Friday, 18 January 2008 8:18 AM
Well, thanks to poster RJC-UK, a sort of cobbled-together work-around for this killer of a problem seems to be available, but I'm going to enumerate my experiences here anyway, just to see if some additional information may be gleaned from them.
Starting about a month ago I got an urgent call from one my clients complaining that his computer had mysteriously slowed to a crawl and that he could hardly get any work done on it.
At first I took it with the usual grain of salt and gave him the standard advice, i.e., defrag, run a virus scan, etc.
Well, after him there was another and another, until it eventually turned into a torrent, overwhelming me to the point that I could hardly get any work done, either, so naturally I put everything on hold and began to search for the answer.
In trying to isolate the glitch, what was totally nonsensical to me was that there might be 5 or 6 machines on a little peer-to-peer network and only maybe 3 or 4 of them would have the problem; in other places there would only be 1 stand-alone computer which had the problem and another one somewhere else that didn't.
Of my 3 personal computers (1 Vista Business Edition with Office 2007 Standard and 2 XP Professional SP2 with Office 2003 Standard ) none of them had the problem.
Anyway, and after much examination of the malfunctioning computers, here's what I found that was common to all of them:
1. They were from diverse manufactures, ranging from Dell to HP to Sony, with even a Gateway thrown in, just to make it interesting, and included both notebook and desktop units.
2. They all ranged from 1 to 3 years old.
3. They all had very fast Intel processors and a minimum of 1.5GB of RAM on up to a full 4GB, with ample hard drive space available.
4. They all had Windows XP Professional SP2, Office 2003 Small Business Editon, and IE 7, with all available Microsoft Updates applied.
5. They all had the latest versions of CCleaner, SpywareBlaster, Ad-Aware, and Spybot Search & Destroy installed.
6. Last but not least, they all (of course) had Live OneCare Version 1.6 installed.
In every case their machines were running like tops until 1.6 got automatically upgraded to 2.0, and then everything came to a screeching halt, just like clockwork.
Why the majority (I'd say about 80%) of all my clients's computers immediately experienced problems right after they got the upgrade and the rest didn't is as big a mystery as what the Devil is causing this in the first place, since they're all virtually identically configured.
Also to-date I've had no Vista machines with Office 2007 which have developed the problem, for some reason.
And just like all the other reports, trying to perform even a simple Live OneCare virus scan (something we're all taught to do at the first sign of this sort of trouble) took from 3 days up to 5 to complete (depending on the size of the hard drive), which should be one for the record books; anybody who might have thought the other folks reporting this unbelievable occurrence were exaggerating need to think again, because I personally witnessed it, although I could hardly believe my eyes.
The fix which RJC-UK came up with (disabling "Peer Name Resolution Protocol" and "Peer Networking Identity Manager" in Windows Services) certainly helps get Windows unstuck in the short term, but that simply cannot be accepted as the final solution, because those services are there for a reason and should work "as advertised".
In fact in the interim Microsoft needs to fully inform us (in easy-to-understand laymen's terms) of just exactly what those services do from a practical perspective and what pitfalls or shortcomings we should expect as a result of being forced to disable them; obviously the Law of Unintended Consequences is on prominent display here, already.
The fact that Live OneCare 2.0 now breaks just about every computer it's installed on is a non-starter to be sure, and something which needs to be addressed "yesterday" by the LOC "crisis team".
Several of my clients, all die-hard Windows users for decades, actually theatened to move to Macs if I (and that really should have been Microsoft) failed to come up with an acceptable solution on a timely basis; they all pointed out (accurately, in my opinion) that their computers were essentially useless, since with CPU usage at a steady 100% they could not even accomplish the simplest of tasks in less than hours, rather than seconds or minutes as they were used to.
And on top of all this, and at the very least, I now have to call around (and in some cases personally go see) all my clients to make these changes in their computers, making them pay me to (temporarily) fix a problem which the Microsoft LOC Group caused, by not addressing this debilitating bug before releasing what was obviously a defective product to the public.
Now on top of all this "practical" stuff, it's also caused a "credibility" problem for me, because in each and every case I'm the one who migrated them from the Norton products which they all universally used before to Live OneCare, touting the MS "Party Line" that it would truly be a "load & forget" situation.
So the Bottom Line is this: We need to hear something and hear it fast from the LOC Development Team informing us as to when this critical fix will be available, hopefully "pushing" or "slipstreaming" it out as a mandatory update, just like they did with the fatally-flawed 2.0 debacle.
As Larry the Cable Guy says, just "git 'er done! ".
Friday, 18 January 2008 1:42 PMModerator
Travis, thanks for your excellent post explaining how you were impacted by the problem with the upgrade. As I understand it, the update that cNet reported to be scheduled for 1/31/08 will address this problem.
It is interesting that you found that up to 80% of your customers had the problem. I have not personally encountered the problem on a variety of platforms that I run OneCare on. And, based on the forum traffic, while this is a pretty active topic, meaning many are encountering the problem, there are several other upgrade related problems that I would rate as having impacted more forum members.
I will, however, ask the OneCare team to get an official announcement out as soon as possible. I hear you regarding the need for this.
Friday, 18 January 2008 7:00 PM
Hi Travis (and Stephen)
I just want to add some clarity on this issue. We investigated and found that in the vast majority of cases it was being caused by a clash between the new Windows P2P filesharing system and the OneCare NLA service. The P2P system is not enabled by default, but when it is you see the CPU spike.
The fix will be deployed in the next update, but if you have the issue in the short term the best fix would be to disable the peer to peer name resolution protocol on the affected machines until the fix is released.
We understand that this is causing issues for our customers and are working to ensure that we release a quality fix as soon as possible.
Thanks for the feedback and we should have you fixed up soon.
OneCare Lead Developer
Friday, 18 January 2008 7:14 PM
To try and add further clarity, the PNRP service is used for peer-peer networking and is part of the "advanced networking pack" for XP, with a slightly different version on Vista. It is used for making connections directly between 2 computers without going through a central server. It is used by some applications for filesharing to spare some bandwidth on the server and by some collaborative application (e.g. Live Meeting uses it I believe). You can read about it on wikipedia here - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peer_Name_Resolution_Protocol.
The downside to disabling it is that these applications will either need to fallback to their original XP behavior (Messenger will do this) which may slow them down a little, or in extreme cases will not work. Given that I dont know which application is enabling the service on Travis's clients machines, it is hard for me to say what the effect will be in his particular case. In the short term though it will unblock his clients for general usage of their machines.
We are currently testing the update which will fix this issue and will get it out to you as soon as we are sure it doesn't cause any other issues.
Thanks for your patience
OneCare Lead Developer
Friday, 18 January 2008 8:39 PM
Thanks for the speedy and helpful comments about the situation.
Could you please post the link to the CNET article, so we can stay as up-to-date as possible about the coming fix?
And to "Tim from OneCare", thanks for your response, as well.
I will tell you that almost all of my clients, who for the most part are small businessmen (lawyers, doctors & CPAs) utilize Peer-To-Peer networks in their offices, having no need for the expense and administration burden of Windows Server, so fully functional P2P Windows services are vital to them; that's why the function is enabled on all their computers.
I guess I just missed the bulletin somewhere along the way, but this is the first I've heard of "new & improved" Windows Peer-To-Peer functionality being slipstreamed onto XP Professional SP2 machines.
I would be very interested in a link to where there is a comprehensive discussion of this, along with the technical impact (at least part of which we've just been rudely informed of) so I can get the Big Picture.
I know from doing this stuff as long as I have that there's never anything "new under the Sun", so I'm guessing if I have the problem then a whole lot of other people do, as well, so I hope the fix is not going to be delayed at the last minute.
Will it be individually downloadable, or part of the forthcoming "Patch Tuesday" updates?
Also, although you mentioned a tidbit of what the effects of having to essentially turn off the P2P networking functionaity in Win XP Pro entail, please give us a little more info about it if you can. I don't want my clients to be unpleasantly surprised if the "cure is worse than the disease" since like most people, their businesses depend on their computers.
Saturday, 19 January 2008 3:16 AMModeratorHi, Travis. I've taken the information Tim provided and also information from the various threads on the winss.exe high CPU problem and created a FAQ post - http://forums.microsoft.com/WindowsOneCare/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=2707364&SiteID=2
It also includes the known information about the update.
The update is to OneCare and will be deployed once it has passed testing to all OneCare users automatically during the regular update checks.
I am no expert on the PNRP stuff, but I believe it is currently not used by much at all, as it is part of IPv6. This article has a really good overview of how it works - http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb726971.aspx - a bit more than you might want to know, but still pretty good.
This short entry mentions that Windows Meeting (in Vista) won't work if this is disabled and provides a really short overview - http://itsvista.com/2007/08/peer-name-resolution-protocol/
Saturday, 7 June 2008 2:12 PM
I just rebuilt a PC and installed Windows Live OneCare and for awhile everything was great. PC was running smoothly with no problems. One day, I was prompted the javaw.exe needed to access the internet for updates. I clicked "No" because I didn't think it needed to access the internet. I boot up a day or two later, and wham-O - 100% cpu utilization with svchost. Here's what I did to resolve the problem for me. Maybe it will help some others:
Windows Live OneCare
- Click on Change Settings
- Click on Configure Firewall
- Click on Advanced Settings
- Make sure javaw.exe is "allowed"
Hope this helps some others.. I know how frustrating these kinds of things can be.
Tuesday, 10 June 2008 8:56 PMModerator
Thanks for the information on your experience, SamStange.