loadqm.exe -- another Microsoft disastrous Jewel

Dennis Faas's picture

Whether you know it or not, Microsoft has a previous track-history for releasing sub-standard software that is known to be less than computer-friendly. What do I mean by "less than computer friendly?" Quite simply: either there are lots of bugs present in Microsoft's software, or their software has been known to make systems run sluggish.

The Story

Recently, I was visiting my brother and decided to hop on his system and surf the Internet. His machine consists of Microsoft Windows 98, has 128 meg of RAM, and is powered by a Celeron 600 MHz processor. Certainly, this system is not excruciatingly "slow", even by today's standards.

At least, that's what I thought to myself.

Twiddling my thumbs for a minute-and-a-half

After waiting for almost what seemed to be an eternity for Internet Explorer to load, I realized that something was not quite right. That's when I decided to do a CTRL + ALT + DEL to bring up Task Manager. You may remember that I discussed Task Manager in last week's issue of the Infopackets Gazette. It's a handy-dandy trick that I use to see what's running on a system whenever I suspect something is wrong.

At any rate, Task Manager reported that a program called loadqm.exe was running on his system. Of course, I did not recognize this to be part of the genre of programs that are SUPPOSED to be present in Task Manager -- especially on a freshly rebooted system with no other programs launched.

As you can imagine, the presence of this strange program made my spider-senses start to tingle.

The usual trick after finding a suspect file is to go to google.com and do a query. Google gave me a few links leading to some online discussion boards. From the information presented in discussions, it was said that loadqm.exe comes bundled with a few popular Microsoft products, but is not an essential component.

Loadqm.exe -- the purpose

After weeding through debate on the discussion boards, the purpose of loadqm.exe is not clear. Some refer to the program as Microsoft's attempt to spy on you and report your every move to some sort of a central database system. The honest truth is that there is much speculation about what loadqm.exe does which causes the computer respond sluggishly.

How to remove loadqm.exe from the Startup

After running MSCONFIG (on Windows 98, click: START -> RUN -> msconfig, then click the STARTUP tab), I disabled loadqm.exe from starting when Windows first loads. After being told to reboot, it appeared that his system was running much faster.

The lesson

The important thing to note here: having less programs execute during the Windows startup has a direct effect on how long it takes a system to boot (load for the first time) and its available resources. From what I could understand (from the discussions I read online), many users noted that disabling loadqm.exe did not interfere with MSN Messenger or any other Microsoft programs that "use" it.

After this newsletter was emailed

I received an email from Greg T. stating that he found a link on Microsoft's web site that describes the nature of loadqm.exe. Apparently Microsoft says that loadqm.exe is only for MSN Messenger, and that it has some auto-update feature which is always running and actively checking for some sort of update. To what? It doesn't specifically say.

I also received an email from a user named Satori. He writes:

" LoadQM is a component of the Background Intelligent File Transfer Service, which is used by processes such as the Automatic Update tool for Windows Update*.

It is not necessary for the normal functioning of the Windows operating system in any of it’s incarnations that I am aware of.

If it is utilizing a great deal of system resources, it is either being heavily used, or it is encountering difficulty performing its function for one reason or another. There can be many reasons for this. "

Side note: It is possible that LoadQM is responsible for delivering automatic updates for the Windows Operating system, as Satori suggests. However, this does not appear to hold true for my Windows XP machine which has MSN Messenger disabled.

What does Microsoft say?

At the time of this writing, Microsoft does not go to any stride to say why anyone would want to disable the auto-update feature -- only that you can. The method described in the Microsoft article is much different from what I described above. If you experience the same problem as I did (or if you just want to have piece of mind knowing that you have more resources free), use my method. It doesn't hurt to check out what Microsoft says, either:


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