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mjminer
Level 7
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Message 51 of 151

Re: Latest update causing excessive CPU and Floppy Drive activity

Hope this helps to refine problem:

Had an undetermined chattering of floppy drive and serious slow down in performance.

My sister (whose machine this is) swore "no new anything". Rebooted, several times.

"Serious slow down" means Win-E (the Windows key and E) should start the Windows Explorer.

Used to be instantly, now takes between 50 and 90 seconds.

Start Windows Task manager (Ctrl-Shift-Esc, or right click task bar) - a minute+.

Browser (IE8 or Chrome) - 30 secs for empty screen, another 60 to display a page;

typing on the web page was too slow to be useful (i.e., type, wait for characters to display; type too much, chars lost).

Machine: Dell Dimension XPS gen4, 4GB (backed off to original 2GB during testing)

Floppy drive - power disconnected (which stops the noise, but does not address the performance problem).

I had wondered if a hardware problem, for example, might be causing spurious interrupts, though I would have expected to see that in a high CPU usage percentage.

Task Manager showed low CPU usage, though very high memory consumption (150+MB, 1G+ page faults, iirc) for mcafee (which, I thought I recalled being normal). The hard drive light was relatively idle.

Network activity showed minimal.

So, why is it waiting? Where is the bottle neck?

Got me, I hadn't a clue (though now I was curious as to how to diagnose such a problem).

Googling for a few hours took me down a rabbit hole of uselessness, finally decided to dig in and reinstall system.

So, start with Windows XP Pro SP2 with IE6 (neither supported, so major headache to get up to minimum level of SP3 and IE8). Installed drivers and updates and drivers, and updates, and... 9 hours after starting, I had myself a brand new system that boots quickly and runs nicely (though I haven't been on the 'net yet, other than directly to Windows Update site, so, still hiding behind my router.)

Install Mcafee from the download site (Total Protection) and reboot.

And Lo! The chatter is back. Windows Explorer takes a minute to start, Windows Update is unusble. Great! Now what?!

Uninstall mcafee (via Add/Remove programs). Reboot.

Chatter gone. Performance normal.

So, a few things:

1. Disconnecting, disabling floppy, or inserting floppy in drive is irrelevant. Stops the noise. Does not fix performance.

2. Performance is miserable with mcafee installed on Windows XP sp3, and fine without, even on a brand new install.

3. This will affect multiple machines XP, vista, win7, and shortly, win8.

I imagine I am not alone in running XP, as well as newer systems. When I have a choice, I try to keep everything at the same level - so office 2003 became 2010 across all machines; xyz AV became mcafee, across all machines. Just because XP has one foot (soon both) in the grave is no reason for mcafee to walk away from us customers. Believe me, we'll notice.

XP will continue to work after its final date. I expect mcafee to work at least until the expiration of my license with them (currently, Nov 2014). I guess that raises an interesting question - Has mcafee announced end of life for their XP support? mcafee still lists Win XP SP3 as supported for Mcafee Total Protection at $89.99, and there is no note (that I saw) announcing pending end-of-life support for XP.

I feel I should also note: I've seen a few disappointing postings on this thread - XP is [almost] gone; the problem is in XP and MS is not supporting it any further, so it's not really "our" problem, it's only a noisy disk drive, disabling is all that need be done.

Let me be direct - Something that McAfee did caused something that did-work, to no-longer-work. The machine is not usable. After a fresh install.

It cost me, alone, 22 hours, plus my sister and her family's frustration and loss of an essential school tool. I don't understand the problem - One programmer should have been able to binary-search the new updates of March-whatever to find the culprit, and either repair it or back it out until it can be done right. And should have been able to do that in an afternoon. Call me if you need help. (Sorry, venting, but that was a lot of frustration for me.) 16 days for this sort of problem strikes me as a bit much.

Bugs happen. Unfortunate, but reality. The measure of a company is how they handle them. Step up. Faster. Please.

P.S. What I would really like to know is what McAfee was doing for 60 seconds while starting Windows Explorer (or whatever application), that did not show up as excessive CPU, Disk, or other resource.  I am VERY curious.

Re: Latest update causing excessive CPU and Floppy Drive activity

Ok this is what i noticed repeated from above posts.

I have 1 XP box and daughter another

My box.

Yes got the chatter this on a e6600 dual core cpu. Disabling in bios stopped the chatter and cpu usage not that bad PC was and still is quite usable. My grandsons play on it every Monday and Tuesday when we mind them. I will recheck cpu usage but was only 50% max  ie 1 core when floppy attached.

Daughter's box

No floppy PC was unusable 3 minutes to boot same to shutdown if you could get it to. Clicking on open programs waiting time no good..

Hers was again  a dual core e6600 same setup as mine as I build both from used bits. What her issue was she hadthe full version of Malwarebytes installed that scans in real time so clashing with Mcafee could happen. She also had full indexing of cdrive and this slowed everything down for 10 minutes as the scanner scanned eac indexed file. I disabled the indexing and installed Malwarebytes free and Pc was usable. I felt it slowed a bit but as per mine was ok till a solution found.

She then went out and bought windows 8.1 as local shop had a special and I have just finished teh build. Works like a dream 30 sec to boot and 15sec to shutdown. No issues that i can see except it is windows 8.1. I prefer win 7 if I could have got it.

All that says dual cores can have issues but with adjustments are usable till Mcafee fixes this. Single core P4s and Mcafee have issues at the best of times but I do agree something happened in the march update and Mcafee is aware of it.

We will find more next monday in our Moderator call

madiran
Level 7
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Message 53 of 151

Re: Latest update causing excessive CPU and Floppy Drive activity

I have the same problem on my Dell Precision 530MT dual Xeon twin core. WINXPSP3. The hard drive started making a lot of noise when accessed, or at least it was attributed to the hard drive, it's elderly, the peformance hit and the noise indicated something amiss. I bought and installed two new hard drives, reinstalled WIN XP and all updates-  immediately after downloading and installing McAfee VirusScan, the noise started again, traced to the floppy drive-who uses them anymore? I'd even forgotten I had one installed, much less what it sounded like, it has been disabled, to stop the noise at least. I  also have McAfee installed on my Precision M60 laptop, no floppy drive but it has been very slow, with Site Advisor it was desperatley slow, so much so that I turned it off.

I await a solution to this problem and expect McAfee to address it, without delay.

mjminer
Level 7
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Message 54 of 151

Re: Latest update causing excessive CPU and Floppy Drive activity

Hi madiran,

You said: "with Site Advisor it was desperatley slow, so much so that I turned it off".

How did you determine that Site Advisor was the culprit?

On my system, nothing was consuming extraordinary CPU, nor beating on the disk, nor doing anything else to be noticeable.

I simply could not see what resource was so constrained that performance would be affected.

Just for my own education - how'd you figure it out?

I would have saved a lot of time and frustration if I'd been able to attribute the problem to mcafee in the first place, rather than stumbling over it during the rebuild.

Thanks.

madiran
Level 7
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Message 55 of 151

Re: Latest update causing excessive CPU and Floppy Drive activity

mjminer, There are two issues here, system slowdown with floppy drive thrashing and Site Advisor slowing down internet access to a crawl, the latter I solved a while ago by systematicaly turning off and on browser add ons that can cause problems, Site Advisor is one and I haven't used it for some time now. The other issue is a recent McAfee update that can cause system slowdown and floppy drive thrashing , that I didn't find out until I had reinstalled WinXP on a new hard drive, because the symptoms seemed to indicate a severe hard drive problem and reinstalled McAfee whereupon the floppy drive thrashing started again- I was not a happy bunny. I am waiting for McAfee to solve the problem.

Hope that helps

madiran

jk7868
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Message 56 of 151

Re: Latest update causing excessive CPU and Floppy Drive activity

Hello again,

Back on my post 38., 3/21/14, I thought we were getting somewhere.  Guess not.   We seem

to be hearing 'disable the floppy' and 'it will be discussed in our Monday telecom', or an 'ETA

Tuesday', but still don't have a timeframe for the actual fix !?!?!

From what I see, we're going on 3 weeks from the original post.  How long does it take to

get an answer and a fix from McAfee, when they broke the software? 

As an update.  On 3/25, McAfee Support (Arun) actually called me again and informed

me that McAfee has had several people complain about the floppy problem and they were

going to fix it.   But when I pressed, of course, no answer on a timeframe.  Maybe next

year?

Can anyone update us with WHEN this floppy thrashing problem will be fixed by McAfee?

mjminer
Level 7
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Message 57 of 151

Re: Latest update causing excessive CPU and Floppy Drive activity

McAfee,

I think you are hearing that the chattering floppy drive is the problem, and the problem goes away simply by disabling the floppy.

The real problem unusable performance.  The Windows Explorer should start instantly, but instead takes over a minute. Everything else is even worse.  I can "hunt and peck" to type an email, and the browser will drop letters, unable to keep up.  (I disabled floppy, disconnected floppy; performance problem was not fixed.)

For the first week, my sister alternated doing work on the computer with the dishwasher, laundry, and smooching her hubby.

For the second week, I poked around to figure out the cause.

At the end of which, frustrated and clueless, I simply decided to rebuild the machine.

Everything went perfectly until I got to the point of installing my McAfee Total Protection Anti-Virus product. Performance out the window, diskette chattering.

Uninstall McAfee. Performance restored, diskette quiet.

Fix it, don't fix it. Your choice. No longer matters to me. Since I now know what the problem is, and that it apparently won't be fixed (certainly not in a timely fashion), I know how to address it.

Bye.

Re: Latest update causing excessive CPU and Floppy Drive activity

WE have not been told a fix time we keep asking but so far all we have been told is they think they have the fix for the floppy issue and I have aske dthem for a copy so i can test it on my PC. That said when Mcafee does a patch it is not rushed out as happened before the patch could break something else.

I will reask them now.

Re performace 1 user said external card readers cause this and disabling them helps. This not proved just passing this on . Mcafee has logs of the performance issue and are looking into it.

Most of my daughters PC issues were she had full indexing on and another scanner scanning in real time. When these were fixed the PC was slill a tad slow but usable.

Re: Latest update causing excessive CPU and Floppy Drive activity

The fix Mcafee sent me worked for stopping the floppy activity. It is internal use only so far and needs more testing but we are getting there.

Re: Latest update causing excessive CPU and Floppy Drive activity

Dear Jmckee

I was noting your original message (and the rest of community replies), starting from the middle of march, as at that time, the latest automatic updates from McAfee related to their "Total Protection Suites", caused us, on all of our PC, the same type of issues experienced by you.

Just to remind a little what have been, we had all floppy units on our PC (all XP service pack 3), started to croak, randomly, themselves, continuosly, and the "brilliant" performances of the older XP, have been dramatically slow down, by an huge activity of mcshield.exe, polling repeatedly on the floppy disk and other hard disks roots.

I would to point out just some argument as follow:

1) my first time with a McAfee antivirus was in 1988-1990 ( I cannot recall more accurately), over a PC with DOS operating system (I would add that my first "PC" was a "home computer" Commodore 64), as also I was a visual basic programmer (for instance, but not only), so I would consider myself as an almost skilled user;

2) I can confirm to anyone here, that all of of such PC (they are 5 off, all on a small ethernet office network), have not been modified (no new software installed, no existing software removed, no particular activities performed): against this, all of them started to croak, and the sole common cause is that all of them perfomed overnight such upgrade from McAfee;

3) considering the date of phenomenon starting, I cannot consider this as to be related to the missed Microsoft support over the XP system: I was also using tools like "Process Monitor" (still from Microsoft, very easy to be rescued on the web), and it shown, to me, an huge activity from mcshield.exe in polling all the disks and floppy paths (e.g. C:\, K:\, A:\, etc), like for instance ten times per second or more per each root, in attempting to perform a "IRP_MJ_CREATE" operation with path as "A:\$Extend\Reparse:$R:$INDEX_ALLOCATION", and as the floppy is opened (no floppy disk inside), as results it say: "PATH NOT FOUND", but the same command is performed over the C:\ and K:\  hard disks, with same pourpose and sintiax (still up to ten times per seconds), and for these, understandably, it quotes SUCCESS as result (I can in fact get SUCCESS also on A:\ if I simply place a floppy disk inside the driver);

4) to better understand the above, I would suggest anyone here experiencing such type of problems (just run procmon.exe "Process Monitor " by Microsoft) to see if you will ensure also such abnormal and huge polling on all HD and FP from mcshield.exe; this should hopefully give all parties some more useful information to clear such common issue;

5) I'm not longer available to waste my time and to study further such issue (without being paid, when I trust like I already paid someone else for a working product that should not cause me trouble and nuisances, on several PC, where several T.P. suites have been paid), as if the above is true, McAfee should explain me/us the reasons of such exaggerated polling, and which relation it should have with the "missed support from Microsoft" over the XP platform (including the "floppy disk obsolescence"); it more sounds to me like if I go to my doctor and  I say "Doc I've a bad pain in my left arm", and he will reply to me: "Ok, no probs, pull it out from your body, and you will not longer have pain in your left arms": this is up to now, what I was basically able  to read here (on the official McAfee community), where it have been also confirmed that a couple of  threads are running over such issue, like if this should be considered as a "generous" and a significative attempt to solve this annoying issue;

6) I hope the above will help anyone else to understand more on this issue, and possibly to demonstrate that neither XP obsolescence and/or the floppy disk is a "stone age" periheral (like to say: "why you still have one?"), so please "disconnect or disable it from Control Panel": in my opinion, even being the last one on the Earth thinking in this manner, this should not a reply policy from a Company like McAfee....

To close this matter, and in case no solutions will be from McAfee will be over this issue, I know for sure what I will have to do by the next warning message that will came to me from next july, asking me to renew all of our PC McAfee "Total Protection" suites....

Sorry to say this, but after being a McAfee products user for several decades, I would consider this one as the "straw that breaks the camel"

I'm not longer available to be told that I've a "stone age" peripheral, as also, I would read some more "technical" and "software" approach and replies to such issue instead to simply exerting philosophies like "XP is being abandoned", or that a floppy disk is obsolete now.

I trust like I paid good money in renewing the latest McAfee suites updates, and such money were not under any obsolescenze or abandoning  program, so someone should do something now, if wishes to see any if my further renewal.

My apologizes for a not brilliant english, but I'm not a mothertongue.....

I hope the above will help.

With all th best from Italy

Steve

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