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After using utorrent XP SP2 has small freezes every x minutes?


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This is such a strange problem i can't figure it out. I have 2 pc's and both run utorrent without a problem. On one of the pc's (XP SP2) a problem only happens AFTER i've used utorrent.

I.e. So i've closed / quit utorrent and start to play a game or watch a movie (divx/xvid), every maybe 5 to 10 minutes the screen will freeze for a fraction of a second. This goes on indefinite.

When i reboot the pc the freezes are gone. Movies playback without hitching as do games.

I have no software that conflicts with utorrent itself, both of my pc's use the same antivirus and firewall software and they don't cause a problem, also i checked the FAQ here and there are no common problems with them. My guess is the firewall and antivirus don't have anything to do with the small freezes.

The only difference between the windows installment on my two pc's is that one has SP1 and the other SP2, the SP2 pc is the one with the problem.

I'm using the latest utorrent version btw.

Thanks for reading this so far. I hope somebody can maybe help me out finding the cause for this problem!

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My pc is pretty clean. I'm very cautious what i install or not.

Anyway here's the hyjack log;

Logfile of Trend Micro HijackThis v2.0.2
Scan saved at 17:19:04, on 1/13/2008
Platform: Windows XP SP2 (WinNT 5.01.2600)
MSIE: Internet Explorer v6.00 SP2 (6.00.2900.2180)
Boot mode: Normal

Running processes:
C:\Program Files\Sygate\SPF\smc.exe
C:\Program Files\Network Associates\VirusScan\Avsynmgr.exe
C:\Program Files\Network Associates\VirusScan\VsStat.exe
C:\Program Files\Network Associates\VirusScan\Vshwin32.exe
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Network Associates\McShield\Mcshield.exe
C:\=- Games -=\Steam\Steam.exe
C:\Program Files\uTorrent\uTorrent.exe
C:\Program Files\Outlook Express\msimn.exe
C:\Program Files\Trend Micro\HijackThis\HijackThis.exe

R0 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Start Page = about:blank
O2 - BHO: AcroIEHlprObj Class - {06849E9F-C8D7-4D59-B87D-784B7D6BE0B3} - C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 7.0\ActiveX\AcroIEHelper.dll
O2 - BHO: (no name) - {7E853D72-626A-48EC-A868-BA8D5E23E045} - (no file)
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [SmcService] C:\PROGRA~1\Sygate\SPF\smc.exe -startgui
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [MAFWTaskbarApp] C:\WINDOWS\system32\MAFWTray.exe
O9 - Extra button: Messenger - {FB5F1910-F110-11d2-BB9E-00C04F795683} - C:\Program Files\Messenger\msmsgs.exe
O9 - Extra 'Tools' menuitem: Windows Messenger - {FB5F1910-F110-11d2-BB9E-00C04F795683} - C:\Program Files\Messenger\msmsgs.exe
O23 - Service: AVSync Manager (AvSynMgr) - Unknown owner - C:\Program Files\Network Associates\VirusScan\Avsynmgr.exe
O23 - Service: McShield - Unknown owner - C:\Program Files\Common Files\Network Associates\McShield\Mcshield.exe
O23 - Service: PDAgent - Raxco Software, Inc. - C:\Program Files\Raxco\PerfectDisk\PDAgent.exe
O23 - Service: PDEngine - Raxco Software, Inc. - C:\Program Files\Raxco\PerfectDisk\PDEngine.exe
O23 - Service: Sygate Personal Firewall Pro (SmcService) - Sygate Technologies, Inc. - C:\Program Files\Sygate\SPF\smc.exe

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Yes this firewall is old but it serves it's purpose well for my system. The xp firewall is disabled.

Let me emphasize one thing again; utorrent and all internet connection using apps work fine. I have no speed problems whatsoever. The problem only starts when i quit utorrent and it persists until i reboot.

Once i quit utorrent something causes small pauses and i don't know what.

I've checked xp's services, followed more than one guide for information regarding them until i was sure what they did and turned on/off those not needed. I've monitored all running programs using taskmanager and process explorer, if needed googleing all programs until i learned why they are running, nothing seems out of the ordinairy.

My last suspicion was that the windows Media Timer got offset, that could possibly explain what is happening. But running windows media player and leaving it idle (wmp fixes the Media Timer) didn't help so that rules it out.

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Once you must realize that using years old security software (which should be updated always to the newest to be able to deal with the ever changing world of information technology and security threats) you will run more and more times into problems using the newest network based applications.

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Yes that's true. Still, for what i do this software serves me well. The engine is old, but the signatures get updated weekly as normal.

Oh before i forget, naturally i've tested with both my firewall and virusscanner disabled after quitting utorrent. Sadly, it didn't stop the pauzes.. :/

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Yes that's also true. Thanks for sticking it out with me;).

But since i'm running the exact same programs on my other pc that doesn't have the problem i'm not guessing it's the antivirus and firewall that cause a problem. My guess is utorrent does something, leaves something activated that leaves XP 'searching' for 'it' every xx minutes.

As i said before, i have monitored (up to boredom! :) ) all processes after quitting utorrent to see where possible spikes appeared or where sudden ram/virtual ram got used. Nothing shows out of the ordinary with my common programs.

I checked changes in sound, video and network activity and how much impact they have on responsiveness of this system. Really, i can't find anything weird.

It's as if XP gets the hickups after utorrent quits!

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You said your SP2 PC gives you problems but not the one with SP1, even though the same firewall is installed on both? You also admittedly use an ancient firewall, right? Could it be that the firewall itself has problems with SP2? Uninstall and check as Firon said. If that works, upgrade your firewall.

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I've thought about it and i must agree that uninstalling both will teach me more, so i'll try that. Now let's say that somehow either or both programs are indeed causing the pauses that happen after i quit utorrent, what would trigger that behaviour and would i see differences in either or both RAM and CPU usage when it happens? Furthermore, what would be utorrent's part in it?

I hope you guys give that some thought while i try your suggestions.


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Once uTorrent is no longer showing up in the Task Manager processes list, it's shut down for good, so there should be no conflict with any program whatsoever. If after closing uTorrent it lingers in the process list for an inordinately long period of time (do you have bt.graceful_shutdown enabled by any chance? If you don't know what that is, forget it), we need to figure out why that is.

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