MsMpEng.exe – Microsoft Security Essentials high CPU Utilization

If you are running Microsoft Security Essentials with real-time protection enabled on a machine running ThinkVantage Access Connections you might notice the MsMpEng.exe service consuming most of your CPU time. This will cause your Lenevo laptop to run obnoxiously slow. Allegedly this issue was fixed with a new version of Access Connections but on a laptop I was working on the problem persisted even after I updated Access Connections.

If logging is enabled in Access Connections the “AccConnAdvanced.html” file will continuously be updated. Microsoft Security Essentials appears to then scan this file over and over again after each change. This is probably causing the processor to burn your precious battery life away. This way Lenovo can sell more battery pack upgrades. ;)

There are two ways to fix this: Add an exception to Microsoft Security Essentials or disable logging in Access Connections.

If you want to continue logging Access Connection activity you can add an exclusion in Microsoft Security Essentials:

  1. Open up Microsoft Security Essentials and click on the “Settings” tab.
  2. Select “Excluded files and locations”.
  3. Click the “Browse…” button and select the “AccConnAdvanced.html” which, should be under “C:\Program Files\ThinkPad\ConnectUtilities\” by default. Click “OK”.
  4. Click “Add” and then “Save changes”. MsMpEng.exe CPU utilization should then drop to around 0%.

add microsoft security essentials exclusion

Here is how you can disable logging in Access Connections (at least on Windows XP).

  1. Launch Access Connections: “Start”->”Programs”->”ThinkVantage”->”Access Connections”.
  2. Once Access Connections is up switch the view to “Advanced” by clicking the “Advanced” button in the upper right hand corner.
  3. Click the “Tools” tab and then “Diagnostics” and then the “Event Log” tab on the Diagnostics Tools screen.
  4. Click “Disable Logging” and then click “Close”. The AccConnAdvanced.html file should no longer grow and MsMpEng.exe CPU utilization should drop to nearly 0%.

access connections tools

Titanium Appcelerator Quirks (Updated)

I recently started tinkering with the Appcelerator Titanium Development Platform and have run into a couple quirks.

Web Inspector will not Launch

If you create a Titanium project on any drive other than C:\ on a Windows system, you will not be able to launch the Web Inspector. This is a apparently a known bug in Titanium Developer.

Conflicting PHP Installations

If you attempt to launch a Titanium Appcelerator PHP app in Titanium Developer on a Windows system that already has a local PHP installation, you may see the following error:

Kroll Event Window Instance: YourApp.exe – System Error

The program can’t start because php_mbstring.dll is missing from your computer. Try reinstalling the program to fix this problem.

Titanium Appcelerator php_mbstring.dll error

Don’t bother re-installing anything. What is likely happening is that your pre-existing PHP installation added a “PHPRC” environment variable that points to your existing PHP install folder. I think Titanium’s command line PHP instance sees this variable and then attempts to use the php.ini file in that path. Your existing PHP installation folder does not likely have the PHP settings and/or module paths that Titanium needs so it breaks.

To fix this without renaming your current PHP installation folder you can delete the “PHPRC” environment variable. Your existing PHP installation should work fine without it because PHP will look for the php.ini file in the same folder it is running from. To delete the “PHPRC” environment variable on Windows 7, click Windows Start, right click “Computer”, left click “Properties” -> “Advanced system settings” -> “Environment Variables…” -> select “PHPRC” under “System variables”, and then click “Delete”.

how to delete the phprc environment variable

Hopefully you can now launch your Titanium application without an error and your existing PHP installation will continue to work normally.