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explorer.exe and dwm.exe blowing up


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#1 Gazarian

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 09:30 AM

I recently had a virus that was taken care of here.

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic378803.html

It seems like explorer.exe gets bigger and bigger in size gradually as does dwm.exe and won't go back down until I restart the processes. I'm not doing a lot of heavy duty stuff here that's causing this either.

My explorer.exe routinely gets up to 30,000k plus and it was up over 100,000k before I posted her about the virus. Since taking care of the virus it seems to have been fixed for the most part but it still eats up a lot of memory gradually.

Currently the dwm.exe process is at 16,000k and explorer.exe is at 7,000k, but I just restarted explorer.exe for probably the 15th time today.

Is there anyway that I can fix this?

Oh, and another thing I have noticed recently is a clicking sound randomly when I'm not doing anything in particular on my laptop. It's the sound that's used in IE when you click on a link or whatever.

Edited by Gazarian, 12 March 2011 - 11:02 AM.


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#2 Broni

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 11:59 AM

and another thing I have noticed recently is a clicking sound randomly when I'm not doing anything in particular on my laptop

I suggest, you PM your malware helper and ask him to reopen your topic.

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#3 dc3

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 12:07 PM

Edit: You beat me to it Broni.

Edited by dc3, 12 March 2011 - 12:09 PM.

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#4 Jacee

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 12:34 PM

You may have picked up the malware again. Download Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware to your desktop
http://majorgeeks.com/download5756.html

* Double-click mbam-setup.exe and follow the prompts to install the program.
* At the end, be sure a checkmark is placed next to Update Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware and Launch Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware, then click Finish.
* If an update is found, it will download and install the latest version.
* Once the program has loaded, select Perform full scan, then click Scan.
* When the scan is complete, click OK, then Show Results to view the results.
* Be sure that everything is checked, and click Remove Selected.

MBam should take care of it.

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#5 Gazarian

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 12:51 PM

and another thing I have noticed recently is a clicking sound randomly when I'm not doing anything in particular on my laptop

I suggest, you PM your malware helper and ask him to reopen your topic.


I did and he said to post here.

You may have picked up the malware again. Download Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware to your desktop
http://majorgeeks.com/download5756.html

* Double-click mbam-setup.exe and follow the prompts to install the program.
* At the end, be sure a checkmark is placed next to Update Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware and Launch Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware, then click Finish.
* If an update is found, it will download and install the latest version.
* Once the program has loaded, select Perform full scan, then click Scan.
* When the scan is complete, click OK, then Show Results to view the results.
* Be sure that everything is checked, and click Remove Selected.

MBam should take care of it.


I just did this and nothing significant came up. :/

Edited by Gazarian, 12 March 2011 - 02:14 PM.


#6 Jacee

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 02:54 PM

Turn off Aero and see if dwm.exe gets 'tamed' a bit.

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#7 Darth sidious

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 02:58 PM

I think backup all your important data now.

Then do an in-place upgrade.

To do an in-place upgrade insert windows 7 disc while in windows and choose upgrade and follow onscreen instructions this will keep all files and settings and replace windows files.

That failing then re- format and re-install garanteed to cure problem unless hardware related but no evidence for that.

Back up first before attempting anything.
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#8 Broni

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 04:22 PM

First of all, with your 4GB of RAM, memory usage should never be any of your concern.
What you do care about is CPU usage, which we can easily check.

Download Process Explorer: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653.aspx
Unzip ProcessExplorer.zip, and double click on procexp.exe to run the program.
Click on View > Select Colunms.
In addition to already pre-selected options, make sure, the Command Line is selected, and press OK.
Go File>Save As, and save the report as Procexp.txt.
Attach the file to your next reply.

I'm still concern about that clicking noise though.

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#9 Gazarian

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 06:02 PM

I think backup all your important data now.

Then do an in-place upgrade.

To do an in-place upgrade insert windows 7 disc while in windows and choose upgrade and follow onscreen instructions this will keep all files and settings and replace windows files.

That failing then re- format and re-install garanteed to cure problem unless hardware related but no evidence for that.

Back up first before attempting anything.


I don't have any discs since HP doesn't give you one that comes with it. I can order a disc for my laptop or supposedly I can make one off the laptop itself from the recovery partition. I haven't done this yet since the laptop is new and it takes forever to create the backup and it wanted me to use up like 3 DVDs for some odd reason. I still might reformat if I have too. I have been backing up my stuff here and there just in case.


First of all, with your 4GB of RAM, memory usage should never be any of your concern.
What you do care about is CPU usage, which we can easily check.

Download Process Explorer: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653.aspx
Unzip ProcessExplorer.zip, and double click on procexp.exe to run the program.
Click on View > Select Colunms.
In addition to already pre-selected options, make sure, the Command Line is selected, and press OK.
Go File>Save As, and save the report as Procexp.txt.
Attach the file to your next reply.

I'm still concern about that clicking noise though.


I did some searching and some people said the clicking could have to do with a bad harddrive but it's not the drive itself that is making the noise at least from what I can tell. It seems to be coming out of the speakers and it is random. I probably hear it once a day if that.

As for RAM, I am not so much worried about memory usage as much as I am worried about my laptop running hard and hot when explorer and dwm get up in size when it normally doesn't run that loud and I don't want to wear out my laptop. I'm about to do what you suggest here and I will post the results.

EDIT: I attached the file. ;)

Attached Files


Edited by Gazarian, 12 March 2011 - 06:06 PM.


#10 Broni

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 06:16 PM

CPU usage looks perfectly normal.
System Idle Process (CPU NOT used) is listed at 95.49%

You may try to post another log, when the actual issues happens ("when explorer and dwm get up in size")

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#11 Gazarian

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 05:33 AM

My explorer.exe has been going up slowly but has basically stopped at 35,000k currently. dwm.exe is at 18,000k which is what it has been at for the last few hours. My computer hasn't been running loud though. I decided to go ahead and post another log here to see if anything has changed as since I reset explorer.exe it has doubled in size from 18,000k or whatever it was.

I do notice that everytime I bring up that Process Explorer program, dllhost.exe pops up in the list, turns red and then disappears. I have no idea if that's normal or not. It just looked odd to me.

Also, when I check the performance tab in the task manager there is a sharp spike, followed by little activity. This pattern constantly repeats. I also don't know if this is normal either. There are times where it stays low for a little bit but most of the time there is a large spike every so often.

I just recently started paying attention to all of this since I had that virus recently. Any help is greatly appreciated.

EDIT: I have noticed that if I open a ton of images in Paint Shop Pro 7 which I still use and then close it, it seems to plump up explorer.exe and it never goes back down. :/

Attached Files


Edited by Gazarian, 13 March 2011 - 05:54 AM.


#12 Darth sidious

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 08:32 AM

View PostDarth sidious, on 12 March 2011 - 07:58 PM, said:
I think backup all your important data now.

Then do an in-place upgrade.

To do an in-place upgrade insert windows 7 disc while in windows and choose upgrade and follow onscreen instructions this will keep all files and settings and replace windows files.

That failing then re- format and re-install garanteed to cure problem unless hardware related but no evidence for that.

Back up first before attempting anything.


I don't have any discs since HP doesn't give you one that comes with it. I can order a disc for my laptop or supposedly I can make one off the laptop itself from the recovery partition. I haven't done this yet since the laptop is new and it takes forever to create the backup and it wanted me to use up like 3 DVDs for some odd reason. I still might reformat if I have too. I have been backing up my stuff here and there just in case.


Appreciate you don't have discs and it takes up to 3 dvd's and takes a long time to burn but you need to burn these immediately because if your hard drive ever fails and you don't have a system image then recovery discs from HP will be expensive. I know you backed up some stuff hopefully you imaged your system.

You could be going on for another 24hours or more trying to pin this thing down and get nowhere. It may be quicker to recover from a good image or burn a set of recovery dvd's and recover the system to factory default settings condition as shipped.
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#13 Broni

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 11:25 AM

Your last PE log still looks fine.

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#14 Gazarian

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 11:40 PM

I reformatted and everything. It ended up taking all day. After getting all of my programs and files back on here, it seems to be that explorer.exe stays low for the most part, but it was close to 40,000k recently. I restarted it since the top of my laptop near the keyboard felt hot and it's cooled down a little since restarting explorer.exe. :P

As for the clicking noise, I just heard the noise for the first time since reformatting. It was while I had Firefox open and was running a program that I created in VB6. I wasn't doing anything that would cause a click sound but I still heard one. :P

#15 Broni

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 12:04 AM

Run hard drive diagnostics: http://www.tacktech.com/display.cfm?ttid=287 (or http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=28744&hl=hard+drive+diagnostic)
Make sure, you select tool, which is appropriate for the brand of your hard drive.
Depending on the program, it'll create bootable floppy, or bootable CD.
If downloaded file is of .iso type, use ImgBurn: http://www.imgburn.com/ to burn .iso file to a CD (select "Write image file to disc" option), to make the CD bootable.
For Toshiba hard drives, see here: http://sdd.toshiba.com/main.aspx?Path=ServicesSupport/FujitsuDrivesUSandCanada/SoftwareUtilities#diagnostic

Note : If you do not know how to set your computer to boot from CD follow the steps HERE

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