I’ll just be brief here. I have had a recurring issue for a LONG time, wherein my wifi connection drops and will not come back. I am using time-honored troubleshooting methodology such as powering everything down from the keyboard to the wall, and then powering up from the wall to the keyboard; re-booting three times (language warning), and periodically staring at the resource monitor while swearing and pulping a potato in each hand.
First the web goes dark with sites not loading (not resolving, technically), and then the whole machine gets bogged down. Even after shutting down Chrome, it still has tens of processes sucking up processor power, RAM, network, or a combination. Sometimes quitting Chrome will help, but usually not. I found a culprit that I’m not used to seeing, taking up fifteen percent of CPU while everything else (including habitual offenders like Skype, Chrome, and of course System, which pays its own way no problem) each had less than one percent. This new thing is called “software_reporter_tool.exe”, and I smelled a rat!
Long story short — IT’S ALSO CHROME! This unwanted, uninvited, inalterable and immortal piece of crapware is tool that Google uses to scan for any software issues which might jack with your Chrome install. This is good and bad. First off, we do not want major software providers to write and forget, to wipe their hands of the problems they cause. This was Microsoft’s approach until the XP business got dastardly. Windows XP SP2 and SP3 marked inadequate but well-intended efforts to in-house some responsibility, if not competence, for anti-malware and pro-security tasks. So I get where Google is coming from with this — the software_reporter_tool (let’s just call it “stool” for short) looks for very bad problems indeed, like malware that hijacks your browser, grabs your credit card and login info, reads your mail steals your keystrokes, re-directs you to Chinese/Nigerian/Chicago scam sites, and so forth. Google is doing the responsible thing here. There is a problem, however.
The problem is that this thing is set to run once a week (rumor has it), cannot be deleted, mutilated, or blocked* without just being replaced the very next time Chrome takes an update. And it KILLS my system. I don’t want *anything* to run whenever it wants, regardless of what I’m doing, which will absorb so much system resources that I get blasted off the web. I have a theory as to why my internet connection dies and will not come back when this thing runs. I think that even though Chrome has 52 threads running in one process and 40 running in another, and still requires another 50 threads to run The Stool, it locks up when I try to navigate to a URL that needs resolution. I believe, with no particular tech savviness, that the browser offloads a DNS request to a WIndows subsystem somewhere, and that process hangs waiting for a response — it blocks everything else the process is doing. And I think that the Stool process gets to block other Chrome processes, all 90-odd threads. That’s a lot of junk halted on the way to the processor. Annnnnd even if the response comes back from DNS, there’s now nobody home to process it.