UPDATE: Looks like this bug has been fixed in Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1). I've upgraded and I've not seen this issue again.
I give Microsoft a lot of credit for the work all their bloggers do to increase the transparency of their business. Specifically the developers and folks in the developer division (devdiv) do a great job of letting us know what's up, especially when things are wrong.
However, when I have a problem, and I Google and Google...
(and sometimes find myself - that's always disheartening when you Google for a problem, find yourself, then at that moment realize that not only have you had this problem before, but you're still screwed.)
and find a huge number of folks "suffering" on blogs, on Usenet, in Forums with some similar problem, and nary a Microsoft blogger or MVP in sight.
Try Googling for any subset of these words "MSMPENG.EXE, TrustedInstaller.exe and SLSVC.EXE at 100% CPU on Vista Machines" and you'll discover a mass of pained and screaming Vista users, yearning for a HotFix.
When I see things like this, I think "If I worked for Microsoft, fixing this problem could be a HUGE opportunity." This isn't a small problem, if Google has anything to say about it, but rather something is really sick somewhere.
I've had a pretty decent Vista experience, recognizing that I'm an Early Adopter. Early Betas hurt me, and an RC1 or two destroyed a machine or two, but after release (RTM) including installation and day to day use, my experience has been nice. My wife, my mom, and myself all run Vista. I also got OneCare for the whole family, having had nice experiences as a Beta Tester.
Now, in the last month, on EVERY Vista Machine I have, from a slow AMD K5 my wife runs, to a Toshiba m200 Tablet, an IBM T60, and a home-built monster, has suffered with these issues. All of them, every machine and every issue:
- MSMPENG.EXE - Some say this is Windows Defender, others say it's the OneCare AntiVirus. SysInternals ProcMon says it's constantly going over totally innocuous files over and over again. Note that I've turned off both OneCare and Defender on these machines. (Not sure why there's two apps?) This process just won't stop sucking the life from my machines. Things are SO slow, especially when the process hits a 4 gig ISO or 12 gig VM Disk Image.
- TrustedInstaller.exe - This application has such a suspicious name I immediately started Googling around thinking I was infected with some evil Trojan. I mean, "TrustedInstaller.exe"? Seriously, like I'm going to see this in Taskman and say to myself, "oh, as long as it's TRUSTED." This process starts up seemingly randomly, even when I'm not installing things. It runs for 10 minutes or so, then disappears. I fear it. I fear iTunes on Vista more, but this one is pretty bad also.
- SLSVC.EXE - The Software Licensing Service. I guess it licenses software, or hands out licenses, but there's no telling when it'll pop up, churn for an hour, then leave.
- SearchIndexer.exe and friends - These guys just won't stop. There's usually 3 or 4 of them going all at once, but I still have to wait for a count of one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand, three-one-thousand, four-one-thousand before Search Results come back.
I don't like having to run my Operating System with Taskman constantly open because I no longer trust background processes. I'd like someone at Microsoft who works on one of these apps, help me understand what crazy edge case I've hit on every machine I own and how I can make it stop. I mean this not as a troll, and if you read my blog, you know I never blog bile, but I'm really interested in figuring out what's up.
What process is currently sucking up YOUR CPU? (Mac and Linux folks are welcome to join in, as I run TOP in a Terminal constantly on my Macs also.)