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Kudos0

High disk usage at 100% on NIS - Files DISTRPTR.DAT and DISTRPTR.DAT .LOG

I been getting all of sudden the last week high disk usage for 20-25 min on these two files by NortonSecurity.exe

DiSTRPTR.DAT and DiSTRPTR.DAT.log

It happen when the computer wakes up from sleep mode in most cases. 

I'm on Windows 10; a HP Elite Desktop, the machine is only 2-3 months old and this problem started within the week or so.

NIS Versoin 22.16.2.22

Replies

Kudos0

Re: High disk usage at 100% on NIS - Files DISTRPTR.DAT and DISTRPTR.DAT .LOG

Hi marlae007:

What is your Win 10 version and build (see the How-To Geek article How to Find Out Which Build and Version of Windows 10 You Have) and is this Win 10 Home or Professional?

As a first troubleshoooting step, please ensure that the Fast Startup power option is disabled as instructed in the TenForums tutorial How to Turn On or Off Fast Startup in Windows 10 and then re-boot your system a few times after this setting is disabled.  This Fast Startup feature can interfere with product updates and loading of Norton services at boot-up and result in all sorts of odd glitches and unexpected behaviour on Win 8.x and Win 10 computers.

Post back if disabling Fast Startup doesn't help.  It's possible your NIS installation was corrupted during a recent update and if necessary I can provide instructions on how to perform a clean reinstall of NIS.

You should also read through the thread BUG-Norton Security 22.10 Degrades System Performance about a similar issue with diStRptr (the Stat Reporter Job Worker) and the error data collection associated with Norton Community Watch.  The posts in that thread that are dated from 28-Aug-2017 and onward would be the most relevant to you.  In most cases disabling Fast Startup (Win 8.x / Win 10) and/or reinstalling Norton usually solves this disk thrashing but it's always possible you've uncovered a new software bug.
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32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Firefox ESR v52.9.0 * Norton Security Premium v22.15.1.8

Kudos0

Re: High disk usage at 100% on NIS - Files DISTRPTR.DAT and DISTRPTR.DAT .LOG

Hi.  I'm on Windows 10 Home - Version 1803 Build 17134.407.  

I did lot of things prior to your recommendations this AM; I changed Idle Time Out from 10 to 1 (do more at smaller chucks instead of a lot later on, that's the theory)  and Changed Compress to Off.

I turned off Task Scheduler for Chrome/IE Temp file clean, windows temp files, IE Explore history files and disk optimization.  I have an outside program that can perform these task on demand when I want (ie. Glary Utilies)

The changes I made seem to help for now. I also tried your Fast Startup (after my changes) and didn't notice anything. However, it's good to know where that is - just in case.

Thanks you for reply and information...

Kudos0

Re: High disk usage at 100% on NIS - Files DISTRPTR.DAT and DISTRPTR.DAT .LOG

marlae007:
...I turned off Task Scheduler for Chrome/IE Temp file clean, windows temp files, IE Explore history files and disk optimization....

Hi marlae007:

Glad to help.  If the problem returns I've posted some hints about using Norton Background Tasks window (Settings | Administrative Settings | Background Tasks | Configure) and Norton's Performance Graph (Performance | Graphs | Usage | CPU tab - activity by nortonsecurity.exe should be shown as yellow peaks) to diagnose if a particular Norton task is responsible for hogging an excessive amount of system resources like CPU and RAM in C_Swords' thread My CPU is Being Abused by Norton.

That thread includes a list <here> of some other Norton settings that can be safely disabled and might reduce the system resources used by NIS without affecting your real-time malware protection.  Note that there are two settings that must be disabled to turn off Norton's disk defragmenter (a.k.a. the disk optimizer - Task Scheduling | Automatic Tasks | Disk Optimization and Administrative Settings | Idle Time Optimizer).  Once a disk defrag starts it has to run to completion, so if you disable these settings you might continue to see a high level of disk read / writes until the all the pending tasks are completed.

If you suspect your disk thrashing is associated with diStRptr the first setting I would disable is Norton Community Watch (NCW).  I had a similar problem a few years ago where I had a large accumulation of NCW logs that apparently weren't being submitted to Symantec's backend servers.  Not only did this cause my diStRptr.dat file to grow from a few KBs to several MBs but the disk thrashing became so bad that I decided to permanently disable NCW.

My diStRptr.dat file is located at C:\ProgramData\Norton\{0C55C096-0F1D-4F28-AAA2-85EF591126E7}\NSBU_22.9.1.12\diStRptr\ (your folder location will be slightly different since we have different Norton products). It is only 17 KB in size, but that small size could be because I have NCW and all error data collection turned off in Settings | Administrative Settings, and have no backlog of pending submissions listed at Security | History | Show | Norton Community Watch.

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32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Firefox ESR v52.9.0 * Norton Security Premium v22.15.1.8

Kudos0

Re: High disk usage at 100% on NIS - Files DISTRPTR.DAT and DISTRPTR.DAT .LOG

This is great information, thanks.  So far so good here, it's doing work while away and when I get back it immediately drops back on the hard drive to 0 to 5 %.  That Norton community Watch I'm going to disabled, like now - a future problem ready to happen.

Thanks - i will post back late in the weekend to give an update.

Kudos0

Re: High disk usage at 100% on NIS - Files DISTRPTR.DAT and DISTRPTR.DAT .LOG

I check the file size of diStRptr and it's around 40k, i suspect it will go down over time on next backup/save and they start a new one.

I wanted to ask your comments on Windows Defender, after reading this article(s) it's starting to move up in the world. 

https://www.pcworld.com/article/3025889/windows/tested-microsofts-window...

https://www.tomsguide.com/us/windows-defender,review-2209.html

Kudos0

Re: High disk usage at 100% on NIS - Files DISTRPTR.DAT and DISTRPTR.DAT .LOG

marlae007:

...I wanted to ask your comments on Windows Defender, after reading this article(s) it's starting to move up in the world....

Hi marlae007:

Be sure to post back if you see your high disk usage return when you take your system out of sleep mode.  This type of problem can be difficult to diagnose and a product reinstall might solve the issue.

I don't have enough experience with Win 10 to give you an informed opinion on whether Norton adds enough value for money to choose it over the built-in Windows Defender antivirus, but I have to agree that Windows Defender for Win 8.x and higher has improved significantly in the past few years. If you'd like to see the latest comparative test results from AV-Test (currently October 2018) they're posted at https://www.av-test.org/en/antivirus/home-windows/ - clicking on each product in that chart will open a detailed report.  You might also want to ask your question about Windows Defender in the Norton Tech Outpost board and see what feedback you get from other Win 10 users.

The one feature I've always liked in Norton products is the two-way Norton Smart Firewall, but I wouldn't pay full retail price for Norton just to get it.  I live in Canada, and Staples Canada always has Norton Security Premium on sale for around $20 CAD ($15 USD) the week after Christmas so I usually purchase a retail box then and just keep it on hand until I need the product key to renew my annual subscription.  Sadly, Norton customer service has degraded over the years to the point that I'll probably try a 30-day trial of a competitor's product or just stay with the built-in Windows Defender antivirus when I purchase a Win 10 machine.

No one antivirus product will be 100% effective in stopping all malware and PUPs (lower-risk potentially unwanted programs like browser hijackers and adware) so regardless of what antivirus you choose, most users in this forum recommend that everyone run the occasional on-demand manual Threat Scan with the free Malwarebytes scanner to check for anything missed by their real-time antivirus protection.  See BevStra's thread MyWay Search for tips on installation and configuration.
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32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Firefox ESR v52.9.0 * NS v22.15.1.8 * Malwarebytes Free v3.5.1

Kudos0

Re: High disk usage at 100% on NIS - Files DISTRPTR.DAT and DISTRPTR.DAT .LOG

I know a few that dumped Norton and went to just using Windows Defender. They got tired of new yearly upgrade), things would slow down and you go through the entire process all over again - forums, little support etc. For me, the best thing I like is the cloud password manager - thankfully that's outside of Norton Antivirus (used to be buried in NAV) via a browser extension.  I don't know, maybe down the road:  Windows Defender. ha

Kudos0

Re: High disk usage at 100% on NIS - Files DISTRPTR.DAT and DISTRPTR.DAT .LOG

marlae007:

...So far so good here, it's doing work while away and when I get back it immediately drops back on the hard drive to 0 to 5 %....

Hi marlae007:

Has the high disk usage returned since your last post in this thread?

It might be a coincidence, but I've started experiencing similar disk thrashing that lasts for about 5 or 10 min after my system comes out of sleep/hibernation mode.  The disk thrashing only occurs every four or five days and lasts for 5 - 10 min each time I take my system out of sleep mode, and a re-boot usually solves the problem.  I've been unable to determine if nortonsecurity.exe is the cause since I can't even launch the Windows Task Manager or Microsoft Sysinternal's Process Explorer to see what executable is causing this high disk I/O, but I suspect it's Norton because Process Explorer always shows an unusually high level of page faults and disk writes for nortonsecurity.exe on the days it happens.

Here's a screenshot from 17-Dec-2018 that was captured with Process Explorer after my computer had been running ~ 14 hours on one of the days when I was experiencing this disk thrashing every time my system came out of sleep mode:

I could understand a high level of I/O Read Bytes if I had a few Quick Scans run throughout the day, but I don't know why Norton would have accounted for 1.8 GB Write Bytes. I've disabled non-essential tasks like Norton Community Watch, disk optimizers, browser and disk cleaning, etc. (see the full list <here>), my Norton Backup feature is disabled, and my NS v22.15.1.8 entered maintenance mode in September 2018 (I have a Vista SP2 OS) and hasn't received a product update for over 3 months.
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32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Firefox ESR v52.9.0 * Norton Security Premium v22.15.1.8

Kudos0

Re: High disk usage at 100% on NIS - Files DISTRPTR.DAT and DISTRPTR.DAT .LOG

No. With  my last changes to Norton helped quite a bit.  I was still getting some minor delays with Norton but nothing serious.  

However, after the update to version 1809 last week; I get delays from sleep/hibernation mode up to 10-30 seconds. And, my event log has been generating more errors/warning then before due to 1809. I'm slowly getting rid of those. And, it killed my Bluetooth mouse which took hours to fix on my own.

So, now - once the desktop comes up; if I try invoking an application, I can't do anything - the mouse cursor moves but that's about it -- basically in a frozen state.  I completely disabled Norton, in fact I even removed it completely from Windows to see if that was screwing it up, but it's not Norton.  I don't know what it is and Microsoft doesn't know either but it has bugs in it and 1809 is not 100%.  Other people having similar issues with delays and new event log issues that were not there before.  For now, I just give it the time it needs up to a minute or so. Kinda defeats the purpose the Intel Optane Memory for storage acceleration cache.  

Few things:  did you check the event logs at all to see what's in there - maybe Norton (or Windows)  is generating some information there.  Did you check your drive for anything going on: chdksk, SFC and DISM.exe(when SFC can't fix).  
Also, have you thought about removing Norton completely and reinstalling it.

................................................................................................

Windows 10
Ver: 1809
Build: 17763.195

Kudos0

Re: High disk usage at 100% on NIS - Files DISTRPTR.DAT and DISTRPTR.DAT .LOG

Hi marlae007:

Thanks for responding so quickly.

I didn't notice anything unusual in my Norton security history or Windows Event Viewer that correlated with the disk thrashing.  My best guess right now is that it has something to do with an unfinished background Norton task that isn't pausing correctly when I take my system out of idle (I sometimes take my system out of idle and put my computer to sleep manually if I know it's not going to be used for a few hours) but I have no definitive proof of that.

I haven't had any recent security updates for my Vista SP2 OS (extended support for this OS ended on 11-Apr-2017) and my NS v22.15.1.8 entered maintenance mode in September 2018 (i.e., no feature or product updates for XP and Vista) so the only Norton updates I've received via LiveUpdates in the past 3 months are "regular" definition updates likes SDS Definitions, Web Protection Definitions, SymPlatform Definitions, etc.

I haven't run ChkDsk or SFC this month but they were both fine the last time I ran them - just the usual unused index entries that were cleaned up ChkDsk.  If this intermittent disk thrashing doesn't stop I'll run those utilities again to see if they find any problems.  My Norton subscription is expiring in a few weeks and I might not even bother renewing it - I'm shopping for a new Win 10 laptop and probably won't be installing Norton on it, and in the interim I can uninstall Norton from my Vista SP2 machine and re-activate my Malwarebytes Premium license for real-time protection if I decide to not to renew Norton.
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32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Firefox ESR v52.9.0 * Norton Security Premium v22.15.1.8

Kudos0

Re: High disk usage at 100% on NIS - Files DISTRPTR.DAT and DISTRPTR.DAT .LOG

When you get your new laptop Windows 10 - try running the Windows Defender that comes with it , it may be all you need since it's improved. When you get Windows 10 - wait a few weeks before running any new major updates (maybe even longer)  because the last two have been horrid - caused a lot of problems from what I read in the news.  I held out and glad I did. The one I did last week - the (1809) is the one that was supposedly fixed and put back out for a 2nd time.  

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