View Full Version : Another curiosity

06-01-2005, 09:44:29
Interesting to open the list of running processes when the PC is running at a crawl. Ok, the one I had "problems" with this morning is in need of a memory increase (only upgraded one PC so far) but even so it was being a bit much after a night left on.

So ; can anyone explain why, since I don't own any iPod stuff, I had processes labelled iPod<something or other> and iTunes<something or other> running ? When I ended them, there didn't seem to be any adverse affects, and I think it contributed to the PC speeding up a bit (although I was closing all sorts of things at the time so anything might have helped).

Yes I do run the virus check and spy/ad stuff regularly.

Is there any easy way to identify stuff that shouldn't be running, and that which one should leave well alone ?


06-01-2005, 10:29:03
iTunes is s horrible, evil program that spawns multiple background programs and processes for iTunes and the iPod, even if you never use either.

They bundle Quicktime with iTunes, and it's a pain in the ass to figure out how to download QT alone, and it sucks up your RAM with a bunch of shit you never use.

06-01-2005, 11:29:36
Cheers, I figured it might be something like that, at least for those 2.

I'll have to find out what's triggering them and delete it.

Makes me wonder about the rest of that damned process list.

Sir Penguin
07-01-2005, 05:34:53
Do you know how to use msconfig? Run msconfig from the start menu. The last tab (labeled "Startup") has a list of all the processes that are started from the registry when you computer boots up. You can go through that and un-check stuff. Of course, don't remove anti-virus or firewall or driver related programs, or anything else you want. Some creative abbreviation parsing might be required, especially if you didn't install the OS. When in doubt, remove it and see what happens (you can always boot into Safe Mode if it critically breaks something).

Also, uninstall Quicktime (if you can manage it) and install Quicktime Alternative (http://www.free-codecs.com/download/QuickTime_Alternative.htm). You can get Real Alternative from the same site so that you don't have to install RealPlayer.


07-01-2005, 09:13:21
Ah I have come across msconfig before somewhere, but was unfamiliar enough with it to consider it.

What I have done is install wheresjames startup control app. Never knew how much stuff was in system run !

Of course, there's the rub, what can I remove without finding I've no firewall or virus check :) I even found something there that had the cheek to call itself "remote control" ! Surely a malicious app isn't going to be that obvious, is it ? (Seems to be something to do with windvd iirc.)

Anyway I'll definitely look at that alternative you linked to, thanks.

PS Anyone know why Zone Alarm (vsmon.exe) seems to gradually grab all the available memory, the longer it is left on ? It was taking about 115M last night before I decided it was time to reboot !

Sir Penguin
07-01-2005, 10:07:35
Because ZoneAlarm sucks. Kerio (http://www.kerio.com) is better.

You have to play guess-the-program a lot when you're going through the registry startup. Google is good, just search for the executable name, if it's run from an executable, or the DLL name if it's run from a DLL, etc.

And no, a malicious application won't necessarily try to hide itself. :)


07-01-2005, 11:46:03
This is a helpful site for figuring out processes


07-01-2005, 13:13:11
Cheers both

Hmm... $179 per PC....
Might stick with ZoneAlarm for now :)

07-01-2005, 13:42:18

Ignore this post, seems I can't read nor spell !

07-01-2005, 13:46:25
If you don't trust it, do some research on google yourself.

Sir Penguin
07-01-2005, 18:51:22
Originally posted by Gary
Cheers both

Hmm... $179 per PC....
Might stick with ZoneAlarm for now :)
I wouldn't have recommended it if there wasn't a free version. :)


It takes some configuration to be as non-intrusive as ZoneAlarm. By default, it complains every time a program tries to launch another program (which happens a lot). You can disable that.


07-01-2005, 21:06:21
Well it took a lot of the evening, but I've removed a reasonable chunk of that which was getting run at start-up. Not that there seemed to be anything malicious, but a few things that didn't seem necessary.

But it is a bit of a surprise the number of things that seemed to need to be left alone.

Took quite a while to check everything on the Net though. Most could be found at the liutilities site, but a few needed to be searched for using Google. Which ridiculously often led back to the same site which had already failed to find it in a search !

Meanwhile, oh my Gawd, what I have I done ? Taken off Zone Alarm I've used with confidence for years and put on an unknown application ! :eek: Fingers crossed !

08-01-2005, 07:44:50
Kerio is nicer because its annoying splash screen is out of the way much faster than ZoneAlarm's. And it lets you see your traffic stats in realtime. :)

21-01-2005, 12:43:10
Mmm intresting.

I don't recall an icon continually trying to download McAfee Virusscan Update, at 0%, when I was using Zone Alarm.


Sir Penguin
21-01-2005, 22:59:07


21-01-2005, 23:38:24
Unfortunately a bit late for that now. I opened McAfee and demanded it check for updates. That seemed to work and the icon has now gone. For a while anyway. But it was there for about 2 days before I cracked and forced the issue.

Not much to see in a screenshot anyway. Just an icon flashing merrily away.

It's conceivable it might have been being stopped by th e spybot app, as I turned something on there at about the same time as replacing the firewall, but something was blocking it.

Sir Penguin
22-01-2005, 01:01:16
The purpose of the firewall is to block things like that. :hmm:

McAfee sucks anyway. :p


22-01-2005, 09:14:27
Supposed to ask first time though isn't it ? To allow stuff through that's supposed to go through.

Sir Penguin
22-01-2005, 09:41:07
Oh, so it didn't ask? I don't get it. If it didn't ask, then nothing was trying to connect to the Internet, unless you had previously set a rule to block it without asking.


23-01-2005, 12:00:05
I don't get it either. I can't recall being asked anything, and sure didn't add rules deliberately. Weird. Not sure how to check to the setting on McAfee. Think I'll just see if it happens again next time.