Who (what) is using my computer?

jerry_njMay 20, 2011

The subject case is a XP Home computer, but I think I see similar on my W7 machine too.

This morning I was using the XP notebook (Gateway, circa 2005) and I noticed an unusual delay in activation of Firefox. Looking at the HDD LED I could see a lot of activity over a period of several seconds. I decided to shut down, and even the call to shut down the computer was delayed. I turned off the wireless connection to the Internet and started the machine up again. The busy HDD started immediately. I again looked at Task Manager and nothing was shown, so I looked at performance and saw a steady 100% use of CPU, looking at Processes I saw at the top of the list [Hotsync.exe, shown as owner]. There was a whole page of processes listed, but the Hotsync was at the top of the list and I figure it was what was devouring my computer resources.

Any idea what this is? Should I be concerned... I note I have a Palm Desktop program on that machine that isn't being used and which was off. That is the only known application that I can think of that has a hotsync function, but I believe only on a demand basis an when a PDA is attached to the USB of the subject computer.

I may be overreacting but with all the bad stuff out "there" and having all my computers automatically connect to the on-ramp I worry. Too, I was trying to access my ISP when in noticed the browser delay and very busy computer.

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ravencajun Zone 8b TX


I would remove the hotsync from starting at boot it is not needed there that will stop some of it'activity.

My guess is your antivirus program was likely doing an update that is what was causing the activity or one of your other programs that do regular auto updates.

On your processes tab you can set it to show which one is using the most resources at the top but if you do not have it set that way just seeing one at the top of the list does not mean it is the one. to see which is using the most you would need to look over to the colum that states the amount of CPU use per individual process.

If you no longer use that hotsync program I would remove it from the pc through add remove.

to be safe you can run an updated malwarebytes scan

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 12:20PM
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Thanks, there was a second resource "hog"... a program associated with a USB Maxtor Backup HDD. This was running in spite of the facts that I had not called for a backup and the USB HDD was not attached. When I "killed" that process the CPU usage dropped from 100% to a few %. Boy did that help speed up browsing :)

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 5:52PM
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