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Thread poster: Manuela Junghans
Problem - Script running in the background on my computer

Manuela Junghans  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:56
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
Oct 4, 2012

Hi everyone.

I have a really annoying problem with my laptop, and this has been going on now for quite a long time.

At any given moment my computer can virtually come to anything between getting REALLY slow and basically coming to a complete standstill. You can hear it doing something in the background, but there´s nothing you can do about it, as it basically stops to react. It´s most of the times also impossible to shut it down and/or restart it. And even after restarts etc. the problem is exactly the same.

After anything from 10 mins to up to more than 1 hour a message suddently pops up saying something like "there´s a script running in the background on your computer. Do you want to wait for the script to finish or stop it?" If you then click on OK or whatever other choice you get the message might disappear or reappear another 2-3 times and after that the computer is sort of ok again and works normally....until the next time this happens.
This can take anything between 1 hour or 2-3 days.

This is really annoying and I have no idea where this problem comes from and neither how to get rid of it or whether it is possible to get rid of it at all. This slowing down of my computer at random and very frequent times is in turn significantly slowing down myself and the amount of work I can do in any given time.

Please if anyone has experienced this and knows a remedy, I would be immensely grateful for any advice.

Thanks a lot in advance.

Manuela


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Albert Golub  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:56
Member (2004)
English to French
+ ...
You must try to determine what process is guilty Oct 4, 2012

the task manager shows you the names of the processes and the amount of memory they use, a clue but not a solution, sorry and good luck

The Task Manager is a feature that provides information about the programs and processes running on your computer at a particular point in time. Determining what processes are running on your computer can help you improve your computer performance by stopping unnecessary processes. In addition, you may be able to determine if your computer is infected with a virus by looking for unknown processes that are using a lot of system memory.


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wotswot  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 13:56
Member (2011)
French to English
Background tasks Oct 4, 2012

Sounds fishy to me. The first thing to check (if you haven't already done so) is the Windows Task Manager (In Windws 7, Ctrl-Alt-Del then Start Task Manager, can't remember in XP). Check the second tab 'Processes', sort by size and/or 'Running/stopped' and/or memory, which may give you a clue as to what process is using up so much memory and processing time. Make a note of all running processes then Google them to see whether any are fishy (virus/malware, etc.). NB: don't select a process then click on End process until you've identified the offending process.

Or it could be the Windows (and/or Office?) automatic updates that for some reason are not succeeding, so Windows constantly tries again (this depends on your Live Update settings).

Or it could be a rogue process launched by a piece of software you regularly use. Who knows? Try leaving your computer on with no programs running for at least one hour, to see whether the message reappears, just to rule out (or maybe not) the software you regularly use.

All this of course assumes you're using Windows (not Mac OS, Linux, etc.). More information would be helpful.


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MedPharm  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:56
English to Spanish
+ ...
Simple checks. Oct 4, 2012

I would first check the following:

1. Update the virus database for the antivirus you are using.
2. Check for viruses.

Virus: clean
No virus: proceed

2. Check disk space.
3. Defrag hard drive.
4, Use some utility for malware and crapware, like ccleaner or spybot.
5. Clean registry carefully with one of these utilities.
6. Check startup programs and remove unwanted entries.
7. Check system updates schedule.
8. Check hard drive defrag schedule.
9. Check any registry utility is not running in the background.

There are many more steps, but if you follow at least 1, 2, 3 and 4, you should get rid of most common problems.




[Edited at 2012-10-04 13:19 GMT]


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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 13:56
Member
French to English
+ ...
Internet browser? Oct 4, 2012

I don't know if like me you maybe leave your Internet browser (in my case, Firefox) running constantly in the background, but I have observed a similar thing happening with this (albeit without the 'script' error message). It seems that even if you aren't even actually surfing, Firefox seems to suffer from some kind of 'memory leak' such that it gradually takes up more and more memory as time goes on.

I find it helps to shut it down from time to time.


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Manuela Junghans  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:56
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for all your useful tips so far Oct 4, 2012

Tony, your suggestion seems to be the most probable to work, although if I need to close Firefox regularly just to prevent it from taking up too much space, this must clearly be an error in the Firefox "design"?

Thanks also to everyone for all the other useful tips. However, the anti-virsus seems to work fine, no viruses, I do defragment regularly, there´s enough disc space, etc.

What I didn´t know was about the process tab in the task manager. However, there are so many processes going on, if I wanted to google about each and every one of them, it would probably take me a very long time, and with no guaranteed outcome.

However, as Firefox seems to take up a lot of space, I will try Tony´s trick for a while and see whether this works. Not ideal, but...if there´s no other solution...


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Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:56
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
Agree with Tony Oct 4, 2012


Tony M wrote:

Firefox seems to suffer from some kind of 'memory leak' such that it gradually takes up more and more memory as time goes on.


I used to watch it grow and grow in Task Manager. It became such a problem in my case that I switched to Chrome.


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Rolf Keller
Germany
Local time: 13:56
English to German
"Something like"? Oct 5, 2012


Manuela Junghans wrote:

.. saying something like "there´s a script running ...


Enter the exact wording of that message in Google. Probably you'll find explanations, then.


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Manuela Junghans  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:56
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Hi Emma Oct 5, 2012

Thanks a lot for your input. I wouldn´t really want to switch, however, if you say with Chrome this problem doesn´t occur, it would be worth a try.

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Dominique Pivard  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:56
Finnish to French
System specs Oct 5, 2012


Manuela Junghans wrote:
Thanks a lot for your input. I wouldn´t really want to switch, however, if you say with Chrome this problem doesn´t occur, it would be worth a try.

Manuela: you didn't say anything about the specs of your laptop, most notably how much RAM it features and what version of Windows it's running. If you have very little RAM (by today's standards, 1-2 GB), switching to another browser will only help up to a point. If you keep 50 tabs open in Chrome, it will consume a lot of RAM (through probably less than Firefox).

Firefox does indeed eats up a lot of RAM as soon as you have more than half-a-dozen of tabs open. I personally don't care too much, because I have 8 GB of RAM on my laptop (and a 64-bit version of Windows to take advantage of all of it). Besides, I now run Waterfox (unofficial 64-bit version of Firefox) rather than Firefox, and it seems to be slightly better in its use of resources.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 09:56
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Process Explorer Oct 5, 2012

Process Explorer - free from http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653 should show you what's going on inside your computer. At least you'll have a clue on who or what is hijacking your machine to search and read about it.

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Manuela Junghans  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:56
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
... Oct 5, 2012

@Dominique: Yes, you´re right, my laptop is not the newest (3-4 years), and I´m sort of due a new one anyway, but in the meantime I will have to deal with the problem in one way or another. I don´t know how much RAM my computer has, but probably not a lot. However, I don´t usually have much more than half a dozen tabs open...

@José: thanks for that suggestions, I might try that to determine the "culpable" process


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Uros C
One more thing to check in Task Manager Nov 6, 2012

You don't have to google all the processes that show in Task Manager. Try sorting the processes by CPU column descending to see your CPU usage by process. The first process on the list is probably the one slowing down your computer. You can do the same in Process Explorer suggested by José (When your computer is in idle state the first process is 'System Idle Process').

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Problem - Script running in the background on my computer






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