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Microsoft Security Essentials causing menu to take forever to load

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Bruce Pascoe
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Microsoft Security Essentials causing menu to take forever to load

I'm not sure what the Platform is doing when it refreshes the app list, but for whatever reason when I have Microsoft Security Essentials (MS antivirus) running, it seems to take a long time to load the list. However, I don't notice this problem with ASuite, which loads just as quickly whether MSSE is turned on or off.

My guess would be that the platform is loading info from all the .exe's in the PortableApps folder, which then causes the antivirus to have to scan them for viruses before releasing them to the Platform. So my question is, could the app list be cached somehow and only reload it when the Platform detects a change?

John T. Haller
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Depends on the App

For apps in PortableApps.com Format, it's just pulling the appname from appinfo.ini and the icon as appicon_16.png. For non-PA.c apps, it is touching the EXEs sitting in their root directories, so if you have a lot of those, that would be why. Odd that it is scanning them when they aren't being run, but then MSSE has never been well-regarded. There will be a caching feature in an upcoming release that should alleviate this for you for non-PA.c apps.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

Bruce Pascoe
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Let's see, I have foobar2000, Within a Deep Forest (a game), several emulators, HxD, Sphere (game creation thingy), and Notecase. So yeah, that is quite a bit.

Anyway, the reason I use MSSE is because it's the fastest antivirus I've found. Other than the Platform, it doesn't slow down my system at all, unlike say, AVG or Norton.

John T. Haller
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Internet Downloads?

Is it possible you have UAC disabled and some of your EXEs are direct internet downloads and still set as such? That might slow MSSE down, too.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

Bruce Pascoe
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UAC is enabled

I never disable UAC. And my drive is formatted exFAT anyway, which doesn't support the "downloaded from Internet" flag as far as I know. I'm pretty sure that's an NTFS-only thing.

Nah, it's probably just MSSE scanning the .exes on access like you said. If I run the Platform off my computer (or my portable hard drive), it loads quick, it's only when I start it from a flash drive that I get the slowdown. Probably MSSE just isn't optimized for flash drives. Either way, it's not the end of the world--I can live with it. Smile

Hm, I think I may have figured out what it is. In my foobar2000 directory, I have all the encoders alongside the main EXE. They average at least 500KB each and two of them (the AAC and Vorbis encoders) are actually over a megabyte! My guess is MSSE is taking a while to scan these. I'll see if I can move them into their own folder and maybe that'll speed it up a bit.

John T. Haller
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Hidden?

Do you have all those EXEs manually hidden in the menu? If so, then that's your slowdown.

I have a fix for that I've been considering where the menu will first look for an EXE named the same as the app directory for non-PAF apps. So, if you have foobar2000.exe inside X:\PortableApps\Foobar2000, then the platform will just show that and completely ignore everything else in the directory.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

Bruce Pascoe
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Yes, they're hidden. Why would that cause the slowdown though? If anything I'd think the menu would ignore the hidden EXEs when refreshing...

usbtastic
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UPX

I believe the UPX compression used for portable apps causes the anti-virus to uncompress the exe's to scan them. This slows the scan. UPX is often used within viruses.

I find the issue not as bad with Windows 7.

vbap
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Same issue(s) for me...

I have the same issue - although I haven't confirmed it is MSSE causing the slow down, but it seems likely.

I run PA from my hard drive (windows 7) and it is still slow (1-2 minutes) when I boot up first thing in the morning. I also have a lot of non PA-format programs and I also have several manually hidden EXEs.

So maybe I have a lot of things working against me...!

Hopefully you will implement a cache technique or even an INI or XML "manifest" rather than scanning for apps. I appreciate that this is the PA menu, so priority goes to PA-format apps.

If that's the case, then I will probably revert to PStart or PSMenu.

Bruce Pascoe
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It's definitely MSSE, as uninstalling it or even just disabling it fixes the issue. It's especially odd considering Windows Defender is built into Windows and uses the same scanning engine, but Defender doesn't slow down the Platform at all while MSSE does.

spg SCOTT
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That is how an on access scanner works

If I understand this correctly, PAP is 'opening' (reading) all the appicon/other exe files to find an icon for them, and (I imagine ALL) AVs will scan the files...

For example, avast! does the same
On refresh of the menu, I see these files scanned:

2/17/2010 1:00:33 PM	K:\PortableApps\DropBox\DropboxPortable.exe [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:33 PM	K:\PortableApps\7-ZipPortable\App\AppInfo\appicon.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:33 PM	K:\PortableApps\AbiWordPortable\App\AppInfo\appicon.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:33 PM	K:\PortableApps\aMSNPortable\App\AppInfo\appicon.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:33 PM	K:\PortableApps\AudacityPortable\App\AppInfo\appicon.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:33 PM	K:\PortableApps\BonkEncPortable\App\AppInfo\appicon.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:33 PM	K:\PortableApps\CelestiaPortable\App\AppInfo\appicon.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:33 PM	K:\PortableApps\ThunderbirdPortable\App\AppInfo\appicon.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:33 PM	K:\PortableApps\CommandPromptPortable\App\AppInfo\appicon.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:34 PM	K:\PortableApps\Converber\Converber.exe [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:34 PM	K:\PortableApps\DaphnePortable\App\AppInfo\appicon.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:34 PM	K:\PortableApps\EraserPortable\App\AppInfo\appicon.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:34 PM	K:\PortableApps\FirefoxPortable2ndProfile\App\AppInfo\appicon.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:34 PM	K:\PortableApps\Graph paper gen\GraphPap.exe [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:34 PM	K:\PortableApps\Held up AppAway\appaway.exe [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:34 PM	K:\PortableApps\Held up AppAway\HeldUp.exe [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:34 PM	K:\PortableApps\IronPortable\IronPortable.exe [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:34 PM	K:\PortableApps\JooleemPortable\App\AppInfo\appicon.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:34 PM	K:\PortableApps\KeePassPortable\App\AppInfo\appicon.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:34 PM	K:\PortableApps\KompoZerPortable\App\AppInfo\appicon.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:34 PM	K:\PortableApps\LBreakout2Portable\App\AppInfo\appicon.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:34 PM	K:\PortableApps\LightscreenPortable\App\AppInfo\appicon.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:34 PM	K:\PortableApps\Locknote\LockNote.exe [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:34 PM	K:\PortableApps\On-ScreenKeyboardPortable\App\AppInfo\appicon.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:35 PM	K:\PortableApps\Pc Audit\pcaudit.exe [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:35 PM	K:\PortableApps\PidginPortable\App\AppInfo\appicon.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:35 PM	K:\PortableApps\PNotesPortable\App\AppInfo\appicon.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:35 PM	K:\PortableApps\PokerTHPortable\App\AppInfo\appicon.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:35 PM	K:\PortableApps\revouninstaller-portable\revouninstaller.exe [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:35 PM	K:\PortableApps\SpeedCrunchPortable\App\AppInfo\appicon.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:35 PM	K:\PortableApps\SumatraPDFPortable\App\AppInfo\appicon.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:35 PM	K:\PortableApps\Sysinternals\autoruns.exe [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:36 PM	K:\PortableApps\Sysinternals\Bginfo.exe [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:36 PM	K:\PortableApps\Sysinternals\Desktops.exe [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:36 PM	K:\PortableApps\Sysinternals\procexp.exe [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:36 PM	K:\PortableApps\Sysinternals\RootkitRevealer.exe [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:37 PM	K:\PortableApps\Sysinternals\Tcpview.exe [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:37 PM	K:\PortableApps\TaskCoachPortable\App\AppInfo\appicon.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:37 PM	K:\PortableApps\Toucan\App\AppInfo\appicon.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:37 PM	K:\PortableApps\VLCPortable\App\AppInfo\appicon.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:37 PM	K:\PortableApps\winMd5SumPortable\App\AppInfo\appicon.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:37 PM	K:\PortableApps\WinWGetPortable\App\AppInfo\appicon.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:37 PM	K:\PortableApps\XenonPortable\App\AppInfo\appicon.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:37 PM	K:\PortableApps\CCleanerPortable\App\AppInfo\appicon.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:37 PM	K:\PortableApps\OpenOfficePortable\App\AppInfo\appicon1.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:37 PM	K:\PortableApps\OpenOfficePortable\App\AppInfo\appicon2.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:37 PM	K:\PortableApps\OpenOfficePortable\App\AppInfo\appicon3.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:37 PM	K:\PortableApps\OpenOfficePortable\App\AppInfo\appicon4.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:37 PM	K:\PortableApps\OpenOfficePortable\App\AppInfo\appicon5.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:37 PM	K:\PortableApps\OpenOfficePortable\App\AppInfo\appicon6.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:37 PM	K:\PortableApps\OpenOfficePortable\App\AppInfo\appicon7.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:37 PM	K:\PortableApps\ClickyGonePortable\App\AppInfo\appicon1.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:37 PM	K:\PortableApps\FirefoxPortable\App\AppInfo\appicon.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:37 PM	K:\PortableApps\RegshotPortable\App\AppInfo\appicon.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:37 PM	K:\PortableApps\Thunderbird Portable\App\AppInfo\appicon.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:37 PM	K:\PortableApps\Opera10usb\OperaUSB.exe [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:37 PM	K:\PortableApps\CamStudioPortable\App\AppInfo\appicon.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:37 PM	K:\PortableApps\ClamWinPortable\App\AppInfo\appicon.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:37 PM	K:\PortableApps\GIMPPortable\App\AppInfo\appicon.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:37 PM	K:\PortableApps\WinBoardPortable\App\AppInfo\appicon.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:37 PM	K:\PortableApps\WinDirStatPortable\App\AppInfo\appicon.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:37 PM	K:\PortableApps\Notepad++Portable\App\AppInfo\appicon.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:37 PM	K:\PortableApps\FileZillaPortable\App\AppInfo\appicon.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:37 PM	K:\PortableApps\SpyDLLRemover\App\AppInfo\appicon.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:37 PM	K:\PortableApps\Winpatrol\winpatroltogo.exe [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:37 PM	K:\PortableApps\md5hashPortable\App\AppInfo\appicon.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:37 PM	K:\PortableApps\FreeCommanderPortable\App\AppInfo\appicon.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:37 PM	K:\PortableApps\IcoFXPortable\App\AppInfo\appicon.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:37 PM	K:\PortableApps\FoxitReaderPortable\App\AppInfo\appicon.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:37 PM	K:\PortableApps\SeaMonkeyPortable\App\AppInfo\appicon.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:37 PM	K:\PortableApps\WinMergePortable\App\AppInfo\appicon.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:37 PM	K:\PortableApps\CanabaltPortable\App\AppInfo\appicon.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:38 PM	K:\PortableApps\Speccy\Speccy.exe [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:38 PM	K:\PortableApps\XnViewPortable\App\AppInfo\appicon.ico [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:38 PM	K:\PortableApps\Treepad\Install.exe [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:39 PM	K:\PortableApps\Treepad\Treepad.exe [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:39 PM	K:\PortableApps\speq\SpeQ Mathematics.exe [+] is OK
2/17/2010 1:00:39 PM	K:\PortableApps\PathologicalPortable\App\AppInfo\appicon.ico [+] is OK

This is because they are being accessed. Turning off the File System Shield does make it a bit quicker, but not much really...

“There is a computer disease that anybody who works with computers knows about. It's a very serious disease and it interferes completely with the work. The trouble with computers is that you 'play' with them!”Richard Feynman

S.O.G.
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I don't have a problem.

I am running Microsoft Security Essentials and I don't have a problem with the load time. It might be that I am running a beta of MSSE but I don't know.

S.O.G.

Bruce Pascoe
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You probably don't have any non-PAF apps. If all your apps are official (i.e. from PortableApps.com), you won't have the issue, it's only if you have other apps mixed in.

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