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Why Is Everything Stuttering All Of A Sudden?

This is a discussion on Why Is Everything Stuttering All Of A Sudden? within the Windows XP Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. OS - Windows XP Home I've had my PC for around 2 years now and up until yesterday I've never


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Old 07-05-2010, 09:26 PM   #1
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OS - Windows XP Home

I've had my PC for around 2 years now and up until yesterday I've never had this problem before. It just seems to have come about out of the blue.

Whenever I watch movies or I'm playing games on the PC, the movie will stutter every 7-8 seconds or so for a split second (as if it's been paused) and then resume as normal. The same goes for games aswell. It's as if something is running in the background which is causing this, but having checked the running processes I can't see anything out of the ordinary.

I've run a virus/spyware check (Spybot) and have run CCleaner to try & clean up anything which may be causing this, but the problem is still occuring. I've even reset my PC a few times to try & sort out the problem.

I've included a screenshot of my running processes, so you may be able to see something there which could be causing this. Also, for some reason when I bring up the Task Manager, it usually shows the % the CPU is running at, but it's not showing it for some reason, as you can see in the screenshot.

If not, I'd appreciate some help to try & figure out why this is happening.

Thanks in advance.



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Old 07-05-2010, 09:41 PM   #2
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EDIT: This is ridiculous, I just tried downloading some drivers for my Graphics Card, and the whole PC just began stuttering like mad, and the movie was just plain unwatchable. I was only downloading ONE 82mb thing and my CPU usage went right up to 100%. I've included a second screenshot to show the processes & CPU usage whilst I was downloading this one file just a few minutes ago.

Screenshot 2 (CPU Usage at 100%) - http://i49.tinypic.com/11ccnqu.jpg

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Old 07-06-2010, 12:19 AM   #3
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OK well I've done some testing and figured out that it's pretty much 100% down to downloading which is causing the stuttering. For example, my game was just patching and the whole PC started stuttering like mad. It took me around 2-3 minutes for even My Computer to open up, whilst the download was running.

After the patch the PC went back to normal. I then tried downloading a 2mb video clip off the Internet and again, my whole PC went crazy and I couldn't do anything until it had finished downloading.

Not sure what's going on, so hopefully you guys can shed some light on it.
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Old 07-06-2010, 12:34 AM   #4
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In your last screenshot, the CPU usage for vsmon.exe looks quite high for a firewall. Try disabling Zone Alarm while downloading to see if this helps. You might need to change some of the real-time monitoring settings (email protection, for example).

Also, plugin-container.exe shouldn't be that high. This problem has been reported recently on the Mozilla forums and could be related to one of your addons/extensions.

Disable all addons, restart Firefox and try a download. If this fixes it, re-enable the addons one at a time, restarting Firefox after each one until the problem returns.

Make sure your plugins are up to date - http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/plugincheck
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Old 07-06-2010, 01:33 AM   #5
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Right I think it's definitely something to do with Zone Alarm. I tried what you said and disabled it, and as soon as I did, the stuttering stopped. I then re-enabled it and the second it loaded up, the stuttering started again.

The weird thing is, I thought it might have been this earlier, so I uninstalled Zone Alarm & reinstalled it, but that's not helped.

So do you have any idea how I can prevent this? I may have to just uninstall Zone Alarm and not use it.
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Old 07-06-2010, 01:53 AM   #6
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I used to have Zone Alarm installed a couple of years ago and found it quite heavy on system resources, so I replaced it with the much lighter free version of Comodo. Now running Windows 7, I use the built-in Windows firewall, but this is not advised with XP as it doesn't monitor outgoing traffic.

Disable email and spyware protection in ZA to see if they have any effect.

I found this post in a discussion about vsmon problems that you could try if you want to keep using ZA:
Quote:
Go to Start > Run > msconfig > Services. Disable 'truevector internetmonitor'. Click Apply/OK and reboot. vsmon.exe now takes around 26kb of your memory.
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Old 07-06-2010, 02:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koala View Post
I used to have Zone Alarm installed a couple of years ago and found it quite heavy on system resources, so I replaced it with the much lighter free version of Comodo. Now running Windows 7, I use the built-in Windows firewall, but this is not advised with XP as it doesn't monitor outgoing traffic.

Disable email and spyware protection in ZA to see if they have any effect.

I found this post in a discussion about vsmon problems that you could try if you want to keep using ZA:
Hmm, never heard about Comodo before but doing a search on Google for "Free Firewall", Comodo was first in the list of links, which is a good sign. I may try it out.

Regarding the truevector internetmonitor fix you posted, I'm curious as to what exactly it changes though, as surely it has to be changing/disabling something useful for the memory usage to drop that much.

I was also considering using Windows Firewall, but you said it doesn't monitor outgoing traffic. Is this really a problem though, as I don't store any personal information such as credit card numbers etc on my PC, although I do use Internet Banking & I guess my game logins/passwords couold be stolen from me?

Thanks again.
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Old 07-06-2010, 02:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
"True Vector Internet Monitor", also known as "TrueVector Security Engine", is the core of ZoneAlarm. It is a Windows service which runs as "vsmon.exe" in the processes list. This Monitors internet traffic and generates alerts for disallowed access.
Having re-read the post, I think he might have made a mistake and actually meant 26,000kb (not 26kb) which is what your vsmon.exe is using. Also it looks like an important service, so I would ignore that suggestion.

The XP firewall not monitoring outgoing traffic could be a problem if your computer gets infected by something that your security software doesn't catch in time, or if you visit an infected website. Comodo is highly recommended as one of the best free firewalls available. If you decide to remove Zone Alarm, I can't think of a better replacement than Comodo.
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Old 07-06-2010, 02:50 AM   #9
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Great, thanks for your help. I decided to scrap ZoneAlarm & AVG in place of Avast & Comodo. Avast seems to be brilliant so far, but unfortunately I can't get Comodo to install, as I keep getting the following error message:

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Old 07-06-2010, 03:01 AM   #10
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Did you reboot after uninstalling ZA? Also, disable your antivirus while installing Comodo.

There's a thread dealing with this error over on the Comodo forums from June 2010. It seems to be a new problem with the latest version, and only for people who are upgrading from a previous version. No solutions have been posted yet. http://forums.comodo.com/install-set...-t57484.0.html

See here for alternatives: http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-free-firewall.htm
Quote:
Poll Results for Best Free Firewall of 2009

Comodo Internet Security: 28.32% (79 Votes)

Online Armor Free: 21.51% (60 Votes) http://www.online-armor.com/products...armor-free.php

PC Tools Firewall Plus: 11.47% (32 Votes)

ZoneAlarm Free Firewall: 8.60% (24 Votes)

Outpost Firewall Free: 8.24% (23 Votes)

Windows Firewall: 8.24% (23 Votes)

PrivateFirewall: 3.94% (11 Votes)

Sunbelt-Kerio Personal Firewall: 2.87% (8 Votes)
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Old 07-06-2010, 03:06 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koala View Post
Did you reboot after uninstalling ZA? Also, disable your antivirus while installing Comodo.

There's a thread dealing with this error over on the Comodo forums from June 2010. It seems to be a new problem with the latest version, and only for people who are upgrading from a previous version. No solutions have been posted yet. http://forums.comodo.com/install-set...-t57484.0.html

See here for alternatives: http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-free-firewall.htm
I rebooted and ran CCleaner just to clear up anything that was left behind. Also, I uninstalled my Anti Virus so that I could change it for Avast (it was AVG before) although I haven't yet installed my new Anti Virus software.

I'll have a look through that thread, and I think I'll post a thread on the Comodo forums explaining my problem, as I'd really like to try it out.

If nothing can be done, I guess it's Online Armor next.

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