my PC is getting hijacked by !!!

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Jeff Knox

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Joined: 31 Dec 12
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Message 46957 - Posted: 31 Dec 2012, 23:20:31 UTC

I need help! I've been noticing that Google Chrome has been
acting oddly VERY sluggish, and maybe some other programs that
are lightweight (i.e. Windows' Minesweeper game, and Notepad)
have been slowing down. I was convinced it had to do with the
number of extensions I had installed in Chrome, but the more I
thought about it, I've had those Chrome extensions for many
months and this is a somewhat new phenomenon. That was
strengthened when I uninstalled Chrome, reinstalled, and exact
same behavior. And then I realized it couldn't be Chrome since
Windows itself is acting so incredibly sluggish. As in, I might
move my mouse, and it could take 30 seconds to see the cursor
move. And sometimes what I type does NOT match what's on the
screen, like Windows is having a hard time catching up.

I was about to post to the Chrome forums when suddenly it hit
me-- I had recently told BOINC to run while the computer is in
use, and also gave it permission to use 100% of the processor.
Well duh, NO WONDER I'm having issues. And then I had
immediately forgotten that I had done so.

So I updated my BOINC preferences to uncheck "Run BOINC while
the computer is in use" and saved, but I didn't notice an
improvement. So I reopened the BOINC manager and found that it
had not saved my change. So I unchecked that box again, and
modified the percentage of CPU that BOINC is allowed to use from
100% to 5% and saved again, reopened BOINC manager to see if my
changes had taken effect, and no-- right back to using 100% of
CPU while computer is in use. NOTE TO ALL FUTURE BOINC USERS:
several times to snooze and suspend BOINC activity, but no
relief. That makes me suspicious that perhaps it's not BOINC
that's hogging my processor-- well heck, I just ran Windows Task
Manager, which showed me that Chrome was highest on CPU usage
and was eating all me memory. Plus, for some odd reason I had 3
different Chrome processes running. Task Manager let me kill
all three, and everything's mostly good again.

So then I had Task Manager open while I started Chrome, to see
if it is the culprit, and was surprised to see 13 different
processes for Chrome all start, so now I'm confused as to
whether Chrome is causing my woes or BOINC, as without Chrome
running I just checked my BOINC settings, and I still cannot get
it off of "use 100% of the processor while the computer is in
use." But I mostly only notice the PC dragging when Chrome is
open, so goodness sakes am I confused. I'm going to post this
to both the Chrome forum and the BOINC forum. Can anybody help figure this out? MANY THANKS!
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Message 46961 - Posted: 1 Jan 2013, 0:21:05 UTC - in response to Message 46957.  
Last modified: 1 Jan 2013, 0:27:30 UTC

Please pass by this thread and at the very least supply your Boinc startup messages, the first 20 to 30 lines will do:

Then we'll have an idea what projects you're attached to, and the likely causes.

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Message 46962 - Posted: 1 Jan 2013, 1:06:16 UTC - in response to Message 46957.  

I've been in the same situation on more than one occasion, I'm sure we all have. When it gets to the point where the system is so sluggish it takes hours just to teak a few settings or type out a plea for help then you're only banging your head against the wall trying to find the elusive setting that is causing the problem or will relieve the problem. Don't do that.

Sounds like Chrome is acting up. Delete it. Don't mess around tweaking Chrome settings, you've done that already or it sounds like you have so just delete it and all its extensions. Then reboot.

If that doesn't help then check system temperatures. Check CPU for sure, GPU and RAM if you can. Check for fans that are worn out and not spinning or are spinning too slow to cool things properly. Blow the dust out of the heatsinks and fans. You should blow the dust out at least twice a year even if nothing is going wrong so do this anyway.

If that doesn't help then suspect a BOINC project. BOINC itself is very safe, well behaved and rarely causes problems. However some projects send science apps that cause problems. Stop BOINC and make sure it won't auto start when you reboot. You may have to uninstall BOINC to make sure it doesn't reboot, I'm not sure, I use Linux and don't know how the BOINC autostart works on Windows. Then reboot. If it's better then you know it was one of the science apps BOINC was running.

If that doesn't help then virus scan. Maybe virus scan is one of the first things you should do.

If that doesn't help then I would say you've eliminated the prime suspects and you should then suspect the hardware. Run the standard diagnostics: memtest, prime95, whatever. Check RAM and CPU then disks. Get SMART reports from disks. You can try defragging and all that but I don't think fragmentation is the cause here.

Next slash and burn the software. Take no prisoners, shoot first and don't even bother asking questions later because they're all liars anyway. The strategy is:

1) Save everything you want to a DVD, thumbdrive, whatever because in a few minutes you're gonna wipe the disk and reinstall the OS if things don't improve quickly. Don't save any executables, they're all suspect. Save porn, links to porn, browser bookmarks, essays, homework, source files, text files, etc.

2) One by one uninstall any app you think might be the culprit. Uninstall one then reboot. If the problem persists then kill the next suspect. Burn everything they own or ever touched. Reboot after *every* execution, absolutely no exceptions. Repeat until things get better.

3) If all your apps are gone and it's still FUBAR then wipe the disk and reinstall the OS. The alternative is plunk around until you drive yourself crazy and gash your own throat just to stop the pain. Or you can flog the machine on Ebay and buy a new one.

"Windows" -- an American English word, meaning "A real operating system is too hard for me."
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Jeff Knox

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Message 46981 - Posted: 1 Jan 2013, 16:16:12 UTC - in response to Message 46962.  

Well many thanks y'all. It appears to be fixed, and I'm embarrassed to say how this came about-- I figured my PC had gone into Hibernate overnight for too many days maybe, so last night I shut it all the way down for the first time in a really long time. Then this morn I was talking to mom, asking if Staples does PC tune-up's. "Well, try rebooting first." And lo and behold, I turned it on this morning and everything seems back to normal. *sigh* Don't tell anyone that my last job was as a computer programmer... :-) Thanks again, case closed....
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Message 47245 - Posted: 14 Jan 2013, 18:01:11 UTC

For your future reference - the reason you saw Chrome with multiple processes is because that's how Chrome works. It creates a separate process for every open tab and for every running extension. This allows a tab or extension to crash or lock up without losing your entire browsing session.

I currently have 19 instances of chrome.exe in my task manager.
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Message 47251 - Posted: 14 Jan 2013, 19:41:57 UTC - in response to Message 47245.  

OMG! You're right! I didn't notice that before. Thanks for mentioning it.

Oh, btw, I'm not saying 19 sessions is a bad thing. Looks to me like each one takes only a wee bit o' RAM so it's cool, probably no more RAM (total) than FF would need for 19 tabs.
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Message 47634 - Posted: 3 Feb 2013, 20:18:15 UTC

for anyone interested, hope this helps!
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