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Thread: ZoneAlarm 7.0.337.00 problems with external USB hard drive

  1. #1
    markflax Guest

    Default ZoneAlarm 7.0.337.00 problems with external USB hard drive

    Hi.

    Dell Dimension 8300, 3.0 GHz P4, 2 GB RAM, 220 GB hard disk in Raid 0 format, Freecom 320 GB external USB Hard drive.

    Last year I installed a Freecom external USB 320 GB hard drive, formatted and partitioned it and have been using it steadily ever since. I only turn it on when I need it, (perhaps once a week), and I use XP's "Safely Remove Hardware" icon in the System Tray to close it down before I turn it off.

    Yesterday when I turned it on my ZA and network icons in the System Tray froze, although my internet access continued working, (I was listening to internet radio at the time and that continued to work). When I right clicked the ZA icon the pop up window was white and blank. When I double clicked the icon to open the ZA program window all I got was a white, blank window.

    I was able to access the external hard drive and copy files across to it, but access and copying was slower. When I checked the Task Manager > Performance tab, I saw the CPU maxing out at 100% and in the Processes tab, vsmon and zlclient were each taking 40% to 50% of CPU time.

    I couldn't close either of the blank windows, and when I tried to stop the USB drive through Safely Remove Hardware, it told me the process had failed.

    All I could do was to turn off the USB drive, (something I was very nervous of doing), and reboot the system. When I did, the ZA Program window opened up fully.

    I have started the USB drive twice since and got the same results.

    Is this something anyone has heard of? If so, any advice what is happening and what I can do to resolve it?

    I only use ZA Pro as a firewall. Both the anti-virus and anti-spyware are disabled. I have separate anti-virus, (AVG Pro), and anti-spyware, (Windows Defender, AVG Anti-Spyware and Spybot S&D), and have scanned with all with no infections found.

    Hope someone here can help.

    Many thanks,

    Mark

    Operating System:Windows XP Pro
    Product Name:ZoneAlarm Pro
    Software Version:7.0

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Mikado Michigan
    Posts
    2,596

    Default Re: ZoneAlarm 7.0.337.00 problems with external USB hard drive

    Does your external drive have drivers for it?
    My homes are SpywareHammer.com and DonHoover.net and BleepingComputer.com


    Consumer Security - 2011 & 2012

    Tilting at windmills hurts you more than the windmills.
    -From the Notebooks of Lazarus Long
    Senior of the Howard Families

  3. #3
    markflax Guest

    Default Re: ZoneAlarm 7.0.337.00 problems with external USB hard drive

    Hi, thanks for your response and I'm sorry for the delay in replying. I thought I had set my post to email me when replies were posted.

    You asked if my external USB hd has drivers.

    Yes. They are Microsoft drivers as follows;

    C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\disk.sys
    C:\Widows\System32\Drivers\PartMgr.sys and
    C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\Snapman.sys

    Does that help?

    I had thought that the drivers would have been installed from the FreeCom CD that came with the drive, but it seems these are Microsoft generic drivers.

    I had to temporarily turn off ZA and turn on the Windows Firewall to access the hardware details from My Computer, otherwise the cpu would have maxed out again.

    Mark

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Mikado Michigan
    Posts
    2,596

    Default Re: ZoneAlarm 7.0.337.00 problems with external USB hard drive

    Look in ZA and see if these three show up in the program list, and if they do, make sure they have TRUSTED (not internet) Zone server rights.
    My homes are SpywareHammer.com and DonHoover.net and BleepingComputer.com


    Consumer Security - 2011 & 2012

    Tilting at windmills hurts you more than the windmills.
    -From the Notebooks of Lazarus Long
    Senior of the Howard Families

  5. #5
    markflax Guest

    Default Re: ZoneAlarm 7.0.337.00 problems with external USB hard drive

    Thanks again.

    None of those three, disk.sys, partmgr.exe or snapman.sys occur in either the Programs listing or the Components listing of ZA.

    I think I may have to uninstall ZA and re-install it whilst my external drive is turned on. Perhaps that way it will see the drive as a normal component of my system.

    Mark

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Mikado Michigan
    Posts
    2,596

    Default Re: ZoneAlarm 7.0.337.00 problems with external USB hard drive

    Have you tried rebooting the machine while the drive is plugged in and turned on?
    My homes are SpywareHammer.com and DonHoover.net and BleepingComputer.com


    Consumer Security - 2011 & 2012

    Tilting at windmills hurts you more than the windmills.
    -From the Notebooks of Lazarus Long
    Senior of the Howard Families

  7. #7
    markflax Guest

    Default That worked!

    Well that seemed to work Hoov.

    I powered down the PC, waited a few seconds, turned on the external drive, (although it has its own power source the LED didn't turn on until I switched the PC back on), turned the PC on and loaded Windows.

    When everything was loaded I checked the Task Manager. CPU Usage in the Performance tab was spiking between 100%, 80%, 60%, then gradually leveled off to between 0 and 3%. In Processes vsmon.exe and zlclient.exe were hopping around between 40 and 50%, but they're now down to 0% and just above occasionally.

    Everything works, Windows Explorer accesses and lists my partitions, folders and files in the external without any delay, and there is no slow down in performance anywhere that I can see.

    Nice one m8. Thank you very much.

    I will have to see if turning the drive off using the Safely Remove Hardware icon, and then turning it back on again causes any spiking or other problems, but I think I will leave that for another time.

    Thanks again.

    Mark

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Mikado Michigan
    Posts
    2,596

    Default Re: That worked!

    You areWelcome
    My homes are SpywareHammer.com and DonHoover.net and BleepingComputer.com


    Consumer Security - 2011 & 2012

    Tilting at windmills hurts you more than the windmills.
    -From the Notebooks of Lazarus Long
    Senior of the Howard Families

  9. #9
    markflax Guest

    Default Re: I may have rejoiced too soon.

    I've just turned on the external drive again and watched the Task Manager max out at 100% cpu usage for vsmon.exe and zlclient.exe sharing the resources. I tried to shut down ZA from the System Tray but all I got on right clicking the icon was a white blank window. I waited for 10 minutes or so to see if anything changed, but it didn't, so I had to reboot again.

    I was able to turn off the external using the Safely Remove Hardware icon this time, and one thing I did notice in the Task Manager was, as soon as it was turned off, the Process list reduced by one process. I didn't get the chance to see which one, but if it is something to do with the external I will try again, see which process it is, and see if I can put that in ZA's Trusted Zone.

    But that's for another day, perhaps in a day or two.

    Mark

  10. #10
    markflax Guest

    Default Hoov, I finally found the problem

    After all this time I've got it working OK.

    This is the new version of ZA Pro and in the upgrade process either I missed the option to retain my settings from the old, or the question wasn't asked. I suspect the former.

    I've just realized that both the Anti-Virus and Anti-Spyware options were on. I normally disable these as I use other utilities. But with them both on, as soon as I turned on the external drive they both jumped into action and started scanning all the files on the external. Obviously not an ideal situation as they were competing not only against each other, but for RAM and CPU time.

    Problem solved, I disabled them both, turned on the USB drive, and Voila! No hang ups, no screen freezes.

    Thanks for your advice and options Hoov.

    Mark

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