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Slow computer, high CPU usage by services.exe


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#1 ClemsonFan

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 12:53 AM

OK I'm running Windows XP, SP3 with Norton Antivirus, with plenty of onboard RAM (3GB). My problem began about 2 weeks ago. Not sure whether this is relevant, but after turning off my computer for about a week while away for the holidays, I turned it on and un-installed the MS Office 2010 free-trial Click-to-Run application. I don't think my computer had successfully uploaded new virus definitions that day, and I recall there was a Windows Update error in the lower right of the screen that I didn't address. At any rate, after un-installing the Office 2010 trial software & rebooting, my problems began, and I'm at my wits end to figure out how to fix it.

Using Process Explorer, I can see that services.exe is utilizing around 80% of the CPU pretty much all the time, even in Safe Mode. Double-clicking on services.exe in Process Explorer and looking at the Threads tab, it looks like the main CPU users are unpnpmgr.dll (associated with plug-and-play) and various kernel32.dll threads. I have run "sfc /scannow", and I ran several malware scans (Norton & ESET found nothing but Malwarebytes and SUPERAntiSpyware did find & fix some things like MyWebSearch and quite a few Adware items), and I've run COMODO registry cleaner. I am not able to run Device Manager - I'm not sure why.

If I check my hdd on bootup, it fails & returns an error 7. Not sure if this is reliable though, since I've run chkdsk several times & don't seem to be having disk errors.

Another clue that might be of interest: every time I attempt to shut down my computer, I get errors indicating the system is trying to end the following programs that aren't responding:

CUccPlatform.exe
ccSvcHst.exe
Power Meter

Currently, I'm attempting to un-install Windows Live (with limited success since my computer is running so slowly). I'm wondering if it's safe to de-frag my HDD? I'm a little afraid to, with all the issues going on. And should I run combofix? (I have no experience with it but have seen it mentioned.) Sorry for the long post, but trying to give all the info I have.

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#2 cryptodan

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 01:04 AM

and I've run COMODO registry cleaner.


Bleeping Computer DOES NOT recommend the use of registry cleaners/optimizers for several reasons:

• Registry cleaners are extremely powerful applications that can damage the registry by using aggressive cleaning routines and cause your computer to become unbootable.

The Windows registry is a central repository (database) for storing configuration data, user settings and machine-dependent settings, and options for the operating system. It contains information and settings for all hardware, software, users, and preferences. Whenever a user makes changes to settings, file associations, system policies, or installed software, the changes are reflected and stored in this repository. The registry is a crucial component because it is where Windows "remembers" all this information, how it works together, how Windows boots the system and what files it uses when it does. The registry is also a vulnerable subsystem, in that relatively small changes done incorrectly can render the system inoperable. For a more detailed explanation, read Understanding The Registry.

• Not all registry cleaners are created equal. There are a number of them available but they do not all work entirely the same way. Each vendor uses different criteria as to what constitutes a "bad entry". One cleaner may find entries on your system that will not cause problems when removed, another may not find the same entries, and still another may want to remove entries required for a program to work.

• Not all registry cleaners create a backup of the registry before making changes. If the changes prevent the system from booting up, then there is no backup available to restore it in order to regain functionality. A backup of the registry is essential BEFORE making any changes to the registry.

• Improperly removing registry entries can hamper malware disinfection and make the removal process more difficult if your computer becomes infected. For example, removing malware related registry entries before the infection is properly identified can contribute to system instability and even make the malware undetectable to removal tools.

• The usefulness of cleaning the registry is highly overrated and can be dangerous. In most cases, using a cleaner to remove obsolete, invalid, and erroneous entries does not affect system performance but it can result in "unpredictable results".

Unless you have a particular problem that requires a registry edit to correct it, I would suggest you leave the registry alone. Using registry cleaning tools unnecessarily or incorrectly could lead to disastrous effects on your operating system such as preventing it from ever starting again. For routine use, the benefits to your computer are negligible while the potential risks are great.

CUccPlatform.exe


According to google that file is related to Windows Live Essentials

ccSvcHst.exe


That file is related to Norton which in my opinion is a very lousy program and can be safely removed if and there are various free alternatives that suffice. One such program is Microsoft Security Essentials which is free.

Also:

Please perform the following, so that we can get the exact specs of your computer. This will better assist us in helping you more.

Publish a Snapshot using Speccy

The below is for those who cannot get online

Please take caution when attaching a text file to your post if you cannot copy/paste the link to your post, you will need to edit it to make sure that your Windows Key is not present.

#3 ClemsonFan

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 09:30 PM

Thanks for the response. I didn't know that a registry cleaner is ill-advised, that's the first I've seen of that - bummer!

I am currently running Speccy, not sure what to expect but it's taking a long time to analyze my Graphics - probably has been running about 30 minutes so far. I tried running it in Safe Mode which didn't work, and am now running it with some of my Startup items turned off (otherwise system performance is way too slow.) Will let you know when it finishes so I can post results.

#4 ClemsonFan

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 12:46 AM

Ok, I've read up on the registry cleaning product issues, and I'm convinced. So my question is: I have registry backups dating all the way back to the first time I used the Comodo registry cleaner. Is it safe to use Comodo to restore back to one of these backups?

Also, I ran Speccy and it completed all the other evaluations but got stuck on the Graphics checking, and just hangs there forever. I can copy & post the text from the system summary if that's still worthwhile, but can't get the full scan to finish.

#5 cryptodan

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 06:37 AM

Go ahead and post the text based version, and make sure you edit out your Windows Key.

#6 ClemsonFan

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 02:13 PM

OK here's a copy of the Speccy summary page (adding characters to improve formatting):

Operating System
>MS Windows XP Home 32-bit SP3
CPU
>Intel Pentium 4 520
>Prescott 90nm Technology
RAM
>2.5GB Dual-Channel DDR2 @ 199MHz (3-3-3-9)
Motherboard
>Dell Inc. 0M3918 (Microprocessor)
Graphics
>Analyzing...
Hard Drives
>78GB Western Digital WDC WD800JD-75JNC0 (SATA) 50 °C
Optical Drives
>PHILIPS DVD+-RW DVD8631
Audio
>SoundMAX Integrated Digital Audio

Edited by ClemsonFan, 14 December 2010 - 02:17 PM.


#7 cryptodan

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Posted 14 December 2010 - 03:06 PM

Can you post your Dell Service Tag number, so i can go to http://www.dell.com and look up more information about your computer.

#8 ClemsonFan

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 03:57 PM

8LLDK71

Also if helpful, I can take screen snapshots (txt) of all the other Speccy pages that I can get to.

Edited by ClemsonFan, 15 December 2010 - 05:40 PM.


#9 cryptodan

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 06:02 PM

First lets start by removing Norton: Norton Removal Tool and have you install Microsoft Security Essentials which is a lot lighter on systems.

#10 ClemsonFan

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 06:50 PM

Well... I'm not too keen on uninstalling Norton unless there's a specific reason to do so - my computer has plenty of memory & has worked fine for a long time with Norton before this services.exe CPU utilization problem began - unless Norton is somehow corrupted & causing the services.exe problems, which I can't imagine(?) (Note: also, if I start the computer in safe mode without Norton running, I still have the problem with services.exe using 80% of the CPU. So, Norton doesn't seem to be the root of my problems.)

Also, assuming the registry cleaning has contributed to the problem, I have several Comodo restore points - is it safe to use Comodo to restore my registry back to where it was before my problems began?

Edited by ClemsonFan, 15 December 2010 - 07:12 PM.


#11 cryptodan

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 08:03 PM

Norton is notorious for being a system hog and kills resources. I used to use McAfee but had to remove it as it got way to bloated, and now my system runs great. It was slow during boot up and scan, and mind you my system is very well specced and speedy. Removing Norton is part of troubleshooting. You can always reinstall it again if it doesn't solve your issues.

#12 ClemsonFan

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 10:49 AM

Hi CryptoDan,

**THAT'S IT!!!! ***** You're awesome!! ***
I un-installed Norton Security Suite, and my CPU utilization is back down where it should be - close to 0 when nothing is running. AMAZING! Now that I can use my computer again without long delays, I'm taking the opportunity to un-install some unnecessary applications. Next I'll do a normal boot (without turning off so many startup items) and let you know how it looks.

#13 cryptodan

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 02:25 PM

Download Autoruns for Windows: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinte...s/bb963902.aspx

No installation required.

Simply unzip Autoruns.zip file, and double click on autoruns.exe file to run the program.

Go File>Save, and save it as AutoRuns.txt file to know location.

You must select Text from drop-down menu as a file type:

Posted Image

Attach the file to your next reply.

Compliments of Broni

#14 ClemsonFan

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 03:25 PM

OK... strange, as I was installing MSE, the services.exe processor time gradually increased and it has returned as a CPU hog. I will run the utility that you mentioned soon, and let you know the results.

#15 ClemsonFan

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 06:29 PM

Attached is the autoruns.txt file.

Attached Files






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