The Grey Chronicles

2010.November.1

Goodbye Spybot, Hello MSSE Redux, Part III


Task Manager: MSSE Update: AM_Delta_Patch2.exePreempting the third part of yesterday’s post on writing, here is another post on my experience with Microsoft Security Essentials. This one continues the thread in the previous redux post which highlighted, yet again, the memory-hogging problem of MSSE and its status notification going haywire!

Today, during the daily update of MSSE, noticing that Firefox was Not Responding again, opening the Task Manager revealed that the Windows Update Autoupdate Client executable [wuauclt.exe] was downloading AM_Delta_Patch2.exe, a patch for MSSE. Similar to the previous patch discussed in Part II, again searching this file, AM_Delta_Patch2.exe, in Microsoft Downloads, but even Microsoft, using its interactive Bing search engine, states: Sorry, no results were found. [See snapshot below].

Snapshot of Microsoft Download Center: AM_Delta_Patch2.exeOther search engines also offered no information except that it is a patch for MSSE, but no available link to download it all by itself just like all other Microsoft security updates or hotfixes? Is this the way Microsoft deals with a proprietary software patch, even for a paid Windows XP? Or maybe, if the on-line and off-line updates failed, the only thing a paid Windows XP user could do is retry and try again until the memory resource-hogging Windows Update Autoupdate Client executable [wuauclt.exe] fully downloaded this MSSE patch, AM_Delta_Patch2.exe?

Is this the future how Microsoft will deal with its succeeding security updates and hotfixes, i.e., no other way EXCEPT through the Windows Update Autoupdate Client executable? Are we also seeing here that eventually the websites: Microsoft Download Center or the Microsoft Windows Update Service will be gone for good or exclusively accessible only through the resource-hogging Windows Update Autoupdate Client executable? If this is the case, maybe Microsoft should really focus much of its efforts to investigate why the Windows Update Autoupdate Client executable is using too much memory thus making other running programs temporarily inaccessible or suspended in a screeching halt?

Snapshot of Task Manager: Dual Instances of Windows Update Autoupdate Client ExecutableIn a related matter, during a MSSE patch update the previous day, shown in the snapshot right, why are there two instances of Windows Update Autoupdate Client executables [wuauclt.exe], circumscribed in red, running in the Task Manager? Incredibly, both instances of Windows Update Autoupdate Client executable [wuauclt.exe] were increasing memory usage as if in a race for dear life! When both [wuauclt.exe] reached memory usage of about 100 MB each, or a total of about half of the available memory, unfortunately, my vintage 519-MHz mobile AMD Athlon Compaq Presario notebook with 448 MB of RAM running Windows XP SP3 gave up the fight and just switched itself off to protect the CPU! Yuck! I was not fast enough to take the snapshot!

Probably what happened during this time of dual instances of wuauclt.exe running in the Task Manager was the fact that it was already nearing 03:00H, the default time whereby the Windows Update Autoupdate Client connects to the Internet everyday to see whether there are pending security updates to be downloaded, and coincidentally the Microsoft Antimalware Service, [MsMpEng.exe] was also downloading the respective definition updates? But hey, this writer thought that Microsoft Security Essentials also uses Windows Update Autoupdate Client to upgrade its program files! So if this is the case, the dual instances of wuauclt.exe running in the Task Manager would be seen time and again. If this is not the case, what the hell are two instances of the memory-hog, resource-hungry Windows Update Autoupdate Client executables [wuauclt.exe] doing in the Task Manager?

At least as common sense dictates or as seen by this writer during Microsoft autoupdates, should not the Windows Update Autoupdate Client executable be triggered only once based on the fact that download streams from Microsoft updates is limited to ONLY ONE download. It is a well-known fact that when monthly updates from Microsoft are downloaded using Windows Update Autoupdate Client executable, even if there are ten or more security updates to be downloaded that day, each of these updates is downloaded ONE at a time.

Does this mean that Microsoft Security Essentials, being an add-on, is not totally integrated with or ported to Windows XP as it is purportedly claimed that it could also trigger a separate instance of Windows Update Autoupdate Client executable even if another, i.e., Windows Update Autoupdate Client executable, is already running?


Notes:

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 LicenseDisclaimer: These posts do not necessarily represent any organization’s positions, strategies or opinions; refer to this blog’s self-imposed rules: A New Year; New Rules. Unless otherwise expressly stated, posts are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License. Comments are moderated to keep the discussion/s relevant and civil. Readers are responsible for their own statement/s.

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