Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Windows XP running slower than usual

If you've noticed that your XP box isn't as perky as it usually is, this post may be just what you need.

This morning I was running a build that normally takes about seven minutes, but when I checked on it - expecting to see everything had compiled properly - I found it had hardly begun. What the...? So I pulled up the Windows Task Manager, I saw that instead of using 20 to 50% of the CPU, the java.exe (we use ant so it shows up as java.exe and not javac.exe) process was putting along at single digits with an occasional sprint up to 16%.

Looking at the list of running Processes, I noticed a few I didn't recognize. Since this is a company box, I wasn't too surprised but I figured I'd do a little research on what was out there. As it turns out, I hit a homer with the first thing I looked up - a little beastie named cidaemon.exe.

Turns out it's used by an Indexing service from our friends at Microsoft and it had somehow gotten turned on. When I Googled the name I found this page on Microsoft's Help and Support site which told me how to turn it off. I followed the instructions and suddenly java.exe was back to it's normal (relatively) speedy self.

If you're seeing a similar problem on your XP box, bring up the Task Manager, click on the Processes tab and look for something called "cidaemon.exe" under the Image Name column. Note: If the items aren't in alphabetical order you can click on the Image Names label and they will be.

If cidaemon.exe is out there don't just click the End Process button to kill it, or the next time you reboot it will be back. Instead follow these instructions from Microsoft and you'll be set.

That's all for now, I've got some code to write.

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