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This 'problem' is driving me nuts!

(Zone 6a)

For about a week and a half now I've had a problem with the task bar (windows xp home edition) being non-responsive for maybe 3 minutes after the desktop appears (after booting). If you move the mouse to the task bar to click the start button or anything else on the task bar, you just get an hour glass (no mouse pointer with it). It won't let you select anything. I finally figured out there is a process running that's causing this. The thing is, the name of the .exe process that's running seems to change every time! If I do a crtl-alt-delete to get the task manager up, I can kill the process and it's fine from then on. Also, if you let it go for a few minutes, it'll clear up on it's own. It's as if it's thinking about something or doing something. What, I have no idea. I can't find any file on the PC named with the process I'm seeing, no Google search comes up with any info and a virus scan and adaware scan comes up with nothing.

Here are the processes I've seen running so far. It's always easy to figure out which one it is, but like I said, the name changes after every reboot...and I think I've even seen it come back after killing it, with a different name (like it restarted itself).

Only one of these runs at any one time. I wrote these down each time I killed the process.

Any idea what this is?

Raleigh, NC(Zone 7b)

You should be able to solve this mystery by checking what programs are set to run at startup.

The first place to check is the startup folders (for current user and default user). Then check the registry HKLM/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Run key, and the same key under HKCU. You can also check the services list from Control Panel and see if there are any suspicious-looking services.

But there are actually many, many places where startup programs can hide. There is a great shareware script for finding everything that's being run in the background on your computer. It's called "Silent Runners" and is available at

(Zone 6a)

I already checked the 'run' i nthe registry to look for anything out of the ordinary. I recognize everything in there. Also checked the services and can't find anything that is obvious to cause this. The names of the processes I listed above doesn't give me any clue as to where to look. I just ran tha script too...and I don't see anything weird in there. Even if I log off and back on without rebooting, it loads the process. The most recent one was WYCF55.exe. The only common thread is that it's always a 6 character name, followed by .exe Everything in my registry in the run area are things that have been there for awhile....nothing new in there that I see.

Lamar, AR(Zone 7a)

Hello Jon!

Sounds like an annoying problem. Mine seems to act like this occasionally. I frequently check my start-up programs like you mentioned. Seems like programs are always been added without my authorization. Hopefully someone will be able to make a helpful suggestion.

(Zone 6a)

I'm starting to think it's someting Windows is doing. I can't find anything out of the ordinary that's running...other than this mystery .exe program that changes names every time it runs.

Newark, OH(Zone 5b)

Hi, Jon - Does this help?;en-us;318027

(Zone 6a), I don't think that's it. The taskbar DOES appear, you just can't use it until it's done doing whatever it's doing. I actually saw my laptop has a similar 6 character (random it seems) .exe process running after logging on. So I'm wondering now if it's something else. I don't have the problem on my laptop. I guess maybe I'll figure it out by process of elimination eventually. For now I think I'll just wait a couple minutes after logging on. it's fine after that.

(Zone 6a)

Wait..I think THIS is it!;en-us;841571&Product=winxp

I'll give it a try. The description matches exactly!

That must have been it. Taskbar is immediately available now after logging on :)

This message was edited Aug 23, 2004 8:53 PM

Newark, OH(Zone 5b)

Wow - that's great to file away for future use!

Sydney, Australia

Hi, I realise this is an old thread, but just curious - did the fix also get rid of the weird process names in the task manager? (KZ840E.exe GK4034.exe etc)
We are trying to solve an issue on a client's server where they are seeing exactly the same persistent process with random 6 character names appearing in the process list of Task Manager, and research we have done indicates this is definitely a virus - specifically an internat worm of some kind.

It's hard to get info because the description is so vague, but the most likely possibilities I have found are:
W32/[email protected]

If you are still there, love to hear if the weird process names issue was resolved

Rottweil, Germany

the above "processes" look like viruses (viri) to me.......

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