slowing down of computer; virus suspected

By essoufflee ยท 12 replies
Jul 22, 2007
  1. Recently, my computer started slowing down a lot. Sometimes it would hang for a while which didn't happen before. Also, when I try to open photoshop cs, a message will pop up saying "memory could not be allocated for the activation process. please close all applications and try again." One last thing: under control panel > add or remove programs, not all the programs I have installed are listed, and out of those there, only some (those installed recently) show the button "change/remove program" that allows me to uninstall it. The rest do not show the button.

    I've tried scanning my computer with AVG antivirus and trend micro housecall but no viruses were found. Scanning with Ad-aware yielded no results either. The only peculiar thing I've found is that I usually have 5 svchost.exe processes running in the background. Could this be the cause? I really cannot figure it out.

    Will be really grateful for any help!
  2. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Posts: 1,687

    as long as you don't have scvhost.exe then about 5 svchost's is about right.

    check your task manager for anything using high cpu usage and post again here

    also look up a program called FreeRAM XP Pro, i can't remember where i got it from but it's a great freeware utility that frees up your ram from things that applications have left behind and whatnot

    also, check the amount of free space that you have on your C: drive

    i'm assuming this is windows xp?
  3. essoufflee

    essoufflee TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yup, I'm using Windows XP.

    My C drive has 39.4gb out of 48.6gb free while my D drive has 45.3gb out of 71.2gb free.

    The processes with the highest cpu usages (not including svchost.exe) are:
    WUSB54GC.exe 9248K
    csrss.exe 8456K
    cmdagent.exe 9836K
    explorer.exe 40980K
    cpf.exe 16748K
    firefox.exe 96488K

    Also, I tried FreeRAM XP Pro, but it doesn't seem to have helped sadly.

  4. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Posts: 1,687

    those services look ok without looking anything up but the numbers afterwards are the RAM usage of the programs

    how much ram do you have in your pc?

    edit: i looked up the processes that i don't know on and they all seem fine
  5. essoufflee

    essoufflee TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Under control panel > system > general > computer, it says I have 2gb of RAM. Which shouldn't be a problem, especially since my computer worked fine for months before it decided to slow down to a crawl. I am seriously baffled.

    Once again, thanks for your help!
  6. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    download and install Spybot Search & Destroy; it has several tools to investigate
    the system, eg: startup programs, ActiveX, BHO, and the windows LSPs
  7. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Posts: 1,687

    well that's twice the amount of ram i have and i manage to run vista ok :D

    as well as spybot get CCleaner from and run the issues scan for the registry, but remember to make a backup

    it probably wouldn't hurt to run the cleaner for temporary files etc as well but check the list of programs that it cleans because it can get rid of stuff like the recently used programs from the start menu and recently opened files in word, excel etc which i find quite annoying because i use them a lot ;)
  8. essoufflee

    essoufflee TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Okay, I've done both - run CCleaner and and Spybot. While they helped clean up some stuff, they still didn't manage to resolve the issue. My computer's performance doesn't seem to have improved and I still cannot open Photoshop. No changes to the control panel either. Any idea why? Thanks so much for your help!
  9. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Posts: 1,687

    well i'll have a bit more of a think about it but a last resort would be to back up your important stuff and reinstall windows

    but hopefully it won't come to that ;) i'm not a fan of last resorts haha
  10. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    but did you try the startup programs, ActiveX, BHO, and the windows LSPs?

    you can export each report
    (ends up in \docs & settings\all users\application data\Spybot s&d\logs)
    and attach if you would like an analysis of your environment
  11. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    No! Don't give up and think the only thing left is to reinstall the OS!

    What kind of maintenance do you do on the system? Regular Disc Clean-up, Error Check & Defrag? How many days of History are you carrying around> make it less. Have you 'weeded' out your Cookies, set Cookies for First Party only, Block or Prompt for 3rd party?Delete Cookie you don't need for ID and password.

    How many processes are in show in the Task Manager? Get them down to as close to either side of 30 as you can. The memory allocation message is indicating you may be doing too much multi-tasking- that will slow you down.

    I happen to have 8 Generic Host Processes for Win32 running now- they show as svchost.exe and they are all legit. One other place you can stop the unnecessary is in the Services. The computers usually ship with everything on Automatic- more slowdown! Check the Dependencies tab when stopping Services though.

    The cpf.exe is the Comodo Personal Firewall (CPF) and cmdagent.exe is Comodo Application Agent (CmdAgent) WUSB54GC.exe is Linksys wireless network monitoring (you may find a related process WLService.exe)

    Firefox does tend to run hot occasionally- when it starts using up so much, I just close it and reopen it.
  12. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    A couple suggestions:

    1. Keep task manager but download Process Explorer to help find detail of what's happening on your computer
      • View/Show Lower Pane and set Lower Pane View = Handles. You can scroll down and see files a process is opening/closing (and how frequently!) or other interesting data when exploring
      • Sort again by CPU
      • Select a process. Right click and select Properties (note you can also do a "Search online")
      • Click Threads tab. You can sort CPU on each thread running in a process. (If it complains or looks gibberish you may need to download a new symbol table)
      • You can also hit Stack to see what a thread might be doing. Tough part can be deciphering the symbols and offsets you see. If you go that path to debug, best advice is to online search the symbol and offset to see if others have gone before you looking and posting
    2. Open Properties for My Computer (aka System via Control Panel.) Click Advanced / Performance / Settings / Advanced / Virtual Memory / Change. Am just curious.. at the bottom what is your Recommended and Current Allocation? Look up from there are you System Managed or Custom? How much space available on C for the page file?
  13. kitty500cat

    kitty500cat TS Evangelist Posts: 2,154   +6

    You can see tips for speeding up your system here.

    If that doesn't help, try posting a HijackThis log as an attachment per these instructions.

    Regards :)
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