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Forum Thread: psia.exe (Secunia PSI Agent) consuming excessive CPU resource

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PSI 2.0 Beta

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Midnight_Voice psia.exe (Secunia PSI Agent) consuming excessive CPU resource
Member 13th Nov, 2010 18:59
Ranking: 48
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User Since: 1st Oct, 2010
System Score: 96%
Location: UK
Last edited on 13th Nov, 2010 19:02

On 1.9.0.5004, psia.exe on my Vista Ultimate machine is cycling between 0% and 40% of my CPU all the time, with the result that my fan is running constantly.

Shutting down PSI does not stop this process.

After 'End Process' in Task Manager, it does stop.

I've just restarted PSI; and within a few minutes, I can see psia.exe steadily climbing up my Task Manager cumulative CPU time rankings again.

It's got to 13th in a matter of minutes, on a laptop where all the other processes have potentially been running for 26 hours.

psi.exe is one above it, and consuming about the same level of resources, even though no scan is, or has been, in progress since I restarted it.

This isn't right, is it?

I note, though, that psia.exe *32 is behaving itself on my W7 64-bit laptop, as is psi.exe *32 itself, and psi_tray.exe *32.

And psi_tray.exe is behaving OK on the Vista laptop.

The W7 laptop is clocking 100% secure, and the Vista one only 99% (a mildly perilous Cisco VPN Client I can't update), but I have no idea if that is germane to this.

Midnight_Voice


--
A computer program can do pretty much anything the user doesn't know is impossible for it to do.

XP Home 32-bit - Compaq Presario V2000 Celeron 1.4GHz
Vista Ultimate 32-bit - Toshiba Equium A100 Centrino Duo 1.7GHz
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit - Dell Studio XPS 1645 Core i7-720 Quad 1.6-2.4GHz
(Also running XP Pro in Windows XP Mode 32-bit)
Windows 8.1 Home Premium 64-bit - Lenovo IdeaPad Z500 Core i5 2.6Ghz

JimG RE: psia.exe (Secunia PSI Agent) consuming excessive CPU resource
Member 13th Nov, 2010 20:08
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Location: US
I have noted the same problem on my Win7x64 system. I have a core2duo E8400 with 4gB ram. When I start PSIb2 my cpu monitor shows either ~100% on one core or 50% on both. This comes in approx 1 second bursts about every 3 seconds. Sysinternals Process Explorer indicates that this cpu load is due to the psia.exe task.

I also note that psia.exe has an open internet link to psi.secunia.com/https which transfers several kB of data each time the cpu load occurs.

This is an excessive load and only terminating the psia.exe task causes it to stop. I will run psi with the psia task terminated until this is fixed.

JimG
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Leendert Kip psia.exe (Secunia PSI Agent) consuming excessive CPU resource
Member 13th Nov, 2010 20:30
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Last edited on 13th Nov, 2010 22:02
on 13th Nov, 2010 20:08, JimG wrote:
I have noted the same problem on my Win7x64 system. I have a core2duo E8400 with 4gB ram. When I start PSIb2 my cpu monitor shows either ~100% on one core or 50% on both. This comes in approx 1 second bursts about every 3 seconds. Sysinternals Process Explorer indicates that this cpu load is due to the psia.exe task.

Midnight_Voice & JimG. I'm pretty sure that this problem was reported some time ago and already under investigation at Secunia Support. I expect that one of the support staff will respond on Monday.


--
PC: JJ Computer Services
Intel Core I3 2100 3.1Ghz
DDR3 Kingston ValueRam 4GB 1333
Windows 7 Home Premium 64bits SP1
Secunia PSI 3.0.0.9016
Internet Explorer 9
Mozilla Firefox 31NL

Laptop: MSI GT780DX
Intel Core I5-2450
DDR3 RAM 6GB
Windows 7 Home Premium 64bits SP1
Secunia PSI 3.0.0.9016
Internet Explorer 11
Mozilla Firefox 31NL
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Anthony Wells RE: psia.exe (Secunia PSI Agent) consuming excessive CPU resource
Expert Contributor 14th Nov, 2010 10:33
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Last edited on 14th Nov, 2010 10:46
Hello LK ,

Are you sure ?

I don't remember having/seeing the psia.exe process before in the previous PSI versions . I was/am guessing it is something to do with the new all user/Admin loading in the latest Beta 1.9.0.5004 ; but only guessing .

There have been problems in the pasy when the "programme monitoring" of the PSI has taken up processor usage and slowed the PC to a crawl .

Anthony



--


It always seems impossible until its done.
Nelson Mandela
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Leendert Kip psia.exe (Secunia PSI Agent) consuming excessive CPU resource
Member 14th Nov, 2010 11:37
Score: 65
Posts: 520
User Since: 22nd Jan 2009
System Score: 100%
Location: NL
Last edited on 14th Nov, 2010 13:32
on 14th Nov, 2010 10:33, Anthony Wells wrote:
Hello LK ,Are you sure ?

Hello Anthony, I said pretty sure because I am positive I have seen that some users discussed about this and that PSI support said it was under investigation Don't remember when but not too long ago.

--
PC: JJ Computer Services
Intel Core I3 2100 3.1Ghz
DDR3 Kingston ValueRam 4GB 1333
Windows 7 Home Premium 64bits SP1
Secunia PSI 3.0.0.9016
Internet Explorer 9
Mozilla Firefox 31NL

Laptop: MSI GT780DX
Intel Core I5-2450
DDR3 RAM 6GB
Windows 7 Home Premium 64bits SP1
Secunia PSI 3.0.0.9016
Internet Explorer 11
Mozilla Firefox 31NL
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Maurice Joyce RE: psia.exe (Secunia PSI Agent) consuming excessive CPU resource
Handling Contributor 14th Nov, 2010 20:09
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Last edited on 14th Nov, 2010 20:12
The issue of PSI using excessive resources was reported on this Forum during the 1.5 .0 series & well before Windows 7 arrived or PSI's ability to support 64 Bit systems.Since December 2009 Secunia have introduced two new files. PSI Tray & PSIA (agent).

PSI has always been a bit of a resource hog in relation to what it does. This is supported by Le Software Man Ltd who specialize in testing vendor programmes for this kind of thing. Their last report & benchmark figures in December 2009 were not complimentary to Secunia whatever OS was used.

I believe the new PSI with its increased usage has resulted in the concerns being described in this & other Forum threads.

I have just carried out tests today as follows:

TEST CRITERIA

The tests were carried out on Windows XP SP3 with a budget priced CPU & 3GB RAM & Windows 7 64 Bit Intel i7 with 16GB of RAM with full Administrative privileges.

Both had identical programmes running at startup & for this test I opened 10 separate instances of IE on both to run in the background.

TEST 1.

Install PSI - from the Configuration>setting tab untick (uncheck) all the boxes except Enable Secure Browsing Page & Show Detailed Program Changes.

The result was as expected - nothing running - no impact.

TEST 2.

Changed the settings & added these. Start The PSI On Boot & Enable Show Detailed Program Changes.
Rebooted.
Two items now show.

1. PSIA (agent) that used 14+ MB of memory & runs as a service with 13 threads but no GDI or User Objects.
2. PSI Tray uses 4.5MB - it has 18 GDI & 7 User objects with 2 threads.

In this mode there is roughly 19MB of used memory & 0% of CPU.

Compared against something like Malwarebytes Professional that does a similar job (hanging around waiting for changes) that looks OK.

TEST 3.

Changed the settings to enable all options except CREATE LOG FILE.
Rebooted.
Nothing significant changed from TEST 2.

TEST 4.

Activated the PSI interface via the Task Tray icon from Test 3.

This added PSI to PSIA & PSI Tray as running & produced a massive increase in Memory usage.

1. PSIA (agent) remain pretty much the same as Test 2/3.
2. PSI Tray increased both the GDI & User Objects with an increase of Memory to 9+MB.
3. PSI had 196 GDI & 65 User objects running with a memory usage of 65+ MB
4. There was 0% CPU usage on the Windows 7 PC but the Windows XP PC showed signs of stress. In a nutshell my Windows XP is far slower than normal which at best, under normal load, is snail pace when compared with my Windows 7 PC.

That gives a total memory usage of approx 80MB! This result mirrors the findings of Le Man Software Ltd tests back in December 2009 & more or less points to the activation of PSI as the root cause.

TEST 5.
Leave the set up as per Test 4 and activate a manual scan.

1. Windows 7. A minor increase in GDI & user objects,no change to memory that hovered around 80+ MB but for the first time it used a 10% peak of CPU.
This lasted for approx 25 seconds which is the normal full scan time on this PC.


2. Windows XP. GDI & User objects & memory were not that different from Windows 7. CPU % was much higher peaking at 38%. Real slooooooooooooooooooooooooow.

As expected the scan time was 2 - 3 minutes which is normal.

SUMMARY
The data given is "as is" therefore remains open for comment from those with a different PC configuration.

From a personal standpoint the 25 second burst of activity every week on my Windows 7 PC to scan for any vulnerabilities I may not have accounted for is worth the price.

For those who like auto updating the same could be said for leaving it running in the Task Tray (Test 2).

That said,I note elsewhere on the Forum that another member is using a hefty i7 CPU with 8GB of RAM commenting on the slowness of PSI. He/she my not agree with my personal viewpoint!

Windows XP (particularly 32 Bit with a budget CPU and limited RAM of only 3GB like mine) is a different ball game. The slowness created is a fairly hefty price to pay to catch the odd vulnerability. The Test 1 option would be my choice which totally defeats auto updating unless PSI is reconfigured by the user to run overnight with everything else shut down.

As stated elsewhere on the Forum, Secunia have promised to pass on the numerous concerns raised about this issue to the developers. I believe memory usage is a real problem that will prevent many wanting to use PSI in it's current form. The wise decision by @JimG on this thread is a fair indication.

I suppose the bottom line is that we are talking about a BETA version. Things change & we can only hope for the best.

There is no supporting benchmark figures on version 2 from Le Man Software. They rightly do not test & comment on programmes in BETA which can be "buggy" & subject to substantial change.

Hope this is helpful.

--
Maurice

Windows 7 SP1 64 Bit OS
HP Intel Pentium i7
IE 11 for Windows 7 SP1
16GB RAM
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Anthony Wells RE: psia.exe (Secunia PSI Agent) consuming excessive CPU resource
Expert Contributor 14th Nov, 2010 20:48
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Last edited on 14th Nov, 2010 21:07
Hello Maurice Joyce ,

I have an AMD 64 Athlon x2 Dual Core at 3800+ - currently clocking 2009mhz - and 1 (ish) Gb RAM on an XP SP3 system running fairly lean - up to max(ish) 55 processes and 900+ Mo memory use .

Without being adamant , with 1.5.x I only remember seeing PSI.exe . The first 1.9 Beta added the sua.exe and the last one (or two) have added psia.exe and most certainly the psi_tray.exe is new to me -as seen in Task Manager - with 1.9.0.5004 .

Whatever , with all settings in the PSI "checked" and the PSI minimised to the tray , the RAM usage (as per TM) is psi 22Mo** , psia 6Mo , tray 3Mo and sua 2Mo and negligible CP usage .

Running a scan then only the psi.exe seems to go up - to 40Mo - but the CPU goes to 25%->40%->25%->15% and then momentarily up to 50% with the "results" presentation . Scan time 3 min plus ; probably 1 min longer than normal due to my fiddling . Scan time for 1.5x and the Betas and Mo and CP usage pretty similar to my recall .

No fan problems and none previosly from the psia.exe .

Anthony

PS** : the psi use of memory may be lower as my Chrome browser with several processes running , plus Firefox , are running a lot of memory .

--


It always seems impossible until its done.
Nelson Mandela
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Maurice Joyce RE: psia.exe (Secunia PSI Agent) consuming excessive CPU resource
Handling Contributor 14th Nov, 2010 21:10
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Last edited on 14th Nov, 2010 21:10
That is exactly what I said. PSI have added two new files since December 2009.

What are U on about?

--
Maurice

Windows 7 SP1 64 Bit OS
HP Intel Pentium i7
IE 11 for Windows 7 SP1
16GB RAM
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Anthony Wells RE: psia.exe (Secunia PSI Agent) consuming excessive CPU resource
Expert Contributor 14th Nov, 2010 21:24
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Last edited on 14th Nov, 2010 21:51
Well this is November 2010 and the psia and psi_tray processes are only seen by me on my system - as per Task Manager , Gabriel's System Information for Windows and What's Running - in the last couple of months .

Nothing of any consequence as I see it , as the psia problem seems new (ish) , the previous memory/CP overload seemed to be based on having "programme monitoring" checked and in one case that slammed into Mozilla Thunderbird which/when it was dealing with large files .

Like you say , this is as I see it and other people may have comments . Chacun son tour .


EDIT: if it matters ; I have just checked the PSI installation files on my system and 1.5x only has psi.exe of those in question , 1.9.04 has sua.exe added and 1.9.0.5 adds the psia.exe and the psi_tray.exe , so the psia problem apperas to be new as such .

--


It always seems impossible until its done.
Nelson Mandela
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ottofn RE: psia.exe (Secunia PSI Agent) consuming excessive CPU resource
Member 18th Nov, 2010 00:53
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Last edited on 18th Nov, 2010 00:57
To supplement Midnight Voice and Jim G.
The 1 second bursts every 2-3 seconds are shown on my network monitor as a constant download at a speed of 45 - 55 kbs. (Bursts are 110 kbs)

the "transmissions" began after installing 1.9.0.5004.
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Anthony Wells RE: psia.exe (Secunia PSI Agent) consuming excessive CPU resource
Expert Contributor 18th Nov, 2010 11:56
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Hello ,

If a Secunia Official does not pick up here , you might want to email them at support@secunia.com and reference this thread .

Anthony

--


It always seems impossible until its done.
Nelson Mandela
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ottofn RE: psia.exe (Secunia PSI Agent) consuming excessive CPU resource
Member 18th Nov, 2010 12:25
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Last edited on 18th Nov, 2010 12:26
on 18th Nov, 2010 00:53, ottofn wrote:
To supplement Midnight Voice and Jim G.
The 1 second bursts every 2-3 seconds are shown on my network monitor as a constant download at a speed of 45 - 55 kbs. (Bursts are 110 kbs)

the "transmissions" began after installing 1.9.0.5004.



Upon opening the computer this morning the "transmissions" were still there, but they disappeared after app. one hour.
The network monitor now states the psia.exe port as "close_wait".
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Midnight_Voice RE: psia.exe (Secunia PSI Agent) consuming excessive CPU resource
Member 24th Nov, 2010 21:07
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System Score: 96%
Location: UK
Following the referencing of this thread in the 'Crash' thread, I've not noticed psia.exe consuming so much resource recently, nor my fan running constantly on this Vista machine as a result.

Whatever it is this process does (some sort of initial indexing, different from Scan?), it seems to have calmed down greatly, and is now taking just a few CPU seconds, instead of minutes, in every elapsed hour.

And as I reported before, it never hammered my W7 machine, right from the get-go, and hasn't started to since.



--
A computer program can do pretty much anything the user doesn't know is impossible for it to do.

XP Home 32-bit - Compaq Presario V2000 Celeron 1.4GHz
Vista Ultimate 32-bit - Toshiba Equium A100 Centrino Duo 1.7GHz
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit - Dell Studio XPS 1645 Core i7-720 Quad 1.6-2.4GHz
(Also running XP Pro in Windows XP Mode 32-bit)
Windows 8.1 Home Premium 64-bit - Lenovo IdeaPad Z500 Core i5 2.6Ghz
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bhenshaw RE: psia.exe (Secunia PSI Agent) consuming excessive CPU resource
Member 29th Nov, 2010 21:13
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System Score: 93%
Location: US
Last edited on 29th Nov, 2010 21:17
I have a question. I am running 1.9.0.5004 on Vista Home Premium and I don't see a process called psia.exe running at all. The only one running is psi_tray.exe.

Is there supposed to be a psia.exe process running all the time?

I tried uninstalling and re-installing PSI and I still don't see a psia.exe in task manager. The program psia.exe does exist in C:\Program Files\Secunia\PSI.

PSI seems to be working correctly.

Can some one clear up my confusion?

Thanks!

--------------------------------

Oops... I didn't have show processes for all users checked. Once I checked that it showed psia.exe.
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Maurice Joyce RE: psia.exe (Secunia PSI Agent) consuming excessive CPU resource
Handling Contributor 29th Nov, 2010 21:18
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Last edited on 29th Nov, 2010 21:22
If U fully open PSI what is running in Task Manager?


--
Maurice

Windows 7 SP1 64 Bit OS
HP Intel Pentium i7
IE 11 for Windows 7 SP1
16GB RAM
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Anthony Wells RE: psia.exe (Secunia PSI Agent) consuming excessive CPU resource
Expert Contributor 29th Nov, 2010 21:29
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Hi ,

Emil Petersen has responded (today) as to the function of the psia.exe in this thread ; you will need to scroll to the bottom :-

http://secunia.com/community/forum/thread/show/630...

I have copied the relevant parts for you here :-

(unknown source)
Hi,

As for the delay in starting the user interface that was recently introduced, surprising as it may seem on first glance, this is actually a feature, and not a bug.

A request that's come up again and again in the beta period is for us to reduce the memory usage of the PSI when it is lying dormant in the background.
To achieve this, we have separated the PSI program monitoring agent and user interface (UI). This means that when the PSI is 'minimized' to the tray, the UI component is shut down, which frees system memory, while still preserving the PSI's tray functionality.

Since the PSI loads it's user interface over the network, each time you restart the UI component, it loads once more. While this does cause a slight delay, it prevents the PSI from using any more memory than necessary while running in the background.

To decrease memory usage in the PSI 2.0 Beta, we have split the PSI into several 'modules'. The UI module is shut down when you close it (whereas it used to me minimized to tray - see also my explanation above).

The tray icon runs separately from the PSI agent, which runs in the background, and is responsible for, for example, running the weekly scheduled scans. So when you shut down the tray icon, the service will still run in the background.
If you wish to disable the PSI background service, uncheck the 'Start the PSI on boot' option on the settings page. This will prevent the background service from automatically starting.

hope this helps.


Do you have "program monitoring" and "start on boot" enabled in "settings" ??

Hope this helps .

Anthony

--


It always seems impossible until its done.
Nelson Mandela
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bhenshaw RE: psia.exe (Secunia PSI Agent) consuming excessive CPU resource
Member 29th Nov, 2010 21:59
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Anthony and Maurice,

I'm sorry... I found that if I click on "show processes from all users" psia.exe does show up.

Sorry for the confusion.

Bill
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Maurice Joyce RE: psia.exe (Secunia PSI Agent) consuming excessive CPU resource
Handling Contributor 29th Nov, 2010 22:02
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Bill,
It will not. It is a service. Look in there & U will see it will almost certainly be set to start automatically at start up. If U do not want it then disable it.

--
Maurice

Windows 7 SP1 64 Bit OS
HP Intel Pentium i7
IE 11 for Windows 7 SP1
16GB RAM
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bhenshaw RE: psia.exe (Secunia PSI Agent) consuming excessive CPU resource
Member 29th Nov, 2010 23:34
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Last edited on 29th Nov, 2010 23:34
Maurice,

Secunia PSI Agent does show up under services and it is running.

What wasn't showing up was psia.exe under processes. However, as I mentioned, it does show up if I click on "show processes for all users".

It shows as: psia.exe SYSTEM 00 5,944K Secunia PSI Agent

I'm assuming I do what it running in order to have PSI working properly don't I?

Bill
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Maurice Joyce RE: psia.exe (Secunia PSI Agent) consuming excessive CPU resource
Handling Contributor 29th Nov, 2010 23:47
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Bill,
Yes - sorry gave U a bad steer. Unless it runs U get an error message & the tray icon stays red so if U are working that is OK.

As U will note from my tests in a separate post the tray & agent running do not impact to much on user memory/CPU.

It is when U use PSI.EXE in full mode when all 3 "bits" are running which can cause a major surge in memory & CPU usage.




--
Maurice

Windows 7 SP1 64 Bit OS
HP Intel Pentium i7
IE 11 for Windows 7 SP1
16GB RAM
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