WDFME.exe RAM hog


Just had to use time to look into a low RAM issue with my computer when I’m on a deadline to finish a project for school.  Came to find out that WDFME.exe was using 98% of the total RAM available.  I don’t understand why WD wrote this program to take up that much RAM at one time, but it’s ridiculous.  I ended the process, and if I get the issue again, I’m going to start looking to another manufacturer for my storage needs.

WDBackupEngine.exe at 50% CPU usage with "new" 1.6.0 Smartware - CPU hot and fan on constant

Oh, I should clarify that the total RAM in the computer is 8GB, so that particular process was using well over 7.5GB of RAM for some odd reason.  I’ll also add that I didn’t even have SmartWare open.  That file must have somehow been activated in the background upon the system reset I did prior to this issue.


Hi, i have something similar.

Under Win7Pro 64b, i5, asus mother, 8Gb of RAM, since i update to version 1.5.x.x, i have my computer with disk light permanently on. After a lot of searches, the process that cause that behaviour is wdfme.exe. As this process is running, is almost imposible to work. Killing the process let me work, but leave my passport out of connection for backup porpouse.

How can i access any of the old version of the product? when can we, users, can access a solution to this serious problem?


I have a patch… not a solution.

I disable wdfme service from Windows Services. Then, i can execute WDSmartWare.exe without getting that service into run.

I can access then my disk and my backup software can work without any problem.

The question here, is what is wdfme? what it does? when do i need it? or… i really need it?

If the service is there for backup porpouse through wd backup software then i will really like a checkbox to disable all this options from software.


AFAIK, WDFME = Western Digital File Management Engine

it indexing changes on your drive so it ready for backup when the system entering idle (if you set auto-backup on idle)

for people only want to use mybook as USB storage and having issue with smartware, i personally suggest uninstall smartware and just install SES driver (check WDC support download page)

for people want to use Mybook feature, like Label and smart check function 

you can install SmartWare without backup function

for the guide : http://wdc.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/5419/#

choose Install Drive Setting

it seems, it still installing smartware stuff like WDFME etc… but not WDFME wont hogging your system 


Hi, thanks for your answer.

I am using a MyPassport disk. I have set a password to access it.

With SES driver, and not WDSmartDrv installed, how can i mantain, change, access, that password?


I uninstall wdsmartware, install ses driver… the disk is not detected when i turn on the pc.

What is more, if i unplug it, and then plug it again (safe unplug), nothing happens.

Virtual CD is detected, but not the disk. Unless of course i execute the “WD SmartWare.exe” that resides in Virtual CD.

I like new feature to do not ask for password in this machine, i really dislike side effects.

Perhaps something new could appear? A real solution, not only patches?


If your drive has a password on it, it won’t appear until the password is entered. Thats how the drive is supposed to work.


That is right.

The primary use of the disk, is for backup porpouse (using other software), in one PC.

Then i use the disk eventually in my notebook as i am using it right now (SES Driver installed, executing WDSmartWare).

Executing WDSmartWare, ask for the password, then i enter it and ask my to install damaged software… every time i turn on the PC. It is anoying.

I like the software, and i really really like new feature… the one that remember password for THIS pc. In my notebook it is still asking for it, and that is a correct way of doing things.

But dispite i disable all wd* services (3… wdfem, wdrules, and other), the computer is hanging “using” the disk. Not when idle, just all time.

I really would like to have a notice of an update that correct this BIG BUG in the software. The product is really good… software underlying it… seems to be, until updates…


The new update is seriously slowing down my system. I just checked and it’s using 98% of my memory! I’m using Windows 7 on an i5-64 with 6 GB of memory, so there’s nothing special about my machine and, in fact, until the last update things were working well. How could WD release a piece of software that uses memory like this? The last time the software was a memory hog they issued an update very soon after. Turning the update off is no solution. That’s why I bought these disks, for automatic update. The drives are marketed with that “feature.”

Common on, WD. FIx the memory problem!


I also have WAY TOO MUCH Resources consumed by WDFME.exe.    This program uses 98% of my memory and causes my computer to slow down to intollerable levels…EVEN when IM NOT using backup!

WD Please immediately fix this disruptive behavior.  It has me thinking you are not capable of creating well designed programs…The UI also has some very serious flaws that are not a good example of a company of your reputation.

I have V Backup running on Windows XP SP3 with 3 Gigs Ram



Well, it’s been almost two months since my initial problem.  This file keeps activating on startup, dragging 8GB of RAM down to under 300MB.  Apparently WD has no interest in listening to customers’ problems.  I will be removing their software from my computer, formatting all my WD drives of everything WD except the logo, and looking into other manufacturers that don’t put viruses on my computer.


SmartWare is not a virus.   However, we do understand the frustration that this may be causing you.  And, we are working on fixing the issue with the memory hogging. 


I’ve uninstalled the software and decided that I will reconsider buying WD drives the next time I need an external hard drive. An apology only has meaning when the person apologizing either makes it right or says when it will be made right. This has been going on for a long time, and this is the first time we’ve even had an indication the problem has been acknowledged and addressed. This is no way to run a company that depends on return customers…

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I too have noticed that the WDFME.EXE uses half the RAM on my Windows7 machines where I have installed the WD Smartware.

I also use other Operating systems that connect to the drive as Network Storage only including eComStation 2.0 which is a modern version of OS/2 (version 2.1 was released in 2011).  I use a SAMBA client ported from Unix to OS/2 to connect the eComStation machine to the WD Network Drive (MyBook Live) and it connects fine as a network drive.  Since there is no OS/2 version of WD SmartWare, I dont have the memory hog problems on eComStation (Linux should be the same).

Having the continueous backup is handy but at a price.  I did reduce the number of versions which may have helped since today the memory usage went from almost 3 Gig to 600 MB.  Perhaps the software is doing what it does in memory rather than caching to disk.

If you use a different backup software to do your backups, then you probably dont need to install the WD SmartWare.  You would have to connect to the machine as if it ware another computer on your local network yourself.  Making a permanent drive mapping may be what you want to do or using UNC pathing (\server\share) and making a shortcut.

I purchased the drive just for a network drive and the software that comes with it is really something I think for those who dont need/want to know how to do backups.  As a network drive I am happy with it (except I wish it had a shutdown button like the WD NetCenter I had for years).


I stand corrected (by myself).  The WDFME went back to using almost all the RAM so I shut the service down.

I think I will make those services manual and then uninstall the WD Smartware and just use it on my Windows 7 boxes like I do on my eComStation Boxes; as a network drive and backup myself.

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Use the Kiwi monitor so you can set memory peaks to either automatically kill Skynet (Smartware) when it goes over the specified limit, or have it give you a warning once it reaches its peak.


I have officially deleted my Western Digital Software.  I have changed my loyalty from Western Digital bacause of it.  I am offended as a customer of theirs that no highly paid manager has bothered to be aware of this or has come here to address this with us. 

I have purchased Nero Back It Up and am satisfied that it is a way more mature product than this company could cobble together.

If one customer quits a brand, and writes about it…and nobody in management makes it good…then that company will have significant internal layoffs and management firings because of the mis management.  Someone at Western Digital is seriously asleep at the wheel…and doesnt show to care.

Im amazed at such a mature company that they cant find and supervise a manager that is competent in his assigned duty.

This backup product is of theirs is a shameful represerntation to the brand…and customers know it… and we are voting with our loyalty and our dollars.

Bye for now.


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I’ve never seen a FREE software cause so much hate, what ever happened to “uninstall it and move on, there are millions of other FREE software that work for any drive”?


Sorry… this is not FREE software… this is PROPIETARY SOFTWARE BUNDLED WITH A PRODUCT I BUY!!!

It must work or, as WARRANTY the company must have to make it work (as is not a third party soft).

Dispite of this, i never use the backup software of WD, but i have installed it because of the security access (password), and it’s functionallity.

I can not disable anoying ram and disk hog, or disk caching, dispite i DO NOT use (ever!!!) the poor “free” backup software included…

The PATCH i managed to get this work, is to disable WDFMEService and WDRulesService…

I can mantain password access, without any hog (running WD Smartware in startup).

THIS CAN BE A SOLUTION (it is really only a patch, try and avoid).

Nothing of the post of honored contributors, or apologies of moderators could help angry costumers.

Sorry WD… but this is not the way to treat old customers that think you are a big and responsable company.