AmplusnetPrivacyTools.exe is another one of those executables that use up all your resources and slows down everything else.
I booted my computer this morning and saw that loading of any application seem slow and dragging. My default firefox browser took a long time to load. Even the SeaMonkey browser, which I usually use when I want quick browsing, took forever just to search ‘cpu slowing’ on google.
I tried checking out the Windows Task Manager, and sure enough, the CPU Usage showed a whooping 100% usage. So, I clicked on the ‘Processes’ tab to check out the culprit. On double-clicking the CPU column button, this ‘AmplusnetPrivacyTools.exe’ executable soared up to the top, claiming to be the thug who is eating up
CPU resources. I have seen something like this perhaps a couple of times before, and the culprit applications are usually a little tricky to pull down. Like, I tried to use the ‘End Process’ button to have it stopped by force; but before I could sigh with relief, it re-activated itself back and shot up to the top cpu eaters flank with a grin and greeted me ‘I’m back!’.
Luckily for me, this AmplusnetPrivacytools.exe file was easier to break down than some other pain-in-the-neck I’ve encountered before. I searched for its location in the drive. Once I’ve found it, which was in the systems folder, I used some lightning speed Jet Li moves of ending the process via the Windows Task Manager and immediately deleting the files (the exe file itself and this AMPLUSNETPRIVACYTOOLES.EXE -3A7D8C4D.pf file (yeah, it showed itself in capital letters as if trying to look meaner than it really is)) before it can re-activate itself.
After the surprise attack I gave the enemy, I took a peep back at ground zero and saw that everything looks alright this time. The CPU Usage bar had subsided to its normal levels and the enemy hadn’t resurrected itself anymore.
This time, I could take a full sigh of relief breath cycle and felt good at myself for taking the enemy down without having to call for help from the IT folks downstairs. Yeah, these IT kids are an awesome lot. Sometimes I think they are part human and part machine. How else can they tame down a messed up computer so quickly without breaking a sweat? The trick I used above was given to me by one of these kids sometime ago.
I still have to do a research on what this AmplusnetPrivacyTools.exe does besides sucking cpu resources. For all I know, it could be a resource file used by some legitimate application in my computer and deleting it might cause it to cease to work. Or, it really is some Trojan or whatever virus, in which case, what I’ve done is not necessarily enough to stop it. It could have entered some data in the registry where the tracking down for it usually proves to be way beyond me. Well, I’ll find out soon I guess. Or, if you know something about it, you can save me the waiting time by speaking your mind now in the comments section. 🙂
UPDATE: The Day After
Lo and behold, the next day, I was again greeted with a crappy drunken slow cpu. But when I checked who’s on top of the cpu huggers list, it’s ekrn.exe! So I repeated the same process I did yesterday. Thing is, I couldn’t find ekrn.exe in the windows directory where it should be. Even the recommended RegCure software wasn’t able to remove it (although it did find 1,354 problems in my computer!). Some site also said that ekrn.exe problems are 94% due to registry problems. Google, google, google. How to remove ekrn.exe. I found out that this executable is something ESET uses. After 2 hours, I got kinda tired and looked again at the task manager’s top list and found that just below it is smss.exe. Well, why not try to end this process? If my computer crashes, so be it. I can’t do anything today anyway as long as cpu usage is 100%. So I killed smss.exe, and what do you know, the cpu usage bar made a free fall to 1% like a bungee jumper from a crane boom. Then I remembered this smss.exe is actually the one I meant when I said I have had this cpu hugging issue before. Thing with smss.exe is that although you can end its process in the task manager, it refuses to get deleted in the windows explorer. I had to resort to downloading this pocket killbox free app to have it killed by force.
It’s peaceful here once more. I hope I wouldn’t need to add another ‘day after‘ update to this post anymore as this post is getting uncomfortably long. This must be the longest post I have written so far. Anyway, if tomorrow gives me another challenge like this, I’m going for reformatting.