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View Full Version : help with a lot of apps at once


stephen2002
10-09-2004, 10:11 PM
I have a recurring problem that is really starting to drive me nuts. I often have a lot of big apps (Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Maya) open at once as I work on a single project, and it becomes even more intersting when I switch projects. Often after a few hours of this attempts to open new applications results in the windows "bing" and the app won't open. Killing explorer.exe or re-starting helps for only a little while, then I run into the same problem yet again. And often once I get an application open it will bing somewhere in the middle as I'm tooling through menus or opening new windows and the whole app will just close itself, which is just really obnoxious. So a lot of the time I just have to close one big app before starting up another, which is obnoxious as I'll often have some files that I'm working on that I have to set up again when I get back to that app.

I generally have 75+ processies running in task manager, and basically all of them are things that I use or background processies that I use. Any tips for preventing this kind of thing from happening all of the time?


I figure I'll add in stuff from Greg's sticky now:

System Spec:
1GB RAM, Dual Xeon 2.8GHz, GeForce 6800GT (latest official NVIDIA drivers), Dual 10,000RPM SATA 36GB HD + 7,200 120GB RPM IDE, 430W Antec TruePower PSU (which is probably screaming for mercy)

Windows XP Pro SP2, and latest other updates applied

Error Details:
No error box pops up. Genereally I just get the windows "bing" and the application fails to load or spontanously exists, generally when creating new windows. I've had the problem for a while.

Tried so far:
As suggested I ran updated versions of Spybot, Adaware, and McAffe virus scans. Nothing found other than tracking cookies (mmmm, cookies).

ziadziad1
10-09-2004, 11:30 PM
son, you need more ram

stephen2002
10-09-2004, 11:57 PM
I have 1GB. Generally there is a fair amount free. There can be several hundred MB free when the problem comes about.

SpeccySteve
10-10-2004, 12:14 AM
You need to lose some of those processes, if you don't need it, kill it.

By way of reference, I only have 36 running right now on a gig of ram, and I have 6 Internet Explorer windows, Softimage XSI, task manager, Photoshop, firewalls, virus scanners etc all running as I type this.
This is also a newish comp so I haven't got round to killing pointless background apps yet.

75+ processes seems insanely high to me, are you sure you don't have spyware or a virus/trojan there?

-Steve

Hazdaz
10-10-2004, 12:28 AM
You didn't state which OS you are running.


Also, 75 processes sounds insanely high - I don't care how fast your CPU is - if your running eleventeen billion processes then your gonna slow even the fastest of PCs.

Another thing to check - are you 100% sure that you don't have any spyware or viruses? There are a few viruses/spyware apps that take away rescources till your forced to reboot.

SpeccySteve
10-10-2004, 01:22 AM
I'd suggest trying the following.

1) Update your virus scanner definitions then run a complete scan.
2) Download Spybot / Adaware, update their defs, then do a complete scan.

http://www.safer-networking.org/en/download/index.html
http://www.lavasoftusa.com/software/adaware/

Might not help at all, or you might have done all this already but they might throw something up.
At the very least you can then pretty much eliminate one possible cause if you haven't already covered this area.

-Steve

stephen2002
10-10-2004, 01:24 AM
My problem isn't with slowness, everything is nice and snappy, my problem is with programs refusing to open or closing with a "bing" as they are running because they can't create any more windows.

I'm pretty sure I don't have any virus or spyware. I use Adaware every month or so and my virus scanner updates itself once a day, it scans everything going in or out so I've never done a complete scan. I'll do one now.

I'm using Windows XP Pro. Here we go for a list of stuff open right now, all of which serves a purpose:

Foreground Programs:
Outlook
Excel
Word
Media Player 10 (2-3 processies, it has some background stuff)
A few IEs
Dreamwaver (about 4 processies)
Photoshop
Trillian

Background stuff:
Folding @ Home (2 instances = 4 processies)
Apache Web server (2 processies, for testing my PHP)
MySQL server (also for testing)
Firewall
"Gallery Manager" (for my web site)
VNC
DU Meter (a network traffic monitor)
MCAffe Virus scan (lanuches about three processies)
Wacom Tablet Driver (2 processies)
Multimedia Keyboard Driver (2 processies, one so the all of the fancy buttons work and the other so volume and other info gets displayed on the screen when I press the buttons)
Audigy2ZS driver (2 -4 processies)
UPS Monitor (gracefully shuts down the computer if the power goes out while I'm away)
Maven Agent (2 processies, for AtomFilms HD)
Glass2K (neat program, lets me make any windows translucent with a keystorke)

At least 4 "svchost.exe", along with the standard windows stuff.

SpeccySteve
10-10-2004, 01:31 AM
Man, that's still a helluva lot of stuff running at once though, do you really need all those running 24/7?

I have an alright pc, ( Athy64, gig ram, nforce3 mobo ) and I wouldn't even attempt to run that amount of stuff, if I did I certainly wouldn't expect stability.

Even if there's nothing dodgy running, that's still a lot of load on any system imo.

-Steve

Hazdaz
10-10-2004, 01:33 AM
My problem isn't with slowness, everything is nice and snappy, my problem is with programs refusing to open or closing with a "bing" as they are running because they can't create any more windows.

I'm pretty sure I don't have any virus or spyware.
I have no idea what you mean by "can't create any more windows", but it sounds like running out of RAM (which, with a GB of RAM, you probably shouldn't be) or something is just eating up your free resources - usually a poorly written application. I am very leary on installing useless applications like those stooopid keyboard apps or graphical-user-interface applications (like that GLASS2K app) or any other app that is constantly running for no reason, while one of them alone might not eat resources, a bunch of them (like, oh, say 75 of them) running on one system can choke even the fastest of PCs and also create memory leaks (which is the biggest cause of programs crashing).

Also the "I am pretty sure I don't have a virus or spyware" comment scares me - I have heard that WAY too often, only to later find out that said person had an infected PC. Oh, and anti-virus programs aren't anti-spyware programs.

SpeccySteve
10-10-2004, 01:37 AM
Also the "I am pretty sure I don't have a virus or spyware" comment scares me - I have heard that WAY too often, only to later find out that said person had an infected PC. Oh, and anti-virus programs aren't anti-spyware programs.
Yeah, but the guy already runs Adaware regular so between that and Spybot that should kill most of the standard interweb badness ( except stuff like Coolweb etc ), still though, I've never seen that many processes running on a single pc.

stephen2002
10-10-2004, 01:57 AM
I have no idea what you mean by "can't create any more windows", I have no idea what I meant there either but generally I get the crashes as an application trys to open another window, so it apparently can't create any more windows and dies.

I am very leary on installing useless applications like those stooopid keyboard apps or graphical-user-interface applications (like that GLASS2K app) .I guess I only use Glass2k infrequently, I can probably kill that one but it is really tiny (a whole 2MB of RAM used by it). I happen to use the multimedia buttons on my keyboard very often, and I happen to like seeing what volume the system is at when I press the button. That way I don't hold down the button going "Hey, why isn't anything happening" and then get blasted when the sound finally starts. So those stay.


Also the "I am pretty sure I don't have a virus or spyware" comment scares me - I have heard that WAY too often, only to later find out that said person had an infected PC. Oh, and anti-virus programs aren't anti-spyware programs.Well, I do run Adaware, I'm running a full virus scan right now and I'll run a Spybot scan after that. We'll see if it comes up with anything.

Man, that's still a helluva lot of stuff running at once though, do you really need all those running 24/7?Well, no, I don't need most it running. But it is a lot easier to leave an application open with all of the stuff that I happen to be working on then close and open everything every time I need to do something. So I would like to be able to do that.

Hazdaz
10-10-2004, 02:00 AM
I've never seen that many processes running on a single pc... exactly! That why sounds like SOMETHING is wrong there. Either there are a few instances of KAZAA or some other P2P software running that wasn't listed or something along those lines. I would shut down ALL by the system critical proccesses and then run just my standard apps and see how it goes.

I just sooo hate those little applets that come with keyboards and mice and printers and many other places. The darn things do just about nothing, yet suck up resouces all the time if you let them. For instance, I got my new PC and needed Quicktime to run a MOV file, download QT player and it wants to run (down near the clock) 24/7 even though I play a MOV file maybe once a week. You have to know enough to go into the settings to turn QT off, or else its always on. Same deal with my printer - the "printer monitor" software wants to run ALL the time, even though I rarely print - thats why i tossed that, and instaed downloaded JUST the driver without all the extra BS.

Anyways, sorry for my rant, its just crappy little applets like that piss me off.

SpeccySteve
10-10-2004, 02:05 AM
Honestly, it just sounds like you're overloading your pc to me, especially if the badness scans come up blank.

Heh, this is probably the bit where you post to explain you're working on a giant multiprocessor supercomputer the size of a warehouse and therefore my guess was miles off..

I'm nowhere near being "PC expert" it was just the "75 processes" that triggered alarm bells for me....

stephen2002
10-10-2004, 02:26 AM
.. exactly! That why sounds like SOMETHING is wrong there. Either there are a few instances of KAZAA or some other P2P software running that wasn't listed or something along those lines. I would shut down ALL by the system critical proccesses and then run just my standard apps and see how it goes. Nope, no P2P software running in the background. I would copy/paste a snapshot of the taskmanager list but I don't know how to do that short of taking a screen shot.

Anyways, sorry for my rant, its just crappy little applets like that piss me off.No problem. I hate little things like the QT tray and the WinZip "quick picks" that do basically nothing. I however like the things that help me out.

Heh, this is probably the bit where you post to explain you're working on a giant multiprocessor supercomputer the size of a warehouseI wish :) My mashine is a Dual 2.8GHz Xeon, which is close enough for me :D


Just a note: scans completed by McAffe, SpyBot, and AdAware. They came up with nothing but some tracking cookies.

mayakindaguy
10-10-2004, 06:15 AM
Somethings definitely eating up all the resources.

I would go to this link (http://www.spywareinfo.com/%7Emerijn/) and download Hijack This and something like cwshredder and simply follow the data sheet and see if there is any malware or registry tweeks that you don't want or need.

I would also get off IE and switch to an alternative like firefox.

I was wondering whether you need the keyboard software running in the background because all my media keys run without it.

Hope you get your issues fixed soon.

stephen2002
10-10-2004, 02:17 PM
I was wondering whether you need the keyboard software running in the background because all my media keys run without it. You are correct, the buttons work without the software but then I don't get the on screen display of my actions.

I tried some of the software from the site you mentioned and they came up blank.

I actually have Thunderbird on my system. And despite what everybody says about it being super fast and efficient it from my experience it takes up a bit more RAM (ok, so probably not if I were to use the tab feature and have only 1 thunderbird open instead of 3 IEs), uses more CPU for things like scrolling, and takes longer to start up. It might load pages a wee bit faster but that is because it likes to render the HTML, then load in the images.

Hazdaz
10-10-2004, 02:28 PM
Dude, did you try rebooting... then kill all non-essential processes and apps and then run it for a day or so to see how well it works?


I think many people here have run Dreamweaver, Photoshop and a few other high-end apps all at the same time, yet doesn't seem like too many people complain about it - and your running a faster PC than most people here. ALSO, what Window's appearance/color scheme are you runing? Try turning off all the eye-candy (such as drop shadowed windows, etc) and revert it back to make it look like Win2K and see if that helps any.

ambient-whisper
10-10-2004, 03:36 PM
you dont need those processes dude. kill those media player ones, you dont need outlook open at all times, Glass2K is useless and it does slow things down.


btw. task manager doesnt show you the real ram that is being used by each process. for example i had killed explorer process one time, and it said that it was using 18 megs. when i closed it, i had gained back about 300 megs :). so ....

reboot, kill useless processes, and just run the stuff you NEED at the moment. what you are doing is just plain silly.

stephen2002
10-10-2004, 03:44 PM
I've re-booted and killed the "frills", including the keyboard driver. The buttons still work but I've lost my OSD. Still comming in at about 70 processies. Most of the stuff that I run I actually use at least once a day. Typically I do run only the stuff that I am using at the moment, but when I switch around between projects I tend to just leave the stuff that I was working on open instead of closing it down and then re-opening it an hour later. Generally if I use it more than a few times a day I tend to leave whatever it is running.

I use the WinXP blue visual theme and happen to like it, so it stays. I'll try shutting it off later if these other tweaks don't work.

I'll even be nice and use Firefox instead of IE for a while, see how that works. Seriously though, it certantly isn't faster than IE. Does anybody know how to make it scroll using the arrow keys more than one line at a time?

ambient-whisper
10-10-2004, 04:03 PM
show us your task manager. lets see where your going wrong.

heres mine at the moment. im not running much, but it gives you an idea.
http://ambient-whisper.cgcommunity.com/images_dump/neato/tasks.jpg

peanuckle
10-10-2004, 04:08 PM
I would be very carful if you want to you HiJack This I have seen many people mess their comps up beyond belief using it. Personally I dont really think that you have a spyware problem. It would affect performance upon bootup and you would really notice a performance decrease. What I would suggest is test your RAM, see if there is any bad sectors. Scan through your Task manager and make sure you absolutely need all of the processes running. I personally wouldnt run all three of the apps at the same time. Only open them when you need them. Also another 512 stick of RAM never hurt anyone (well maybe their wallet a smidge but nothing to write home about)


home this helps

pea~

stephen2002
10-10-2004, 04:38 PM
Naa, it's not a running out of physical memory problem, there is basically no swapping on the HD. Here is my task manager, I had to take two screenshots to get it all to fit :)

thesuit
10-10-2004, 04:52 PM
Hey I had this ~e5d141.tmp running in my back for a few days... neither norton nor spybot pick it up but it always gives me trouble when its running. I made a backup and erased it a couple of times to see what happens but it came back and ~e5d141.tmp.

-edited-
I assume u know what fah_core78.exe does cause its taking pretty much half of ur cpu power alone.

Cheers

Hazdaz
10-10-2004, 04:54 PM
OMG... I've never seen anything quite like that.

I see QUITE a few things theres in your screenshot that I don't know what they are (but I can't image ALL of them being usefull)...
FAH3Console
Mavenupdater
TabUserW
MavenAgent
Acrotray
FahCore_78
Ctdvddet
Duc20
inetinfo

What are those things? From the apps you said you were running, I can't really figure out what the processes I listed could possibly be.

Just as an example of my system....I have MAX, Photoshop, Notepad and a few instances of IE running right now, and its only 32 processes.

stephen2002
10-10-2004, 05:18 PM
Everything with "FAH" is from the folding @ home client. http://folding.stanford.edu/
It's a distributed computing client, so yes the two instances take up all of my spare CPU cycles.

Everything with "Maven" is the AtomFilmsHD client. It's a little service that pushes random shorts to my computer, with two a month in High Defenition. They are usually fun to watch.

"~e5d141.tmp" seems to hang around whenver Dreamweaver is running. It goes away right away when I close it.
"Acrotray" is from Adobe Acrobat. I have the tray features turned off but it stays open anyway and just dosn't display the icon.
"Duc20" It's the dynamic IP update client from No-IP.com, I run a testing server off of my computer and this lets people type in a domain name instead of my IP address.
"Ctdvddet" some goofy thing from the Creative drivers for playing DVD audio disks. I think I installed it when I got their card to play their sample disk. I just killed that.
"inetinfo" some windows process from IIS, I have it installed but not running at the moment.
"TabUserW" Wacom Tablet drivers.

stephen2002
10-10-2004, 09:48 PM
I've shut down more stuff and it is still goofy, espeically with apps that spawn a lot of little sub-windows. They will randomly crash with "bing" in the middle.

alanmac
10-10-2004, 10:03 PM
Reading this thread got me curious as to what's running on my machine. It's fairly new and as a Sony Vaio (not my first choice but without going into a long explanation this is what I have) comes preloaded with lots of software much of which loads itself in the system tray.

I'm pretty sure of being safe from viruses as I have Nortons Internet Security with constant updates. It's a P4 3.2 with hyperthreading and ddr2 ram which I've upgraded from 512mb to 1.536 Ghz. A reasonable but not great graphics card and the usual CD and DVD burners with a TV tuner and recording facility chucked in.

I've connected this to a netgear router with adsl modem for our broadband connection with the intention of hooking up more computers at a later date. As this one machine is shared by the other members of the family I've created four user accounts.

Not wishing to dabble to much with the settings yet, if at all, I just opened task manager to see how many processes were being performed and with the only know program open being Internet Explorer it shows 56 Processes. Don't know if this is good, bad or average.

What does concern me is looking at the Mem usage I see an item with image name CCPROXY.EXE, its User name SYSTEM using 147.888 MB. With just over 1500 mb installed I'm not unduly worried at this stage but curious to know what the large amount of ram allocation or usage is about. Can anybody tell me and should I be concerned?

Thanks in advance.

Alan

Hazdaz
10-10-2004, 10:16 PM
Doing a Google search of CCPROXY comes up with this description "lets all computers on the LAN access Internet through one single Internet connection.".... but I can't image why that would use even 1/4 the amount of RAM that you mentioned!

Fahad
10-10-2004, 10:31 PM
i'm not a technical person, but i've read that averagely, a normal windows session would have ~30 processes running at once.

personally, I am always opening up my task manager and ending processes which I know i do not need. whenever processes are above 35 I start to worry about spy ware and such, besides the fact that the pc feels a bit sluggish because of unnecessary processes eating up RAM.

i do not think that running several (or tens of) programs at once is a good idea. because they aren't going to go away, save your work regularly and open an app when you need it.

i can understand for example, working in your 3d app and photoshop side by side, even perhaps a few other apps, but 70+ processes is a bit excessive. you obviously have a very nice setup, but 70+ processes is really too much for most machines to handle efficiently.

granted, it is more convinient to have these processes running, but is it really practical?

thanks to ambient-whisper's screenshot of his task manager window, i was able to compare my machine's necessary processes and end what I didn't need (i even saved the screenshot on my pc for future reference).

I can now keep my processes count under 30, instead of ~35 processes. The apps i'm actively using right now are PS, Maya, mIRC, firefox, and MSN messenger.

5 or so less processes may not seem much, but my pc is a bit more snappier. I can only imagine how your setup will perform if you eliminate 40~ processes.

good luck

Fahad

alanmac
10-10-2004, 10:35 PM
Thanks for the quick reply Hazdaz, maybe if I drop netgear an email they may shed some light and Sony have a tech support email facility so I'll drop them a line.

With only one machine connected at the moment this is not acting like a server or anything it does seem high. I'm now a little concerned as it involves Internet connection.

Any further advice and ideas what this should be using for ram gratefully accepted. Thanks once again.

Alan

alanmac
10-10-2004, 11:04 PM
One other question - how do I get a screenshot of my task manager? thought it might help to look through this. I did get my processes down to under 40, didn't realise my daughter was still log in, she just switched users, so logging her off helped !!

Alan

Wanderer
10-10-2004, 11:23 PM
stephen2002, have you considered picking up a second PC? Nothing fancy, something second hand in the $300-500 range. Pick up an inexpensive KVM and run it through one of your monitors. Just a thought cause I had a setup where I had a lot of processes offloaded onto a second PC (Azureus, AIM, mirc, winamp, Photoshop even) and it freed my own PC up for more "important" tasks.

A second-hand PC shouldn't be too difficult to find. You'd be amazed what kind of PC's car enthusiast will be selling for dirt cheap.

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