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VSMON.EXE Consumes CPU After ZA UpgradeHelpful Member!(2) 

akloster2 (TechnicalUser) (OP)
4 Mar 03 22:07
I did an automatic upgrade to the latest version of ZA (the free version) the other day.  Rebooted and the PC was extremely sluggish (W2K Pro P2-233 128MB).  Checked task manager and found vsmon.exe taking 99% of the CPU.  Couldn't shut it down, even though I was an admin.  Rebooted to safe mode and uninstalled ZA.  Then installed the previous version, which I had on the hard drive.  The previous version did the same thing!  Uninstalled from safe mode again.  Noticed that vsmon.exe doesn't go away when doing an uninstall.  Manually deleted vsmon.exe.  Re-installed previous version.  Same problem!  Uninstalled ZA altogether and have been running like that for some time.

Loaded Turbo Tax to do taxes.  It installed c_dilla spyware.  Spybot Search & Destroy wanted to delete it.  I did a google search on it and looks like if I delete c_dilla, I won't be able to do taxes.  So, the next best thing is to get a firewall back up on this box to keep it from phoning home with spy reports.  So I am interested in getting ZA working again, but don't know how to get a version installed that won't kill the PC.

Has anyone successfully installed a previous version of ZA after having the latest version turn the PC into a 8088?
KimberTech (MIS)
4 Mar 03 23:28
The answer is already posted, as others have been having this problem.

Click the link to go to the relevant thread, and have a nice day.

The search feature in Tek Tips is awesome!

Thread924-371564

Kimber

The more I learn,I realize how much more there is to know!

Helpful Member!(2)  akloster2 (TechnicalUser) (OP)
4 Mar 03 23:51
Thanks.  I had already read that thread, but it didn't quite cover my issue.  However, since posting, I dug into the Zone Alarm website and found out how to completely obliterate ZA (files scattered everywhere, registry entries galore).  I followed those instructions and reloaded an older version without the vsmon problem cropping up.  

Nice little upgrade cost a couple hours grief. . .
KimberTech (MIS)
5 Mar 03 0:00
That is one thing I can wholeheartedly agree with you on.
VERY messy uninstall that causes a lot of problems, including not being able to access the internet at all in some cases.

Glad you got things sorted out.

Kimber

The more I learn,I realize how much more there is to know!

MorrisAO (TechnicalUser)
23 Mar 03 5:09
Hi everyone

I had the same problems as described, and also found the newer versions of Zonealarm are also quite a resources hog as well.   In the end I switched to another firewall and felt quite sad about it, as I've been using Zonelarm since it's beta days.   I'm now using Sygate which I find doesn't use too much in the way of resources.  Being a user of Win98 that has to always be a consideration.
I think Zonelabs are suffering from the syndrome of growing too big to have time for their users.   What a pity.
akloster2 (TechnicalUser) (OP)
23 Mar 03 9:24
I have used Sygate on a laptop.  It broke my hibernation mode, so I had to uninstall.  Never tried it on a desktop.

I remember when I would always go for the free upgrades to latest versions.  Not anymore.  I have been bit too many times with the latest versions bringing my PC to its knees.  A Real Player upgrade, for example, was another painful memory.

I have started saving older versions of things so I can try to fall back to something that works.  Sometimes, though, the problem becomes removing the new version.  Most viruses are easier to remove than ZA was!

I don't know how PC newbies and non-technical people survive the messes like this ZA upgrade thing.  I guess that's another good reason why new PCs keep selling.  Make the old one slow down to a crawl, and people think they need more horsepower. . .

Kraeg (Programmer)
29 Mar 03 21:43
I had a similar problem the other week, and just today I found out Zone Alarm (version 2.6; I went back to an older version since that other problem) increases it CPU/Mem use constantly when I have SQL Server 2000 services running.
peter23 (Programmer)
11 Dec 03 6:06
Uninstalling Zone Alarm PRO 3.5.169 and install Zone Alarm 3.7 Lite!!!!
This is ONE solution that WORKS!!
There could be another one, haven't found one though.

For some reason in the "PRO" version it makes the PC run at almost 100% CPU, in my case it's always when I have WinMX running. Disconnecting from WinMX the CPU goes back to the normal state! So it could also be something to do with WinMX although installing ZA 3.7 Lite works.

I tried to overrite the DLLs from the Lite installation onto the PRO one, but this did not work. Good try, but Nah!

So the only resolution is to:
  1. Use Zone Alarm 3.7 Lite OR
  2. Upgrade to Zone Alarm 4.0 (That might help - not sure)
  2. Use some other firewall.

Hope that helps. It was such an annoying bug I've had for a couple of days, which I never had before.

Ohh..I'm running Windows 2000.
TheBestOne (Programmer)
28 Apr 04 11:03
I Don't know why!!! but changing the internet zone to MEDIUM fix the problem.
chadster (IS/IT--Management)
20 May 04 3:56
I had a problem of vsmon.exe using 90%+ when ever I started a office program. This sound similar to what is happening else where.

The solution was to check my process list. Some processes don't show in taskmanager. Get something like killprocess from tucows.com to show all the processes. For me it was a startup process called rundll32.exe. Usually this process doesn't show in your process list unless some software is having problems. It could be some other process causing vsmon.exe to suck up the resources on your system. You'll have to go through the process of elimiation to find out which one it is.

Wow it sure made a hug performance difference with my system.

Good Luck
akloster2 (TechnicalUser) (OP)
20 May 04 6:50
I believe Rundll32.exe is a valid Windows application called "Run a DLL as an App" and stored in the C:\Windows directory.  If you kill it, you may find that something broke.  However, there are some viruses that masquerade as rundll32.  Update your virus defs and scan.
chadster (IS/IT--Management)
20 May 04 10:59
Hi

Your right, here's the line from my old startup:

RUNDLL32.EXE NvQTwk,NvCplDaemon initialize

The actual process is NvQTwk which I believe came with my Aopen GeForce 2 video card.

Thanks
nearng24 (TechnicalUser)
13 Jun 04 7:06
I had this problem for a while too.  I've found that 9 times out of 10, there's a version of the MSblast worm on your computer, and that causes vsmon.exe to take up a lot of cpu time.  

Since Blast and blast variants all replicate themselves by accessing the internet, the firewall is involved.  usually, these worms will try to access the internet through dllhost.exe or wintask2.exe or any number of others.  The zone alarm window will pop up, asking if this application (i.e. wintask2.exe) may access the internet.  if you say yes, which seems like a good idea because it sounds so legitimate, then your internet connection will be bogged down tremendously.  If you say no, which you should, because there's no reason for this legitimate program to access the internet, then vsmon.exe will take up more and more cpu time trying to block all the attempts of this thing to access the internet and replicate itself.

Look in the logs of Zone alarm and find out which program is trying to access the internet really frequently (like 30 times a minute) and then look up the information on that application.  Chances are you'll be directed to an antivirus site when you google for the name of that application (the one trying to access the internet very frequently) and then you can take steps to remove it.

This is not a problem with Zone Alarm, this is just the result of Zone Alarm doing it's job too well.  ZA really is a great program.
BDC2 (Programmer)
30 Sep 04 14:27
This was a real headache for me too. After some digging I found SQL was infected with the Sasser virus. I downloaded the removal tool from Symantec and it fixed the problem.

http://securityresponse.symantec.com/avcenter/venc...

BDC.

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