SyncServ.exe problem
January 21, 2008 8:21 PM   Subscribe

What is SyncService.exe? I have a real S--L--O--W computer on my hands, and I suspect the problem is SyncService.exe. I say this because I am running only my Firefox browser, nothing else, and my CPU usage is at a steady and consistent 100%.

Therefore, the system is terribly slow. When I open up my Windows Task Manager (I'm running XP Home Edition), I see that SyncServ is using the greatest CPU allotment, from 72-95 units.

My question: what does this component do, is it the likely culprit and what can I do to get some speed back? Upon Googling for SyncServ, I see many free downloads that claim to be able to scan for irregularities and fixes. Are these worthwhile, and can you recommend any good free ones?

Terence from Texas
posted by lometogo to Computers & Internet (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Looks to me like it is related to outlook, to sync outlook info to a device or other program. Are you using Outlook? Not using it as in open, but is it installed, and you occasionally use it?
posted by jesirose at 8:25 PM on January 21, 2008

Response by poster: Jesirose,
No, I don't use Outlook. I installed Office 2007 a couple days ago, and it installed Outlook (although I haven't configured it). However, I don't need it and won't be using it. Could I delete the syncserv if I don't use Outlook, do you think?
posted by lometogo at 8:37 PM on January 21, 2008

You should be able to just turn it off in the services control panel (it's under Administrative Tools, somewhere).

Have you added any new hardware or hardware-related software? I had the Outlook sync program do the same thing to me after I added a USB-to-serial adapter. It thought I was connecting some sort of PDA and used 100% processor trying to talk to it.
posted by indyz at 8:43 PM on January 21, 2008

You should be able to "simply" uninstall outlook. Go to Add/Remove Programs and try to find outlook. If it doesn't show up, select MS Office - it should give you a menu to select what you want to do (uninstall, repair, configure), it should give you an option to only uninstall outlook.

Reboot, and if it's still there, you can either turn it off with services or just disable it by running a command line (Start -> Run) and type msconfig - the panel on the furthest right (iirc) should let you untick stuff from getting loaded automatically on bootup.
posted by porpoise at 8:59 PM on January 21, 2008

Best answer: What I'd do:

1. Kill it with Task Manager. Something consuming that much CPU time is not operating properly, malicious or not.

2. Search for it on your system. Make sure to check the search option to search for Hidden and System files.

3. Once you find it, right click on it and select Properties. One of the tabs will show you copyright, developer, and perhaps something more. (My experience is if none of the tabs show this kind of information, it's either a very old application or a trojan.)

Armed with the information from step three, this should help you determine what syncservice.exe is and what might have put it there. Searching Google, I found that this process is involved with at least two applications, one from GE called Supra and another called Resco Forms. Others here have found something indicating it's a plugin for Outlook. In any case, you should be able to determine what put it on the system.

From there you can determine if you want/need it. Then, typically, it's a matter of finding the application in Add/Remove Programs and uninstalling it.

Of course, this presumes it's not a trojan or virus which would mean a whole new set of rules would come into play. The best general advice I can offer is find a decent antispyware/trojan scanner like AVG's Antispyware and scan your system.

Hope this helps.

posted by tcv at 9:50 PM on January 21, 2008 [1 favorite]

By the way, you mentioned "syncserv.exe" in the title of your question, but in the body, you mention "syncservice.exe." I don't find as many entries for Syncserv.exe, so perhaps that's the wrong one?
posted by tcv at 9:52 PM on January 21, 2008

Response by poster: TCV,
Sorry, it is in fact syncservice.exe. And, I do run a GE Supra app that updates a lockbox key for my real estate business. However, that is NOT running at start-up and only comes into play when I plug in the cradle to update the key.

posted by lometogo at 10:10 PM on January 21, 2008


The GE app might not be running all the time, but the service is probably always running in the background, waiting for you to plug in the device and automatically start the GE app.

Have you started using any new hardware devices recently? Is the device that you are plugging in a Palm Pilot or Treo by any chance? If it is you could try unplugging the cradle and see if that helps. Also, you might try going to Microsoft's website and getting the latest version of ActiveSync.
posted by indyz at 11:17 PM on January 21, 2008

my google kwan do tells me it's related to maxtor external hard drives. you should be able to turn it off in a program setting.
posted by Hat Maui at 11:58 PM on January 21, 2008

Get process explorer. It is a souped up task manager that identifies the full path to running processes and how they were launched.
posted by idb at 5:21 AM on January 22, 2008

I'll check my desktop in a bit, but I know from personal experience that the Supra key app is very buggy and resource hogging. I'd say that is most likely the culprit.
posted by shinynewnick at 6:33 AM on January 22, 2008

Heh. I was thinking about asking if you or someone you knew worked in Real Estate. I am familiar with the Supra line from RE clients.

I haven't seen that particular problem, but I suspect that the process is conflicting with something. If it only opens once you run the software to update your keys, then I suspect you can close it when not in use. If it doesn't startup until you sync your mobile device, then it's clearly not a service designed to startup at boot. (To be sure, it could still be a service set to Manual and called when something else needs it, perhaps ActiveSync or Hotsync?)

Aren't you required to have technical support with GE? Give them a call. I've had pleasant dealings with their crew in the past...
posted by tcv at 8:00 AM on January 22, 2008

Not familiar with the exact problem, but I want to comment on one thing:

I see many free downloads that claim to be able to scan for irregularities and fixes

No! Not without some careful checking, at least. There are some legitimate cleanup tools, I'm sure, but there are also a lot of viruses/trojans/spyware packages that pretend to be virus cleanup tools. (When you're infected, you won't take the time to grin at the fantastic irony of this.)
posted by fogster at 10:07 AM on January 22, 2008

It is definitely the Supra Key program. You could try a reinstall, or just kill the service and bring it up as needed (you only need to update once a day, anyway).
posted by shinynewnick at 11:00 AM on January 22, 2008

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