Unknown Program Randomly Runs Briefly

Posted on 2005-05-03
Last Modified: 2013-12-04
I am running Windows XP Professional.  I have a program or process that apparently runs (minimumized) briefly, about every 15 minutes or so.  I first noticed about 10 days ago that my screen saver was not running or that the monitor was not in powersaving mode even after a couple hours of not using the computer.  Sometimes while I'm using the computer, I see a minimized box come up for about a second or less, then disappear.  I've tried to "right click" the minimized program when it come up to try to find out what it is, but with no success.  I am running current virus and internet security programs.  I regularly run AdAware, Spybot, and Spyware Doctor, but they do not find anything malicious.  Any ideas on what it could be or how to find out?
Question by:rayfig
    LVL 38

    Assisted Solution

    by:Rich Rumble
    Try ZoneAlarm... it has a process locking feature, so if this program starts up and wants to access your NIC, then ZA will pause it and wait for you to allow or disallow the program. ZA will give you all the info it can about the program, and while it's paused you could use the sysinternals tools to find out even more about it

    here is the free version of ZA, it should help

    Also note, that when you do find viri and or spyware on your machine, you should disable system restore if using XP or winME as the tools cannot clean the restore folder, and windows will place the pest's back on upon reboot.
    LVL 4

    Assisted Solution

    Did you check your scheduled tasks list?

    If it is some sort of spyware, it would probably be attempting contact outside of your computer.  You could try installing ZoneAlarm, which would then alert you when the program tried to access the outside world.

    You didn't mention antivirus software.  Do you have some and have you run it?  Is it possible it might be attempting an update?  Back when I ran Win98, I believe Symantec put a task in the scheduled tasks list that checked for Internet connectivity like every 15 minutes.

    I'd also check processes, startup under msconfig and what was under run and runonce in the registry for anything out of the ordinary.  If that pops up and disappears, you probably won't see it, but there might be another program that periodically runs what you're seeing.
    LVL 16

    Assisted Solution

    Try to scan for spyware or virus in safe mode.

    Norton antivirus has a program like that running minimized for a few seconds.
    Try to catch the name of the application.
    Download Codestuff Starter...
    For applications/malware that run on startup... coz they dont always hide at
    currentversion\run where the average user will search...
    Search on google for each exe running to identify whether they are legitimate.
    Download HijackThis from:



    Download HijackThis from:

    With all browser windows closed - run HijackThis and
    copy and paste the log file into the Analysis site here:

    Click on the "Analyze" button and when the analysis is done -
    Click on the "Save Analysis" button -
    A page will be generated with your saved analysis -
    Post a LINK to that page back here...

    Please, do not post your log file here!!!

    Here's the Experts-Exchange guidelines on posting HijackThis logs:

    Good luck!

    Author Comment

    I think the random program is not seeking the internet.  I am running Norton Internet Security 2005 w/Antivirus and Firewall.  They are both up to date (I have autoupdate set).  I even temporarily disabled Norton and installed ZoneAlarm, but no programs popped up as trying to go to the internet.  My scheduled tasks are a virus scan weekly and Symantec NetDetect every 4 hours.  I did not see anything in the registry or in msconfig that alerted me.  I will try to scan in safe mode.

    Assisted Solution

    I'm having the same problem.

    Here's a link to my HijackThis Analysis:

    Accepted Solution

    I have an HP1350xi Printer-Scanner-Copier and was having the same problem.  Disabling the hpcmpmgr under "Startup" in msconfig solved the issue.

    Author Comment

    Thanks for all the good suggestions.  The apparent culprit was the hpcmpmgr.exe file.  Since it was disabled everything is back to normal.

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