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Message 1 of 14

mcsync.exe hogging CPU cycles

Sometime within the last month of McAfee auto upgrades, the process "mcsync.exe" is kicked off for no apparent reason. When started it hogs between 95% and 99% of the CPU cycles, bringing all other processes to a near halt. Regardless of any efforts on my part, this process runs forever, even with no other apps running. The only way to kill the process is to reboot, frankly a pain in the butt due to the frequency with which I find myself having to do this.

My machine is running Win XP Pro SP3.

If I can't get an effective solution to this soon, I am going to have to abandon McAfee Security Center 9 if I want to restore this machine to being useful.
13 Replies

mcsync.exe hogging CPU cycles

I've been having the same trouble running XP Home SP2. The mcsync.exe process just runs and runs, keeping CPU usage at 100%. There's no way to end the process aside from a reboot. Even blocking mcsync.exe from running by using a non-McAfee firewall doesn't help.

Per a post here a few weeks ago, I deleted the mcsync.exe file and reinstalled McAfee, but that did not solve the problem. At present, I've deleted the mcsync.exe file again, but have got McAfee reminding me all the time that I have components missing and need to update.

I'm due to renew McAfee next month, and right now, if McAfee can't run on my PC without using 100% of the CPU, I think I might have to switch to another anti-virus program.
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Message 3 of 14


Thanks for your comments, they gave me what little perspective I've been able to get on this issue which has only been extant for the last month or so.

I made a run at the McAfee Chat support service with little to show for it. The first go resulted in McAfee recommending that I uninstall their program, clean up some residual detritous using their utility, and then reinstalling. This had no effect on mcsync.exe's unruly behavior.

The second go resulted in McAfee insisting I remove the Sunbelt firewall I use, their rationale being that a second "antivirus" program could conflict with McAfee. I pointed out that the Sunbelt firewall is not an antivirus utitlity and had been running for at least 3 years with no conflicts with McAfee (with their firewall not installed).

I asked why it was a problem now, when for the last 3 years it hasn't been. Their answer was still to insist on its removal. It was clear they had no idea what the difference between an antivirus utility and a firewall is.

My tentative conclusion was that I was dealing with just another front line tech who is just reading off a script and had no idea what they were talking about. True, I could go ahead and remove the Sunbelt firewall with the very high probability that it would have no effect, but this issue with McAfee support has already wasted the better part of a day.

In contrast, I had a very similar problem with the Adobe CS3 autoupdater. After consulting with them, they said they knew it was a a problem on some computers and they simply told me how to disable it. A clear and effective answer that did not waste my time.

My guess is that McAfee screwed up one of their software updates which was auto loaded onto my machine (and yours), with the result you and I are seeing with mcsync.exe. I would be surprised if they did not know this. But it would not be the first time that some corporate weeny decided that leaving rest of the organization unaware while engineeering fixed it for some future update was the prefered policy, in which case the problem will simply disappear like magic at some point in the future leaving lots of people scratching their heads.

I'm not going to wait for an organization that has so little regard for their customers and is so willing to waste their time to maintain whatever appearance they think they is so important. If this issue doesn't clear in the next few days, I will discard McAfee and never look back. There are other very good solutions out there. One that I installed on another machine that I am very pleased with is the combination of the Antivir antivirus (no $), the Comodo firewall (no $), and AdAware anti-spyware/adware (no $ but must be run manually). The combination runs very well and the lab test ratings for each utility are very good.

If you have any good ideas let me know, I'd interested. Best regards.
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Message 4 of 14

RE: mcsync.exe

See if this helps.

1. Download and save the Network Cleanup Tool (mcnetcln.exe) to the desktop of each computer using the following link:

2. Disconnect the computers from each other by powering off (or unplugging the power cord from) your network router or switch.
3. Run the Network Cleanup Tool on each computer on your network that was previously managed by McAfee.

Note: This tool cleans up incorrect, cached network information on each computer.

4. Power on (or plug in) your network router.
5. Restart the computer that you want to designate as the administrator of your network.

6. On the administrator computer, open the McAfee SecurityCenter and then click Manage Network.

Note: This computer automatically becomes the administrator on the managed network.

7. If prompted, choose to Trust the Network.
8. Restart the other computers on your network, and if prompted, select Trust the Network.
9. On the administrator computer, invite the other computers to join the managed network.
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Message 5 of 14


Thanks vinod_r2. This is the first constructive advice I've gotten from McAfee. I'll give it a go and let you know what happened.
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Message 6 of 14


To vinod_r2:

I executed the procedure you outlined and sequenced the power up of my computers as you advised. I won't be able to give you any definitive report on the results of this exercise until after a few days of doing my normal work while watching for any invasive behavior by mcsync.exe.

I will let you know one way or the other within a week.

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Message 7 of 14

New hog replaces mcsync.exe as the old hog


I didn't think I'd be back here so soon, but.....

The procedure you provided seems to have had 2 effects. Till now I've not seen mcsync.exe running as a background process, so in that regard your procedure seems to have had the desired effect.... so far. That said, there is a new process hogging the CPU, mcvsmap.exe. This runs constantly with a similar appetite between 95% and 99% of the CPU. The total I/O read count for this process is 474,012 bytes and is not changing over time, so I'm inclined to think it is doing nothing with its flagrant use of the CPU.

According to the McAfee console, it is not running a scan, nor is there the symbol for the scan process in the system tray.

I'm not inclined to call that an improvement exactly, so perhaps you can give this some thought or provide some sort of explanation.

RE: mcsync.exe hogging CPU cycles


Thanks for the update. For the moment I thought we had an answer. I was looking forward to running the routine suggested by vinod_r2 tonight, but per your comments, it seems like that would only create another problem. Thanks for checking back so quickly.

The customer service email I received from McAfee on the issue was pretty much worthless. Like you though, I'm certain others are experiencing this error. Thanks for the other virus scan suggestions. If McAfee doesn't step up soon with a solution, I'll need to switch to something else that will actually work.
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Message 9 of 14

mcvsmap.exe hogging CPU


I think the jury is still out on this. While it was true that mcvsmap.exe was running 99% of the CPU yesterday after vinod_r2's fix, it's not running this AM nor is mcsync.exe. My inclination for the moment is to monitor the situation over the next few days to see if McAfee has stabilized without any runaway processes. For all I know at the moment, maybe booting this AM finally smoothed the waters. Having said that, I'd regard this notion as tenuous at best, given that the procedure also involved rebooting.

With regard to your situation, I'm not sure there's any downside to using the procedure, although this is based on scant evidence so far. It might have some advantage in that we can compare notes here.

Should you decide to abandon McAfee, I provided some alternatives below whose lab reports were very good. I have the combination running on one machine whose DSL connection is direct to the computer with no router to provide NAT and stateful packet inspection. So far it has worked very well.

RE: mcsync.exe hogging CPU cycles


Thanks for the advice -- I'll run the routine suggested by vinod_r2 and report back over the weekend to compare notes.
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