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Windows 7: explorer.exe is resource hungry

29 Aug 2011   #1
electrophile888

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit SP1
 
 
explorer.exe is resource hungry

This problem has been taxing my brain for many a day now!

Hello all, I'm a new poster to these boards, but please bear with me. My life has taken a turn recently, and I'm trying to get good with computers as a possible way of making a living in the future. As such, I have sworn to myself that I will solve this problem out without using a professional, which is why I am here. I'm OK with computers but no expert. I am willing to learn!

A few weeks ago, I noticed that my laptop seemed a bit more sluggish, although I didn't really pay it a whole lot of attention at the time. I've had some more time on my hands recently, and I've been using the computer a lot. I've noticed that one particular process (explorer.exe) seems to be consuming an awful lot of memory. The process boots up at about 20MB, which seems reasonable enough, but the process quickly mushrooms to between 250-420MB, which does seem an awful lot. I have examined the process on different machines, and 20MB seems to be the normal kind of level.

I have googled the hell out of this problem, to no avail. I've tried a number of different things all to no avail. Here are the things that I have done:

-Kill the process and restart it. It stops using memory for a while but very quickly mushrooms to previous levels.

-Uninstall anything that I have installed in the past year.

-Clean the registry with Registry Mechanic. Lots of issues found, but still doesn't solve the problem!

-Tried some software for examining shell extensions, which apparently affect the explorer.exe process. The software was difficult to use, and I couldn't see any new shell extensions that had been installed.

-I have also been to a different site and been led through a number of fixes there. Alas, this has not solved the problem - the process is still sat there taking tons of memory. This method that I tried was in the belief that this was a virus/malware problem; I am now less inclined to believe that that is the issue, but I am still flummoxed. The link to that topic is here:
Explorer.exe is hogging memory - TechSpot OpenBoards

My laptop is still usable at this memory level, but that is not the point. This doesn't appear normal to me and I really want to get to the bottom of why.

Can anybody help?

Gareth


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
29 Aug 2011   #2
karlsnooks

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

Stop using Registry Mechanic and all of the other wonder programs.

Run Disk Cleanup.

Disk Cleanup - Open and Use

What anti-virus are you using?

Run a FULL SCAN with MalwareBytes (link in my sig).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Aug 2011   #3
electrophile888

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit SP1
 
 

Thanks for the quick reply; the generosity of people on the internet never ceases to amaze me.

I stopped using the registry cleaner as part of the previous thread; it has since been uninstalled.

I have used the disk cleanup facility; it removed a few files but not a massive amount.

I am using McAffee anti-virus; I have uninstalled this and re-installed it a couple of times during the steps taken on the previous thread.

The MBAM software was also run in the previous thread; I don't think it appears to find anything. Anyhow, here is the log file that it generated:

Quote:
Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware 1.51.1.1800
Malwarebytes : Free anti-malware, anti-virus and spyware removal download

Database version: 7467

Windows 6.1.7601 Service Pack 1
Internet Explorer 8.0.7601.17514

14/08/2011 20:58:38
mbam-log-2011-08-14 (20-58-38).txt

Scan type: Quick scan
Objects scanned: 169136
Time elapsed: 7 minute(s), 40 second(s)

Memory Processes Infected: 0
Memory Modules Infected: 0
Registry Keys Infected: 1
Registry Values Infected: 0
Registry Data Items Infected: 0
Folders Infected: 0
Files Infected: 0

Memory Processes Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Memory Modules Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Registry Keys Infected:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Low Rights\ElevationPolicy\{A078F691-9C07-4AF2-BF43-35E79EECF8B7} (Adware.Softomate) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.

Registry Values Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Registry Data Items Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Folders Infected:
(No malicious items detected)

Files Infected:
(No malicious items detected)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

29 Aug 2011   #4
karlsnooks

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

from your post:

Code:
Registry Keys Infected:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Low  Rights\ElevationPolicy\{A078F691-9C07-4AF2-BF43-35E79EECF8B7}  (Adware.Softomate) -> Quarantined and deleted successfully.
McAffee (also know as muckaffee) has been known to cause all kinds of weird and unusual problems.

My strong recommendation is to uninstall and then
then install Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE). Link in my sig.

After running a full scan with MSE, get back to us.

The initial install and scan by mse will take some time because MSE is not only checking for viruses but also malware and inspecting you entire disk.

After that, you will find that MSE is the least interfering AV with the smallest footprint.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Aug 2011   #5
karlsnooks

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

After carrying that out,
then this info will help us further search for the cause of your problems:

LIST OF STARTUP AND INSTALLED PROGRAMS USING CCLEANER


STARTUP PROGRAMS
CCleaner | Tools icon | Startup button |
click on Save to text file button (bottom right side)

Using the PAPER CLIP icon (top panel of a Message Reply),
attach the startup.txt file generated by CCleaner
CCleaner - Optimization and Cleaning - Free Download


INSTALLED PROGRAMS
CCleaner | Tools icon | Uninstall button |
click on Save to text file button (bottom right side)

Using the PAPER CLIP icon, attach the install.txt file
generated by CCleaner. CCleaner - Optimization and Cleaning - Free Download
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Aug 2011   #6
electrophile888

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit SP1
 
 

Wow! It's crazy that software you pay for might actually be causing problems! In the interests of sorting this thing, I have uninstalled McAfee and installed MSE. MSE has done a full scan; it has reported no threats. I expected it to provide a log of some sorts, but I can't see one.

I ran the CC Cleaner stuff, and I have attached the necessary files.


Attached Files
File Type: txt CCCleaner Installed TXT.txt (8.1 KB, 17 views)
File Type: txt CCCleaner Startup TXT.txt (3.3 KB, 10 views)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Aug 2011   #7
karlsnooks

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

Good,
Now go back to | MSCONFIG | STARTUP tab |
and uncheck all except for these three:
Sidebar C:\Program Files\Windows Sidebar\sidebar.exe /autoRun
SynTPEnh %ProgramFiles%\Synaptics\SynTP\SynTPEnh.exe
MSC "c:\Program Files\Microsoft Security Client\msseces.exe" -hide -runkey
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Aug 2011   #8
karlsnooks

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

Oh yes, to maybe correct some of the problems caused by previous efforts, then run the System File Checker.

Please do me a favor and read this tutorial.
SFC /SCANNOW Command - System File Checker

If you did NOT get a message saying that all is in order (I forget the exact word), then please reboot your computer and furn the system file checker again.

If you still don't get a good news message, then generate the sfcdetails.txt file mentioned in the tutorial and attach to your next post.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Aug 2011   #9
MvdB

Windows 7 64b Ultimate
 
 

Quote:
As such, I have sworn to myself that I will solve this problem out without using a professional, which is why I am here.
Seven Forum hosts some of the most professional people in MS W7 in the world... and we're happy to help of course...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Aug 2011   #10
MvdB

Windows 7 64b Ultimate
 
 

I've read through the help you got in Tech Support. That was good help. Since you went through all that... it looks like you need to do something more drastic to really fix. Have you thought of a Repair Install?
Repair Install
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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