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Multi iexplore.exe & can't end in Task Manager

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#1 tclepper


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Posted 20 September 2011 - 12:40 AM

My computer has gotten very, very slow when running Internet Explorer 8 & I've done all
the basic "cleaning up" in order to stay ahead of it. I've run I-Obit Adv System
Care 4 regularly but I'll still get completely locked up on the internet.

I turned to the Task Manager & discovered that there are several instances of iexplore.exe
running that "End Process" will not stop and they are eating up huge amounts of memory -
as much as 100,000k (and more).
I have run my Spy-Bot S&D, Malware-Bytes Anti-Malware, AVG 10 Anti-Virus,
and I-Obit Malware Fighter... all have come up clean.

I've had as many as (6) instances of iexplore.exe running in Task Manager
at once that can't be ended (with no Internet Explorer open ) and as few as (1).

Windows XP Pro (Vers. 5.1.2600), Service Pack 3, IE Vers 8.0.6001.18702

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#2 quietman7


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Posted 20 September 2011 - 07:29 AM

If you do a Google search for multiple instances of iexplore.exe running in Task Manager, you will find thousands of complaints with various causes (malware and non-malware related).

There are some worms (i.e. W32/Lovgate-AD) which can launch iexplorer.exe but it usually drops the malicious file in the Windows directory or C:\Windows\system32 folder. One of the ways that malware tries to hide is to give itself the same name as a legitimate or critical system file like iexplore.exe. However, it then places itself in a different location (folder) than where the legitimate file resides and runs from there. The legitimate iexplore.exe is located in the C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer folder. Be sure to confirm the spelling of the file. If it is iexplor.exe or iexplorer.exe, then it's malware.

While there are some malware infections which can launch iexplorer.exe, be aware that if Internet Explorer is open, the browser itself may be creating multiple instances in Task Manager. If you're not finding any malware after performing various security scans look more closely at your browser.

If using Internet Explorer 8 or Windows 7, the browser will run an extra instance of iexplorer.exe for each opened tab as part of the Loosely-Coupled IE and Automatic Crash Recovery features by design. ACR stores information about a browsing session on the hard disk so that in the event of a browser crash, hang, or other unexpected shutdown, it will allow you to resume the last browsing session. If using multiple tabs, ARC allows recovery of all opened tabs in case of a browser failure. Essentially that allows Internet Explorer to prevent itself from closing when a web site in one tab crashes. In order to this, Internet Explorer 8 will open a new process for the main window and another process with any opened tab. As such, it is not unusual to find multiple instances of iexplore.exe running in Task Manager. More information about ACR and LCIE can be found on the IEBlog: IE8 and Reliability and an explanation of multiple instances of iexplorer.exe is provided by Don Varnau (MS MVP-IE) here. One drawback of this new feature is that ACR has been reported to utilize high memory resources.
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