Why is WDSmartWare.exe Running So Slowly?

I honestly think the person responsible for quality-checking and approving this backup software for release should be fired, and the programmer given some extra training. This is the slowest, most resource-hogging application I have encountered.

I have the latest 1TB My Book Essential and applied all the firmware and software updates. It’s running the first full backup of my main personal computer, which has a drive dedicated to storing images and music files and this is the drive I’m getting backed up. There are 160,000 files taking 117GB of space.

Well, after just over 24 hours of continuous processing it has got to file number 79,000 and 83GB has been copied.

Looking at Task Manager for WDSmartWare.exe I see…  139,180,000 Page Faults, 286,800,000 I/O Reads, 211,000,000 I/O Writes,  100,000,000 I/O Other. 

So it’s reading and writing at about 300-400 bytes at a time, and page-faulting almost continuously. The PF Delta is usually 2,016 and the CPU Utilisation is always around 90%.

At this rate I will need to leave the computer going for another day to complete the backup.

I have XP SP3, and a well-tuned system on all the latest operating system patches.

This is obviously unusable.  WHAT IS GOING WRONG, please?

Well, 3 hours later after a large number of additional I/O’s the number of files processed hasn’t gone up at all. Nor has the disk size copied changed.

If I knew the details of the file being copied I’d know if it’s stuck or not (I have one or two largeish wav files), but this software gives no action detail it seems. When I click on Detailed View it just gives a categorized list of object types - just the same as on the LHS but with a totally rubbish date (an elementary programming error since I presume the s/w isn’t recognising the locale of the user - I live in the UK with DMY format).

SO… I think I’ll abandon this backup after 29 hours processing.  I wonder if it will be clever enough to restart - I’ll try pausing it first…

When I click on Pause Backup I get a really confusing window, asking not if I want to Pause but if I want to Stop the backup. After such a long time processing I just want to pause it. To me Stop means abandon…

I clicked on Stop, but the s/w is not stopping. Still I/O’ing away.

I’ll give it a couple of minutes …

… Still going.  Pressing Pause Backup again… INTERESTING - the Pause Backup cannot be pressed, just the Run Backup.  So it thinks it’s paused it —

Looking at the Task Manager I see the Page Faulting has stopped, although the I/O count is going up slowly. But WDDMService is still working away doing something. It’s not taking up CPU but it is page faulting quite a lot (it has a count of about 21,000,000 at the moment - huge but nothing in comparision with the 166,000,000 of WDSmartWare.exe)

So… what now?  I’ll try re-starting by clicking the Run Backup (which ideally should now say “Resume Backup”)…

Now that is interesting… On the LHS it says I have just 1000 files of size 15GB to copy. At the top it says I have 83GB of 15GB copied. On the RHS 80,000 files and 83GB copied (rounding the numbers).

So it loses track of the counts when you Pause and Restart. The counts in left, middle and right columns of the screen are all much lower than when I paused. Very confusing.  BUT - the total count of files on the RHS has started to go up again. So I’ll leave it a few more hours and maybe it will actually finish…

Interesting… the count on the LHS has steadily been going up over the last 6 hours or so since I resumed the backup. It now says the full original number of files and total size.

In this 6 hours the total number of files backed up has been 542 of total size 1.02GB. Nothing else has been running on the computer (other than antivirus etc).

At the speed it is going it has a further 193 hours to completion.

Hence I am abandoning this backup. If I get no answers from WD I shall be returning the device to the shop under warranty.

I have Norton 360 on my computer, so as a comparison I used it’s backup facility to exactly replicate the WDSmartware task described at the top of this thread, including output to the My Book.  The whole thing was done in 8 hours. The N360 s/w was very friendly, lots of include/exclude facilities, good action messaging so I could see what it was working on, ability to save different types of backup by name, etc. etc.

This is proof that the problem is not performance of the drive or the computer but performance of the WD backup software.

I have experienced the same problem you describe.  Additionally the SmartWare seriously interfered with the operation of at least three other programs on my computer and gave me memory problems, page faults and the like.  Only when I uninstalled SmartWare and abandoned the two drives that are “infected” with it, was I able to get my computer to operate properly again.

The software is useless and should be labeled “malware”.  I hope that WD has enough sense to bite the bullet and acknowledge its horrendous problem and do something about it.  If it fails to do so, it will not have much of a future.  It has been a good company (I have 5 of its drives which are top notch and which I use regularly).  But I will never buy another one until the issue has been properly resolved.

I returned the My Book to the store showing printouts from this forum. They accepted it back without question and recorded reason for return as “supporting software unfit for purpose”. 

Apparently a number of My Books have been returned for the same reason.

I bought an equivalent Iomega which is working brilliantly with no nasty ‘malware’.