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Thread: SOLUTION: High I/O Read Byte levels

  1. #1
    powerhouse Guest

    Default SOLUTION: High I/O Read Byte levels

    ATTENTION: If you have this problem, read the solution at the bottom of post.

    I have discovered a flaw that has been in the Zone Alarm Security Suite for over two years. Up until three weeks ago, I was using an older computer. (p4 2.6 ghz, 1 gb of mem, etc.). There have been several occasions within the past two years where I have downloaded and opened .exe files or auto zip files bigger than 1gb. On these occasions I would notice that Windows Explorer would hang for several minutes. When control got returned, the computer would from that point forward become permanently slow. Programs would take minutes to open, shutdowns would take over 10minutes, opening files was a problem. The first time, I thought maybe I had a virus of some sort so I did a scan which turned up nothing. I tried multiple scanners but still found no Trojans, viruses, or malware. After trying several other fixes, I gave up and reformatted. The computer returned to a healthy state and I concluded that the problem must have been a windows related error. After another few months I had the same exact problem caused by the same exact method.

    At this point, I checked my hard drives. One of them was failing. I was able to save my data onto a new hardrive but figured another reformat couldn t hurt. Now, running off a brand new hard drive I figured that would be the end of my troubles. Much to my dismay, the problem returned a few months later, again after opening a large exe. Now I was getting desperate. I did a full system diagnostic but that found nothing wrong. Not knowing what to do, I reformatted for the unth time knowing that it would at least get me a few months of peace. Shortly after, my motherboard died and so I replaced it. The problem persisted.

    The cycle continued, and each time I reformatted it went away. Two weeks ago, the problem returned. After pulling hairs for hours trying to finally figure out once and for all what was wrong I realized it had been Zone Alarm. Task manager showed Vsmon.exe as making over 2,000,000,000 I/O Read Bytes per minute at startup. Opening programs added another billion. Closing them did too. Basically any action caused a spike in I/O reads. I couldn t even get into Program Manager to uninstall Zone Alarm so I tried the next best thing, and downloaded an update from the site. I chose upgrade and let it do its thing. Upon rebooting it was obvious that this had no effect

    I then went into Safe Mode to uninstall from there. After several attempts I was able to get it off. When I rebooted everything was back to normal. My computer ran like it was brand new. I still loved Zone Alarm so I reinstalled it. Still, everything was fine.

    Fast forward to now. I built a new computer and scraped my old hard drive. I didn t reformat but this wasn t a problem, everything worked smoothly.

    Two hours ago I wanted to install a new program. The file was over 1gb. I figured that it should be no problem for my new machine, regardless of Zone Alarm. This was a big mistake. The computer has clearly degenerated now. Its not as bad as my old one when it had this problem but it is still noticeably slower. Here is a picture from Task Manager and Process Explorer to show the problem.

    http://img135.imageshack.us/my.php?i...roblem1jx4.jpg

    I m going to wait before I reinstall Zone Alarm in case any further analysis is required.

    Just to recap:
    1. The problem stems from opening a file greater than 1gb on Windows XP.
    2. Windows Explorer will hang for some time and then the exe will appear.
    3. Zone Alarm will now permanently have high I/O read bytes.
    4. Upgrading Zone Alarm will not fix the problem.
    5. Only a full uninstall and clean install will fix it.


    My current Specs:
    Windows XP Pro Service Pack 3
    Asus P5E
    Intel E8400
    2gb Corsair Dominator ram
    Nvidia 8800GTS 512
    Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2ZS

    My old specs:
    Windows XP Pro Service Pack 2
    Asus P4-soemthing
    P4 2.6ghz
    1gb ram
    ATI X800Pro
    Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2ZS

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

    EDIT: Let me add that every time this problem occurs there are no performance hits other than a high I/O Read Byte. The CPU remains at low usage. The memory is never used up. Nothing apparent is wrong. That is why it took so long for me to figure out the cause. I/O Byte Read is not automatically enabled in task manager and requires you to edit the view settings in the column manager.

    UPDATE:
    The following workaround is available for this problem.
    Set Program Control > Main > SmartDefense Advisor to Manual. This offers the same protection as Auto, just with a few more popup windows initially.

    Credit: HammerNU

    EDIT (Sep 19, 2008): This problem still persists as of Version 8.0.020.000. It is related to the Smart Defense Advisor. The workaround for this bug is still functional. Lower your Smart Defense Advisor to "Manual" or "Off".

    Message Edited by Powerhouse on 06-03-2008 05:39 PM

    Message Edited by Powerhouse on 06-03-2008 05:41 PM

    Message Edited by Powerhouse on 06-03-2008 05:42 PM

    Message Edited by Powerhouse on 06-03-2008 09:56 PM

    Message Edited by Powerhouse on 09-19-2008 05:10 PM

  2. #2
    hammernu Guest

    Default Re: High I/O Read Byte levels

    I've had the exact same problem and have posted this numerous times but have never received a forum reply or confirmation. Here's the solution to the problem: set Program Control > Main > SmartDefense Advisor to Manual. Same protection as Auto, just a few more popup windows initially.

  3. #3
    powerhouse Guest

    Default Re: High I/O Read Byte levels

    I think that may have fixed it. I'm gonna use my computer for a little longer and I'll reply if it works 100%.

  4. #4
    thjackson Guest

    Default Re: High I/O Read Byte levels

    My problem is similar.
    I didn't edit task manager, but my disk access light would run continuously.
    The only difference is that on occasion (not every time)
    I would also have CPU usage max out at 100% for several minutes.
    I have substituted
    Windows Firewall for ZAP until this problem is solved. Not happy with that, but since I just renewed my ZAP subscription, I would like to get a solution.


  5. #5
    apgaz Guest

    Default Re: High I/O Read Byte levels

    Sigh, this was my exact problem as well!
    I had downloaded zip files over 1GB in size, each contained exe files that are also over 1GB in size, to my 2nd hard disk drive.
    That was about three weeks ago.
    And I began running into the exact same problems as described in the original post!
    It was only this HDD (out of the 4 internal HDDs in my system) that was exhibiting the high read I/O levels.
    I thought the HDD was going bad or something, so I went out and bought a replacement (needed more capacity anyway).
    To my dismay, I ran into the same problems again with the replacement HDD, that was yesterday (6/2).
    Now, I did notice the vsmon process going to 100% CPU utilization whenever I ran those exe files for a while (apparently to scan the file or something), and I started to suspect Zonealarm today.
    Did a google for "zonealarm large exe files", bingo, found this thread as the very first result.
    I'm just glad to know I'm not alone and that there's a workaround...but I'm disappointed in Zonealarm for not doing something about this already (given it has been reported a while ago).


  6. #6
    powerhouse Guest

    Default Re: High I/O Read Byte levels

    I'd like to confirm that, after a few weeks of testing, the work-around does actually work. Thanks for the help.

  7. #7
    powerhouse Guest

    Default Re: SOLUTION: High I/O Read Byte levels

    This bug is still in the product as of Version 8. It is now worse than before. Upon installing ZA ver8 it must have changed some settings back to default. Starting Windows normally resulted in a boot time in excess of 15 minutes. Starting in Safe Mode took more than 5. I was just able to change my smart defense advisor to off so maybe now I can use my computer again.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    The 3rd Coast - South Central Texas
    Posts
    10,461

    Default Re: SOLUTION: High I/O Read Byte levels


    <BLOCKQUOTE><HR>Powerhouse wrote:
    This bug is still in the product as of Version 8. It is now worse than before. Upon installing ZA ver8 it must have changed some settings back to default. Starting Windows normally resulted in a boot time in excess of 15 minutes. Starting in Safe Mode took more than 5. I was just able to change my smart defense advisor to off so maybe now I can use my computer again.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Please read this..http://forum.zonelabs.org/zonelabs/b...ssage.id=81278also,<H4 style="TEXT-ALIGN: center">ATTN: Having performance issues with recently installed 8.0.020.000?</H4><H4 style="TEXT-ALIGN: center">We have released a new beta which has performance fixes.</H4><H4 style="TEXT-ALIGN: center">Please download and give us your feedback good or bad.</H4><H3 style="TEXT-ALIGN: center">Feedback isto be given on the link below. Please read the entire page before downloading and installing.</H3><H4 style="TEXT-ALIGN: center">Your feedback is very helpful to us to fix and improve 8.0</H4><H4 style="TEXT-ALIGN: center">Click Here to Download 8.0.052.000Suite beta.</H4><H4 style="TEXT-ALIGN: center"></H4><H4 style="TEXT-ALIGN: center">--------------------------------------------------------
    My XP SP3 :
    ZoneAlarm Security Suite version:8.0.052.000 (32-Bit)
    TrueVector version:8.0.052.000
    Driver version:8.0.052.000
    Anti-virus engine version:6.0.2.678
    Anti-virus signature DAT file version:959613802
    Anti-spyware engine version:5.0.202.0
    Anti-spyware signature DAT file version:01.200809.4635
    AntiSpam version:5.0.61.9957</H4>
    GeorgeV
    ZoneAlarm® Extreme Security


    Click here for ZA Support
    Monday-Saturday__ 6am to 10pm Central time
    Closed Sundays and Holidays

  9. #9
    powerhouse Guest

    Default Re: SOLUTION: High I/O Read Byte levels

    Thank you but I don't think that this is the performance hit they are referring to.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    The 3rd Coast - South Central Texas
    Posts
    10,461

    Default Re: SOLUTION: High I/O Read Byte levels

    Here is the Latest Post by the Moderator..http://forum.zonelabs.org/zonelabs/b...ssage.id=81494You may want to Report your Problem Directly to ZA Tech Support.. www.zonealarm.com/tsform However there is Now a 4-5 Day waiting list to get a Replay..Good Luck..---------------------------------------
    My Vista Configuration:


    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    ZoneAlarm Security Suite version:8.0.052.000 (32-Bit)
    TrueVector version:8.0.052.000
    Driver version:8.0.052.000
    Anti-virus engine version:6.0.2.678
    Anti-virus signature DAT file version:959613802
    Anti-spyware engine version:5.0.202.0
    Anti-spyware signature DAT file version:01.200809.4635
    AntiSpam version:5.0.61.9957
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    Second Computer Vista Home Premium SP1 (32-Bit)
    ZoneAlarm Pro version:8.0.015.000
    TrueVector version:8.0.015.000
    Driver version:8.0.015.000
    Anti-spyware engine version:5.0.202.0
    Anti-spyware signature DAT file version:01.200809.4635
    A Vast 4.8 Anti-Virus Home Edition--------------------------------------------------------
    My XP SP3 :
    ZoneAlarm Security Suite version:8.0.052.000 (32-Bit)
    TrueVector version:8.0.052.000
    Driver version:8.0.052.000
    Anti-virus engine version:6.0.2.678
    Anti-virus signature DAT file version:959613802
    Anti-spyware engine version:5.0.202.0
    Anti-spyware signature DAT file version:01.200809.4635
    AntiSpam version:5.0.61.9957
    GeorgeV
    ZoneAlarm® Extreme Security


    Click here for ZA Support
    Monday-Saturday__ 6am to 10pm Central time
    Closed Sundays and Holidays

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