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Fri, Jul 16, 2010 3:37 pm

Hpbpro.exe and Hpboid.exe Processes Slowing System

A user reported that her system had been running abysmally slow for quite awhile. I scanned the system for malware, but found none. Instead, I found the problem to be a multitude of hpboid.exe and hpbpro.exe processes running on the system. I've seen this problem before and many others have experienced the same problem. The processes are associated with an HP printer - this user shares an HP printer, which is connected by USB to her system, with others on her Local Area Network (LAN). It appears that they are created when someone sends output to the printer associated with the processes.

Below shows the number I found once when I checked to see how many of each of these processes was running. I've seen even more instances of the processes running at other times. They consume memory and, when a significant number of them accumulate, they can slow a system significantly.

C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator>tasklist /fi "imagename eq hpboid.exe"

Image Name                   PID Session Name     Session#    Mem Usage
========================= ====== ================ ======== ============
HPBOID.EXE                  4044 Console                 0        532 K
HPBOID.EXE                  3152 Console                 0        572 K
HPBOID.EXE                  3748 Console                 0        580 K
HPBOID.EXE                  1340 Console                 0        560 K
HPBOID.EXE                  3712 Console                 0        576 K
HPBOID.EXE                  1984 Console                 0        576 K
HPBOID.EXE                   760 Console                 0        780 K
HPBOID.EXE                  3412 Console                 0        772 K
HPBOID.EXE                  3772 Console                 0        776 K
HPBOID.EXE                  2756 Console                 0        776 K
HPBOID.EXE                  1372 Console                 0        740 K
HPBOID.EXE                  5636 Console                 0        796 K
HPBOID.EXE                  4200 Console                 0      2,308 K
HPBOID.EXE                  5472 Console                 0      2,324 K
HPBOID.EXE                   960 Console                 0      2,316 K
HPBOID.EXE                   836 Console                 0      2,312 K

C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator>tasklist /fi "imagename eq hpbpro.exe"

Image Name                   PID Session Name     Session#    Mem Usage
========================= ====== ================ ======== ============
HPBPRO.EXE                  2460 Console                 0        552 K
HPBPRO.EXE                  1476 Console                 0        568 K
HPBPRO.EXE                  4028 Console                 0        584 K
HPBPRO.EXE                  2708 Console                 0        776 K
HPBPRO.EXE                  5056 Console                 0      2,384 K

I created a batch file, kill_hp_processes.bat to deal with the problem.


@echo off

REM Name: kill_hp_processes.bat

REM Created by: Jim Cameron
REM Created on: July 9, 2010
REM Last updated: July 16, 2010
REM Version: 1.2

REM Description:
REM Check for errant HP processes: hpboid and hpbpro.exe.
REM These processes can start and never end until the system
REM is rebooted. When they accumulate they can consume 
REM significant amounts of memory and potentially CPU cycles
REM reaching the point where the system's performance is
REM considerably degraded.

REM Specify log file
set log="c:\kill_hp_processes.log"

REM Put the date and time in the log file
echo %date% %time% >> %log%

REM List the hpboid.exe processes running.
tasklist /fi "imagename eq hpboid.exe" >> %log%
REM Count the number of hpboid.exe processes running.
for /f "delims=" %%a in ('tasklist /fi "imagename eq hpboid.exe" ^| find /c /i "hpboid.exe"') do set numprocesses=%%a 
echo.
echo Number of hpboid.exe processes running: %numprocesses%  >> %log%
if %numprocesses$ NEQ 0 taskkill /f /fi "imagename eq hpboid.exe"


REM List the hpbpro.exe processes running.
tasklist /fi "imagename eq hpbpro.exe" >> %log%
REM Count the number of hpbpro.exe processes running.
for /f "delims=" %%a in ('tasklist /fi "imagename eq hpbpro.exe" ^| find /c /i "hpbpro.exe"') do set numprocesses=%%a
echo. 
echo Number of hpbpro.exe processes running: %numprocesses%  >> %log%
if %numprocesses$ NEQ 0 taskkill /f /fi "imagename eq hpbpro.exe"

REM put a blank line in the file to separate the entries added at this time
REM from those that will be added at a later time.
echo.

I log the killing of the errant HP processes to see how many are killed every time the batch job runs. Log file entries for a particular instance of the batch file running are shown below:

Fri 07/16/2010 15:00:00.71

Image Name                   PID Session Name     Session#    Mem Usage
========================= ====== ================ ======== ============
HPBOID.EXE                  4044 Console                 0        532 K
HPBOID.EXE                  3152 Console                 0        572 K
HPBOID.EXE                  3748 Console                 0        580 K
HPBOID.EXE                  1340 Console                 0        560 K
HPBOID.EXE                  3712 Console                 0        576 K
HPBOID.EXE                  1984 Console                 0        576 K
HPBOID.EXE                   760 Console                 0        780 K
HPBOID.EXE                  3412 Console                 0        772 K
HPBOID.EXE                  3772 Console                 0        776 K
HPBOID.EXE                  2756 Console                 0        776 K
HPBOID.EXE                  1372 Console                 0        740 K
HPBOID.EXE                  5636 Console                 0        796 K
HPBOID.EXE                  4200 Console                 0      2,308 K
HPBOID.EXE                  5472 Console                 0      2,324 K
HPBOID.EXE                   960 Console                 0      2,316 K
HPBOID.EXE                   836 Console                 0      2,312 K
Number of hpboid.exe processes running: 16

Image Name                   PID Session Name     Session#    Mem Usage
========================= ====== ================ ======== ============
HPBPRO.EXE                  2460 Console                 0        552 K
HPBPRO.EXE                  1476 Console                 0        568 K
HPBPRO.EXE                  4028 Console                 0        584 K
HPBPRO.EXE                  2708 Console                 0        776 K
HPBPRO.EXE                  5056 Console                 0      2,384 K
Number of hpbpro.exe processes running: 5

I used the Windows at command to schedule the process to run at 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM on weekdays to kill any instances of the two processes. I used the at command twice since when I first had it running only at 3:00 PM, too many of the processes were accumulating during the day before the batch job ran. I use progra~1 for the "program files" directory, when submitting the batch job to run with the at command, because that is a "shorthand" version that Windows understands for that directory, which allows me not to worry about spaces in the directory name.

C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\My Documents>at 11:00 /every:M,T,W,Th,F 
c:\progra~1\utility\kill_hp_processes.bat
Added a new job with job ID = 5

C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\My Documents>at
Status ID   Day                     Time          Command Line
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        4   Each M T W Th F         3:00 PM       c:\progra~1\utility\kill_hp_processes.bat
        5   Each M T W Th F         11:00 AM      c:\progra~1\utility\kill_hp_processes.bat

References:

  1. Multiple Hbpoid.exe and Hpbpro.exe Processes Running
    Date: October 23, 2008
    MoonPoint Support
  2. HPBPRO.EXE & HPBOID.EXE
    Date: February 12, 2007
    Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.

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