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Thread: Recent performane issues

  1. #1
    hyndman Guest

    Default Recent performane issues

    I have been running ZoneAlarm Security suite for a few months now and sometime over the past week or so have noticed an order of magnitude slowdown in the time it takes applications to launch on my PC.

    Have others noticed this problem? Could it be related to ZoneAlarm's on-access scanning? Perhaps due to new and more complex rules in a recent update?

    As a side note I have a fairly high end PC - AMD X2 4200+ and am running XP Pro/SP2.

    Thanks for any help.

    Operating System:Windows XP Pro
    Product Name:ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite
    Software Version:6.0

  2. #2
    billc Guest

    Default Re: Recent performane issues

    If it recently started the slow-down, I'd first ask if you have cleaned your machine of cache, temp files, etc. and run a defrag of recent?

  3. #3
    hyndman Guest

    Default Re: Recent performane issues

    Yes, I have run a recent defrag - but we are talking about a much more noticable slowdown than just gradual fragmentation. There is a huge pause before apps launch (it seems like only the first time an app is launched after a reboot, after that it is pretty much normal). I have three computers here and I've only noticed it on this one system.

    Any ideas?

  4. #4
    billc Guest

    Default Re: Recent performane issues

    You said it seems to be mostly present just after a reboot. If you have a lot of programs loading at boot and then try to open one too quickly after boot, it is not unusual for the system to be slow; resources are being used then. Try an experiment. Reboot your computer, wait about 3 or 4 minutes and then see if opening a program seems slow. I'd also suggest you check to see how many programs are loading at boot in your configuration utility (msconfig). I'm not at all sure ZA is causing this behavior.

  5. #5
    hyndman Guest

    Default Re: Recent performane issues

    Not a bad thought, but I mean the first time I run an app after a reboot - it doesn't matter how long after. So if I re-boot and then wait an hour for everything to settle down... and then launch mspaint it takes 10 seconds to load. A month ago and on my other systems (which are older and should be slower) it would start virtually instantly.

    Further evidence:

    I start with the system idle (CPU usage at 0%, no disk access etc.). Then I try to launch a small app like calc or mspaint. During the 10 second period it takes to launch the app task manager indicates vsmon.exe is using ~6% of my X2 4200+ CPU -- which makes it the highest CPU user (not including System Idle Process). After a number of seconds vsmon.exe drops back to 0% and the app appears. This weird delay applies to all applications including little things like the task manager, but only on the first run. After that they start normally.

    It seems to me like there is some kind of performance bug in vsmon.exe during its first on-access scan of the exe. I'm assuming that it then caches the results and doesn't scan again because the delay goes away on the second launch.

    I wonder if there could be some kind of threading bug related to my dual core CPU? I'm running XP Pro BTW.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Recent performane issues

    Have you tried shutting down or uninstalling Zonealarm to see if performance is improved?

  7. #7
    hyndman Guest

    Default Re: Recent performane issues

    Yes. Shutting down ZoneAlarm fixes the performance problem. When I start it up the problem returns. However, it seems that the Enabling/Disabling On-Access scanning doesn't affect things. I guess it must have something to do with the program control/firewall part of ZoneAlarm.

  8. #8
    billc Guest

    Default Re: Recent performane issues

    I see you've done your sleuthing. So I'm beginning to agree with you about a ZA glitch of some nature. I can tell you once you tell ZA to allow access to a program with a ? next to it, then it will always allow access to that program until you reboot. It almost seems as if ZA is checking to see the status of a program when you first open it and then will not check again if you open it again. I'm not sure what is causing this behavior, but my belief is that either a database reset or fresh installation might very well fix it.

    If you'd like to try a database reset first, here's how; you will lose your customizations and will need to reconfigure Zone Alarm.

    1. Boot your computer into the Safe Mode. {Instructions if needed}
    2. Navigate to the c:\windows\internet logs folder.
    3. Delete the backup.rdb and iamdb.rdb files in the folder.
    4.Reboot into the normal mode.

  9. #9
    hyndman Guest

    Default Re: Recent performane issues

    Thank you very much. Resetting the ZoneAlarm database seems to have solved the problem.

  10. #10
    dmolldude Guest

    Default Re: Recent performane issues

    I too had this problem and the database removal process cleared it up.
    My Zonealarm Antivirus as been installed only about 2 weeks or so.
    Can we contact somebody in Zone Labs about this to register it as a problem?

    OS: Windows XP Pro SP2

    Single-CPU Intel Pentium 4 with Hyperthreading

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