I woke up this morning to find my PC in the lounge powered on. This is rarely a good sign, since it routinely goes into hibernation after its nightly backup at around 1am, so if it’s powered on unbidden when I get up, it means something didn’t go right.
It became immediately obvious that the machine was running outrageously slow, taking a good minute just to unlock the screen. An attempt at opening Task Manager hadn’t completed two minutes later. If I’d been in a hurry, I’d have simply rebooted, but since it was Saturday, I fired up my laptop and settled down to breakfast.
When I came back, this is what I found:
One process, ADEProxy.exe, had spawned over 10,000 instances of itself, causing such massive process contention that a single taskmgr.exe process was utterly starved of resources. Yes, TEN THOUSAND instances. I’m pretty sure that’s a new record for number of processes open on my machine at once. I should point out that this machine is a has a quad-core Q6600 processor and 4GB of RAM, so it’s not exactly easy to slow it down (and bizarrely, those 10,000 processes weren’t even using that much CPU time). Sadly I wasn’t able to get a screenshot of the number of open handles.
Luckily once the Task Manager had focus, I could at least right-click one of the instances and find out what the sodding thing was:
A quick search online confirmed that it’s part of the Android phone PC USB interface, which is integrated into the PC Suite for my Android-based Dell Streak. Quite why it decided to go Agent Smith on my computer is so far unknown, other than the fact it is clearly coded by imbeciles. Overcome with morbid curiosity at just how bad the problem was, I resisted a reboot once more, instead opting to run pskill to see how long it took to nuke 10,000 processes. After 25 minutes I went and took a shower, and it was just finishing up when I got back. In all it took over an hour.
Here I was thinking that Nokia’s PC Suite was a bloated piece of junk. I’d say we have a new winner in that category.