WDSmartWare.exe is taking too much resources CPU and RAM

Hello dears. I’ve recently bought “My Passport Essential” external hard disk. I’ve installed the software SmartWare. I have windows XP SP3 running on pentium4 with 3GHZ and Memory of 2.5 GB The default services are running automatically when windows starts. The problem is: the task manager shows that WDSmartware.exe is using about 100 MB and the CPU usage is from 70% to 80% even if I don’t connect the drive. I don’t know why this usage ?? ! I know that Smartware backup is running in background, but I think that the CPU usage shouldn’t be high like that ! Please help Joe

Ihave the same problem.  The computer - 300Ghz processor, 2GB memory - slows down to a crawl.  I disabled the WD-related servcices and now my 'puter is back to normal speed.  I’m considering writing my own program to do backups, but I don’t have spare tim right now.

There are also backup programs out there, both free and to purchase. I have not tried any of them. Also, I have Roxio Creator 2009, which includes as part of it , a backup program.

My Passport Essential (+ WD SmartWare) 320Gb

I’ve also had this issue.  I used the WD prepackaged Smartware to create a backup file for my computer, which finished 100%.  Later, I hooked up my Passport  and the WD Sync function took over.  I had 96.10 GB total to back up and the sync process only reached 91.01Gb, which idled for 30-45 min before I terminated the process in Task manager to avoid any collateral damages. 

 Windows 7, Dual Core, 4Gb RAM;  average RAM usage specifically for the Smartware.exe in task manager during this ‘hang’ period was 70%…    

Here’s a tasty treat for the day:  If you’re going to format a computer and restore the backup file created by the WDSmartware.exe,  make sure you don’t use the Sync function by accident.  They’re totally different functions and I found out the hard way.  An empty computer hard drive will sync the Passport drive to be empty as well; it will not Sync the files from the Passport to the newly wiped Computer Drives.  It’s a one way street, and yes, I lost it all… 

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Yep, I have same problem too. 

Bought My Passport because the marketing made it sound wonderful and would solve all my problems.  I loved the idea of never having to remember to back up my files - it would all be done for me. 

However… I had to remove the WD SmartWare Software as my computer was taking forever to to do anything!  The task manager quoted around 80 per cent of my cpu was tied up with the software.  In the end I removed the software and currently use the drive as an ordinary plug in and manually back up drive! 

Completely defeats the purpose of why I chose to buy it in the first place!  I feel like I’ve been totally ripped off.  I won’t recommend it to anyone and will replace it as soon as I can afford to (it gets on my nerves when it asks to install the software again every time I plug it in).

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Just got off the phone with tech  support on this issue.  They gave me 3 options to resolve this issue.

#1: Use the drag and drop method for backing up files

#2: Use the WD SmartWare software to backup files

#3: Use a 3rd party application

Option 2 Slows the computer down because it is continuously running and looking for files that are changing.  The high CPU usage is unacceptable to me.  So in a round about way, WD support is telling me not to use there software to backup the computer because there is no way to avoid the high CPU usage.

I had another HD (a competitor) which had there own software and it ran beautifully it was always backing up the system and I never had any performance issues.

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Yup, SmartWare keeps running all the time monitoring for files that changed.

This imposes a huge CPU overhead.

I deleted SmartWare from my Startup program group.

Only problem is, it doesn’t back up any files created or changed while it wasn’t running.

So it’s a piece of junk.

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What a complete utter total ripoff.  This software makes my laptop drone on because it’s bogging it down so much.  Wish I kept the receipt.  I might still try to return it.  If not, I’m going to use it as a dummy drive.  I don’t have the time or energy to search for changed files myself.  I just want to hit a button and have the drive do it.  This is my first and last WD product. 

Can anyone recommend other backup software that can be used with the drive?



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I uninstalled WD software and installed Yadis! free program.  Yadis! is not perfect, probably because I haven’t had time to explore all the option details, but it works wonderfully for what I want to do regarding backing up my files.  You can download it at http://www.codessentials.com/products/yadisbackup.html

BTW, my daughter is using WD Passport with WD Smartware and she has no complaints.  Go figure.


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I was given one of these for Christmas by my brother (I asked for a la cie rugged one but never mind!).  Am getting the same problem with the software, and the annoying thing about it is that the preferences are extremely limited.  In most software you can tell it to only come on when you want it to, but this one gives you no choice.  Oh well I don’t have the heart to give it back or ask for the receipt, so I’ll see how it goes and uninstall the software if the problem carries on.

By the way, Windows XP has its own backup utility, which I think you have to install specially from the CD, at least in the home edition (it is not included in the default installation but is an optional extra on the CD).  I haven’t used it yet so does anyone know if this is worth considering as an alternative?

Hello. Recently I noticed my PC running slow, suspecting that maybe I had one too many Malware/spyware security programs running in the background. Looked at my task manager and saw that it is the WDSmartware eating up so much processor usage. Being too fearful to remove it, thinking what if I need it in the future, I went to my PC’s Start up by going to the START Menu’s>>Run>>Type in “misconfig” (Without the quotes)>>Startup, and then UNchecked WDSmartware. Knocked the processor usage way down.

Still thinking about firing it though, since I use this 3rd party program to do my Backups:


Hi Mike

It is obvious WD is not interested in problems of thjeir making so could you tell me which ‘;competitor’ HD you are using and whay software.  Thanks.


I purchased a My Passport Essential SE 750 GB to replace a WD Dual Option 160 GB that I thought was failing.  Anyway my pc has a 2.6 GHZ processor and 3 GB ram. The WD Smartware is not worth the time to install and set it up and wait the many hours it took to gather files and back them up.  It also doesn’t  backup many files and folders (like Program Files, Windows, etc.) and you really have no choices for what to backup and when.  It is a sad excuse for a backup.  It hogged so much memory it wasn’t funny.  Not to mention the “write delayed failed” errors and the multiple event id 51 in event viewer.

I did call WD support and really didn’t get much help there.  They told me the same things I already new and could find on the web by doing a search.  So then I installed a PCI USB card because I thought maybe my usb bandwidth was low because of all my other USB devices and a new HP printer in the last few months.  But until I uninstalled the “Smartware” I still had the errors even though they were fewer with the new USB card.   So I suspect I was getting low on usb bandwidth.  Of course when I did this I had to install the SES driver so I didn’t get the new hardware message on every reboot.

I will continue to use the Retrospect backup program (I got with the old Dual Option drive 6 years ago) to backup my pc to the WD Essential drive.  At least with that program I can schedule the backup time.  Even though it can’t backup open files (which varies from 30 to 60 out almost 200,000 files on the pc) it’s way better than the so called “Smartware”.

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