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    Why is McShield.exe process priority set to High

    Attila Polinger

      Dear all,


      in my organization many complain of slowdowns and somebody of them has noticed that McShield.exe runs at priority High among the processes (which observation has started to spread among other people). They tie this fact to the slowdowns. I need to provide an answer whether this priority is of correct or incorrect setting (since noone has changed this I must assume this is the default setting at the VirusScan installation) , and whether this really attributable to slowdowns.


      I have my own theory of this, but I would like confirmations or denials of this by someone who explains the effect of this priority either related or not related to potential slowdowns.


      I have tried to search this forum (and the KB) but really did not find similar posts, and my users urge me to answer.


      Many thanks for descriptive and convincing answers.



        • 1. Re: Why is McShield.exe process priority set to High

          My understanding:


          This is normal behaviour and is required. AV locks files from being opened/written to etc until it has queued and scanned them. If the process wasn't set to high, then deadlocks and delays could occur as a result.

          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Why is McShield.exe process priority set to High



            Mal09 :- I cannot agree more with what you have posted.


            Actually, mchsield.exe is the main and the most critical component of VSE. The On Access scanner ( as rightly stated by Mal09 ) is always scanning files and processes as they open or are being executed. Now, It gets very important for the mcshield.exe to be set at a high priority or else it simply means that the other processes would wait for the mcshield.exe to start and thus that will lead to an even worse a situation.


            Attila, I suggest that you let the users know that mcshield.exe is required to be set to a high priority and that is by default and is in the best interest of the AV and the computer resources. Nowadays, With performance being the most important factor, All AV companies are trying their best to keep the resource hog to as low as possible.


            I hope that helps !





            • 3. Re: Why is McShield.exe process priority set to High
              Attila Polinger

              Hi Mal09 and Sameer,


              definitely this was the answer I have waited for, but was still 5% unsure deep inside.

              Thank you for both of you !


              I have informed my users accordingly.



              • 4. Re: Why is McShield.exe process priority set to High

                I find your  response very inadequate. MCshield takes over too much resources on corporate computers - and cause great reduction in productivity, and in most cases corporate IT does nothing to help. MY solution - GET RID OF MCAFFES PRODUCTS. They are memory/cpu resource hogs. They are worse than the viruses they are supuposed to keep out. Its like your computer has a virus. While a virus causes some some discrete known, predictable activity - McAffee causes you computer to become slow and unproductive - FOR LIFE. Worse yet MCAffee produces the greatest amount of false positives. Telling someone that MCShield needs to run at high proiorty is no comfort. I want my computer back - the only solution uninstall MCAffee and put a free antivirus.


                My suggestion, use separate computer computer for interenet and keep important production computers off the internet - computers today are cheap and affordable. Practice good habits wrt installing toolbars, opening attachments, sites visited. Use one of the free simple antiviruses.


                Message edited to be less offensive - Moderator



                on 27/07/10 9:25:57 EDT AM
                • 5. Re: Why is McShield.exe process priority set to High

                  Thats not very good advice Wilmark, for a range of reasons.


                  1) All on access scanning antivirus software uses high priority for the reasons already stated, these can be mediated by exclusions for other high cpu processes and scheduling updates and upgrades out of hours

                  2) In large businesses its often not possible to seperate the internet from productive users........ you cant pry it from their cold dead fingers

                  3) "Free antivirus" is NOT FREE for businesses, and a range of other organisations (unless you are breaking their licencing or a freetard)

                  4) "free antivirus still does point 1

                  5) The whole point in using a managed enterprise level solution is to gain management access over the endpoint, you know when its out of date, you know when its broken, you know when you have an outbreak, you can remediate these issues from the console not have to vist 10000 single instances of illegally installed "free antivirus"


                  You seem to just be trolling Wilmark, especially as you are just cutting and pasting the same comment on threads. Criticise the product, criticise the company thats fine but do it in a meaningfull and logical way with real facts not just junk comments


                  Thanks for listening, have a nice day.



                  • 6. Re: Why is McShield.exe process priority set to High



                    I agree with the response to your comments. Keep in mind that McAfee is engineered/designed for "Enterprise Environments". Yes, they do offer "home" products as well. However, the focus is mainly on large environments. Based on this, McAfee is creating a mechanism(s), so that the solution can be remotely managed from anywhere in the world. Obviously, you don't have the experience of a large environment, this is attributed by the comments that you made. There is no "Free Lunch" my friend. You say that the McAfee products are very cpu/memory intensive. Here is some food for thought. Just imagine that a system(s) gets nailed with a virus with limited protection. Heck, you're not going to have to worry about your network if a system(s) gets compromised, because you won't have one to worry about. The perpretators will steal all of your resources, and oh by the way, probably use your credit card to buy items for their benefit.


                    Again compromise man. Yes, a little invasive on the system, but protection at the maximum.

                    • 7. Re: Why is McShield.exe process priority set to High

                      Dude you are wrong about not being in a large environment - the company i consult for (though not directly in the IT dept) currently is in the Forutne 5 largest companies in the world. Ive always worked for fortune 500 cos, and the story is the same. Corporate IT issue new computers as the computers hit 2 years the start to become bogged down by new corporate IT corp builds and MCAffee Bloatware. In its third year, the computer becomes a McAffee client and has no time/resources to do your work. No one takes you on - ive seen this for more than 10 years at this particular company, and every time I’ve looked at it MCSHield is hogging the computer. Personally corporate IT spends too much resources bothering with viruses - i dont think its as bad as we are led to think - reminds me of another hoax 10 years ago, when IT companies made a killing on Corporate paranoia. Instead they should spend some time training users on how to harness IT potential and good habits. All think then i see  McAffee Fanbouys here explaining that this is necessary - like if this helps.

                      • 8. Re: Why is McShield.exe process priority set to High



                        I don't wish this to be a bashing match back and forth. All I can say is that like all products, McAfee has issues. However, they are doing what they can to address it.... i.e. new patches, etc..... It comes down to preference - if you feel that McAfee doesn't work for you, then by all means there are alternative sources. Trust me I have been through many pains with software. However, I've learned that all software is going to have flaws - it comes down to what the company is doing to address the concerns.

                        • 9. Re: Why is McShield.exe process priority set to High

                          I can confirm that mcshield.exe hogs so much CPU that it makes my main application fail.


                          I am running LabVIEW at work (which in itself uses plenty of resources), and I have a counter in the main loop which is updated 20 times/sec. I noticed this counter was standing still sometimes, duration 1-2secs, once or twice per minute, while at the same time the entire application was dead. Looking in task manager, I saw that on these occasions, mcshield uses 99% of the CPU.


                          No process should be set to high priority if it can hog all resources for so long.


                          At home I use the free combination Avira + Spyware Terminator + Comodo Firewall. They have no such problems. Both Avira and ST have real time protection, none of them have priorities set to above normal.


                          Seems to me Mcafee needs to be redesigned.

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