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The Budapest Office - Castro Bisztro, Madach ter

The Budapest Office - Castro Bisztro, Madach ter
Ponder, Scribble, Ponder (Photo Erdotahi Aron)

Guest Nutter/Kindred Soul: Bill Bailey


Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Vista SP1 - BSOD, Bugs and Aggravations Part Deux

Does your system seem sluggish? Do you have one of those dashboard gadgets that says how much memory you are using and its seems to be saying "A Lot!"?

Or more specifically, have you checked the Processes tab of the Task Manager and seen row after row of taskeng.exe processes... tens? Hundreds? Thousands?

It pays to check occasionally. I only had a few hundred taskeng.exe processes, but that's more than enough to say WTF!

Quick Summary...

Taskeng.exe is the process that shows up for tasks created by the Task Scheduler. In Task Scheduler you can see which process belongs to which task by showing the Preview Pane and selecting a task event on the History tab and looking at the info on the General tab just below, where you will see something like

Task Scheduler launch task "\Start AVG Control Centre" , instance "C:\Program Files\Grisoft\AVG7\avgcc.exe" with process ID 2424.

But, if you have the particular problem of taskeng overload you won't find any corresponding tasks or events unless you select "Show Hidden Tasks" from the View menu... and then voila!

What you should probably be looking for is a task in Task Scheduler Local Library called "User_Feed_Synchonization... This task takes care of RSS feed collection, so if you don't use RSS feeds at all you will probably never have this problem, but if you do, look at its History... lots of failures? Yep, "UFS" is spawning another instance of itself every 5 minutes by default, and if they don't also terminate automatically that's an accumulation of 288 a day, each consuming a bit less than 1MB. Leave your machine on for a few days without restarting and >95% of the processes will be doing nothing helpful at all.

To resolve the problem - which is that the task has been corrupted - delete all existing "User_Feed_Synchronization..." tasks and then open a Cmd window.

Type "MSFEEDSSYNC DISABLE" (belt and braces approach) and then "MSFEEDSSYNC ENABLE", which will create a new feed collection task. The default task runs Once at 01:45 and then every 5 minutes until the next midnight... and then every five minutes thereafter so feeds won't be collected until either 01:45 or you kick start the task...

But at least you will own (a bit more of) your PC again

More info on checking the RSS User_Feed_Synchronization task, registry entries etc. from a Cmd window can be found on the Microsoft RSS blog, and my thanks to the guys, especially Andrew208, in the Technet forum who initially sorted this out in the post Re: Solved: 1055 spawned taskeng.exe threads... WTF? It seems this is an SP1 RC1 bug that didn't get stomped properly.

One of the few occasions on which one finds a problem and almost immediately a full answer... Nice Stuff.