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Why is smsx.exe taking up 100% of my CPU?

I have a Windows 2000 domain, Exchange 2000 server and ISA server. Our users complain that e-mail and Internet response is very slow. When I checked the Exchange and ISA servers Task Manager, I noticed an image name called smsx.exe with CPU usage of 100%. Please note that we are using Trend Micro antivirus and this problem has been happening for two days. Can you help?

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I am not familiar with that image (process) name; however, I am wondering if maybe you meant some other process, such as:
  • smss.exe -- Windows NT Session Manager
  • smexvs.exe -- Trend Micro ScanMail for Exchange
I'm guessing that you mean the second process. If that process is taking 100% of the CPU, it could mean that it is getting stuck trying to scan a message or its attachment(s) for viruses. The first thing to do is check the event logs and the Trend antivirus logs for warnings, errors or other problems. You might also check to see if there are engine or pattern file updates available from Trend, as well. Also, check Trend's Knowledge Base to see if this is a known issue, or if anyone knows of a workaround or fix.

This was first published in June 2003

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