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  1. #1
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    TiWorker - Microsoft's malware

    How TiWorker.exe ate my computer and Mark Russinovich never told me about it.

    <Guitar chord> Sung with Hollywood-ish western accent

    OH, listen to my story and I'll tell you a tale,
    'Bout Microsoft malware on the Old Chisholm Trail.
    Come-a tee-eye-Worker, Yippie-ay, yippie-oh,
    Come-a TiWorker, I don't know.

    I deleted all the crapware that it had from the shop,
    But the day I tried to use it, it just came to a stop.
    Come-a T-I-Worker, Yippie-oh, Yippie-eee,
    Come-a T-I-Worker e-x-e.

    OK, it was the Santa Fe trail, but I WAS west of Pecos.
    Maybe not THE Pecos, but A Pecos, who's counting?

    <diatribe>
    Before I left home, I had posted a request here for help with a painfully slow HP Pavilion. The draggy-ness was episodic, but SOMETHING was eating my CPU cycles. I would click an icon and the window would often appear minutes later. I'm a clever fellow and refused to let Windows 8 defeat me but I'm clearly I'm not THAT clever because it did!

    With Russinovich's Process Explorer cycling through "CPU-hogs" every second, Procexp kept showing about 50% System Idle with nothing unexpected. I then tried working on some text using Scrivener and it got to the point that I would type a couple of letters or just try to insert the cursor in a line, and the rolling circle would roll and roll from 30 seconds to five minutes.

    When I looked, Procexp was frozen showing more than 50% System Idle. A process that wouldn't be explored had seized complete control of my computer.

    Half-way up a mountain the next day, I remembered that I could repair the OS, so I did! Fortunately, the motel had a network in the lobby (my room was in a WiFi hole!) and that's where I went when the box needed to talk to Microsoft. Eventually, it came back to me and, just for the hell of it, I opened Procexp. HALF of the CPU cycles were taken up by something called "TiWorker.exe" that I had NEVER heard of before. Using one of the nearby public computers, I found out that TiWorker is part of Win8 update and that I was not alone in having lost my computer to its evil clutches.

    Prior to the rebuild, TiWorker never showed up as a running process in Procexp. Immediately after the rebuild, (no reboot) TiWorker was the main CPU user. It was gone after a cold reboot in Santa Fe but it was back when I booted the Pavilion this morning in Tucson claiming as much as 75% of the CPU.
    </diatribe>

    I do not know this for a fact but I suspect that TiWorker is the reason my HP Pavilion has never seemed to work right. I was so frustrated last winter fighting with it while on a trip that I ordered a copy of Win7 to be sent to my home but, thinking myself clever, never installed it (I rarely turn the Pavilion on at home). Procexp shows that TiWorker is still a major player on my computer even after a recovery. In Santa Fe, I clicked on one of those "Clean up TiWorker" sites but the bastards wanted $30 and I wanted Windows 8 gone!

    Now I'm in a quandary. Replace Win8 with the Win7 I'm familiar with? Keep Win8 if I can get some advice about killing TiWorker dead, dead, DEAD! I'm open to suggestions.
    Dan Lynch
    The stonecherub

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  3. #2
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    The saga continues .....

    Preparing to put Windows 7 on my HP Pavilion that lacks a DVD drive, I am trying to put the win 7 home iso I just got from Digital River on a flash drive using rufus 1.4.9 but keep (as in, two successive downloads of the iso) getting an "iso extraction error" fault.

    This is not something I do every day or even every year. What now?
    Dan Lynch
    The stonecherub

  4. #3
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    There is a workaround for the TiWorker issue in Windows 8. Open an administrators level command prompt and run the command,

    DISM /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth

    It may take a while to run to completion, but it should resolve the issue.
    Create a new drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "Let them that don't want it have memories of not gettin' any." "Gratitude is riches and complaint is poverty and the worst I ever had was wonderful." Brother Dave Gardner "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else." Sir Thomas Robert Deware. "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?" Captain Jack Sparrow.
    Unleash Windows

  5. #4
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    It isn't just that I don't know how to open an administrators command prompt but I don't even know how to look for such a thing in windows 8. I realize that, in a certain sense, 8 is "safer" than 7 but my experience with it has been mostly bad.
    Dan Lynch
    The stonecherub

  6. #5
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    Easiest way to get an administrator command prompt:
    Hit Windows Key +x to get the power users task menu
    Click on Command prompt (Admin)

    Jerry

  7. #6
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    Thanks, Jerry, I got the admin command prompt only to find that "the online /cleanup-image /restorehealth option is unknown." DISM help is no help.

    It's looking more and more like windows 7 is tha answer. Now, if I could only get the install files on a flash drive.
    Dan Lynch
    The stonecherub

  8. #7
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Are you sure you typed the command and switches in correctly? I'm running the tool now.

    DISM online cleanup-image.PNG
    Create a new drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "Let them that don't want it have memories of not gettin' any." "Gratitude is riches and complaint is poverty and the worst I ever had was wonderful." Brother Dave Gardner "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else." Sir Thomas Robert Deware. "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?" Captain Jack Sparrow.
    Unleash Windows

  9. #8
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    I started out as a geologist, became a geek, and now I'm trying to be a geologist again. When I typed in the command at first, I did not put spaces in front of the slashes because I've forgotten a lot of my geekery. Putting them in has got the box playing with itself and I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

    Thanks for the help.
    Dan Lynch
    The stonecherub

  10. #9
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    The tool ran to completion for me. I haven't been having any issues, but evidently I did have some corruption I didn't know of, and the tool fixed it.

    DISM online cleanup-image-complete.PNG
    Create a new drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "Let them that don't want it have memories of not gettin' any." "Gratitude is riches and complaint is poverty and the worst I ever had was wonderful." Brother Dave Gardner "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else." Sir Thomas Robert Deware. "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?" Captain Jack Sparrow.
    Unleash Windows

  11. #10
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    Mine came up with the figure 20% about half hour ago. Presumably it's still running as there is no command line yet.

    Thanks for the help.
    Dan Lynch
    The stonecherub

  12. #11
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    DISM finished. reporting that things were fixed but TiWorker remains, hogging CPU cycles, 40-50%, more than system idle in an otherwise untasked computer. It drops out sporadically but TiWorker is the greatest user of clock cycles on the box.

    I don't think it the least bit unfair to call it malware.
    Dan Lynch
    The stonecherub

  13. #12
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    You can apparently set that task to a lower priority with good results::

    Tip: open ‘Task manager’ (Ctrl-Shift-Esc). Click ‘More details’ if that shows in the Task Manager window. Right click a process and choose ‘Go to details’.
    Now you are in the Details tab. Right click TiWorker.exe, and choose Set priority:Below normal.

    Now the TiWorker task still runs full tilt, but no longer hogs the CPU if you want to do other stuff. Night and day difference!


    Windows 8, Server 2012 Runs Slow – tiworker.exe

    Bruce
    Last edited by BruceR; 2014-08-05 at 06:59.

  14. #13
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    This is one of those @%#$&!~ Windows Processes that does not have nominal actions across all platforms/OEM's. For some, like the OP, it is a resource hog to the extent that it slows performance noticeably. For others, it behaves very nicely. Mine is running, consuming 0% of resources, at normal priority.

    This is also an non-uninstallable update. I've read conflicting stories that MS issued a later update that supposedly "fixed" the erratic behavior, but did not publicize it. The file version of my TiWorker.exe is 6.2.9200.16613, FWIW.
    Create a new drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "Let them that don't want it have memories of not gettin' any." "Gratitude is riches and complaint is poverty and the worst I ever had was wonderful." Brother Dave Gardner "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else." Sir Thomas Robert Deware. "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?" Captain Jack Sparrow.
    Unleash Windows

  15. #14
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stonecherub View Post
    DISM finished. reporting that things were fixed but TiWorker remains, hogging CPU cycles, 40-50%, more than system idle in an otherwise untasked computer. It drops out sporadically but TiWorker is the greatest user of clock cycles on the box.

    I don't think it the least bit unfair to call it malware.
    Have you tried running sfc /scannow after DISM finished?
    Create a new drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "Let them that don't want it have memories of not gettin' any." "Gratitude is riches and complaint is poverty and the worst I ever had was wonderful." Brother Dave Gardner "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else." Sir Thomas Robert Deware. "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?" Captain Jack Sparrow.
    Unleash Windows

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