The ekrn.exe process belongs to the ESET NOD32 Antivirus and the ESET Smart Security Suite Kernel Service. The process runs as a service and is the central component for both the NOD32 antivirus and Smart Security suite. Ekrn.exe scans files that you open, save, update or download in real-time.
A Verisign signed file, you can find ekrn.exe within the C:\Program Files folder. The most common size of the file on Windows XP is 224 bytes. You may also find it in 472,320 and 455,936 bytes.
Common Ekrn.exe Problems
Many users get confused between the EGUI.EXE and EKRN.EXE files. To clarify, Egui.exe is for the user interface and it does not run as a service. This is the reason why this file has no protections and can be easily killed or stopped. However, ekrn.exe is a kernel service and is important for the antivirus and the security suite to work properly.
One of the common complaints from Windows Vista users is that ekrn.exe uses a lot of CPU resources when running. This affects the performance of your computer and severely limits the system’s functionality.
The problem is that if you stop or disable ekrn.exe, the application will disconnect you from the Internet. Although this will prevent any new malware from downloading off the Internet, any malware already on the computer may still cause damage to the PC. Disconnecting from the Internet can just be temporary solution. To avoid this situation, you can opt for the following workaround solutions:
Method 1: Update your ESET Product
Outdated files are one of the major causes of several high CPU usage problems. Therefore, if you are not using the latest version released by ESET, you need to update the product to resolve the issue. To do this, visit the ESET website, and download the updates for your ESET product. Finally, install the updates to resolve your problems.
Method 2: Uninstall and then Reinstall your ESET Product
Method 3: Disable Sun Java From Starting at System Startup
Method 4: Disable Real-Time File System Protection in NOD32
Method 5: Update Older Versions of Comodo Firewall
If you are using Comodo 3.014, you might face problems with your ESET software. To resolve any issues in this case, update your Comodo firewall to version 3.015. Although this issue is more common on Windows Vista computers, many computers have faced issues on Windows XP also.
Method 6: Change the UAC Configuration in Windows Vista
If you are running Windows Vista and have (Universal Access Control) UAC on, then do the following:
Assign Full Control to System and Administrators
Assign only Read and Execute, List folder contents and Read rights to other authenticated users.
Method 7: Ensure the ESET is SET to Start Automatically
Method 8: Change your Antivirus Tool
If you want to turn off ekrn.exe you can do this through the Advanced Setup Tree, in the Protocol filtering options under Web Protection.
An issue that some users have is that ekrn.exe can be renamed to another file if a user has Admin privileges. They are concerned that this is a security flaw in ESET’s design. Users say that such a flaw does not speak well for ESET and they hope that the issue will soon be resolved. Some users have jumped ship and switched to other antivirus and anti-spyware programs.
Driver Update: Some EXE errors are related to driver problems such as obsolete, outdated or incompatible drivers. A driver update tool is recommended to scan your system for corrupted and outdated drivers and to ensure that all your drivers stay up-to-date.
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