OK, so I uninstalled the graphical client version, deleted the corexx.exe as well as the log. Everything was looking great: figured that it was a bit early (only 1.5 WU) to assume & post success.
Then decided to have a look at my time per frame: occasionally EM has got excited that a frame was taking too long, but it was recovering automatically. Extracted the log into Excel and calc'd the time per frame - sure as hell the occasional frame was taking abnormally long. e,g. on current WU (Protein 385, p540_BBA5_N in water) the usual time per frame is 13 minutes 20-30 seconds. The abnormal frames are 24 to 27 minutes. Then noticed that in fact yesterday afternoon the log had stopped at frame 301 (on a previous Tinker) and restarted at frame 310: the machine had hung while the family were playing and had to be rebooted.
Then noticed that the 'slow' frames are regularly every 2 hours, and yesterday's hang/reboot was on a 2 hour boundary. (The 2 hours is offset from the time [email protected]
starts, not clock time. So before the hang the slow frames were 12h16, 14h16, 16h16 with reboot at 18h16, since the reboot the slow frames are 01h20, 03h30 etc.)
So tried to 'watch' the system coming up to a 'slow' frame, and sure as hell the hdd suddenly starts thrashing. Move the mouse, it stops. After a minute or so thrashing restarts, check task manager whatever it stops, and the frame completes in reasonable time.
Now this hdd thrashing is a symptom I have tried to hit before: it predates my [email protected]
enrollment. In fact I noticed it some weeks ago and have rebuilt that system (from formatted hdd) because I figured it was some trash that had been picked up and missed by the virus scanner. Still there. My current suspects are stuff loaded from the registry at boot for Office XP Professional (a full/all components load)
MDM.exe (Machine Debug Manager) or
MOSearch.exe (Microsoft Office Search Service)
Any ideas/thoughts welcome: I am going to kill these processes to test if they are the cause, then try deinstall the 'full' Office XP: previously I removed MDM from the registry but seems next time we fired Word or some such it got put back!