Virus, Virus!!! — Nah, just crappy softwarePosted: July 30, 2012
Update… This page provides information about WDFME.exe, the Western Digital Smartware memory-hog. The vast majority of people that read this post end up downloading the Western Digital upgrade/fix that I have identified, using the approach that I have outlined, and following the link that I have provided.
Don’t be cheap! This posting will help you and save you hours, so please show your appreciation by donating between $5 and $10 via PayPal:
My (main) computer, Old Iron Horse, running Windows 7 — don’t ask, really, do not ask — started getting really slow, and I do mean REALLY slow… Slow as in coffee-brewing response time. As usual, I suspected a virus, and went on the quest to slay the beast, jumping into Windows’ performance monitor to see who the CPU and/or memory hog was. But the dragon wasn’t there.
What was there was my, until then, best friend, Western Digital’s Smartware (aka WDFME.exe,) a brilliant application, that runs in the background, taking backups on an on-going basis. Up until now Smartware had been one of my favorite applications, but now, having eaten up 100% of my virtual RAM, the application had effectively paralyzed Old Iron House. Entering into the services monitor I killed the WDFME.exe process, and promptly, the memory usage fell to a reasonable 10% and my trusted steed took off.
Restarting WDFME.exe, I noticed an initially linear and, then, suddenly, exponential grab for resources, amplified if I allowed Old Iron Horse, to go to sleep and, then, awake.
Some research hours later I knew that the issue is well known and resolved, but both — unfortunately — the problem and the resolution are extremely poorly documented. In fact, there were multiple fixes (or, in some cases, Western Digital declaration of fixes, as it might be,) with the final and ultimate fix version being version 1.6.0, available in May of 2012. Moreover, a direct upgrade to version 1.6.0 did not solve my problem, but, instead, I had to first uninstall the application, and, then, download and install version 1.6.0, in order to get the problem resolved
So, if you run Western Digital’s Smartware and see a significant performance degradation, don’t go chasing viruses. Rather, see if WFDME.exe is killing your machine (and if, in turn, killing the WDFME.exe process frees up significant resources,) and, if so, uninstall the Smartware software and download and install the new version.
It is, of course, very interesting to me that Western Digital Corporation (Nasdaq: WDC,) a global corporation that earned (net income) of $1.612 billion (that’s “Billions” with a “B”, people) in 2011 and recorded a cash and equivalents position of $3.208 billion in for fiscal year 2011, and supposedly employs full-time software development staff – including, I assume, well-paid and bright software developers beavering away at the Smartware code, produces software that, from a quality standpoint, is inferior to that of MAME, an arcade machine software emulator in the crowd software domain, and with a complexity and growth trajectory far beyond that of Smartware. I think there may very well be a lesson here.
Another Request for Donations
As usual, if you found this posting useful or entertaining of if it saved you time, you can express your appreciation through donation via Paypal right now. A one-off donation of $5 for this posting about Smartware and how to resolve technical problem with Smartware is suggested