Crazy ass HPTLBXFX.EXE problems are coming back to haunt me once again. You may or may not remember it from my last encounter with this crap back in January. It almost, kinda-sorta got resolved back then. Almost…
Today it hit us back like a ton of bricks with 100% CPU usage. I grabbed my trusty Process Explorer and started snooping around. It turns out that the CPU load was spread evenly between the following processes:
HPTLBXFX.EXE – sitting low at 5-10% of CPU time
WMIPRVSE.EXE – oscillating between 60% and 80%
SPOOLSV.EXE – keeping even on 20-25%
Killing HPTLBXFX.EXE would cause the spooler and WMI provider to stop going ape-shit and bring down to CPU usage to normal levels. Starting it back up again would bring the craziness back. So I decided to do something else:
net stop spooler
FLAP! That’s the sound of the CPU usage graph falling down and hitting rock bottom almost as fast as my jaw did. This is different from the last time. Back then spooler didn’t even factor into the equation now it seems like it is definitely one of the main culprits. When I started it again, it was back to crazy CPU town all over again.
I checked the local printer but it had no jobs on it. One of the network printers (which was fortunately not a HP Laser Jet 3055 – it was actually a Dell printer) had around 20 documents queued up with the first one bearing status of “Deleting”. Shit got stuck on the queue! It happens. I walked to the main print server, logged in and cleared out the queue. Didn’t work – jobs began pooling on it once again.
In a sudden flash of epiphany I decided to check out the printer itself. It turns out that the cleaning people either kicked out the tiny wireless print server from the power socket, or just pulled it out to plug in the vacuum cleaner. I plugged the damn thing back in, and the machine started spewing paper.
Glad that I solved one problem I went back to the original machine with the HPTLBXFX.EXE only to find it working perfectly with no signs of elevated CPU usage. Using my awesome deduction skills I came to the following conclusion:
HPTLBXFX.EXE is one crazy motherfucker. It will cause all kinds of issues bothering both the spooler and your WMI providers if even a single printer on your system seems to have stuck jobs on the queue. And it won’t care if it’s not the 3055 printer. It wants them all – HP or not, real or virtual. It will check all of them, and start going wild if one of them has issues. But you won’t see it doing it – the process that will get in trouble is WMIPRVSE.EXE. Resolving the queue problem will cause a sharp drop in the CPU usage and both WMIPRVSE.EXE and HPTLBXFX.EXE will go back to their dormant idle state. Temporary fix that might help you regain control over the machine to some degree is of course is killing the Toolbox executable, or stopping the spooler.
So, did I mention yet that HP Laser Jet 3055 software is an annoying piece of shit, that causes more problems than it is worth? I don’t think I will ever buy a multi-function printer-fax-scanner device from HP ever again. Not because of the hardware (which is actually pretty good) but because of the atrociously awful software that is required to fully utilize the scanning and fax capabilities.
[tags]hp, laser jet, hp laser jet 3055, lj 3055, HPTLBXFX.EXE, WMIPRVSE.EXE, SPOOLSV.EXE, cpu, cpu usage[/tags]