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Win Explorer Out Of Control


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#1 Jim MD

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 10:58 AM

Hello, new guy here.
System specs first......
Windows XP Home SP2
Compaq Presario, Athlon 3400+, 1G ram, 120G drive 43% free
Defragged drive yesterday.

IOLO anti virus and AVG 7.5 antivirus both say system is clean.

Now on to the problem......
At random times my hard drive will kick into high speed revs and when I load the Windows task manager it shows that the CPU usage is at 100% and the windows explorer is eating up more and more memory. Right now, the Task Manager shows that the Windows Explorer is fluctuating between 175K and 193K of memory used -- it started at about 60-70K.

Sometimes this will run for 5 minutes and stop. At other times, I have to shut down and restart my system.
Sometimes I can run 24/7 for days without the problem. At other times, I have to shut down 4-5 times an hour.

It seems to be getting progressively worse. HELP!!!!

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#2 pascor22234

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 02:43 PM

Whoa, Jim MD ! You should be running only one antivirus at a time. Running 2 at the same time will cause all sorts of bad happenings. I recommend AVG or Avast. Also, run only one firewall at a time. I recommend ZoneAlarm. AVG, Avast and ZoneAlarm all are great and, better yet, are free !

#3 Jim MD

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 05:24 PM

I didn't say that I run both at the same time.

In fact, most good AV programs will refuse to run with a second.

AVG is my primary, but every now and then I switch to "plan B" just to reasure myself that everything is ok.

Thanks for the input, but let's not turn this into an AV discussion please.

#4 DaChew

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 05:34 PM

have you tried turning off drive indexing and shutting down some of the programs/services running in the background?

how many processes are running in task manager? how much available ram?
Chewy

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#5 Draclan

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 06:36 PM

Umm.. You might have a virus in your explorer.exe.

I remember having the same problem, I also did virus scans and all that.

I just ended up reformatting my computer. =|

#6 Jim MD

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 08:06 PM

have you tried turning off drive indexing and shutting down some of the programs/services running in the background?

how many processes are running in task manager? how much available ram?


Thanks Chewy.
I turned off drive indexing the same day the machine came out of the box -- nasty little resource hog.

Processes in Task Manager are fairly standard stuff.... faxmodem & Lexmark printer drivers, AVG, etc.
nothing new (since the problem started) that I can identify.

And the everpresent collection of SVCHOST.EXEs .... Never have been able to figure out what they are doing

#7 tos226

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 08:32 PM

Svchost - ok to see several. A very busy little critter that runs services. There's a tutorial here describing it.
Google for utilities Process Monitor or Process Explorer. used to be at Sysinternals, now at Microsoft and watch. It'll tell you what it's doing. ProcMon is particularily good - it combines file explorer, registry use, and processes. Speed reading ability required :thumbsup: but it might pinpoint what's being used and where and when.

Just to give you a ballpark figure from XP home - I currently have one instance of explorer.exe in task manager. Word is running. Excel is running. Notepad, browser, firewall console, and four directory windows, and explorer use is 21442K which is 21meg. I'm losing my mind but explorer isn't :flowers:

Are you sure it's explorer and not svchost causing trouble. Explorer shows the huge memory use, right?

Besides defragging, did you run scan disk - the first option, with both settings checked. Windows can repair broken links in files and scandisk (aka as check disk) should be run before defrag. If you didn't I'd do it now. Secondly, Run control panel, and check the logs. In the event log, under applications, are there explorer errors. In system log, sort one of the columns. Are there any entries about NTFS or disk or other such.

That's all I can think of now.

Edit: are you opening any huge files? Are any huge files in a directory which you might have open? If explorer is allowed in the firewall to venture out to the internet, perhaps connection problems are causing problems?

Edited by tos226, 14 July 2007 - 08:48 PM.


#8 Jim MD

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 09:13 PM

Svchost - ok to see several. A very busy little critter that runs services. There's a tutorial here describing it.


Lots of great suggestions, but my mind is fried for the day. Will explore all you suggest tomorrow.

BTW... yes it is explorer.exe that is eating up the memory. It starts in the 20-40k range but when the problem occurs explorer slowly gobbles up more and more memory -- at one point today it was using over 200K of memory.

Thanks!

PS. I can surf the net (with firefox) all day with absolutely no problems.

#9 usasma

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Posted 15 July 2007 - 07:14 AM

I'd suggest using the free Process Explorer to see what's using explorer.exe when this problem occurs. It's available here: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysintern...ssExplorer.mspx
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