Placing Blame Correctly

Can’t believe how long it’s been since my last blog post! I’ve really no idea where the days are going at the moment

I’ve had a few problems with my work PC recently. It becomes very unresponsive and gets progressively worse during the day

I fired up the trusty task manger and the CPU was at 100% usage

I switched to the Processes tab and sorted the list so i could see which process was causing the problem

At the top of the list were various Trend services (We use Worry Free Business Security – I’m not a fan of the product name to be honest!)

When i stopped the Trend client the CPU usage went down and back up when i started it again

I trawled various online resources to see if could get to the bottom of it with very little luck

I was planning on submitting a support case with Trend but decided to have one last go myself

This time i looked a bit closer at the process list a saw multiple entries for TASKENG.EXE

The total process count was at 2675 – that couldn’t be right

I knew that TASKENG is the Vista task scheduler so had a look in there

Turns out this is a pretty common problem and it’s simple to fix (it’s in various different blog posts and forums)

  • Go to the start menu.

  • Type task scheduler and press enter.

  • Press continue on the UAC prompt.

  • In the left pane of task scheduler, right-click on Task Scheduler Library.

  • In the view submenu, make sure the Show Hidden Tasks option is selected.

  • The hidden task that is likely at fault has a name that starts with User_Feed_Synchronization.

  • Select the scheduled task

  • To verify that this task is creating all the taskeng.exe processes, select the History tab in the middle pane near the middle of the screen.  If you expand out the Level and Date and Time Columns, you should see errors and that are about 5 minutes apart.  If that’s the case, then this task is the problem.

  • Right click the task and select Disable.

image

Obviously this will stop your RSS feeds from updating (the Windows list – this has nothing to do with Outlook 2007)

If you do want to use your RSS feed list you can also try deleting the task and then from an elevated command prompt enter

msfeedssync enable

This will re-create the task for you if the problem with causing by the task being corrupt

Once I’d deleted the task i used

TASKKILL /IM TASKENG.EXE /F

This killed off all the extra processes that had been created. I know i could have just rebooted the PC but it was a nice feeling watching them all disappear

My process count went down to 67 and the system suddenly got a lot more responsive

A did eventually reboot and Trend started up happily without taking too many of my system resources

My guess is that Trend became overwhelmed with trying to monitor so many processes which why it was the one that initially seemed to be the cause of the problem

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Andy Parkes is Technical Director at Coventry based IT support company IBIT Solutions. Formerly, coordinator of AMITPRO and Microsoft Partner Area Lead for 2012-2013. He also isn't a fan of describing himself in the third person.

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1 thought on “Placing Blame Correctly

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