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  1. #1
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    100% CPU utilization (V6.0 SP1)

    I have a friend who is running Outlook Express on a fast (1.8GHz) Dell machine with lots of memory. He has experienced, for the third time, 100% CPU utilization upon opening Outlook Express. He has managed a workaround before but it seems to me that others are very likely experiencing this same problem and there should be a permanent solution rather than a kludgy workaround. I personally am of the opinion that this probably relates to one of Microsoft's screwed-up patches. Any help or suggestions anyone can provide would be much appreciated.

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    Silver Lounger Bruce K's Avatar
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    Re: 100% CPU utilization (V6.0 SP1)

    Hi, Maine ~

    What OS? Has OE been patched recently? What was the last workaround? Is Messenger enabled in OE? Have the folders been compacted in a while?

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    Re: 100% CPU utilization (V6.0 SP1)

    In addition to Bruce's questions, I would add this - has your friend noticed if any particular behavior or action precedes the CPU pegging out?
    -Mark

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    Re: 100% CPU utilization (V6.0 SP1)

    He is running XP Home SP1 (Build 2600); OE was patched 05/31/03 with 815021 and just this morning with 818529 and system still locks up; Messenger may be enabled if that is the default (since at this point he cannot access OE we do not know for sure); folders have not been compacted and he has a lot of stuff from newsgroups in multiple folders; BTW, how are files compacted in OE since he has apparently never done so.
    Thanks for any continuing assistance you can provide.

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    Re: 100% CPU utilization (V6.0 SP1)

    Yes, when he attempts to access OE, he gets an immediate indication of "Downloading Mail" in the Notification Area (formerly System Tray), and in Windows Task Manager the number of processes continue to quickly ramp up until CPU utilization reaches 100%, and "that's all she wrote". Now that I think of it, I had something similar happen when I was running Zone Alarm Pro and the problem went away when I uninstalled ZA Pro. BTW, my pleas for help with this went entirely disregarded by ZA Tech Support. At the moment, I am using only the native XP firewall. I bring this up because my friend is running the freebie Zone Alarm.
    Again, all continuing help is appreciated!

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    Silver Lounger Bruce K's Avatar
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    Re: 100% CPU utilization (V6.0 SP1)

    Hi, Maine ~

    OK, sounds like there are some setting changes that will help, but we can't get in OE to do so. Let me ask you this - are there any messages that he is married to or any newsgroup stuff that is really important?

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    Re: 100% CPU utilization (V6.0 SP1)

    Hi, Bruce-
    I talked to my friend and there is nothing "sacred" in OE so we can do whatever changes you think are necessary. There is also a possible issue with the amount of data in OE. There is/was a total of 64MB+ in the various .dbx folders. Is it possible that the sheer size of files in OE is causing the problem? Stated another way- is there a limit to how much space can be used by OE?
    Thanks for the help!

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    Re: 100% CPU utilization (V6.0 SP1)

    Mind if I cut in here with another thought? Are you by any chance running any version of ZoneAlarm? I was having a recurrent 100%CPU utilization problem that I couldn't track down. Finally, I updated ZoneAlarmPro (version 3 point something -- I don't remember the exact version number) to 3.5.169.02 and I haven't had the problem since.

    Even if you aren't running ZA, maybe this information will be helpful to some loungers.

    Fafner

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    Re: 100% CPU utilization (V6.0 SP1)

    Fafner-
    Thanks much for the info. My friend is running the freebie version of ZA which may be exacerbating the overall problem. I had the same problem that you did with my own ZA Pro and, since I got no response from ZA Tech Support, I uninstalled it and am running the native XP firewall. After doing that my problems went away. From what you say, maybe I need to update and try ZA again. After all, I DID pay for the blessed thing! LOL

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    Re: 100% CPU utilization (V6.0 SP1)

    Bruce-

    My friend did as you suggested and now everything seems to be working OK again, at least for the moment. But ...... the plot thickens! He is running a wireless network for the two computers in his home and now the computer which his wife uses has developed the same symptoms he had on his machine. Strange, what??? Now I am wondering if Fafnir may be onto something relative to ZA. If you (or anyone else) has any further ideas as to what might be going on, please let me know. OE has been in use long enough that , if this type of situation was widespread enough, seems like we all would have heard about it. Doing a Google advanced search on "100% CPU utilization" showed a lot of things that cause a slowdown/lockup but OE did not appear to figure in significantly. Most perplexing!

  12. #11
    Silver Lounger Bruce K's Avatar
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    Re: 100% CPU utilization (V6.0 SP1)

    Hi, Maine ~

    This type of situation was widespread enough that I found this fix about a year and a half ago. In the case here, there may have been a combination of things and there could be any number of things that cause 100% CPU utilization. As far as ZA, I have paid for Pro versions, but after finding that it would sometimes hang things and there were none of the extra features I needed, I switched to the free versions on all my machines and now I really don't know its there anymore, so ZA may factor in the equation in your case.

    Also, have you run an updated version of both SpyBot and AdAware?

  13. #12
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    Re: 100% CPU utilization (V6.0 SP1)

    Bruce-

    Before I forget, my friend Dick sends his thanks. I have been trying to get him involved the the Lounge for a long time but have not been successful. Maybe this episode will convince him to get on board! Yes, we both run SpyBot and AdAware and always check for updates. Dick mentioned to me that he re-established one of his newsgroups in a .dbx folder and when he downloaded messages, it immediately jumped up to over 4MB in size. Apparently loaded ALL messages from that group. Seems like that could cause a problem in and of itself before too long and that may have been what happened. The only remaining unsolved mystery is why his wife's OE also went belly up. She does not do anything with newsgroups. When all is said and done, you have to admit that computers really are strange people! Oh yes, and BTW, if I decide to go back to the freebie ZA, should I turn off the native XP firewall or can they peacefully co-exist?
    Once again, thanks much for all the assistance!

  14. #13
    Silver Lounger Bruce K's Avatar
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    Re: 100% CPU utilization (V6.0 SP1)

    Hi, Maine ~

    Attached is a little app called "StartupList". Please run it on each machine and then attach the text file results (let's just do one at a time) to your next post. It is an excellent utility to try and determine problems w/ an online long-distance diagnosis - maybe we can uncover something not obvious.

    As far as newsgroups, I must admit I am ignorant regarding them as I have not figured out how they work. I tried one time and all it seemed to do was download 10,000+ messages. No one seems to know how to manage them. <img src=/S/shrug.gif border=0 alt=shrug width=39 height=15>

    If you use ZA, I would recommend disabling the XP firewall which only controls inbound traffic anyway.

  15. #14
    Silver Lounger Bruce K's Avatar
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    Re: 100% CPU utilization (V6.0 SP1)

    Hi, Maine ~

    I forgot to attach the zip file. <IMG SRC=http://www.krymow.com/images/kopfpatsch.gif>

  16. #15
    Silver Lounger Bruce K's Avatar
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    Re: 100% CPU utilization (V6.0 SP1)

    Hi, Maine ~

    You know were I was going with this, didn't you? <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15> There seems to be issues with the size of the DBX files. If there are no messages of value, close OE and then navigate to:

    'Cocuments and SettingsYour UsernameLocal SettingsApplication DataIdentities{Corresponding Identity}MicrosoftOutlook Express'

    As precaution for now, copy these 4 DBX files to another location: 'Folders', 'Inbox', 'Outbox' & 'Sent'. Once you have done that, delete everything in the Outlook Express directory. It will rebuild the DBX folders upon next execution of OE. Once you have confirmed that OE works okay, you may delete the items you temporarily saved.

    Then, once this is accomplished, set OE to open at your 'Inbox', disable the auto download mail upon opening feature, and disable auto log on to Messenger. Finally, on occasion after emptying the 'Deleted Items' folder, you should regularly compact the folders by 'File' > 'Folders' > 'Compact All Folders'.

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