Fixing multiple instances of Taskeng that respawn

In my last post, I explained how I found a problem with Task Scheduler that was causing it to respawn multiple instances of the process taskeng.

NickDownUnder in the TechNet forum thread “Help 90+ Taskeng!” had the answer:  This is being caused by IE’s feed reader.  IE has a mechanism and an API for storing and updating RSS feeds, and a task that does the updating, User_Feed_Synchronization.  If this task encounters an error, it will respawn itself every 5 to 10 minutes.  The task runs whether IE is open or not.

The fix which I’ve adapted from Nick’s instructions, is to delete all the user feed synchronization tasks, disable IE feed updates, and re-enable them.  Make sure you have a backup or have run System Restore first.

Instructions:

  1. From the Start Menu, type task scheduler.
  2. Right-click on task scheduler and select Run as Administrator.  Accept the UAC prompt.
  3. The Task Scheduler console will come up.  In its menu, select View/Show Hidden Tasks.
  4. In the center pane, you should see a list of tasks.  Amongst these, there will be a task (or tasks) named User_Feed_Synchronization-{xxxxxxxx…}, where x is a series of letters and numbers (it’s a GUID).
  5. Right-click on this task (and not on any others!) and select Delete.
  6. Repeat this for all other instances of User_Feed_Synchronization that you find.
  7. Next, go to IE.  Select Tools/Internet Options.  Select the Content tab and under Feeds click Settings.  Under Default Schedule, clear the checkbox marked Automatically Check Feeds for Updates.  Click OK twice.
  8. Reboot.
  9. After reboot and login, go to IE, Tools/Internet Options/Content and reenable feed updates.  You may need to do this for each user on the computer.

In Task Scheduler, you can go to the History tab of each instance of User Feed Synchronization to see if there are any errors;  error messages that recur every 5 minutes are an indication of this problem.  It’s easier to just delete all of those instances and let IE recreate them.

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