Author Topic: Abnormal ashServ.exe?  (Read 11692 times)

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leekb

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Abnormal ashServ.exe?
« on: January 09, 2005, 07:12:38 AM »
OS=WinXP SP2, avast! Home Edition Build Nov 2004 (4.5.561)

Pls look at the attached screen capture. Is ashServ.exe on my PC taking up too much memory? I was not initiating any scanning. It was merely resident in the background and it takes up close to 18MB of memory! Is this normal?

Another thing I noticed was the ashServ.exe memory was running in "HIGH" priority mode, which is quite unusual. Is it designed to be run in such high priority mode? See attached.

Offline Eddy

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Re: Abnormal ashServ.exe?
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2005, 07:24:18 AM »
As mentioned many times here on this board:

Taskmanager is not a reliable source if you want to see how much memory a application/service is using.

leekb

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Re: Abnormal ashServ.exe?
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2005, 08:04:57 AM »
I apologize I did not follow the previous thread on this subject. I used another utility called the process explorer and it seems the number is the same - 17MB+ see attached. I thought there might be something else messing up the memory usage so I reboot my PC. ashServ.exe immediately takes up 16MB+ of memory upon boot up.

Also, I disabled all providers that I do not use and left two running - Standard Shield and Network Shield.

I am still hoping someone could enlighten why ashServ.exe starts up in HIGH priority instead of NORMAL. Thanks.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2005, 08:10:57 AM by leekb »

Offline alanrf

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Re: Abnormal ashServ.exe?
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2005, 08:12:01 AM »
I have to wonder if telling a questioner flatly that task manager has been put down many times on this board and leaving it at that has any value whatsoever as a response.  Might have well said nothing and not wasted the time of any of us reading. 

Leekb ... I see that in my task manager the 'reported' memory usage of ashServ.exe is slightly higher than yours and the priority is also 'high'.  So I assume that is not abnormal for Avast!

Perhaps we can both get a more informative answer to your questions.

bobw

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Re: Abnormal ashServ.exe?
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2005, 08:24:20 AM »
Taskmanager is not a reliable source if you want to see how much memory a application/service is using.
If the Operating System's own Task Manager is not reliable, then what is?

I personally trust the Task Manager, and I'm just curious why you don't... :P

leekb

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Re: Abnormal ashServ.exe?
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2005, 08:28:39 AM »
I am a new avast user so I do not know for sure how to interpret the peculiarity of avast in terms of memory usage and process priority. Since I saw a few forummers here that this is normal. I will let it be then. If this has been a frequently asked question, may I suggest that a FAQ post be created and make it sticky in this forum.

Running a process in "HIGH" priority unnecessarily cannot be a good thing. It may gobble up valuable CPU cycle that would have been put to better use in running user applications. I experimented by changing the priority from HIGH to NORMAL. No problem so far after the change. I am looking for a way to make this change permanent. Because ashServ.exe always boot up in "HIGH" priority.

Offline RejZoR

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Re: Abnormal ashServ.exe?
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2005, 09:05:11 AM »
avast! is running in High priority so it finishes the given task faster and releases CPU power to other things. Changing to Normal would only make the things worse.
Alwil programmers know why it must be on High priority.

For correct memory usage you have to enable VM Size column in Processes list (Task Manager).
Open Task manager,select Processes tab,click View and select Select Columns... in dropdown menu.
New column will appear next to the Memory usage one. Now check the VM Size column and tell us again how much is it using.
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galooma

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Re: Abnormal ashServ.exe?
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2005, 09:29:20 AM »
there`s an option to scan thru a screensaver which would perhaps fit your needs leekb .
must say i have never used or looked into it myself

leekb

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Re: Abnormal ashServ.exe?
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2005, 01:11:47 PM »
For correct memory usage you have to enable VM Size column in Processes list (Task Manager).
Open Task manager,select Processes tab,click View and select Select Columns... in dropdown menu.
New column will appear next to the Memory usage one. Now check the VM Size column and tell us again how much is it using.

For ashServ.exe, the VM size is nearly the same as the Mem Usage column. See attached.

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Re: Abnormal ashServ.exe?
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2005, 01:58:35 PM »
You are probably using P2P Shield and Instant messager providers right?
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leekb

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Re: Abnormal ashServ.exe?
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2005, 05:15:18 PM »
You are probably using P2P Shield and Instant messager providers right?

No. I only have Standard Shield and Network Shield running. The other providers are disabled because I do not need them.

Additional Info:
Intel P4 2.6C
1GB Main Memory
240GB HDD RAID 0

avast4.ini attached.

Offline DavidR

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Re: Abnormal ashServ.exe?
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2005, 06:28:04 PM »
Although your case seems different as both figures are close, usually they are very different. Mine shows a VM size of 10,964 Kb.

Vlk mentioned this some time ago in (http://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=6494.msg50215#msg50215) to explain the diference in memory usage Vs VM size, hope this helps. This may explain why many poo poo the task manager figures as they use memory usage figures by default, which may be misleading

Quote
In short:
Mem Usage: the total number of pages the process has currently resident in its address space. This is sometimes also called
"Process Working Set". Few examples:

- a process maps a 300MB file (no memory allocation, really, just "mapping" -- this does not in fact consume any RAM) -- the Mem Usage column will increase by 300MB

- a process allocates 300MB of heap (i.e. RAM) but then goes idle for X hours. The system swaps the memory to the page file and the Mem Usage column can drop to e.g. 1MB.

VM Size: Size of memory allocated by the process (heap, stack etc). This is sometimes also called "Private Bytes". If a process allocates 300MB of heap, the VM Size will not drop bellow 300MB. If a process maps a 300MB file, the VM Size will not change.

In general, VM Size is a much better indicator of memory hogs. Of course, there are also some exceptions. Since Windows manages memory internally, it's not always easy to find out what's going on when the value is too high/low - it may require deeper analysis...

Cheers,
Vlk
« Last Edit: January 09, 2005, 06:34:10 PM by DavidR »
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Offline Lisandro

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Re: Abnormal ashServ.exe?
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2005, 03:39:01 AM »
I have to wonder if telling a questioner flatly that task manager has been put down many times on this board and leaving it at that has any value whatsoever as a response.  Might have well said nothing and not wasted the time of any of us reading.

Yes, sometimes we get 'tired'... sorry for the non informative post...
Anyway, RejZor said everything you asked (about the priority, it's ok for HIGH, and about the Task Manager, use the Virtual Memory column). David said correctly that, most often, two values are very different one from another.

Can you see if you use the 'Custom' level of protection in Standard Shield (un-checking the scanning of open/created/modified files) it helps?
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Offline Eddy

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Re: Abnormal ashServ.exe?
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2005, 04:41:56 AM »
alanrf,
no offense to you or anybody else. But I (and others) spend a lot of time here on this board trying to help others with the experience/knowledge we have. All as voluntears! Speaking for myself, I don't know everything and it would very much surprise me if I ever will. But answering the same questions over and over and over again is not something anyone would enjoy. So if people have a question, let them first do some investigation by theirselfs. Most questions asked here are already asked and answered before. I personally rather are trying to help someone who really needs it if it is a new problem than telling the same 'story' over and over again. Noone likes to feel like a record that is stuck and plays the same thing over and over again.......


And about memory usage... Vlk has answered that one already on 8 Agust 2004 (and many times before that)

http://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=6494.msg50215#msg50215

leekb

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Re: Abnormal ashServ.exe?
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2005, 09:41:09 AM »
Thanks for providing the links for read. Now I more or less understand how this got started.

When I read in the web that avast is efficient and takes up only 7+MB of memory, plus many of its positive attributes, I became interested. But Windows taskbar of my PC shows that avast actually takes up much more than 7+MB, 17MB to 19MB in fact. I became concerned. After joining this forum, I finally realized that it is normal and nothing to worry about.  ;)

All in all, it is the misinformation of 7+MB memory footprint that started this discussion.  >:(

Just a moment I installed avast onto another PC (P4 3.0E with 512MB RAM). And truly ashServ takes up 18MB of VM. I reckon this is normal and nothing to worry about.