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Thread: Free ZoneAlarm "freezes" when I click on the "Program Control" button

  1. #1
    twstdpr Guest

    Default Free ZoneAlarm "freezes" when I click on the "Program Control" button

    ZoneAlarm has been installed on my WinXP Media Center PC for a long time, and usually works fine.
    I am running ZA version 6.5.737.000, and Windows XP Media Center 2005 with SP2 and all current MS updates.

    ZoneAlarm alerts me to requests and problems just like you would expect it to, but when I click on the Program Control button in the ZoneAlarm Control Center, that window freezes and can't be shutdown or otherwise accessed.
    The processes VSMON and ZLCLIENT go from using 18 - 24% and 1 - 3% of CPU respectively before clicking on the Program Control button to 24 - 32% and 38 - 41% of CPU after hitting the button.
    The firewall still works even after this happens, giving me an alert when I tell a program that I have previously restricted from Internet access to try to get an update, so whatever the problem is seems to be somewhat isolated.
    I have scanned lots of threads on the boards about "freezes" but nothing seems to fit my particular situation.
    Anybody got any ideas?
    Thanks in adance.

    Operating System:Windows XP Pro
    Product Name:ZoneAlarm (Free)
    Software Version:6.5

  2. #2
    zaswing Guest

    Default Re: Free ZoneAlarm "freezes" when I click on the "Program Control" button

    This is a longshot.Is there a small windows BEHIND the main ZoneAlarm-free screen asking you if you want to send this or that to ZA? If so, it steals focus. I've seen in in one of the ZA Suite versions and possibly in the ZA free 6.5 as well (can't remember).

  3. #3
    twstdpr Guest

    Default Re: Free ZoneAlarm "freezes" when I click on the "Program Control" button

    As far as I can tell, no there isn't another window behind the frozen ZA Control Center.
    When I say that the ZA Control Center
    window is forzen, I mean that it won't close, move, or do anything else, so it is hard to say if there is anything behind it. But there isn't any indication in the Windows taskbar at the bottom of the screen that another window is open.
    The only ways that I have been able to make the ZA Control Center window go away is to restart the computer, which results in the ZA Control Center window being open after the restart, and to
    cause another program, like Adobe Acrobat Reader, to try and get an update, prompting a ZA alert. When I closed the alert, and Acrobat overlaid the ZA Control Center window, it disappeared when the Acrobat window was closed. BUt I still can't get into the Program Control section.
    Thanks, any help is appreciated.

  4. #4
    zaswing Guest

    Default Re: Free ZoneAlarm "freezes" when I click on the "Program Control" button


    Windows XP Media Center is mentioned in the main post.
    Windows XP Pro is at the end. So I am confused. not that it changes my attempted help

    That said, try to do this - as soon as ZA comes up in the task bar, and before you go to the PROGRAM tab make ZA small by shoving it left, or something like that. Then watch the screen for the alert dialog I'm talking about.
    If you can get to it all, on Overview &gt; Preferences tab, what is you setting for Contact Zone Labs?

    HOW did you determine that it is vsmon and ZL client causing 41% utilization?
    Approximately how soon after restart does that freeze occur?
    What is your setting for Windows/Microsoft updates? There are 4 possibilities, which do you use?</blockquote>

  5. #5
    twstdpr Guest

    Default Re: Free ZoneAlarm "freezes" when I click on the "Program Control" button

    When you start a post, ZoneLabs has you select items from pulldown choices for crucial information, such as your OS. Unfortunately, they don't have a choice for Windows XP Media Center.
    A Microsoft tech had told me that Media Center is built on Pro by adding in commands to control and record TV, so it is the closest choice from ZoneLabs' somewhat deficient pulldown menu.
    I tried doing as you suggested, but no other window or popup appears.
    All of the other buttons work UNTIL I select the Program Control button, then nothing works. So, it was easy to get to the Preferences tab you mentioned. The settings that are SELECTED on that page are: Check for updates automatically; Load ZA at startup; Protect ZA Client; and Hide the last octet of IP address.
    All other items are NOT selected.
    I know what CPU utilization is because I restore the ZA Control Center, then start Windows Task Manager and click on the Process tab, and look at VSMON and ZAClient processes.
    At that point ZAClient is using 1 - 2 % of
    my Pentium 4 3.2GHz processor with 1.5GB of
    RAM, and VSMON is gobbling up 17 - 24 %.

    I then go to the ZA Control Center window and click on the Program Control button, and after it produces the first page of programs, nothing else can be done with the ZA Control Center window.
    In Windows Task Manager, the percentages of CPU utilization then jump to 30 - 41 % for ZAClient
    and 22 - 38% for VSMON, so between the two main processes for the firewall they are eating up to 79% of the available cycles on a fast CPU with lots of available RAM.
    That consumption of resources stays in place until I restart the OS, since nothing other than a restart can interrupt the ZA program.
    In fact, when I try to use the System tray icon to Restore the ZoneAlarm Control Center, the menu that pops up shows all of the selections normally EXCEPT Restore ZoneAlarm Control Center, which is grayed out, but none of the other selections work, and the popup window won't go away untill I reboot.
    Thanks again for your reply.

  6. #6
    zaswing Guest

    Default Re: Free ZoneAlarm "freezes" when I click on the "Program Control" button

    Frustrating isn't it?Clearly something is broken. Ulilization on a fast, big computer of that sort is unacceptable. 0-2% is the norm in my book. And of course the crashing of the screen is not the norm.
    I think I understand what you wrote and it seems clear enough. I am not sure there is a way to talk to tech support for the free version. You could try, and give them a link to this thread to follow up.
    One simple thing you could try is resetting the database in safe mode, perhaps it got corrupted.
    Another thing you could try, which in the long run might be faster to give you a stable situation, is to do a CLEAN uninstallation of ZA
    or if something gets messed up in the process above, longer, wider scope, instructions
    and then stay with the same version OR go with v6.1 using this link to old versions
    6.1 will work better.
    I see what you mean about that dropdown

  7. #7
    twstdpr Guest

    Default Re: Free ZoneAlarm "freezes" when I click on the "Program Control" button

    Great minds must think alike, since while you were typing your last response and I had to reboot to clear the ZA resource usage, I decided to try starting up in safe mode.
    It was weird, but I can now access the Program Control button and still come back &quot;alive.&quot;
    Here's what happened: I picked Safe Mode with Networking, and then started ZoneAlarm.
    A Dialog box of the &quot;Sorry for the inconvenience&quot; style immediately popped up stating that VSMON couldn't start because LIBEAY32_0.9.6l.dll was not found, and requested
    that I hit an &quot;OK&quot; button.
    Before I could do so another dialog box popped up behind it stating that ZA was started!
    I said OK to the first dialog box, and maybe the second ( I don't really remember) but in any case ZA was working.
    I again used Task Manager to see if both VSMON and ZAClient were running, and they were at 0% CPU usage!
    When I tried hitting the Program Control button it worked and displayed hundreds of entries, the vast majority of which were the &quot;??&quot; kind, and were from programs that were either no longer on my PC or were from such things as the monthly Microsoft Windows Malicious software removal tool update, which on my PC always seems to generate another entry into the list of programs shown by the Program Control button. I didn't notice how many there were before I started deleting lots of redundant or obsolete entries, but I now have &quot;219 programs secured for internet access&quot; according to the ZA Control Center.
    Is there a limit on the number of programs that can be &quot;secured?&quot;
    As it is now, back in &quot;normal startup&quot; mode, I can hit the Program Control button and survive it, although VSMON and ZAClient still gobble up those huge amounts of CPU cycles while the Program Control window is open.
    With the ZA Control Center window open or closed, VSMON is still **bleep**ing up 16 - 23% of the CPU while ZAClient is at 1 -2 %.
    Thanks very much for your suggestions. I have printed them out and will try them if I encounter this problem again.

  8. #8
    zaswing Guest

    Default Re: Free ZoneAlarm "freezes" when I click on the "Program Control" button

    That utilization still isn't correct. It's just too high. How do you determine it's vsom and not something else?
    Regarding the programs list - in theory you can throw them all away, or one by one, or using ctrl-click select many at one time.
    One thing I do is just click on the duplicates. Any in \temp folder I throw away. Most are dirt from old installers.
    Another way is to right-click program, check properties, ZA will tell you it's not there any more, so toss the line.
    I never used safe mode with networking, so can't quite follow exactly what you did, but whatever works sounds good to me.I use safe mode to do the reset of database (not much need for it in the version I use) and serious scans.

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