Wowexec.exe causes 100% CPU usage in XP. Help!

Recently, a friend of mine upgraded his PC… here’s the config :

AMD XP 2100+
Asus A7V333
ATI Radeon VIVO
512mb (256x2) Kingston PC266 DDR ram

It was ok at first, but recently whenever his system starts up wowexec.exe (which is supposed to exist to run 16 bit applications) loads and causes the cpu usage to shoot up to 100%. Every time it must be terminated via the task manager.

Any ideas?

do a system “restore” to an earlier date and see if that fixes the problem

Set up a shortcut to msconfig. Right click on your desktop and create a new shortcut. Name it MsConfig. This should fill in the target automatically for you as msconfig.exe. If not, do so. Then open up the shortcut you just created, go to the startup tab, and fine this “wowexec.exe” and uncheck the box. That will prevent the process from loading at the startup. Save your changes and restart. Let me know how it goes.

i have had this happen to me as well. my hard drive crashed and i had to get a new one and start from scratch. have not seen it happen since but i am watching for it. it isn’t listed as a process in msconfig, that was the first thing i checked. i would like to also know what this is.

Ok guys, that DEFINATELY sounds like a :eek: virus :eek: to me. If you have an antivirus program on your computer, find this “wowexec.exe” and scan it, or run a full system scan to try and find the culprit. I could be wrong, but that’s a file that really really sounds virus-like. Have you noticed any problems with your interenet connection? Does it seem slower than usual? Can you acces Symantec’s site? Check this stuff out, do a virus scan (you can download a trial of norton for free) and get back to us double-quick. Good Luck!!!

It’s not a virus , see here

Thanks Mr. Belvedere. And I apologize to everyone here. Sorry for the false alarm, apparantly I’m not as smart as I thought i was. Belvedere Rules!!!:bow: :bow: :bow:

On my own Win2k system, this runs along with other processes when I load one of my old 16-bit proggies. It may be in this case that something else is actually trying to load, I suggest looking for older 16 bit software loading at startup. Just a thought. wowexe will show in task manager, but not in MSCONFIG or in services. I have never seen an error with this, or the NTVDM unless a 16 bit proggie was either loading or installing. However , doing a MSKB search on wowexe might be worthwhile.

Do take in mind that drivers , subprograms (.dll files , .ocx , etc) can be 16bit after all. They usually are when there’s old hardware involved (older than the os itself). These can never be found with Taskman , but may be found on the Adminstrator services page.

A good http://windowsupdate.com could solve a LOT of problems here :slight_smile:

Antivirus and other software that tries to take over the chain of commands of your os also tend to have these problems.

Update… my friend is unable to install Asus Probe in his system. It just hangs there with the wowexec.exe in memory at 100% usage.

Mr. Belvedere, thanks for the site but I still do not have any idea on how to get rid of this problem.

I had the same thing happen to me today in my motel. I always VPN back to the office but stuff still can happen. What I noticed was the wowexec.exe appeared to be bogus - (1) the leading w in wow… was not left justified, it had a leading blank (or alt255), and (2) it showed up not as a system process but instead it showed up under my name…