The case of the very annoying hpqtra08.exe

I recently bought an HP dv7t laptop and also got one of those HP multi-function printers. So far so good. After installing the printer's drivers and apps, I noticed a significant slowdown. Opened up taskmgr and lo and behold, hpqtra08.exe was taking up 100% of my cpu.

I debugged it and it seemed to be in a tight loop doing a strcmp, so I tried contacting HP support and tried to explain to them that their app was buggy but the customer service rep would not buy into that :-(

So I decided to take matters into my own hands... I opened procmon, and noticed that it was calling CreateFile on a bunch of temp files...I went to c:\Users\<user>\AppData\Local\Temp and there were thousands, thousands of verXXXX.tmp files. All of these ver.tmp files were 0 bytes in size. Procmon also pointed to hpqtra08.exe reading from C:\ProgramData\hp\mars\usg.ini.

These files apparently get created only when hpqtra08 can read some config data from usg.ini. So I renamed usg.ini to something else so hpqtra08 couldn't find it. Lo and behold. No more 100% (50% in some cases) CPU usage, and no more ver.tmp files created! I can go to sleep now without worrying my laptop will catch on fire from spinning 100% for too long :-)