This software has serious problems


#1

This software has serious, serious problems. When it does work, it consumes nearly 80% of a 4-proc machine. Otherwise, it just sits there and doesn’t back anything up. Did anyone at WD even try this before they released this as a product?

The first backup took over a day to perform. I wasn’t too worried, as I’ve got a lot of stuff. The next backup will go quickly I figured.

The next back up required the WD Smartware to think really, really hard for about 30 minutes. The spinning barber pole ran this entire time. The white LED on the drive blinked. But the number of files backed up didn’t change. Bad sign. I added a few text files to my docs directory. Nothing. 

Now the system sits proudly telling it’s “ready to back up”. Here’s an idea, how about back up new files I just created?

Note that the USB connector doesn’t seat correctly all the time. It’s very easy for this thing to come undone in the cradle. So instead I just use the cable with the drive laying on it’s side. The hardware design is poorly done because it doesn’t provide any clear indication that it has enaged completely. 

Ugh. Very frustrating. 


#2

Well, well, looking at other threads in this forum, you can see an exception that includes the namespace “Tanagra.Dataclad”. Which means the core of this engine is from Memeo.

Oh dear. Say no more. I spent a year of my life trying to make Memeo work. Every problem I had came with a request from their support team to “Please send the logs”. A multimegabyte email later they would come back with “please try this new upgrade” This was a quarterly occurence that I’ve never experienced with any other software in my life. And this is for brain-dead backup software!

Sorry, WD, but this software isn’t close to being ready for prime time.


#3

I just installed this software and it seemed to back up everything but it uses 50% to 80% of the cpu all the time.  I contacted support and they said it was not normal for their program to use so much cpu time and said I should have my computer checked out by someone.  But the other programs do not use so much cpu time only their program.  They do not seem interested in helping me with the problem.  when I am running other programs total cpu is 100% and the fan comes on all the time to try and cool down the cpu.  Can I still use the elite drive with another back up program? 


#4

It’s funny how tech support says that the problem is on your end; but when you disconnect the drive from the computer, operation of the computer returns to normal.  I also have a Seagate FreeagentGo operating concurrently on the system.  I have absolutely no problems with the Seagate drive.  {I did the Seagate and WD to provide redundancy for my laptop while on the road.}


#5

First I disconnected the drive but the software in task manager continued to use 50% to 80% of the cpu.  Then I clicked “end process” and turned off the software.  Everything is fine.  Cpu usage is 5% to 26% for all programs and the fan hasn’t come on to cool down the cpu. 


#6

plinio wrote:

I just installed this software and it seemed to back up everything but it uses 50% to 80% of the cpu all the time.  I contacted support and they said it was not normal for their program to use so much cpu time and said I should have my computer checked out by someone.  But the other programs do not use so much cpu time only their program.  They do not seem interested in helping me with the problem.  when I am running other programs total cpu is 100% and the fan comes on all the time to try and cool down the cpu.  Can I still use the elite drive with another back up program? 

You definatly can. SmartWare is more than just backup software - it also is used to set the drives lock, which is one of the best things ever to happen to a personal hard drive. I wish it came for internals! I wouldn’t uninstall the program - it doesn’t do much when its not backing up (I have a fairly old PC I use it on (1 gig of ram, almost a fresh copy of windows XP), and it uses about 2% of my resources). Just never start a backup and leave it running in the backround.

If your cpu is at 20-30% when it’s NOT backing up than something is seriously wrong with your system. Most likely you have some other software, or malware, that is causing some kind of conflict. If I had to bet money I’d guess its something thats interacting with the virtual CD, as they are still realativly uncommon.

EDIT: I forgot to add that it also lets you set your drives label if you have an elite (and a studio too I think). This is also a really cool feature because the label work even when your drive is unplugged and sitting on a shelf. Very useful if you have multiple drives you want to label (like call one “Family Photos,” and another “Home videos” etc.)


#7

Not 20% to 30% but 50% to 80%.  It would be strange that the malware only affects wd software.  More likely another program, McAfee?, is interacting with wd software. There is an article in the wd knowledgebase that mentions anti virus software may search hard drives.  I did not notice an increase in the McAfee program cpu use.  But the point is wouldn’t you think customer support at wd would at least consider anti virus software as a potential problem?  Not a patch or a fix or even a suggestion that the anti virus software be reconfigured, no that would be too much to expect,   but just mention or consider the possibility?


#8

My complaint about support has brought a response.  Instead of having my computer checked out by a service tech the customer support said I should:   1, defragment the drive, 2, reinstall the software, and 3, download wd software to test the drive.  Well, 1 the disk was 0% fragmented.  2, after reinstalling the software cpu usage was still far too high, 25% to 75%, on average only occasionally falling to 1% for a moment then returning back to 25% or higher.  Also all the data that had been backed up was lost.  What is the point of backing up if the data is lost simply because the software is reinstalled?  Finally , 3, their testing software does not say it works with windows 7 and it does not.  So thanks for nothing.  At least I have company, see “appalling software even worse support from WD.”  I think we have to consider  if this software was not deliberately sabotaged by Seagate or some other competitor. 


#9

First of all it works just fine with Windows 7 64 bit.   CPU usage was very low and had no issues at all.  I used it for 2 days!!  Of course I soon realized that Windows 7 has a far better backup system that will do the same thing plus much more including disk imaging and CD boot drive creation.  Really a major improvement over any Smartware software.

So it does work fine with Windows 7 but is totally pointless.  For earlier Operating Systems (or secondary backup with Win 7)  I use Second Copy.  Uninstall Smartware after labeling the drive and disabling the virtual CD.  Install the SES driver to eliminate the Device Manager error.  No problem after that.  :smiley:


#10

plinio, you are not alone here. My CPU usage also went sky high, and stating that I only wanted back up to occur in the background didn’t help.

This backup software is total ■■■■. Don’t waste your time on it. SecondCopy is reasonable for the money. I’m now using Win7 built-in backup and it’s doing its job. 

I bought a second one of these drives. The fact that it is small and self powered is a good thing. Now I keep one connected 24x7 and another in my car and I swap them every week or so. They are both encrypted with bitlocker, meaning they cannot be read by someone that finds it. 

I thought that smartware encrypted the drive, but it does not. It provides a password only. Bitlocker encrypts the drive. You can see this because if you turn off the password protection in smartware, it takes less than a second for the drive to be visible. That means there’s only a password “front door”, and if someone were clever they could easily bypass that by takign the drive apart and connecting it to another WD controller. Bitlocker, on the other hand, requires hours and hours to unencrpt a drive, which indeed indicates that the contents of the driver are encrypted.


#11

PS. WD tech support will not be able to support Smartware correctly. This is becuase the engine comes from the horrid ■■■■ called Memeo. I spent money for two copies of memeo, and then marvelled as their own engineering team was incapable of replicating the most basic problems that numerous members on theri boards were posting. Their response was to always “email us the logs”. I’ve never spent so much time emailing logs on what shoudl be some of the most most simple software on a PC.

So, don’t blame the WD support personnel. They have a tough job trying to support this ■■■■ when their company that made the ■■■■ can’t support it and make it work. 


#12

Realized that this WD “smartware” backup software is worthless - You never can tell what it’s actually doing & it 's very limited as to what you can specify or not specify to backup. It did/does run OK on windows 7 with a Quad Core I7-920 CPU. Plan on erasing the data on drive , setting the drive password,  selecting no files(unchecking everything), and only leaving the WD smartware software in there for the drive lock & drive health monitoring features & using the windows 7 backup which seems a lot better.

Plan on following this advice from another post.

 SmartWare is more than just backup software - it also is used to set the drives lock, which is one of the best things ever to happen to a personal hard drive. I wish it came for internals! I wouldn’t uninstall the program - it doesn’t do much when its not backing up .Just never start a backup and leave it running in the backround.


#13

I just purchased the 1 TB Essential and installed and ran the SmartWare backup software.  I also ran into the heavy CPU usage problem.  I’m hoping there is some workaround because the user interface and scope of the software is very good.  But, of course, if it’s using 80% of my CPU all the time, then I can’t use the PC for anything.  If no one has found a work around, then I guess I’ll just ditch the SmartWare and go back to Sync Toy.


#14

I had the same problem that you are talking about. I just got the 1tb backup drive about 15 days ago. What a mistake. I have a Dell XPS 430i, Quad core, with 6 gb of tri-channel memory running at 1088. Installed the Smartware software and  wham that software took my pc from 4 yo 5% cpu usage to 95% cpu usage and memory to all but 785mg free. The Smartware software kept incountering "Smartware  has to close incountered a problem. I reformated the drive twice and reinstalled the drive and software and it still did the same thing. The solution is to unistall the software and never put it back onto your back up drive again and tell EVERYONE that you know about the problem and not to buy it until WD solves the problem.

P.S. Also call coprate office and explain the problem nicely. The techs don’t care.


#15

Were do you buy or get the software to encript the hard drive with?


#16

Encryption software? It depends what you’re trying to accomplish and what you have to work with.

Vista and Windows 7–both Ultimate and Enterprise editions include BitLocker, which is whole disk encryption software used in conjunction with a TPM chip or a USB flash drive. However, make sure you print the keys and back them up to at least 2 flash drives. Put one flash drive someplace safe; keep the other flash drive someplace so you can use it with the computer. DO NOT STORE THE FLASH DRIVE OR THE PRINTED COPY WITH THE COMPUTER. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BitLocker_Drive_Encryption 

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-vista/features/bitlocker.aspx

Windows 7 BitLocker To Go will also encrypt external hard drives and flash drives.

I also use TrueCrypt, www.truecrypt.org; this software is free and open source. Although not as easy to set up or use as Bitlocker, it is still fairly user friendly. Read the Beginner’s Tutorial, it’s very well written. Again, you have to be VERY careful with the password keys. 


#17

Thank you for the info.


#18

Ouch! I am having same problem. I have both My Passport Elite (though it’s the Smart Ware software that is the problem, not the particular hardware.

On Windows XP machines, 60-90% CPU usage, just as others report. On Windows 7, works great. WD Tech Support tells me to use Task Manager to kill the SmartWare.exe process. That solves the CPU problem, but then of course there is no auto backup. Duh. Amazing how the techs don’t get it. Or maybe they do and corporate doesn’t allow them to admit the software is useless with Windows XP.

One hint:  On Windows XP machines, Go to Start > Programs > Start Up and delete SmartWare. That way it won’t run every time you turn the computer on. You can manually start the program whne you want to do an automatic backup and aren’t using the machine.

Note that once a backup and/or backup scan starts, it takes over the CPU even if you have “suspend backup when I’m using the computer” checked. Alll that checkbox does is stop a new scan from starting when you are using the computer. Once you take a break, SmartWare takes over and your computer will slow to a crawl.

So for now I will only run SmartWare when I’m done for the day. That way it won’t bother me when I’m working and it will do a nice backup at the end of each day.

Also I’m going to write a pretty nasty letter to WD executives to see why they are torturing Windows XP users with this software that acts like malware. I wonder why no one from the company has made any comments on this thread?

Hope some of this helps. If anyone knows of good backup software, I’m interested.

By the way, I also use Carobonite online backup. Guess what: It too slows my XP computer to a crawl. Their tech support–guess what–wants me to send the log filles, which the software refuses to send. Sound familiar?


#19

That is BS. If you mean 90% CPU usage by WD Smartware isn’t doing much then you’re dreaming in technicolor.


#20

What are you refering to, When you say “90% isn’t much”?  It is a system hog.