pkolasa

Huge CPU usage during high-speed download

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Hello, 

I am using EAM for a long time and I am suffering from very strange behaviour whenever I download something with high-speed (over 4 MB/s) through the network. This is best observed during download of larger files (such as Windows 10 / Linux ISOs). During the download, CPU fans start to work very loud, CPU usage jumps to 100%, about 30-40% of which is consumed by, usually almost idle, System process - this causes Windows to be very sluggish until download is finished.

I am usually downloading files using Free Download Manager, but the same happens if I try to download something using any available browser.

Immediately after download finishes, CPU usage goes to standard values, basically 5-10%.

I have inspected System process Threads to find out what cuases this and I have noticed that driver related to EAM consume the most here - please take a look at screenshot: Emsisoft.png attached here. Also, during observation, it turned out that a2service is having a huge spike of data I/O, basically similar to what is the current speed of transfer - this is well shown on the screenshot - as well as the download speed - quite high, even better than nominal speed of my link. Also, inspection of a2service.exe threads, shows huge activity of Surf Protection (cache clearing?) during that time - even though if it's not browser doing the download. Another product I am using, AdGuard for Windows, which - as far as I know - is also using a WFP driver, is not behaving like this.

Could you check this - this is not blocking anything and I got used to it, but that is very strange.

Also, I wanted to uninstall EAM Home in order to make sure the situation is better when the protection is absent, but I do not want to lose my protection settings, even though they are managed by MyEmsisoft - because not everything can be managed from there (such as blocking CompatTelRunner from running through Behavior Blocker). And when I try to Export settings from EAM locally, the folder I point to save exported settings, gets created, but with no files inside. So, basically, the settings export is not working when EAM Home is managed from MyEmsisoft.

Best regards,
Peter.

 

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Are you aware that there's an ongoing problem with different people reporting high cpu use by either a2start or a2service?   See: https://support.emsisoft.com/topic/32777-high-cpu-usage-from-a2start-and-commservice/

I'm a little puzzled by you saying "high-speed (over 4 MB/s)" when the download manager thing shows 34 MB/s.  I know that download managers can appear to work miracles ... but what is the speed of your connection?

I think I remember (having asked Emsisoft a while ago why one of the EAM .exe's was doing so much I/O... that the I/O figure includes network traffic, not just disk I/O, though of course bytes arriving over the network have to be written to disk somewhere... but not, I would have thought, by a2service).   On the other hand, I'm not sure why EAM would need to look at every incoming byte of traffic.  I can't see what it can tell from doing that.   Surely it has to look at complete files?   Or.. I know download managers will split big downloads into multiple ones from the same (or also mirror) servers.  Could that be tens or hundreds of thousands of very small 'files' (files in the sense that each chunk is fetched separately and written somewhere .. and thus would appear to EAM to be a separate file needing scanned as its fetch completed?  I just don't know.

Surf Protection works by intercepting/monitoring DNS lookups, so presumably EAM's monitoring of that is done at the OS DNS level not at the browser one.    If the download manager really is fetching your file as thousands of small pieces rather than just a handful of pieces, maybe it does a DNS lookup at the start of each fetch.   Does the download manager have any statistics or logging that tell you how many servers its fetching from, and just how small each fragment is?

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Export Settings - I /don't/ use MyEmsisoft and when I just tried exporting Settings, the files did get created.  So that does somewhat imply MyEmsisoft (rather than the process of creating the files) is the problem.

Here, the default location for the exported files was in a folder named "Exported settings" in my Desktop folder, which already existed.   Did the folder already exist on your machine?

If it did: then maybe none of the process of exporting stuff actually happened for you.

If it didn't... it's odd that creation of the target folder would be done and then EAM not create any files in it; you might think if MyEmsisoft was somehow blocking this that the folder would not be created at all.

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@JeremyNicoll

I have an impression that you just wanted to undermine everything I wrote here. 

1) I was not aware, but please re-read my post. Where do I say anything about huge CPU usage by a2service or any EAM process? I think I wrote and it is clearly shown on the screenshot, about System process high CPU usage which is clearly connected with high I/O usage of a2service. The rest of what you wrote was basically what I've written anyway. 

The point of my post here was not to say that my DM is very good, but to point out that this issue occurs if the connection goes to the speed of over 4 MB/s. 34 MB/s is way beyond that but previously I just had a slower connection (basically 40 Mb/s, now I have about 300 MB/s). And I have observed is sometimes on 4 MB/s as well. 

If you do not know how FDM works, check its help. It will be written there that you can set how many "chunks" you want to have. And browser don't even do that - downloading as one part. Issue happens either way. I have also made a test, adding FDM to filtered apps in AdGuard - still, during download, no info about additional requests in requests log in AdGuard, all needed (10) connections are opened at the moment of download start. And yet, AdGuard WFP driver does not use so much of CPU time of System process.

2) I know it worked, just as you have said. I just did not use it after switching to MyEmsisoft. The folder is created, but only empty folder, no files in it. I have explicitly stated it.

I will also open a ticket to Support, as using just forums may not be the best idea.

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@pkolasa  - I certainly did not try to undermine you.  It's not the way I think, nor (in case you think I was trying to) was I either trying to "solve" your problem or imply it was minor.  I merely responded with thoughts that might have been relevant.

I did notice that you're classed as a "Tester", but your post count is low and I'm not used to seeing posts from you... so I thought it likely that you don't spend a lot of time here on the forum.

I know you didn't say specifically that a2start/a2service were using lots of CPU.  I was merely pointing out that there's currently a known problem of high cpu use affecting both processes for some users some of the time.   As no-one seems to know why it happens, maybe it affects systems in other ways too.

I didn't (and still don't) fully understand the point you're making about 4 MB/s being significant.   You said there's a problem "whenever I download something with high-speed (over 4 MB/s) through the network".   Is that a high rate?  Compared with what?   It was your implication that you're choosing to download at a high rate, AND the 8-fold difference between 4 MB/s and 34 MB/s that I didn't follow.  I wondered if in fact that "4" was a typo for "40".

 

There's no point in suggesting to me that I might read about how FDM works.   What would matter is how you'd configured it.   If (as you imply) it was only ever trying to download large files using ten connections (as opposed to hundreds or thousands) I wonder why there'd appear to be quite so much DNS activity going on.

 

> 2) I know it worked, just as you have said. I just did not use it after switching to MyEmsisoft. The folder is created, but only empty folder, no files in it. I have explicitly stated it.

I know you explicitly stated what happened for you.   I wasn't doubting it.   And, yes, I know (as you do) that it used to work the way I described.   What I didn't know (and probably you didn't either) is whether the current version of EAM still successfully saves settings in the old way.  It's been months since I last tried it.   You gave no indication of whether you'd tried it (without MyEmsisoft being involved) today or recently.    Even if you had done, it's quite common here whenever someone says they have a problem with some feature of EAM for other users to see if they also have the problem.   You seem to think I was challenging what you said.  I was not. 

 

> I will also open a ticket to Support, as using just forums may not be the best idea.

@GT500 lives, I think, In the US.  The hours he works do not fit all that well with the hours that people in Europe are awake.   He's often not here at all over weekends.   It is my practice - if I am awake and alert enough (I've a long-term illness) - to try to reply to many people's posts to get a discussion going, even though it may be a while before he gets involved.  Sometimes what people post is very vague and I try to ask them the sorts of things he might ask later on.  It speeds the whole process up, and also means that people whose posts would otherwise go unreplied to for many hours (or even several days) are less likely to think that no-one cares.   

 

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@JeremyNicoll

Okay, so now, when we know who wanted to achieve what - I based my opinion on the tone of your post, derived from the words chosen. But nevermind.

I was a Tester some time ago, however due to business duties, I do not currently have time for it, hence my small activity. And when I joined, rules were somewhat different than now.

1) None of my issues involve a2start or a2service CPU, so I believe this is a different thing and fully reproducible - occuring just when downloading something. They mention in their topic that this occurs randomly, so definitely not the case here.

It is significant based on lower download speeds, as this issue starts showing if a download speed goes beyond some value, such as, given 4 MB/s. When it's slower, CPU is not used that much. Simple as that. So, nevermind if it's 4 MB/s or 40 MB/s, the CPU usage is still high. If it's 2-3 MB/s - it's not.

2) OK, basing on that - I agree, I did not try it after joining MyEmsisoft.

That is exactly why I sent a message to support, maybe they'll find other opinions useful here.

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Try the following, and let me know if it has any effect on the CPU usage:

  1. Right-click on the little Emsisoft icon in the lower-right corner of the screen (to the left of the clock).
  2. Go to Protection status.
  3. Select Disable Web Protection.

Note that from what I'm seeing in your screenshot, roughly 35% of your CPU usage is from System (a Microsoft Windows system process), and roughly 39% of it is from fdm.exe (your download manager). Between the two, that's about 75% of your CPU usage.

As for Emsisoft Anti-Malware, I can only see three of its processes in the list, but a2service.exe and CommService.exe are shown to each be using around 6% (so roughly 12% CPU usage between the two of them), and a2start is only using 1.2%. I can't really say if that's abnormally high without knowing what CPU you have.

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Hello, @GT500

I have made such test. Thought it might require deinstallation, but disabling + reboot seemed to be enough. 
I have to say it's definitely better for System process and overall for the CPU usage after disabling Web Protection. System is no longer sluggish during downloads. As I usually download bigger files only through FDM - is there a way to exclude it from Web Protection only? Maybe that would help?

Please take a look at the screenshot attached - only FDM is consuming any significant CPU time, no other than system threads consuming anything within System process - in general - an improvement.

I did not complain that much about processes from EAM - those consumed not that much (this time even less) of CPU time during download, but about EAM thread within System process.

Should you want any information - it's Intel i7 6th Generation. More details on the second screenshot from Speccy.

2020-06-25 22_59_10.jpg
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2020-06-25 23_07_49.jpg
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You have Adguard for Windows installed? It's WFP driver may cause issues when used alongside of ours. Adguard for Windows has an option to help prevent such issues, however I don't remember what it's called. You can contact their support if necessary, and they can let you know.

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@GT500

I do and your support tech guy (I also opened a ticket within your systems) advised me to test without it. So, I uninstalled it completely, rebooted and the result is the same without AdGuard, huge CPU consumption by System process while downloading.

The problem, if I recall, as I was also affected by it, was that AdGuard did not filter anything at all if EAM was installed. They fixed it by now and it's working. Completely different thing.

2020-06-26 18_22_02.jpg
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Out of curiosity, does the current beta of Emsisoft Anti-Malware have any effect on the issue? Here's how to install it:

  1. Open Emsisoft Anti-Malware.
  2. Click on the little gear icon on the left side of the Emsisoft Anti-Malware window (roughly in the middle).
  3. Click on Updates in the menu at the top.
  4. On the left, in the Updates section, look for Update feed.
  5. Click on the box to the right of where it says Update feed, and select Beta from the list.
  6. Right-click on the little Emsisoft icon in the lower-right corner of the screen (to the left of the clock).
  7. Select Update now from the list.

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@GT500

I am already using it since almost beginning, I always switch to the beta feed.

Don't now have a way to test it (I am in a place with slower connection, not 300 MB/s), but will do until the end of the week.

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21 hours ago, pkolasa said:

Don't now have a way to test it (I am in a place with slower connection, not 300 MB/s), but will do until the end of the week.

OK. I know we made a number of performance improvements in 2020.7, so I just want to see if they have any effect on the issue you're having before we get more debug info.

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OK, let's get some debug logs when you have a chance. Here's what to do:

  1. Open Emsisoft Anti-Malware.
  2. Click on the little gear icon on the left side of the Emsisoft Anti-Malware window (roughly in the middle).
  3. Click Advanced in the menu at the top.
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the Advanced section, and change the option for Debug logging to Enabled for 1 day.
  5. After that, close the Emsisoft Anti-Malware window.
  6. Reproduce the issue you are having (start a download with your download manager, and confirm high CPU usage).
  7. Once you have reproduced the issue, open Emsisoft Anti-Malware again.
  8. Click on the little icon in the lower-left (right above the question mark) that looks like little chat bubbles.
  9. Click on the button that says Send an email.
  10. Select the logs on the right that show today's dates (if you try to send too many logs, then we may not receive them).
  11. Fill in the e-mail contact form with your name, your e-mail address, and a description of what the logs are for (if possible please leave a link to the topic on the forums that the logs are related to in your message).
  12. If you have any screenshots or another file that you need to send with the logs, then you can click the Attach file button at the bottom (only one file can be attached at a time).
  13. Click on Send now at the bottom once you are ready to send the logs.

Important: Please be sure to turn debug logging back off after sending us the logs. There are some negative effects to having debug logging turned on, such as reduced performance and wasting hard drive space, and it is not recommended to leave debug logging turned on for a long period of time unless it is necessary to collect debug logs.

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