup while the Firewall or Antivirus is not running and post back the results.

Sorry it has been a while. I have tried to work out whether Task Manager is telling the truth or not (ie in the graph it shows). However I do believe that the total CPU utilisation and the number of processes running are true.

I get the problems when I’m not running Smartware and the Passport is not connected.

There are at least 6 processes running and taking chunks of CPU all the time. The main one is WDBackUpEngine.exe, but also WD DM Status, WD Locked files, Rules Engine, Drive Service & Autolock. (all those are WD… dot exe)

But a short while ago I googled WDBACKUPENGINE and got lots of contacts - the vast majority on other parts of this Community.

Simply it looks as if it has been going on for ages (months), WD had updated some parts but people are still having problems. WD say just remove and reinstall Smartware -but for many this doesn’t work.

Many are also saying that because of the high CPU utilisation, their CPU fans are staying on high speed for ages - implying they might find that their CPUs are on the way to melting.

Now I think about it, I have found that the exhaust air of my little notebook has been running warm. Desktops have lots of spare space… notebooks almost nil.

I’ll go back to my google results & search this community and see what I find.

But if I don’t get a quick resolution - the WD software will get ditched completely and I’ll reformat the Passport as a standard drive!

You never know I might even find a Microsoft application that works!


Still no progress despite a lot oftime & effort.

I think I’ll have a go Emailing WD Support.

The whole story so far:-

I have had a 1Gb Passport for only a few months but recently experienced applications freezing and

generally a very slow computer.
After a while I found that Task Manager showed very frequent pulses of CPU activity and the list of

Processes showed a few WD ones even though my Passport was not connected and I was not doing backup

or retrieval.
The WD process taking the most CPU time is WDBackUpEngine.exe. This frequently peaked at 50 or 60%.

I put a note on the WD Community but the only suggestion was that I should disable AV and Firewall

to see if that stopped the problem.  It didn’t.

I couldn’t find any help on Knowledge Base no matter what words I searched for.

But I did type WDBackupEngine into Internet Explorer and got lots of hits most of them pointing to

the WD Community.

Quite a few people had had the same problem for several months and there didn’t appear to be a

solution. Recent Smartware upgrades hadn’t worked. Removing Smartware & re-installing it was quoted

to be a suggested way forward but reports were that it was not a solution.

So I un-installed Smartware. When it had gone, so did the high CPU activity. It dropped to a small

ripple of 4% or less.

I then re-installed using the original copy which came on the Passport.

The high CPU activity came back as before. Constant high pulsing even with Smartware NOT running NOR the

Passport connected.

I then went to the Upgrade button on the Home tab of Smartware.

This took me to instructions to upgrade the Firmware and then upgrade Smartware.

All this was taking an aweful long time.I followed the instructions strictly.

The firmware was upgraded to v1.019 (unlikely to affect the problem when the Passport was not

plugged in.

Smartware was upgraded to 1.6.5

And it didn’t make a difference  when I turned on Task Manager and saw the same high CPU


I have a Samsung notebook running XP SP3. It only has 1Gb of memory and I was investigating whether

this had slowed my PC down. Yes it can an effect but it is not the major factor.  I will be

upgrading soon to the 2Gb maximum.

Yes, contacting support should be the next step.