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Kudos0

High (50%) CPU usage after idle period

Hi All,

For some months now Norton has remained at high usage of CPU after an idle period. How can I diagnose what Norton is doing that's causing it to remain high?

The high Norton usage continues until I reboot.

Windows 10, 64-bit. Norton Internet Security 22.5.4.2

Replies

Kudos0

Re: High (50%) CPU usage after idle period

Hi, jasestu. When PC is idle Norton will perform background tasks, and also after each definition update, will perform a quick scan.

This is why when you reboot the cpu usage goes down, as the idle tasks are not completed.

You can go through Settings, and disable background tasks. The Idle time Optimizer is definitely one that should be disabled.

Windows 10 Home X 64
Kudos0

Re: High (50%) CPU usage after idle period

Thanks for the quick response. I can understand some residual CPU usage after an idle period, the issue here is that it will continue at 50% usage for hours after an idle period (once my attached image is approved you'll see what I mean) and won't relent until I reboot. It has to be getting stuck in some kind of loop. Is there a way to tell what file it's stuck scanning?

Kudos1 Stats

Re: High (50%) CPU usage after idle period

You could check recent history, but it might be worth trying the Norton Remove and Reinstall Tool which is designed to clean up your copy, in the event of any corruption.   http://www.norton.com/nrnr

If used, please read the Before you begin note and run Live Update after until no more are found, then reboot.

Let us know if that helps.

Windows 10 Home X 64
Kudos0

Re: High (50%) CPU usage after idle period

Thanks, have tried the NRNR and problem persists - an hour after being idle CPU usage jumps to 50% there and does not relent until a reboot.

Kudos0

Re: High (50%) CPU usage after idle period

Hi, jasestu. I am on Windows 7 and have no such issues, so I have asked if any Windows 10 users can help.

Windows 10 Home X 64
Kudos0

Re: High (50%) CPU usage after idle period

Or maybe someone from Symantec ?

Windows 10 Home X 64
Kudos0

Re: High (50%) CPU usage after idle period

<crickets>

Looks like I'll need to find a new anti-virus solution - there's no way I can put up with my computer locking itself into 50% CPU usage during, and then indefinitely after, every idle period.  It's an i7-2600 for goodness sake, that's chewing a lot of horsepower for nothing.

Kudos0

Re: High (50%) CPU usage after idle period

Chat with Norton Technical Support for free at https://support.norton.com/sp/en/us/home/current/contact-chat?inid=hho_n.com_supp_contact-chat_form&OpenDocument&src=ivr_chat.

You're on Win 10 ... the expertise that you seek may lay there, IMO.  I believe that you need to investigate further.  Just because Norton is reporting massive usage levels does not mean that Norton is the perpetrator.  'Don't kill the messenger'.  Norton Windows 10 Forum is the place you want to be.  - Art

Words of Wisdom: ["THE ROAD TO HELL IS PAVED WITH GOOD INTENTIONS"] - Grandparents [There has never been an original thought.] - Someone, I'm sure [I've spent my whole life 'polishing turds'] - Me
Kudos0

Re: High (50%) CPU usage after idle period

Norton's not the messenger, it's the process (nis.exe) that's using the CPU cycles. Trying to ascertain what nis.exe is scanning/doing seems like a pretty logical place to start from where I sit...

Kudos1 Stats

Re: High (50%) CPU usage after idle period

Does your Norton (I still use 360) have a Performance Graphs/Usage feature?  On 360 there is a Performance tab, that reports/notifies me of high resource usage conditions.  It shows me information applications that are hogs.  Norton will report/show you more information.  - Art

Words of Wisdom: ["THE ROAD TO HELL IS PAVED WITH GOOD INTENTIONS"] - Grandparents [There has never been an original thought.] - Someone, I'm sure [I've spent my whole life 'polishing turds'] - Me
Kudos0

Re: High (50%) CPU usage after idle period

Thanks, I'd already checked that. Norton doesn't report on itself in that list, only other applications. As you can see from the graph I inserted in the first post, it's Norton that's using the CPU, not other applications.

Kudos0

Re: High (50%) CPU usage after idle period

Turns out it's not just CPU that's spiking and staying high after an idle period - it's also RAM. I have 24gb and it's maxing it out.

Kudos0

Re: High (50%) CPU usage after idle period

Left the computer idle at 3:50pm. At 4:15pm CPU usage rises to 50% and stays there. Norton detects high memory usage by chrome (600mb) at about the same time (600 mb is nothing unusual though).

Nothing in the history about any idle scans being initiated (idle time started at around 3:50pm):

Kudos0

Re: High (50%) CPU usage after idle period

Ok, seeing the memory usage issue and noticing that the list in Task Manager didn't add up to 24gb I've downloaded a different tool. It showed me some 4gb .tar backup files (nandroid backups of my phone) were in memory. I tried to delete one of the older .tar files and windows wouldn't let me... because...  yup, Norton had them open. So I'm guessing it's these files Norton is getting stuck on, filling up my RAM and then staying maxed at 50% CPU usage.

So this could be the cause. But why does it try to open all these files at once and get itself tied in knots?

Kudos0

Re: High (50%) CPU usage after idle period

You are out of my depth at this point, I was a hardware engineer.  lol

I have always found reliable help at Tweaking.com.  The Windows Repair Tool (free, no BS) there is pretty darned good.  If it were me, I would get the attention of one of the Admins/Moderators there and let me walk me through the process.  They are a reputable group, but small.  Everything runs slower over holidays, so give them a chance.  This Norton Forum (here) is a 'ghost town) right now ... just us 'losers' online now.  Sorry that I couldn't help you more.  With that said, I really think that someone here should be of help to you.  I guess that everyone here is asleep/loaded/stoned, who knows.  Frikin' slackers.   - Art

P.S.: Just realized that you are using MS System Internals.  Those "utilities" have always caused more problems than they fixed.  Sys Internals was a project at MS that was long past abandoned many years ago and left 'half-baked'.  I don't know why they are still around ... must be someone's brother-in-law.  Nothing but bad experiences for me.  They are even worse to uninstall, very messy.  I use Revo Uninstaller, BTW.  Revo has never let me down if you don't get 'too aggressive' with it.

Words of Wisdom: ["THE ROAD TO HELL IS PAVED WITH GOOD INTENTIONS"] - Grandparents [There has never been an original thought.] - Someone, I'm sure [I've spent my whole life 'polishing turds'] - Me
Kudos0

Re: High (50%) CPU usage after idle period

Article_86:

P.S.: Just realized that you are using MS System Internals.  Those "utilities" have always caused more problems than they fixed.  Sys Internals was a project at MS that was long past abandoned many years ago and left 'half-baked'.  I don't know why they are still around ... must be someone's brother-in-law.  Nothing but bad experiences for me.  They are even worse to uninstall, very messy.  I use Revo Uninstaller, BTW.  Revo has never let me down if you don't get 'too aggressive' with it.

Are you sure you are talking about Sysinternals?  Sysinternals was actually a company that Microsoft acquired in 2006, and has definitely not been abandoned.  Tools such as Autoruns, Process Monitor and Process Explorer are still quite viable.  None of these are actually installed, you just unzip the download and run them - so I am wondering about your reference to messy uninstalls.  To remove them, you would just delete the file.

Kudos0

Re: High (50%) CPU usage after idle period

I deleted the oldest of my nandroid phone backups. Now Norton is only getting stuck on the most recent one instead of having all 4+ of them open. As a result CPU usage is now sticking at around 13% instead of 50% and memory usage isn't climbing as high. Regardless, Norton is clearly still getting hung up and doesn't seem to make any progress for hours.

Charts below show the last 24 hours. The 50% usage block from yesterday can be seen starting during idle and then remaining during active use until I rebooted. Then again last night the 8 hour idle period with Norton climbing to 13% and staying there for 7 hours and remaining at that level once I resumed active use again in the morning and took the screenshot.

Two .tar archive files that appear to be the ones Norton was stuck on this time:

Kudos1 Stats

Re: High (50%) CPU usage after idle period

I don't think Norton would include these in a Quick Scan (although I could be wrong) - more likely some other program is opening them and that causes Auto-Protect to scan them.  Have your tried excluding those files from scans in the Norton Antivirus Scans and Risks Settings?

Kudos0

Re: High (50%) CPU usage after idle period

Now that's a useful line of investigation - Auto-Protect rather than a Norton idle scan. I don't want to simply have Norton completely ignore the files, that's hardly a solution. Any ideas on how to determine what's opening the files if it's not Norton? Even if another application is opening them, Norton is still getting stuck in some kind of loop for hours on end and that doesn't seem like something that should be considered normal operation.

Kudos0

Re: High (50%) CPU usage after idle period

Do you know what program is creating the files?

Kudos0

Re: High (50%) CPU usage after idle period

Yes, they're clockworkmod nandroid backups of my phone created by Online Nandroid Backup Pro. Each week the backup is ftp'd to my desktop computer (the one on which Norton is mis-behaving).  So it's only once a week that a new file appears, but it's every time my computer is idle for more than about 30-50 minutes that the CPU usage behaviour kicks in.

Kudos0

Re: High (50%) CPU usage after idle period

Thanks Top Cat, you are right (as usual)!  I hate it when you're right.  I was wrong once before, but it turned out that I was mistaken ... go figure.

"Sysinternals was actually a company that Microsoft acquired in 2006, and has definitely not been abandoned."

Really?  I thought that it was a spin-off from a M$ project that went belly-up.  I stand ... errr sit corrected.  Thanks for keeping me honest.    That pesky drain bamage is acting-up again.  Sorry folks, for the misinformation.  [I still don't like it ... to easy for me to do something stupid.]  I got mouse-happy with Autoruns and then tried to uninstall w/ Revo ... and CRASH.

"Tools such as Autoruns, Process Monitor and Process Explorer are still quite viable."

How true, how true.  I was on the TechNet site a few days ago and saw where they had actual recent updates but the updates were not substantial, so I split before they noticed that I was back.  M$ has a problem with me for some reason ... can't imagine why.  Oh I remember now.  [I'll save that rant for later.]

When I stopped by there prior, it was some time ago, and it had not been updated for a real long time ... as far as I recall ... remember drain bamage.  [That's my new fall-back story, now.  Thanks.]  When I uninstalled it (with Revo Uninstaller Pro), I made a bad situation even worse ... that I'm sure of.  That's when I found Windows Repair (All in One) Free ... I have the Pro version now.  Norton Backup was no good to me and I got turned on to Reflect.  I owe Shawn and that other dude (can't remember his name ... oh, that's right b)  But yes, you're right again ... I should have just deleted the unzipped folder.  Memory is coming back now ... WHOA!, who's that?  Never mind.  - Art

Words of Wisdom: ["THE ROAD TO HELL IS PAVED WITH GOOD INTENTIONS"] - Grandparents [There has never been an original thought.] - Someone, I'm sure [I've spent my whole life 'polishing turds'] - Me
Kudos1 Stats

Re: High (50%) CPU usage after idle period

It looks like your issue with .tar file scans is not unique (see the accompanying link).  I think you are just going to have to exclude these from scans.  I don't know what else to suggest.

https://community.norton.com/en/comment/6366221#comment-6366221

Kudos0

Re: High (50%) CPU usage after idle period

So even this treatment of the problem (I'm not calling it a solution), is giving me grief.

How do I exclude all .tar files from scans?

Under Settings > Antivirus > Exclusions/Low Risks > Items to Exclude from Scans I've added *.tar, but I'm still seeing the same issue where Norton is getting stuck using a percentage of CPU after idle periods, ram map shows the .tar files as being in memory and windows reports Norton has them open when I try to delete them. It's unclear from the interface, but it almost looks as though I can only exclude specific folders/files, not a particular file type regardless of location.

Kudos0

Re: High (50%) CPU usage after idle period

If all of the files are in D:\ftp folder\, the easiest thing to do would be to exclude that folder from scans.  Then, any new .tar files that are created there will be excluded without you having to make any further modifications.

Kudos0

Re: High (50%) CPU usage after idle period

Yeah, I've done that now, so we'll see how it goes after the next idle period. What I'm interested to see now is whether other smaller archive files are causing Norton to get stuck like this and I've only been noticing because of the number of large .tar files I have. At least I've discovered my own way of seeing what files Norton may be stuck on via looking at what's in RAM, but really, there should be an option in the application itself to show me what it's up to so I can more quickly diagnose this kind of stuff.

Kudos0

Re: High (50%) CPU usage after idle period

No solution found to why Norton is getting stuck on .tar files, but setting it to ignore the folders masks the issue.

Kudos0

Re: High (50%) CPU usage after idle period

I assume the files are compressed, which can be like quicksand for AV scans if there are many layers, or if something is malformed.

Kudos0

Re: High (50%) CPU usage after idle period

SendOfJive:

I assume the files are compressed, which can be like quicksand for AV scans if there are many layers, or if something is malformed.

If as SOJ suggests, these files are compressed, you can always turn off the compressed files scan.

Settings/Antivirus/Scans and Risks. This should speed up scans and Norton will scan them anyway, when they are opened.

Windows 10 Home X 64

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