Author Topic: very high(frequent) disc activity  (Read 10500 times)

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Offline mek

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very high(frequent) disc activity
« on: November 27, 2005, 09:26:49 PM »
Hi all

I experience on my System very high/frequent disc activity (2 disc access operations per second) caused by Avast itself or by the Windows Explorer concerning Avast files:

by the ashServ.exe and ashDisp.exe processes:
- to <Avast>\DATA\Avast4.ini
- to <Avast>\DATA\Avast4.mdb

by the explorer.exe process:
- to <Avast>\Aavm4h.dll

I'm using XP/SP-2 with all security patches, and (I think) the newest Avast version. All Avast providers but the "Standard Shield" are disabled. The activity starts right after a system reboot and remains active.

So what the hell is going on? And how can I stop this activities (besides by deinstalling Avast ;-))?

Thanks for any reply!
Kuno

Offline Cloussau

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Re: very high(frequent) disc activity
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2005, 09:30:58 PM »
Hi and welcome,
Can you check the sensitivity of standard sheild should be set to normal . maybe you have it set to high?
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Offline DavidR

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Re: very high(frequent) disc activity
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2005, 12:23:26 AM »
What version of avast are you using Home or Pro?

The two processes are checking for changes to settings I believe, etc.

If home try this - Right click the avast! icon and select Program Settings, then Troubleshooting and tick the Use XML storage instead of ODBC.

I sem to remember something like this before.
Windows 10 Home 64bit/ Acer Aspire F15/ Intel Core i5 7200U 2.5GHz, 8GB DDR4 memory, 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD/ avast! free 21.3.2459 (build 21.3.6164.561) UI 1.0.609/ Firefox, uBlock Origin, uMatrix/ MailWasher Pro/ Avast! Mobile Security

Offline Lisandro

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Re: very high(frequent) disc activity
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2005, 02:17:16 AM »
If home try this - Right click the avast! icon and select Program Settings, then Troubleshooting and tick the Use XML storage instead of ODBC.
This could prevent the Microsoft Jet drivers from accessing the database... does it have any (positive) effect?
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Offline DavidR

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Re: very high(frequent) disc activity
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2005, 03:36:03 PM »
Which is why I suggested it if 'mek' is using the Home version.
Windows 10 Home 64bit/ Acer Aspire F15/ Intel Core i5 7200U 2.5GHz, 8GB DDR4 memory, 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD/ avast! free 21.3.2459 (build 21.3.6164.561) UI 1.0.609/ Firefox, uBlock Origin, uMatrix/ MailWasher Pro/ Avast! Mobile Security

Offline mek

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Re: very high(frequent) disc activity
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2005, 08:13:05 PM »
Hi all

Many thanks for your replies. Ok, here the facts:

- I'm using Avast Home Edition 4.6.731

- Setting to XML-Storage calmed the things down:
    - file access to Avast4.mdb and Aavm4h.dll seem to be gone
    - access to Avast4.ini has been reduced to a 6s interval

- I think, the previous security level of the standard shield was normal; though I'm not sure by 100% because the switching to XML caused that all providers were running again after system boot.

Offline DavidR

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Re: very high(frequent) disc activity
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2005, 10:28:47 PM »
Yes as Tech mentioned the MS Jet Drivers which are used when the database used is ODBC can on occasions cause this type of activity. Changing the database to XML seems to resolve that, there is the fact that the settings may well be lost in the change of database storage method and that is what you saw.

Hopefully you are now back to were you were before but without the HDD activity.
Windows 10 Home 64bit/ Acer Aspire F15/ Intel Core i5 7200U 2.5GHz, 8GB DDR4 memory, 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD/ avast! free 21.3.2459 (build 21.3.6164.561) UI 1.0.609/ Firefox, uBlock Origin, uMatrix/ MailWasher Pro/ Avast! Mobile Security

Offline alanrf

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Re: very high(frequent) disc activity
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2005, 12:08:10 PM »
I have just dicovered the condition reported by mek to be occurring on my system. 

In an earlier release of avast when this "disk hammering" had been reported I had confirmed that it was definitely not happening for me.  Now I find that it is.  While the "prescribed medicine" (XML instead of ODBC) has had the same calming effect it had for mek, I wonder if there is any information on why this problem should arise when it was not present before.

Offline alanrf

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Re: very high(frequent) disc activity
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2005, 10:50:31 PM »
I just called another avast! user (current version) also on WinXP SP2 and asked him to check his system.  He also has exactly the same condition as reported by mek. 

I wonder how many other users are unaware that they do too.  Would it reduce the i/o overhead for avast! for Home Edition users generally if XML were the default?

Offline szc

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Re: very high(frequent) disc activity
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2005, 11:22:22 PM »
It's nothing new, it's just no one listened when we were alarming that something strange is happening. This thread is not quite new, and it tells much about some boot-time issues.

http://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=16882.msg143240#msg143240

No Home Edition here, and I don't use XML data storage, I use ODBC as suggested (for Pro version) by Alwil team many times by now... still booting time went up to whole 1 and a half minute. That's unbelievable slow considering how it was before. And this is a list of my startup items (I keep it very clean):



And also this is a list of my services:



And this is what autoruns says:



...plus, Process Explorer:



On my test machine I completely uninstalled avast! (Home Edition on that one though), cleaned registry and every single trace of avast! and installed NOD32. What a decrease in boot time, that's unbelievable. System starts almost immediatelly. Oh, forgot to say, Kerio latest version is installed on both systems.

What's happening I have no clue...
« Last Edit: December 06, 2005, 11:26:37 PM by S.Z.Craftec »
MB: GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD3H Intel 7 Series  - LGA1155, CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K - Quad Core, 3.40GHz (3.80GHz Max Turbo), CPU COOLER: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO Direct Heat Pipe R2, RAM: 16 GB Kingston HyperX Blu DDR3, VIDEO CARD: Galaxy GeForce GTX 560 Ti - 1GB, GDDR5, POWER SUPPLY: Corsair Enthusiast Series TX750 V2 - 750 Watts, HD: Seagate Barracuda - 2TB, 7200RPM, 64MB, SATA 6Gb/s

Offline alanrf

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Re: very high(frequent) disc activity
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2005, 06:21:09 AM »
Sasha,

interesting that you connect this with boot time issues. 

I changed from ODBC to XML and it did not seem to affect me at all, other than (when I inspected my Filemon log) all the excessive accesses ceased. 

The person I called - having the identical condition as mek-  went ballistic at me for recommending a change (ODBC to XML) that dramatically increased his boot time.  The avast logo in the systray spinning "forever" before the ZoneAlarm client loaded. Reverting to ODBC restored the speedier system startup.

I tried going back as far as 4.6.655 but the "mek" excessive accesses persist. I guess I have not been monitoring too closely as each avast! update was deployed. 

To be fair to our friends in the avast! team even reverting to ODBC (with the "excessive" accesses recorded by Filemon) are, for me, not having a significant effect on CPU utilization and appear to be managed largely within memory and not incurring any recordable amount of extra physical disk activity.

       

Offline szc

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Re: very high(frequent) disc activity
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2005, 02:02:08 PM »
Sasha,

interesting that you connect this with boot time issues.
...
...
...

Well, what else ? I've read about those "disk hammering" issues, and same thing happens during the bootup process (after logging into Windows)... extensive disk activity for no visible (I mean so obvious) reason. As you can see, not many programs are in my startup, so I really don't see any need for ashServ.exe to use that much of a CPU time.
MB: GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD3H Intel 7 Series  - LGA1155, CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K - Quad Core, 3.40GHz (3.80GHz Max Turbo), CPU COOLER: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO Direct Heat Pipe R2, RAM: 16 GB Kingston HyperX Blu DDR3, VIDEO CARD: Galaxy GeForce GTX 560 Ti - 1GB, GDDR5, POWER SUPPLY: Corsair Enthusiast Series TX750 V2 - 750 Watts, HD: Seagate Barracuda - 2TB, 7200RPM, 64MB, SATA 6Gb/s

Offline Zagor

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Re: very high(frequent) disc activity
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2005, 05:09:19 PM »
Well I have to agree with Sasha,
I see no reason for this to happen.
As alarnf said "The avast logo in the systray is spinning "forever" before the ZoneAlarm client loaded".

This wasn't happening when I had Bit Defender installed before.
I use ODBC and my boot lasts for two minutes, annoying ha?!
Zone Alarm Free         Bit Defender Free      Ad Aware Se Personal
avast!Professional      Ewido S Suite Plus      Microsoft AntiSpyware
Sys Safety Monitor       aSquared Free         Spybot Search&Destroy
Rootkit Revealer                                       Spyware Blaster

Tbird+Firefox2.0 (NoScript+AdBlockPlus+Dr.WebPreLinkScan)+ Win

Offline szc

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Re: very high(frequent) disc activity
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2005, 05:16:01 PM »
Exactly, and take a look here please (my post about Comodo firewall, but pay attention to the antivirus change story):

http://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=17020.msg147118#msg147118
MB: GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD3H Intel 7 Series  - LGA1155, CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K - Quad Core, 3.40GHz (3.80GHz Max Turbo), CPU COOLER: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO Direct Heat Pipe R2, RAM: 16 GB Kingston HyperX Blu DDR3, VIDEO CARD: Galaxy GeForce GTX 560 Ti - 1GB, GDDR5, POWER SUPPLY: Corsair Enthusiast Series TX750 V2 - 750 Watts, HD: Seagate Barracuda - 2TB, 7200RPM, 64MB, SATA 6Gb/s

Offline Lisandro

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Re: very high(frequent) disc activity
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2005, 05:54:26 PM »
Prescribed medicine (XML instead of ODBC)

Remember, if you ask which is better ODBC or XML? I'll say that for the Home version, they are equal.

For the Professional version of avast!, XML is missing some functionality (compared to ODBC), so switching avast! Pro to XML storage is not a good idea: ODBC makes it possible to store the past sessions in the Professional version - which is not possible with XML. Appart from this, Enhanced User Interface behaves strange when switched to XML storage - when a task is started, another instance of it appears in the list (of the tasks, not of the corresponding sessions!). Alwil did not explore the problem deeper yet, so it could be a bug or just something caused by the inability to store additional info in the storage. Right now, XML storage is currently considered just a backup option for avast! Home.

So with Professional version, try to update the Jet drivers (MDAC package) and see if it helps (http://www.microsoft.com/data).

antivirus interacting with firewall at logon is always a problem in SP2.
For me, avast runs ok, but Kerio gives me an error: cannot connect to service  :P
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