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Need help identifying unknown process

Last response: in Windows XP
June 19, 2005 6:56:50 PM

I'm having trouble identifying a program that's running on my PC. I'm running XP SP2. I've got MS Anti-spyware running, along with Norton Anti-virus. Both are coming up clean. I've also run Spybot and Ad-aware, also coming up clean. I've used hijackthis to look for anything else supsicious and I'm not seeing anything particularly out of the ordinary.

About every fifteen minutes a new application shows up on the taskbar and disappears about a second later. It has a generic window icon and the label is blank. I've waited for it to come up and tried to pull up the menu for it by right clicking, but it's just the generic menu with nothing indicating what it is. It shows up almost exactly every fifteen minutes. Over the course of several days though, it slips a minute or two. In other words, today it might run at 8:15, 8:30, 8:45, etc, but in a few days it will be showing up at 8:16, 8:31, 8:46, etc. So it doesn't seem to be tied to the system time. There are no processes listed under Scheduled Tasks that have a fifteen minute interval (only Symantec NetDetect every four hours, and Nortan AV once daily).

In general it doesn't bother me. It doesn't seem to hurt anything and doesn't interfere with stuff I'm doing. Except when I'm running a game full screen. Then it dumps me out of the game and back to Windows, usually getting me killed before I can alt-tab back in. Needless to say, it's rather annoying being dumped out of a game every fifteen minutes.

Is there an XP log, or utility I can download, that would help me identify the process that's spawning an application on the taskbar? I've watched the Task Manager during the event and I don't see any activity that seems to be associated with the mystery application, and now I'm looking for something a little more detailed and/or informative.
June 20, 2005 12:50:14 PM

Check what software you've installed that might be causing it.

Do you have a name for the process? I'll almost guarentee it's some piece of software you've installed with something else that's tapping out for an update or something.

You can run MSCONFIG from the Run command, go to Start Up tab to check all the programs that are started in the background. That might help you find stuff you don't want running, plus it should give you more of an idea of what's causing it.
June 21, 2005 10:14:20 PM

Msconfig is a great tool to get rid of startup items..

try running HiJackTHIS software... it's a free tool and you can run it and follow up and post the log on a hijackthis website and many people will look it over and tell you what you can/cannot delete..

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June 23, 2005 3:49:23 AM

There is an event viewer in the control panel under administrative tools.
June 23, 2005 11:44:37 AM

You could try running HijackThis and posting the log in a security forum for some "guru's" to check out and comment on ...

<b>"The Edge - there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over." Hunter S. Thompson, </b><b><i>Hell's Angels, 1965</i></b>