Programs sometimes don't open?


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I have a rather odd recurring problem with Windows 7 (I have the 64-bit version of Home Premium). Sometimes when I click a program icon down on the taskbar the icon will highlight for a moment and then go back to normal. The program will either not open at all or it will open about several minutes later.

I have ZoneAlarm Pro, but all of my programs have been allowed by ZoneAlarm, so I know it isn't that. I have scanned thoroughly for viruses and malware and have found nothing. All my other components (RAM, HDs, etc.) are operating efficiently.

I was just wondering if anyone else was having this weird issue and if so has anyone figured out what causes it?

Thanks.
 
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Uninstall ZoneAlarm and install Microsoft Security Essentials or AVG Free. You shouldn't need to allow every program.
 

Mychael

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Is it randomly any program or one particular program you are having trouble with?
How old is your computer? Desktop or laptop? Have you run a HDD defrag recently?
 

TrainableMan

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ZoneAlarm is a firewall - it's purpose is to block incoming & outgoing transmissions. MSE is not a replacement for a firewall, it is anti-virus.

With that said, you should only be authorizing programs that need internet connectivity and you should also be running anti-virus software.

But it sounds like something is running using your processing power. This could be zonealarm; firewalls and anti-virus programs are know resource hogs ... a necessary evil as it were. I would suggest downloading Process Explorer from the recommended freeware utilities and run it in a window to see what is using your cpu; then try clicking the programs that delay start. It won't fix the problem but it will hopefully show you what is slowing your system.
 
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I agree that ZA may be causing the issue, especially if not configured well.

I disagree completely with installing AVG, as always haha (nothing personal, it's just me.)

To test the issue, save your ZA conifg from within the program so you can replace it easily upon a re-install. Reconfguring will not be necessary.

Then uninstall and test.
 
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Is it randomly any program or one particular program you are having trouble with? --- Any program.

How old is your computer? --- Two years; I built it myself.

Desktop or laptop? --- Desktop

Have you run a HDD defrag recently? --- Yes.

So you think it's Zonealarm? I'll have to see what happens if I spend a day without it. We'll see...

One thing I forgot to mention. Usually this will happen if I have had my larger graphics programs and a few other apps open for a long time, like Photoshop, Illustrator, Bridge, Firefox, etc. I need to close everything down and restart in order to get the programs to start opening again.

Thanks for the replies everyone.
 

Mychael

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Have you looked in task manager to see if anything in particular is hogging CPU time or memory. When you try loading programs what is the HHD doing, does it seem to be flogging away for ages or not being accessed for long at all.
 
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I wouldn't know what the HD is doing, but it doesn't make any noise. As for what's hogging the CPUs I'm not really sure how to read that.
 

Mychael

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Is the HDD light constantly flashing on the case? Showing drive activity. Just a little LED. It'll be flashing a lot as the HDD is working.
Cant properly answer your other query as (for various reason) I have not swapped to Win 7 yet, but in XP you'd go Control + alt+ Delete keys. This will bring up a Windows Task mamager box. Within that box there are various tabs showing 'applications' (what's actually runing) 'processes' (What's loaded and running in back ground) and in that same tab you'll see CPU and Mem Usage. from that you'll see what processes are taking up CPU time and how much memory they are using.
 
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Ok, yeah, I've used Task Manager, but I'm not sure what any of those processes are. That's what I meant. No, the HD doesn't flash a lot.
 
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I'd get Process Explorer, then add the I/O read write bytes columns. That would give you a good idea of what is doing what.
 

Mychael

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No worries, were getting near the limit of my knowledge anyway, however I'd suggest you take note of any processes that seem to be taking up a lot of memory and/or CPU. Note their names and when some of the uber geeks get back on you can pass that info onto them.
 
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I'd get Process Explorer, then add the I/O read write bytes columns. That would give you a good idea of what is doing what.
Good idea, but I think you already hit the nail on the head with pointing out ZA. Specifically, it's OSFirewall functionality is probably causing this issue. So good on you.
 
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Good idea, but I think you already hit the nail on the head with pointing out ZA. Specifically, it's OSFirewall functionality is probably causing this issue. So good on you.
Just being thorough.
 

TrainableMan

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Process Explorer is more detailed than task manager, that is why I recommended downloading and running that.

And as others mentioned it will likely show it is ZoneAlarm hogging your resources.
 
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I'm going to download and install Live Essentials and Process Explorer. I'll be back. Thanks for the help.
 
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Installed and ran Process Explorer. Here's a screen shot......



I'm not sure how or where to find the I/O read write bytes columns.
 
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I really like avastHome so I'm not sure I want to get rid of it in favor of Microsoft Security Essentials.
 
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Mychael

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You won't regret going to MSE is puts a very small footprint on your machine.
 

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