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  1. #1
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Vista's 'Task Engine' (Ultimate)

    You'll see that I have a clip from the SysInternals Process Explorer attached to the post, showing two instances of the TaskEng.Exe program which is evidently the Vista task scheduler program. I'd like to find out to start with if anyone can tell me how to take the next step and find out what programs are using those two entries. Here's the story and I'll try to make it brief.

    In the short time I've had Vista I've had at least three occasions in Firefox where I've not been able to browse any URLs - I just get timeouts. I think I may have mentioned this in another post, but that's not important. One time when it happened, I was able to close Fx and re-start and the problem went away. But other times, like this morning, I get a warning from Vista that Fx is still running and unresponsive. So, I opened Task Manager and attempt to abort the Firefox.Exe "process." Nothing happens, at all, no screen reaction, no messages, nada. I then tried to logoff or shutdown, and again NOTHING happens - it's as if I never clicked the selection. The desktop screen is still present and reactive except that I can't restart Fx or shutdown.

    Well, this morning I waited long enough (must've been 5 or 10 minutes!) and FINALLY the shutdown process continued, preceded by a lightning quick error message on a BLACK screen that I wasn't expecting and barely had time to discern "some" of the writing. It seems that the delay(s) I was experiencing were caused by the non-responsiveness of TASKENG.EXE which I easily find out is the Task Scheduler program. Since this is such a sporadic happening, it's no telling when it will come up again. I DO have ONE scheduled task that I "administer" and that's my nightly ShadowProtect incremental backup image. BUT, and this is a big "but" and where Firefox possibly comes in. I have MANY software programs that check "home" for updates, such as Fx, and I don't know if one of them is barfing on me or not. I mention this because of the fact that it has happened more than once while I was running Fx (earlier, version 2.x and now 3.x - I AM up to date).

    Comments or advice very welcome!
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  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Vista's 'Task Engine' (Ultimate)

    Additional to my post. Well, it just happened again a short time ago! I was reading news pages in Firefox and all of a sudden, NO URLs would render. I tried several, including The Lounge. So, I closed Fx and opened IE - same result. However, my connectivity is not "gone" for I was able to run MailWasher to check whether I have any email or not. I could also ping from a command prompt.

    This time I opened Task Manager and went directly to the two instances of TASKENG.EXE, closing each when I got there - successfully. But still Fx and IE would not run or render any web pages. And Fx would not terminate from the Task Manager screen, or not at least while I waited for it to do so. I once again shutdown and am now running XP...

  3. #3
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Vista's 'Task Engine' (Ultimate)

    Does Re: Solved: 1055 spawned taskeng.exe threads... shed any light? (Note the mention of an option to show hidden tasks, and of User_Feed_Synchronization tasks scheduled to run frequently).

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Vista's 'Task Engine' (Ultimate)

    Thanks, Hans. I'll have to go back to Vista's Task Scheduler and check those two points.

  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Vista's 'Task Engine' (Ultimate)

    Wow, this is gonna take a lot more analysis than I imagined, unless of course MS comes out with another Vista patch that mentions the Task Engine. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>

    That Task Scheduler is one busy place! In the Active Tasks window my system has 23 tasks running, including 6 hidden ones that I displayed per your suggestion. I don't have any of the "feed" variety mentioned in the link, so I believe mine to be a separate issue, whatever it is. Some of the active tasks are known to me, but VERY FEW - such as SpywareBlaster's autoupdate which I'm into. But the vast majority mean absolutely nothing to me, like "Convert Log Entries" or "MP Scheduled Scan." There's even a couple having to do with remote assistance but I'm not gonna bother anything with as little knowledge as I currently have.

    What I AM going to do, since this seems to happen when I'm running FIREFOX, is turn off its updating notices in hopes of stopping Fx from trying to "phone home." I think this is very far-fetched but I don't really know where else to start.
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  6. #6
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Vista's 'Task Engine' (Ultimate)

    Continuing my Googling... This looks like it might be a "long-standing" Firefox in Vista issue, so I'm going to post a cross reference in the Browsers forum.

    Some old hits: More on the Firefox hangups

    And some pretty new: Firefox 3 on Vista Hanging Problem

  7. #7
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Vista's 'Task Engine' (Ultimate)

    I'm beginning to wish now that I had locked this thread and switched the discussion to the Browsers Forum (my locked thread <post:=722,777>post 722,777</post:>). This "hangup in rendering pages" problem has become an every day thing for ME lately and it seems, according to the referenced links and more Googling, that I'm not alone.

    I'm thinking NOW that the finger points toward Firefox and NOT Vista as I previously thought. I've been running the machine for 24 hours using ONLY the latest IE as my browser and that includes some surfing today by my son. Not the first bit of problem. Tomorrow, I'll go back to Fx and see if I get more "crap outs" again. (Please don't tell me to switch to IE - I'm not up for that just yet <img src=/S/evilgrin.gif border=0 alt=evilgrin width=15 height=15> )

  8. #8
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Vista's 'Task Engine' (Ultimate)

    Continuing my soliloquy of the month... <img src=/S/blush.gif border=0 alt=blush width=15 height=15>

    I started a thread at the MozillaZine Forums ( Firefox - Vista Hangups ) toward the end of which I mentioned that I was going to try running Fx in Vista after changing its Properties to run in XP Compatibility Mode. After my morning hangup, I did just that in late afternoon. I ran Fx in that way up until about 7 PM and when I knew the Lounge backup time was approaching, I booted back to XP and went to the TV for the rest of the evening.

    I'm presently continuing my test of Fx in XP Compatibility Mode and don't have any idea what good it will do me if it succeeds. It still won't answer the question of whether the conflict is in Fx or Vista. But, I'll try anyway.

  9. #9
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Vista's 'Task Engine' (Ultimate)

    This is the last I'm gonna say about this in The Lounge since no one else seems to have the problem I do. I CANNOT RUN FIREFOX WHILE IN VISTA ULTIMATE, PERIOD! It hangs (as opposed to crashing) and will not respond.

    I have posted several times in the thread at the Mozilla forums with only a comment or two there. BUT, I've done extensive reading of a number of posts on those boards with problems like or similar to mine. I've followed a lot of links to all kinds of stuff, none of which has made this significant problem go away.

    Now, this afternoon, my last and grudging change is, after reading a gawd-awful number of zingers about Zone Alarm, including Woody's, I have REMOVED ZA from my Vista installation and that act, as you probably know, turns back on the Vista firewall. As I write this, I am running Vista, AND Firefox and will do so for the rest of the evening and tomorrow if necessary to draw a conclusion about ZA. Any further comments from me will be in the Mozilla forums.

  10. #10
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    Re: Vista's 'Task Engine' (Ultimate)

    Al,
    Is this ZA the <img src=/S/free.gif border=0 alt=free width=30 height=15> or the Pro version?

    I am running the <img src=/S/free.gif border=0 alt=free width=30 height=15> version on Vista but I do NOT use FireFox. I would think that if it is not working with ZA then FireFox or some component of it is being blocked by ZA. Have you checked ALL entries in the "Programs" area for any blocking and/or asking entries?
    At one time I had a component of a CAD program that was blocked and it would NOT let the program run. The component name did NOT give me a clue that it was connected to the CAD program.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  11. #11
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Vista's 'Task Engine' (Ultimate)

    Al,
    As you know, we both got Vista around the same time. While I don't use Firefox, I DID note some problems running ZA with Vista. I don't recall just what the zingers were but I ended up removing ZA and using the MS firewall. All seems OK with that mode. ZA claimed to have Vista compatibility fixed in their latest update but I didn't find that to be so. ( at least on my setup )

    I still do use ZA while running in XP and all is fine and dandy with XP. So maybe that's the way to go for you too?
    BOB
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  12. #12
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    Re: Vista's 'Task Engine' (Ultimate)

    We have been using ZA <img src=/S/free.gif border=0 alt=free width=30 height=15> on our Vista machines (Version 7.1.254.000) now for about a week and have NOT had any issues.

    But none of these machine have FireFox on them.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  13. #13
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Vista's 'Task Engine' (Ultimate)

    Yeah Dave, I've looked at every entry in the ZA logs and program control window. As far as I can tell, there has been NO blocks of Firefox, and "Firefox is Firefox" - there isn't any strange-name file that ZA could be blocking. As noted, I also have run IE without incident, so the hangs are associated only with Firefox.

    Since you also had a thread on this, Dave, I am running the ZA free version 7.1.254 and as I remember, you were having a problem with some other version. What did you end up installing? It may very well be the 254 version that has this problem. Edited: forget the question. I see your post to Viking.

  14. #14
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    Re: Vista's 'Task Engine' (Ultimate)

    You do know that the Windows Firewall is capable of controlling outbound activity also, don't you? See Control Panel | System and Maintenance | Administrative Tools | Windows Firewall with Advanced Security.

    NOTE: Controlling outbound activity with the Windows Firewall is NOT particularly easy to figure out. There are links in the Resources section of the center section when you first open the firewall. I'd STRONGLY recommend reading them.

    Joe
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  15. #15
    Bronze Lounger
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    Re: Vista's 'Task Engine' (Ultimate)

    I have found that it can be useful to uninstall Firefox and then re-install a fresh download of it after a modest passage of time and cleanup. A second trick is to switch your default browser from one to the other once in a while, if only to compare them in your own mind and, who knows, keep them competitive.

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