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fssm32.exe taking all CPU [RESOLVED]

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My system is not only slow and old, but also:
Athlon processor - at the moment running on 1.2GHz, XP SP2, F-Secure 2008, FF2+NoScript, 256MB RAM, Abit KG7-lite, ATI 7000.

I updated my F-Secure to 2008 version and all of a sudden fssm32.exe started periodically take a lot of CPU and most of the memory from my poor old computer. I googled the .exe and found this topic:

Could the same solution work for me, or is this something completely different? Won't be doing tweaking on me own, since I am not sure how this HijackThis program works. Better ask first.

(And thanks in advance for your time. I appreciate such free service, especially when most of you guys probably have real jobs, too. And even perhaps this thing... what do you call it? What other people have and I don't? Oh yeah, a life.)

HijackThis log:

Logfile of Trend Micro HijackThis v2.0.2
Scan saved at 17:37:59, on 15/08/2008
Platform: Windows XP SP2 (WinNT 5.01.2600)
MSIE: Internet Explorer v6.00 SP2 (6.00.2900.2180)
Boot mode: Normal

Running processes:
C:\Program Files\F-Secure\Anti-Virus\fsgk32st.exe
C:\Program Files\F-Secure\Common\FSMA32.EXE
C:\Program Files\F-Secure\Anti-Virus\FSGK32.EXE
C:\Program Files\F-Secure\Common\FSMB32.EXE
C:\Program Files\Linksys Wireless-G PCI Wireless Network Monitor\WLService.exe
C:\Program Files\F-Secure\Common\FCH32.EXE
C:\Program Files\F-Secure\Common\FAMEH32.EXE
C:\Program Files\F-Secure\Anti-Virus\fsqh.exe
C:\Program Files\Creative\SBLive\AudioHQ\AHQTB.EXE
C:\Program Files\iTunes\iTunesHelper.exe
C:\Program Files\Java\jre1.6.0_07\bin\jusched.exe
C:\Program Files\F-Secure\Common\FSM32.EXE
C:\Program Files\MSN Messenger\MsnMsgr.Exe
C:\Program Files\Launchy\Launchy.exe
C:\Program Files\F-Secure\FSGUI\fsguidll.exe
C:\Program Files\F-Secure\FSAUA\program\fsaua.exe
C:\Program Files\F-Secure\FWES\Program\fsdfwd.exe
C:\Program Files\F-Secure\Anti-Virus\fssm32.exe
C:\Program Files\iPod\bin\iPodService.exe
C:\Program Files\F-Secure\FSAUA\program\fsus.exe
C:\Program Files\Linksys Wireless-G PCI Wireless Network Monitor\WMP54Gv4.exe
C:\Program Files\MSN Messenger\usnsvc.exe
C:\Program Files\F-Secure\Anti-Virus\fsav32.exe
C:\Program Files\Trend Micro\HijackThis\HijackThis.exe

O2 - BHO: AcroIEHlprObj Class - {06849E9F-C8D7-4D59-B87D-784B7D6BE0B3} - C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Acrobat 6.0\Acrobat\ActiveX\AcroIEHelper.dll
O2 - BHO: SSVHelper Class - {761497BB-D6F0-462C-B6EB-D4DAF1D92D43} - C:\Program Files\Java\jre1.6.0_07\bin\ssv.dll
O2 - BHO: (no name) - {7E853D72-626A-48EC-A868-BA8D5E23E045} - (no file)
O2 - BHO: AcroIEToolbarHelper Class - {AE7CD045-E861-484f-8273-0445EE161910} - C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Acrobat 6.0\Acrobat\AcroIEFavClient.dll
O3 - Toolbar: Adobe PDF - {47833539-D0C5-4125-9FA8-0819E2EAAC93} - C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Acrobat 6.0\Acrobat\AcroIEFavClient.dll
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [UpdReg] C:\WINDOWS\Updreg.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [AHQInit] C:\Program Files\Creative\SBLive\Program\AHQInit.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [AudioHQ] C:\Program Files\Creative\SBLive\AudioHQ\AHQTB.EXE
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [iTunesHelper] "C:\Program Files\iTunes\iTunesHelper.exe"
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [NeroCheck] C:\WINDOWS\system32\NeroCheck.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [CloneCDElbyCDFL] "C:\Program Files\Elaborate Bytes\CloneCD\ElbyCheck.exe" /L ElbyCDFL
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [QuickTime Task] "C:\Program Files\QuickTime\QTTask.exe" -atboottime
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [SunJavaUpdateSched] "C:\Program Files\Java\jre1.6.0_07\bin\jusched.exe"
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [F-Secure Manager] "C:\Program Files\F-Secure\Common\FSM32.EXE" /splash
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [F-Secure TNB] "C:\Program Files\F-Secure\FSGUI\TNBUtil.exe" /CHECKALL /WAITFORSW
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [UserFaultCheck] %systemroot%\system32\dumprep 0 -u
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [CTFMON.EXE] C:\WINDOWS\system32\ctfmon.exe
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [MsnMsgr] "C:\Program Files\MSN Messenger\MsnMsgr.Exe" /background
O4 - HKUS\S-1-5-18\..\Run: [CTFMON.EXE] C:\WINDOWS\System32\CTFMON.EXE (User 'SYSTEM')
O4 - HKUS\.DEFAULT\..\Run: [CTFMON.EXE] C:\WINDOWS\System32\CTFMON.EXE (User 'Default user')
O4 - Global Startup: ExifLauncher2.lnk = C:\Program Files\FinePixViewer\QuickDCF2.exe
O4 - Global Startup: Launchy.lnk = C:\Program Files\Launchy\Launchy.exe
O9 - Extra button: (no name) - {08B0E5C0-4FCB-11CF-AAA5-00401C608501} - C:\Program Files\Java\jre1.6.0_07\bin\ssv.dll
O9 - Extra 'Tools' menuitem: Sun Java Console - {08B0E5C0-4FCB-11CF-AAA5-00401C608501} - C:\Program Files\Java\jre1.6.0_07\bin\ssv.dll
O9 - Extra button: Messenger - {FB5F1910-F110-11d2-BB9E-00C04F795683} - C:\Program Files\Messenger\msmsgs.exe
O9 - Extra 'Tools' menuitem: Windows Messenger - {FB5F1910-F110-11d2-BB9E-00C04F795683} - C:\Program Files\Messenger\msmsgs.exe
O18 - Protocol: skype4com - {FFC8B962-9B40-4DFF-9458-1830C7DD7F5D} - C:\PROGRA~1\COMMON~1\Skype\SKYPE4~1.DLL
O23 - Service: Adobe LM Service - Unknown owner - C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe Systems Shared\Service\Adobelmsvc.exe
O23 - Service: Creative Service for CDROM Access - Creative Technology Ltd - C:\WINDOWS\System32\CTsvcCDA.EXE
O23 - Service: FSGKHS (F-Secure Gatekeeper Handler Starter) - F-Secure Corporation - C:\Program Files\F-Secure\Anti-Virus\fsgk32st.exe
O23 - Service: F-Secure Automatic Update Agent (FSAUA) - F-Secure Corporation - C:\Program Files\F-Secure\FSAUA\program\fsaua.exe
O23 - Service: F-Secure Anti-Virus Firewall Daemon (FSDFWD) - F-Secure Corporation - C:\Program Files\F-Secure\FWES\Program\fsdfwd.exe
O23 - Service: F-Secure Management Agent (FSMA) - F-Secure Corporation - C:\Program Files\F-Secure\Common\FSMA32.EXE
O23 - Service: InstallDriver Table Manager (IDriverT) - Macrovision Corporation - C:\Program Files\Common Files\InstallShield\Driver\11\Intel 32\IDriverT.exe
O23 - Service: iPodService - Apple Computer, Inc. - C:\Program Files\iPod\bin\iPodService.exe
O23 - Service: WMP54Gv4SVC - GEMTEKS - C:\Program Files\Linksys Wireless-G PCI Wireless Network Monitor\WLService.exe

End of file - 6021 bytes

Edited by Frogthroat, 15 August 2008 - 10:49 AM.

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    GeekU Instructor

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Hello Frogthroat,

I am having a look at your log and will get back to you in a bit.

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Hello again Frogthroat,

Welcome to Geekstogo.

No malware I can see at first glance.

In this post we will remedy a problem you could have with an old version of a utility and then get a scan to have a further look at your computer.

Your Adobe Acrobat Reader is out of date. Older versions are vunerable to attack.

Please go to the link below to update.



Please download Runscanner to your desktop and run it.
  • When the first page comes up select Beginner Mode
  • On the next page select Save a binary .Run file (Recommended) then click Start full scan at the top.
  • At this time Runscanner.exe may request access to the Internet through your firewall please allow it to do so, it will then run for two or three minutes.
  • On completion it will ask for a location to save the file and a name. It will do this for both the .run file and the log file
  • Call the .run file "Select a name" and save it to your desktop. You will see the .run file on your desktop. Upload that file here.

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Hello emeraldnzl,

Thank you for your reply. Much appreciated.

I attached the .run file.

I know the Acrobat is a bit out of date, but I can't help it. Adobe allows only one version of Acrobat on the computer and I have Creative Suite CS 1.3 Premium, which includes Acrobat 6.0 Professional. (Who would've thought someone has a legal copy of Creative Suite, heh?) I would need Acrobat Reader 7.0.9 or later for 3D PDFs, as I am also running Bentley MicroStation XM, but I guess I have to manage without 3D PDFs. Maybe Ghostscript 2 engine and Reader 9 would be an option.

The mystery part is I've ran all possible scanners I can think of, I use FF+NoScript, never open attachments if I don't know where they come from, and even now only temporary allowed this site to run scripts so I can upload the file. I even update my virus scanner manually. One of those guys who actually read every technote of every Windows update before updating. Yet, that one process have started acting up. And since it seems to be related to the virus scanner, I'm afraid there's something my scanner can't recognize, but knows something's wrong. Perhaps that is causing the issue. *rolls one more layer of tinfoil around the head*

Come to think of it. A friend of mine brought mame32 couple of days ago. Haven't scanned my system after running that program. (And haven't played Double Dragon since you actually had to physically add a coin to play.) I do a scan on that folder, and if I find something there, I'll let you know so that is not there to mix things up. The problem started earlier, so better not add more variables into the mix.

Thanks again for checking the log files. If there's a manual for it, I have no problems reading that too. Maybe one day I can be of help to someone else. Haven't had the time to search for it. Extremely busy period at work. Should ease up soon, though.

P.S. Nice star munching black hole.

Kind regards,

Sami aka FrogThroat

Attached Files

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Nope. F-Secure IS 2008 tells me Mame32 folder and registry are clean.
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Hello again Frogthroat,

Download the Frogthroat fix .run file from here


(this will be your runscanner file fixed by me)

  • Save it to your desktop then double click the runscanner icon this will run the program.
  • You will notice several entries in red and in blue.
  • Click the button at the top called Fix selected items
  • Accept the warning(s) and repeat until they are all gone.
  • Reboot your PC
Please download ATF Cleaner by Atribune.
Double-click ATF-Cleaner.exe to run the program.
Under Main choose: Select All
Click the Empty Selected button.
If you use Firefox browserClick Firefox at the top and choose: Select All
Click the Empty Selected button.
NOTE: If you would like to keep your saved passwords, please click No at the prompt.
If you use Opera browserClick Opera at the top and choose: Select All
Click the Empty Selected button.
NOTE: If you would like to keep your saved passwords, please click No at the prompt.
Click Exit on the Main menu to close the program.
For Technical Support, double-click the e-mail address located at the bottom of each menu.

Finally in this post

Kaspersky only works if you are using Internet Explorer.

Please do an online scan with Kaspersky WebScanner.

Click on the Kaspersky Online Scanner button. A box will come up, click Accept, this will allow it to install an ActiveX component and download its latest anti-virus database. (Note: It may take a couple of minutes)

  • Once the files have been downloaded click on NEXT
  • Now click on Scan Settings
  • In the scan settings make that the following are selected:
    * Scan using the following Anti-Virus database:
    Extended (if available otherwise Standard)
    * Scan Options:
    Scan Archives
    Scan Mail Bases
  • Click OK
  • Now under select a target to scan:
    Select My Computer
  • This will program will start and scan your system.
  • The scan will take a while so be patient and let it run.
  • Once the scan is complete it will display if your system has been infected.
    * Now click on the Save as Text button:
  • Save the file to your desktop.
Copy and paste that information in your next post.

So when you come back please post
  • Kaspersky Scan results

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Scan looks good.

Saturday, August 23, 2008
Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP Professional Service Pack 2 (build 2600)
Kaspersky Online Scanner 7 version:
Program database last update: Friday, August 22, 2008 18:44:27
Records in database: 1124860

Scan settings:
Scan using the following database: extended
Scan archives: yes
Scan mail databases: yes

Scan area - My Computer:

Scan statistics:
Files scanned: 112135
Threat name: 0
Infected objects: 0
Suspicious objects: 0
Duration of the scan: 06:51:45

No malware has been detected. The scan area is clean.

The selected area was scanned.


However, it seems that FF2 doesn't show CSS anymore. (I can see avatars and couple other images, but no other graphics, text is the default Times Roman font...) It is in the browser, as IE6 still works fine. Couldn't see anything wrong in the FF or NoScript settings. Have to check if there is a setting wrong somewhere. Anyways, if I don't figure out what it is, I guess it's time to upgrade to FF3. (Lazy man's option: Reinstalling the trouble software.) Have been using it on my work computer, and it seems to be trustworthy.

From the .run file I saw many "file not found" texts in the regkeys. I guess the original issue was not malware after all, but messy registry?

In any case, I will try to fix the FF2 browser issue and test few programs while watching what the fssm32 is doing. I will let you know how the system is doing in couple of days. Most likely already on Sunday.

edit: Upgrading to FF3 fixed the screen issue. At first glance fssm32 doesn't seem to hog the processor anymore. Still takes a bit too much memory, but nothing a memory upgrade can't fix. But tomorrow I am going to work with MicroStation which is the program that this issue happens most often. Will post how it goes.

Edited by Frogthroat, 23 August 2008 - 05:39 AM.

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Hey Frogthroat,

Yep your clean.

I think your problems are related to you running F-Secure Security suite.

We have a couple of last steps to perform and then you're all set. :)

Please go here to download OTCleanIt.

Run this program to remove the tools we have been using.

You will be asked to reboot the machine to finish the Cleanup process choose Yes.

Next, we need to clean your restore points and set a new one:

Reset and Re-enable your System Restore to remove infected files that have been backed up by Windows. The files in System Restore are protected to prevent any programs from changing those files. This is the only way to clean these files: (You will lose all previous restore points which are likely to be infected)1. Turn off System Restore.On the Desktop, right-click My Computer.
Click Properties.
Click the System Restore tab.
Check Turn off System Restore.
Click Apply, and then click OK.
2. Restart your computer.

3. Turn ON System Restore.On the Desktop, right-click My Computer.
Click Properties.
Click the System Restore tab.
UN-Check Turn off System Restore.
Click Apply, and then click OK.
[/list]System Restore will now be active again.


Now that you are clean here are some things I think are worth having a look at:


Be sure and give the Temp folders a cleaning out now and then. This helps with security and your computer will run more efficiently. I clean mine once a week. You may already have AFT as part of your cleaning process. Otherwise, for ease of use, you might consider the following free program which works well with XP:--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A great way to check that your Microsoft and Java have the latest updates is to go to Software Inspector at Secunia.

I do this weekly. Not only do they tell you which programs need updating but they give you the link to follow.

To bolster your security go to Secunia.com to ensure essential programs are up to date.


Make Internet Explorer more secure
  • Click Start > Run
  • Type Inetcpl.cpl & click OK
  • Click on the Security tab
  • Click Reset all zones to default level
  • Make sure the Internet Zone is selected & Click Custom level
  • In the ActiveX section, set the first two options ("Download signed and unsigned ActiveX controls) to "Prompt", and ("Initialize and Script ActiveX controls not marked as safe") to "Disable".
  • Next Click OK, then Apply button and then OK to exit the Internet Properties page.

* MVPS Hosts file replaces your current HOSTS file with one containing well known ad sites and other bad sites. Basically, this prevents your computer from connecting to those sites by redirecting them to which is your local computer, meaning it will be difficult to infect yourself in the future.

* Consider using an alternate browser. Mozilla's Firefox browser is excellant; it is much more secure than Internet Explorer, immune to almost all known browser hijackers, and also has the best built-in pop up blocker (Note: this as an added benefit!) that I have seen. Firefox is my default browser but I retain Internet Explorer as well so that I can access the very few sites that require it.

Firefox may be downloaded from Here


To help protect your computer in the future here are some free programs you can look at:

  • SUPERAntiSpyware Free for Home Users to detect and remove spyware.
  • IESpy-Ad to block access to malicious websites so you cannot be redirected to them from an infected site or email.

    If your Microsoft Update is not working automatically. Keep your operating system up to date by visiting
  • Microsoft Windows Update
monthly. And to keep your system clean run these free malware scanners
weekly, and be aware of what emails you open and websites you visit.

To learn more about how to protect yourself while on the internet read this article by Tony Klein: So how did I get infected in the first place?

Have a safe and happy computing day!
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Thanks. After playing around a bit, I do see that the CPU is not hogged, and the memory is not completely eaten by the process. It still does take a bit more than I would like, but I guess it is my old computer (or actually the lack of RAM) that is to blame.

Cleaned the tools, reseted the restore point. The ATF seemed like a good piece of software. Intending on using it every now and then. And thanks for the tip on Secunia's Software Inspector. IE I already had on those settings, but I don't use IE anyways. Great thing that you guys give nice tips how to keep the computer clean after cleaning. Appreciated.

I think this case is closed. And I'm off to get some more RAM.
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Since this issue appears to be resolved ... this Topic has been closed. Glad we could help. :)

If you're the topic starter, and need this topic reopened, please contact a staff member with the address of the thread.

Everyone else please begin a New Topic.
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