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Thread: Browser hang 3-5 min, heavy HDD activity, heavy send/receive

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  1. #1
    kaleopono Guest

    Default Browser hang 3-5 min, heavy HDD activity, heavy send/receive

    For months there has been frequent (several times/day) instances where my system seemingly hangs for 3-5 minutes, during which time there is more-or-less continual hard drive activity plus my cable modem shows nearly constant send/receive activity. By 'hang' I mean that the browser (either Internet Explorer or Firefox) will not respond to any commands during the period; and any other program I'm in will be extremely sluggish, waiting 30 seconds or so to respond. This is far too much foreground activity for automatic updating, which happens in the background and interferes only slightly with my work (if at all). Zone Alarm Extreme Security scans do not detect any virus/trojan/worm. I do not find any unexpected events in the Zone Alarm logs. I think this is the sort of behavior that would occur if my system has been commandeered by a very sophisticated, 'stealth' spammer or other malevolent actor. I am clueless about how to troubleshoot this situation, and will appreciate expert assistance. I am an experienced PC user, but not deeply knowledgeable about this sort of thing. Aloha.

  2. #2
    garywa Guest

    Default Re: Browser hang 3-5 min, heavy HDD activity, heavy send/receive

    Open Windows Task Manager and leave it minimized. The next time the problem occurs, look in Task Manager to see what Processes are using the most CPU cycles and post the name(s) back here.

  3. #3
    kaleopono Guest

    Default Re: Browser hang 3-5 min, heavy HDD activity, heavy send/receive

    Typically, though not inexorably all, of these processes are involved in the lathargic system responsiveness:
    task manager
    iexplore
    zlclient
    search indexer
    explorer
    vsmon
    lasass
    ISWSVC
    svchost
    system idle (minimal)
    ISWMGR
    InCD
    InCDsrv

    Typically, I can do nothing else except wait for the system for 4-5 minutes. Irritating.

    I have concluded that this behavior is largely a result of the operation of ZoneAlarm Extreme Security. When I open and use the unprotected browser, there is a very marked improvement in my user experience (less wasted time). I don't know what other intercepts Extreme Security defaults to, though I suspect these also interfere somewhat with system performance. Maybe it would have less impact with a current technology system having a really fast CPU, few circuitry choke points, and a high-end PCI graphics processor with lots of onboard memory. I'm building a workstation that's closer to those specs; however, the system I'm using now has two Pentium 4 2.4 GHz CPUs on an obsolete SuperMicro server motherboard, and an nVidia GeForce 6800 GS AGP graphics adapter with only 256 bit onboard memory.

    I have decided to revert to the standard Zone Alarm Security Suite when my Extreme Security license expires the end of this month (February 2010), and hopefully will then experience consistently much less wasted time while trying to get real work done!

  4. #4
    redkite Guest

    Default Re: Browser hang 3-5 min, heavy HDD activity, heavy send/receive

    I have similar problem - I have tried to trap the culprit with Task Manager, but that has also been frozen. All that seems to work is the cursor. What I have observed is that the ZA icon in my tray has the white arrow ON indicating an update in progress - when the arrow goes OFF the system frees up again.
    Any ideas would be welcome

    TIA

    Red

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    The 3rd Coast - South Central Texas
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    Smile Re: Browser hang 3-5 min, heavy HDD activity, heavy send/receive

    Quote Originally Posted by redkite View Post
    I have similar problem - I have tried to trap the culprit with Task Manager, but that has also been frozen. All that seems to work is the cursor. What I have observed is that the ZA icon in my tray has the white arrow ON indicating an update in progress - when the arrow goes OFF the system frees up again.
    Any ideas would be welcome

    TIA

    Red
    If you have a ZA License Key for one of the Paid versions,
    Please click on the ZA Tech Support Live chat link in my signature..
    GeorgeV
    ZoneAlarm® Extreme Security


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

  6. #6
    kaleopono Guest

    Default Re: Browser hang 3-5 min, heavy HDD activity, heavy send/receive

    I declined to renew Extreme Security, and bought ZoneAlarm Security Suite instead. There is less obtrusive foreground action that locks my system; however, the behavior has not altogether disappeared. Sometimes, the user interface aspects of my Windows XP Pro operating system freeze: the cursor freezes at whatever its position is, and I can no longer use the mouse and pointer to control what's going on. The system works with keystrokes, though. There is periodic HDD activity, it seems like something is going on, there is occasional send/receive activity; sometimes, this condition has persisted for hours, and I have finally interrupted it by forcing a reboot through Task Manager or, if I'm really pissed off, the hard reset button! Is there any way to debug this, ZoneAlarm tech staff monitoring this forum? (I am finding this method of obtaining support very cumbersome and very unfruitful.)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    The 3rd Coast - South Central Texas
    Posts
    10,465

    Smile Re: Browser hang 3-5 min, heavy HDD activity, heavy send/receive

    Quote Originally Posted by kaleopono View Post
    I declined to renew Extreme Security, and bought ZoneAlarm Security Suite instead., ZoneAlarm tech staff monitoring this forum? (I am finding this method of obtaining support very cumbersome and very unfruitful.)
    We are All Users here in this user Forum, Tech Support and Customer Service to not Monitor this forum..

    as a User of the paid products, you may contact ZA Tech Support Live Chat Directly..

    Click on the Support link in my signature..
    GeorgeV
    ZoneAlarm® Extreme Security


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

  8. #8
    michaelgregg Guest

    Angry Re: Browser hang 3-5 min, heavy HDD activity, heavy send/receive

    I am having the same issue. I have ZoneAlarm Extreme, and many times during the day, the icon in the system tray shows the UP arrow, and my system completely freezes for several minutes.

    It will eventually come back, so I can use it again, but this is a major pain.

    I did not see this before I posted:

    http://forums.zonealarm.com/showthre...834#post279834

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    The 3rd Coast - South Central Texas
    Posts
    10,465

    Default Re: Browser hang 3-5 min, heavy HDD activity, heavy send/receive

    Quote Originally Posted by michaelgregg View Post
    I am having the same issue. I have ZoneAlarm Extreme, and many times during the day, the icon in the system tray shows the UP arrow, and my system completely freezes for several minutes.

    It will eventually come back, so I can use it again, but this is a major pain.

    I did not see this before I posted:

    http://forums.zonealarm.com/showthre...834#post279834
    the icon in the system tray shows the UP arrow,
    this has always been there in previous versions..

    The up arrow indicate check for "Anti-Virus Update"
    The Spy-glass icon, indicates Scan for Virus in progress..

    Click on Anti-Virus / Anti-Spyware
    Click Advanced Option
    Click Updates

    http://forum.zonealarm.com/showthread.php?t=72655
    Last edited by GeorgeV; June 2nd, 2010 at 03:54 AM. Reason: typo
    GeorgeV
    ZoneAlarm® Extreme Security


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

  10. #10
    michaelgregg Guest

    Default Re: Browser hang 3-5 min, heavy HDD activity, heavy send/receive

    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeV View Post
    the icon in the system tray shows the UP arrow,
    this has always been their in previous versions..

    The up arrow indicate check for "Anri-Virus Update"
    The Spy-glass icon, indicates Scan for Virus in progress..

    Click on Anti-Virus / Anti-Spyware
    Click Advanced Option
    Click Updates

    http://forum.zonealarm.com/showthread.php?t=72655
    Yes, I know what the UP arrow means, but every time it goes to check for updates, etc, it freezes my system for a couple minutes.

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