The Second Version

13/04/07

The Attack of the Resource-eating Process

The other day may machine became more noisy and really sluggish - while normally, as a system with 2.66 GHz Pentium-D CPU, 1 GB RAM, 160 GB SATA main drive and Ati Radeon X1300 video card, it's pretty springy. In fact, it can run several applications at once while playing a full-screen DVD without breaking a sweat.

So I ran task manager and spotted a process that caused the Windows kernel to use 100% CPU at all times. That obviously made the computer sluggish, and also caused the CPU fan to spin at full speed. Which is unacceptable: besides the performance drop, a Pentium-D running on full power produces as much heat as wood-fired stove, more or less.

The offending process is called emproxy.exe, and with a brief Internet search it turned out to be a component of McAfee VirusScan that scans incoming and outgoing mail. The problem has been already spotted late last year, but it seems that McAfee is not rushing to develop a patch - in fact, the abnormal behaviour started after I installed an update. Way to go, McAfee...

It is suggested to use Windows' service manager to manually stop the service, set it for automatic restart and then restart the service, but it hasn't worked well for me and other users. I just disabled the service waiting for a real fix to come up.

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