Saturday, July 7, 2007

If I lose my network connection before this blog post is published, ignore my last several blog posts - perhaps it IS a hardware issue

Followup to the last several posts.

Several months ago we signed up for Verizon FIOS service. When the installer arrived, he discovered that our computer room was some distance from where he wanted to install the FIOS box. So, instead of doing a lot of cabling, he proposed to sell us a ZyXEL wireless adapter for our home computer. And I bought it, literally and figuratively.

Some time after that, we began experiencing intermittent drops in our wireless connection on our home computer. I was experiencing no such drop in the other wireless devices that I sometimes used in the house, so I contacted ZyXEL. They suggested changing the channel, but then noted that there might be a hardware problem with the wireless adapter itself.

I changed the channel, but the problem didn't clear up. I dropped the issue.

Then, my home computer would experience cursor freeze after 1-2 hours of use. This is not good, so I sprung into action, getting the Eusing registry cleaner, doing this, doing that. Unfortunately, I couldn't even run a full system virus scan before I'd experience cursor freeze again.

One night, in a fit of desperation, I tried unplugging the ZyXEL device. Voila! I could complete my virus scan (nothing found, by the way).

At this point, I was certain that I had a hardware problem with my wireless adapter, but to be fair, I tried deinstalling and reinstalling the ZyXEL software again, then setting up my wireless adapter hardware.

The system froze within two hours again.

I was ready to go to Best Buy and just buy another adapter, but my wife (no techie) urged me to contact Verizon, who sold me the ZyXEL adapter in the first place. Why? Because we already paid for the thing, so let's see if we can get THIS one working.

So around noon, I called Verizon, and ended up talking to a support tech whose name I couldn't catch. (Draw your own conclusions.)

Since Verizon is a big GoToMyPC proponent, the tech used a related service to check things out on my computer. Everything checked out fine, and the system didn't freeze while the tech was on the phone. I asked him if I should just send the hardware back...

...and then the tech happened to peek at my Task Manager.

"That's way too high," he said. (The CPU utilization was fluctuating between 60% and 100%.) "That could be causing your problem. NAVAPSVC is eating up a lot of CPU time."

"NAVAPSVC? What's that?" I asked.

"That's a Norton Anti-Virus program," the tech replied.

So I had something to investigate. And I did investigate. And I investigated some more. More more more. How do you like it?

In short, here's what I did, based on the volume of recommendations:

  • Ran LiveUpdate. My Norton Anti-Virus was up to date.

  • Checked my performance options for the operating system. They were set in accordance with Symantec's recommendations.

  • Unregistered and re-registered the Auto Protect service. It was still a CPU hog.

  • Disabled Adobe Photo Downloader in Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0. No immediate change.

Just to try it, I went into Task Manager, found APDproxy.exe, and killed it.

CPU usage went down to nearly zero.

After rebooting the computer, my modified setting took effect, and APDproxy.exe never started again.

I haven't had a chance to run the computer for more than two hours, but I'm crossing my fingers and hoping that this fix worked. Conclusions:
  • Sometimes, even when something is obviously a hardware problem, it helps to investigate possible software solutions.

  • Listen to your wife.


Sphere: Related Content