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FYI: Latest Windows XP patch can slow down PCs

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Posted Message

23 Apr 2003 3:40 PM
Latest Windows XP patch can slow down PCs
Users report delays in launching applications

By Joris Evers April 22, 2003

SAN FRANCISCO -- Microsoft's latest security patch can cause computers running Windows XP to slow down to a crawl, affected users say.

Windows XP can take up to 10 seconds to start an application after installation of the patch released last Wednesday with security bulletin MS03-013, users wrote in dozens of postings on several online discussion boards. Removing the patch brings system speed back to normal, according to these users.

Microsoft is aware of the issue and is investigating it, Stephen Toulouse, a security program manager with Microsoft's security response center in Redmond, Washington, said.

"We have been made aware of some isolated cases of customers experiencing performance issues after applying the patch," he said. Microsoft is going by the online reports, he said. No customers have called Microsoft's helpdesk with the problem, according to Toulouse.

The patch, which Microsoft calls the Q811493 hotfix, was distributed via Microsoft's security Web site and the automatic Windows Update service. It fixes a security flaw in the Windows kernel, the core of the Windows operating system. The vulnerability is rated "important" by Microsoft, one notch below the highest level on the vendor's severity rating scheme.

The flaw allows an attacker to raise his privilege level on a vulnerable system. However, to exploit the flaw an attacker needs to be able to log on to a system, either at the computer or via a terminal connection, mitigating the risk.

Users advising other users online suggest home users experiencing system slowdowns remove the patch as corporate environments with terminal servers and client systems accessed by multiple users are most at risk. Microsoft, however, urges all customers to apply the patch and call the Microsoft helpdesk if there are any performance issues afterward, Toulouse said.

Microsoft security bulletin MS03-013 can be found at: http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/bulletin/MS03-013.asp

If you have noticed that you system's performance has been adversly effected after applying the Q811493 hotfix last week, you can remove it by following the below steps:

1. Open "Add or Remove programs" from the "Control Panel".

2. Scroll down to "Windows XP Hotfix (SP2) Q811493" and click REMOVE.

3. You may receive a warning about an application may not work afterwards. Ingore it for now and continue, but make a note. In my case, I received a warning about Sun's Java. If I have any problems related to Java, I will re-install it.

4. Click Finish - This will reboot your PC.

23 Apr 2003 4:09 PM
Thanks for the "heads up" pjaques

Floyd :)
Junior Member

23 Apr 2003 9:02 PM
Thanks for the info. I have noticed that my PC has experienced a tremendous slowdown opening applications and was considering a reformat. This information saved me from having to do this. After removing the patch, my PC now has returned to normal.
Another thanks for this info.

23 Apr 2003 9:54 PM
I also experience the slow down, however I found that if I disable my McAfee anti virus, it return to normal speed. Enabling anti virus slow down again. Look like some interaction.

Do you guys that experance the slow down also running McAfee anti virus ?

This message has been edited since posting. Last time this message was edited on 23 Apr 2003 9:55 PM

Senior Member

23 Apr 2003 10:53 PM

Thanxs for the post,I was wondering why my Outlook Express was taking so long to start.Will uninstall this patch and see if I notice a difference.
AfterDawn Addict

23 Apr 2003 11:27 PM
This patch is also a update for windows-2000
i wonder if it will cause a slowdown on
any feedback on this

24 Apr 2003 1:39 AM
Hi motia,

I have McAfee Virus Scan Home Edition 7.0 installed on my computer. I haven't encountered any performance problems due to McAfee Virus Scan. If you are running McAfee Virus Scan 4.51, configure it so it only scans inbound files, not outbound files. McAfee Version 7.0 is supposed to use less system resources and have less impact on CPU cycles when scanning for viruses. Version 7.0 only scan files that have been updated or changed, so it doesn't scan all files.

If you are running the latest version of McAfee, check if it comes with McAfee's firewall software. If it does, it may be conflicting with some other software on your computer.

I knew someone that had ZoneAlarm installed and install McAfee Virus Scan and didn't realize that he was installing a 2nd personal firewall. It caused major problems.

On a totally different computer of mine, McAfee Virus Scan Home Edition 7.0 caused problems with Internet Information Server (IIS) running on Windows XP Pro. It didn't cause any performance problems like in your case. However, it did cause all my ASP scripts on my web server to not work. I never figured out the problem, so I uninstalled McAfee Virus Scan 7.0 and installed Norton AntiVirus from SystemWorks 2003.

This message has been edited since posting. Last time this message was edited on 24 Apr 2003 1:41 AM


24 Apr 2003 7:33 AM
Thaks for the post and the replay.
I also never had a problem with mcafee Virus Scan 7 until I installed the new XP hot fix. Only after the hot fix the problem showed up.
As I said, the hot fix did slowed down my computer, but got arround it by disabling mcafee. So now my computer run in normal speed WITH the hot fix.
Thanks for mentioning that you also have mcafee 7 as there may be a commonality. Did you try to disable it to see if it fixes the Hot Fix slowdown before you un-install the hot fix ?
I will un-install the hot fix, as eabling the virus scan is more important to me than the hot fix.

This message has been edited since posting. Last time this message was edited on 24 Apr 2003 7:34 AM


25 Apr 2003 1:20 AM

My system performance was one of the few that wasn't effected by the Q811493 hot fix. It turned out that this hot fix had nothing to do with my IIS web server problem where ASP scripts stopped working after installing McAfee Virus Scan Home Edition 7.0.

I just discovered the cause of the problem between McAfee 7.0 and WinXP Pro IIS. It was a feature in McAfee Virus Scan that caused the problem. For those interested in the solution, I disabled "HAWK script stopper" and rebooted my PC. Sorry if this drifted off subject.

BTW, this is not the computer that I burn DVD's on. My DVD Burner PC is only running the bare essentials for services. It does have McAfee Virus Scan 7.0 installed, but I always disabled it when making DVD backups.

This message has been edited since posting. Last time this message was edited on 25 Apr 2003 1:21 AM

Junior Member

25 Apr 2003 11:40 AM

Thanks for your tip. I uninstalled Q811493. My system went from a crawl back to full speed. On my system, before unistall, even opening plain old folders took a painfully long time.

Some programs had been loading only 3% at a time (imagine that when loading ULead's video studio ... quite a large program). After unintalling the Microsoft "fix," the loading of the same program only took a few seconds.

For the record, my research has shown McAfee Antivirus is not the root cause of the slowdown; it was the way Microsoft constructed its hotfix. My programmer buddies also agree. Disabling antivirus programs is not a prudent solution.

Lastly, remember who the hotfix was for -- mainly for networking environment users, such as large companies. Use of the top firewalls by the average home user will be effective against attacks described by the hotfix. Microsoft is looking into "complaints" about the hotfix and, as always, is underplaying the hotfix's impact on home users' systems.

Chances are, there'll be another update to update the update. Until then, your advice is sound.

26 Apr 2003 4:35 PM
I noticed a slight slowdown in applications also. After uninstalling and going to Windows Update site yesterday, I saw the update appear on the "Critical" list as it did before. But today, it is now on the "Windows XP Recommended" list. I guess M$ is tired of people complaining about an update that average users won't need anyway. So you can turn your automatic update notification back on now (if you turned it off because of this) without being bugged about it everyday.

26 Apr 2003 8:35 PM
i thought we were turning off auto updates so the our updates dont kick in when we are using dxc ( it was a tip from earlier posts)i keep mine off and do them manualy between uses of dxc
i never lose my buffer to a windows auto update
or norton live-update either...any coments?

26 Apr 2003 9:19 PM

Before I use DXC, I just disable my network connection (Local Area Connection). It's much simplier and doesn't compromise the update system.

Some prefer to have total control over auto updates and therefore disable it. This works well as long as the person is diligent on manually checking for updates.

After I am finished using DXC, I re-enable my network connection, Virus protection and personal firewall. This works well for me. I have had no problems with DXC.

27 Apr 2003 6:36 PM
I've never had a problem w/DXC and keeping the update notification turned on. I like to be automatically informed when updates are ready, but still have control over when they are installed. Having DSL on 24/7 makes me a little nervous about XP's weekly vulnerabilities so I like to keep current. The average joe should probably do the same. If they are having problems with DXC because of a background app. accessing the internet, then they should do as the poster above and turn off their connection when copying. That's the safest method.

29 Apr 2003 8:07 AM
I too noticed my system slowed down dramatically after installing the windows update. I also considered reformating but had just reformatted 3 days ago. I was aware of the problem as it was reported by a viewer on the "TechTV/ScreenSavers" TV show. I was going to wait for more info before taking any drastic steps. Thanks for the info - now I know to uninstall tha update.

29 Apr 2003 11:56 AM
Thanks. It tooks Wordperfect forever to access files over our network. Removing the Q811493 hotfix took care of it. Wonder how I would of found this out if I had not purchased dvdxcopy and been a regular browser of their forums. And what are all those other "fixes" screwing up in our computer?
Junior Member

30 Apr 2003 2:27 AM
As a side note- another security 'fix' slowed me down- especially when trying to shutdown or re-boot- using Windows 2000 Pro- #329170 had me waiting for what seemed like hours for the system to shut down. I know ther's at least one other fairly recent one slowing systems, including XP, down; sorry, don't have the numbers with me right now. You would hope they would research first/issue the patch second; instead of the other way around!

30 Apr 2003 3:58 AM
thanks for the post. I thought my pc was on the blink again. Uninstalled and now things start up as they should

thanks again


30 Apr 2003 4:24 AM

Could you find out the number for the other patch that could slow down XP? My system has really slowed down. I read about the Q811493 hotfix in this thread and thought that might be the problem. Nope. It had not yet been installed. Thanks.
Junior Member

30 Apr 2003 5:38 AM
The last two I remember being reported as being a cause of major slowdowns were the 811493 already mentioned and 816287. You can try going to http://www.dslreports.com/ and check the security and Microsoft forums; or go to the Microsoft update site- let it read your system, then click on review previously installed updates (or something to that effect). It would give you an idea of what has been installed- then go to dsl reports or do a Google search and see what you find. If you don't run a server or anything like that- you can probably take out the 'business related patches' which I know slowed me up a lot. Sorry, not at home where could find the answers for you easier. Don't forget to back-up before uninstalling- Microsoft has a nasty habit of screwing up (or warning you they will)other software if you un-install. Hope that helps a little. Hopefully, someone else can give you a better answer- igortwo
p.s. don't forget 329170 too!!!!

This message has been edited since posting. Last time this message was edited on 30 Apr 2003 5:40 AM

Junior Member

16 May 2003 3:03 PM
I cannot seem to uninstall or remove Windows XP Hotfix (SP2) Q811493. When I do the following I get the message (at point 3)

1. Open "Add or Remove programs" from the "Control Panel".

2. Scroll down to "Windows XP Hotfix (SP2) Q811493" and click REMOVE.

3. A message box titled Application Remant Cleaner comes up. Message in box says: " Application Remant Cleaner is locating folders of the application you are about to uninstalll. Please wait...."

However nothing happens after waiting several times (longest was 5 hours). I have restarted computer and started again but nothing happens. I have McAfee Virus Scan Home Edition 7.02 but can not find if Application Remant Cleaner is part of this or is a Windows tool. What is Remant Cleaner?????
As my computer has slowed down after the patch I want to take it off. Should I wait for a fix to the patch or is there another way to remove this from my computer.


16 May 2003 4:29 PM

I could find any reference to "Application Remant Cleaner", so I do think it has anything to do with the Windows uninstall process. If you have any system/maintenance utilities installed like WinCleaner on your system, you may want to try uninstalling them.

Not that I think McAfee caused your problem, but you could stop the service by going into the Control Panel, opening VirusScan applet and click STOP. This doesn't uninstall Mcafee, it just stops the service so it is not running in memory. Then try uninstalling the Q811494 hotfix through "Add/Remove Programs".

You may want to run a ScanDisk to rule out disk problems or corruption and then something like Symantec System Works' Norton WinDoctor to fix any Windows registry errors.

16 May 2003 5:27 PM
you are a star
what can i say but.......
cheers m8ty
my computer has been buging me for ages with it's slowing down and opening program times.

i did a compleat re-install and then did security updates and then it went slow
just removed 811493 and haypresto full speed again
Junior Member

18 May 2003 7:13 AM
Just a personal note on the Microsoft update (or Hotfixes as they ultimately reside in the Program Files folder), I have heard more war stories on people applying the Microsoft updates and having problems than I can begin to mention. Fortunately, since I installed the SP1, I cant download any updates whatsoever....I can search my computer for them from the update site...it allows me to choose and delete whichever ones I like,but, as I stated, I cant "download" anything. This appears to be working to my benefit it appears, like I said, after hearing all the war stories on Microsofts "Critical Updates." With all due respect to Microsoft and I really do mean that. They have done some amazing things in the world of computers, but, the "Critical Updates" appear (more often than not) to be "Critical Screwups." Think I'll stick with a good Virus Scan Program and Firewall until the next major Service Pack comes out and has been out for a while and proven to be safe and then merely install that.

Anyone agree???


18 May 2003 3:30 PM
Windows Update Scan for Updates Stops Responding at 0%

Windows Update May Not Work in Windows XP If an Authenticating Web Proxy Is Used
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