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Old 01-02-2009, 06:29 AM   #1
Eagle of Fire
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Default Unresponsible mouse and slowdown problems

Since several weeks now I experienced a mouse poblem (and some noticable general speed slowdown). At first I thought that it was my new almost one year old mouse which was acting up... After a good dusting, I fielded back my original mouse. It's still working fine, the new mouse was bought to use special buttons for games like WoW, games I don't play anymore anyways. Problem was: the old mouse was acting up exactly the same way.

Tonight I noticed that I had by mistake minimized the Windows task manager. When you do that, you have a new icon bottom right showing you the CPU usage of your computer... And I noticed that it was 100% full. Investigating the matter further, I noticed that helpsrv.exe was eating all my CPU power.

Killed the process and, a short search on the 'net later, learned that Microsoft uphold their reputation in sh*tty programming well. The process is part of the help and assistance protocol of Windows. Ever seen a program crash and then a window asking you to report it come up? Or you have some problems with something and you click on the "what is this?" link? That's what it does. And it does it all alone: by default this process start up when Windows boot up. And for most of us, computer smart people... That's completely useless!

The help assist process seem to act up only after long period of inactivity. You might never notice until you leave your computer alone for a while and your screensaver was working for a while... Do yourself a favor and go kill the process before it get out of hand. In Windows process options you can desactivate the help assist process and select its startup to be manual instead of automatic.

Once it's done then you're free of trouble... Until another retarded problem arise.
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Old 01-02-2009, 10:34 AM   #2
Japo
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You mean helpsrv.exe or helpsvc.exe?

What do you have to do for the process to start? Maybe you'd want to disable the "Help and Support" Windows system service altogether.

I've just googled and found reports of similar problems with it. However I'd still make sure it's not an infection, even if the process eating CPU was legit. Anyway at least you must make sure the helpsvc.exe you saw was the legit one in %windir%\PCHealth\HelpCtr\Binaries\, malware is usually named like legit Windows executables, usually placed in a different folder.
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Old 01-02-2009, 12:04 PM   #3
_r.u.s.s.
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yes, don't you mean helpsvc?
this is related to automatic updates of help and support

control panel->administrative tools->services

find "Help and Support"
description: Enables Help and Support Center to run on this computer. If this service is stopped, Help and Support Center will be unavailable. If this service is disabled, any services that explicitly depend on it will fail to start.

properties->set Startup type to Manual. and well, you can stop it as well


---
howerver, after automatic update (if you have those enabled) this service will be running again. so you can simply reboot/kill the service manually or if you never wish to update "Help and Support" center

start->run->regedit.exe

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\PCHealth\Hel pSvc\
right click that blank space to the right->New->DWORD value->call it "Headlines"
right click "Headlines"->Modify->set value to 0

of course, if you are not using automatic updates you can just disable whole Automatic Updates in services in control panel
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Old 01-02-2009, 12:16 PM   #4
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If you "disable" the service instead of just setting it to manual, it won't ever run.

BTW IIRC you need the so-called "automatic updates" service set to automatic even for using Windows Update _manually_
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Old 01-02-2009, 12:26 PM   #5
_r.u.s.s.
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dunno, i never updated my windows with automatic updates.

i got few crucial patches for worm backdoors but i don't need anything else
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