JeremyNicoll

An app is very sluggish until I turn off OA's HIPS features

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Win XP Pro SP3, 32bit;  OA 6.0.0.1736   Also using most recent EAM. 

 

Today I finally put the trial versoins of OA and EAM onto my oldest, slowest laptop - which has an AMD Sempron 3000+ and 1 GB RAM.  (I did a few days ago increase the RAM to 2 GB but the machine was unstable - lots of application crashes and BSODs - so I reverted to the original RAM.)

 

I've found that my email & news client is very sluggish when OA is running; ok if it is not, and ok if I run OA with the HIPS features disabled.  Sluggish?  Things selected by mouse-click take up to 10 seconds to show they're selected, double-clicked mails take 10 seconds to open, etc.  Normally there are no speed problems. 

 

It can't just be RAM either because the email/news client only uses a modest 60 MB or so; the same system runs Firefox (using 150-200 MB) ok.

 

The email client is a uncommon one, written using Qt for cross-platform support, in this case V4.7.3, if that matters.

 

Before I tried turning OA off completely, or (as now) running OA without HIPS stuff, I had defined the email client's .exe on OA's Programs list - Allowed, Trusted, Normal.  File & Registry shields are off.  The folders where the app keeps its data are on EAM's FileGuard whitelist.

 

I'm slightly surprised that none of the Qt DLLs (supplied in the email client's program folder) appear by name in OA's Programs list (I'm looking at the whole list, not just the untrusted stuff).  Of course I don't know if Qt is implicated, but other apps on the machine seem fine, and since the problem appears to be in the email client's GUI support, Qt might be relevant.

 

 

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If you go to the Options in Online Armor, then go to the Exclusions tab, you can add the folder of the e-mail client as an exclusion and that should help with then issue.

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It's probably just the way the program works. If you were to remove the exclusion and run DebugView you would probably see Online Armor checking the application numerous times each second. Some programs can cause issues like this with HIPS and Behavior Blockers, and need to be excluded from protection in order to prevent performance issues.

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Are the developers planning to make the exclusions control more granular - to give the option of separately choosing the firewall and HIPS aspects?

Not that I am aware of. The exclusions are intended to fix compatibility issues that cannot be fixed by creating rules in other modules (Firewall, Programs, Files and Registry, etc), and thus will probably remain the way they are.

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The OA exclusion operates on either a whole folder, or even worse, a folder and its subfolders.   I'm already unhappy that I can't limit the exclusion that I've had to code to just the single program (or maybe the program and some of the DLLs it loads) that experience the problem.   In my case, I say 'maybe' for the DLLs because although I think they must be involved (Qt) none of them turned up by name in the OA Programs list, which struck me as odd.  

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While there are instances were a program runs out of a system folder, most programs have their own folders, and thus excluding the entire folder is usually safe (and better at resolving issues than just adding the EXE's and DLL's).

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