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cpu usage at 100% :(

Old 06-28-09, 08:40 PM
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dauphin
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cpu usage at 100% :(

A lot lately my win xp pro laptop is running very slow and I notice that cpu usage is at 100%. Is this more likely due to the unit aging or is there something I can do diagnostically? I have looked through the list on task manager and don't see anything that would be suspicious to me, not that I would know what to look for. I run a virus scan once a day and delete temporary internet files several times a week.
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Old 06-28-09, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by dauphin View Post
A lot lately my win xp pro laptop is running very slow and I notice that cpu usage is at 100%. Is this more likely due to the unit aging or is there something I can do diagnostically? I have looked through the list on task manager and don't see anything that would be suspicious to me, not that I would know what to look for. I run a virus scan once a day and delete temporary internet files several times a week.
Ah, just get a Passport, copy the hard drive stuff you want and buy a netbook.
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Old 06-28-09, 08:51 PM
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I think MS is screwing with us...mine's been doing that a lot lately. Usually when downloading a security update.
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Old 06-28-09, 08:54 PM
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When you check out the task manager, there is a performance tab. When you click that it will show you your memory useage. Windows is know for bloating and using more and more memory. If you are using more memory than you have available, this will run your cpu to 100% while it tries to use your HD as memory.

Barring this, I have had good luck with going line by line in the running processes. Anything that looks even the least bit suspect, put that process name in google and see what comes up. I had one malware that was causing havok and no virus scanners could find it. Ended up having to download a standalone program that found and removed it.
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Old 06-28-09, 08:56 PM
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Thoughts...

1. Virus, malware etc doing stuff in background
2. not enough RAM
3. How much free hard drive space do you have? Some programs like to have disk space to use as 'virtual memory' while doing stuff, but if your drive is too full this can be a problem.
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Old 06-28-09, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by JonnyHK View Post
Thoughts...

1. Virus, malware etc doing stuff in background
2. not enough RAM
3. How much free hard drive space do you have? Some programs like to have disk space to use as 'virtual memory' while doing stuff, but if your drive is too full this can be a problem.
40 gig hard drive currently 3.5gb free
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Old 06-28-09, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by dauphin View Post
40 gig hard drive currently 3.5gb free
How many shadow copies of the OS do you have in your recovery console?
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Old 06-28-09, 09:49 PM
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What process is consuming most of the CPU? You should be able to see this in the task manager under the process tab.
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Old 06-28-09, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
How many shadow copies of the OS do you have in your recovery console?
how do I determine that?
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Old 06-28-09, 10:30 PM
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it's now on hour 3 of the virus scan
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Old 06-28-09, 11:27 PM
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Originally Posted by dauphin View Post
how do I determine that?

Gah, disregard, I was thinking in Vista, not XP.
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Old 06-28-09, 11:49 PM
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Mines at 2% and I have like 8 tabs open. I suggest you reformat.
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Old 06-29-09, 12:00 AM
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Go to task manager, click ok CPU usage so you see in percentage order which process is taking up most CPU time.
Google for that process (and post it up here too). Ps don't forget to have the "processes used by all users" option selected.
See if killing that process speeds things up.

Did this thing happen gradually over time or did you notice it one day just whacking up to 100%? Some people mentioned you are low on RAM so it's using HDD to swap contents to disk. If it happened slowly over time, this could be a cause. If it happened a little more suddenly, it suggests a program has been downloaded that's consuming resources (could be av update, a security patch, a virus, or MS just slowing your PC down to encourage win 7 take up )
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Old 06-29-09, 04:50 AM
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My computer was doing the same and I upgraded the RAM and now it's much better. Added 512mb to 256mb (yes, it's an old computer!).
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Old 06-29-09, 05:12 AM
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it's all the damn java ads on these webpages.
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Old 06-29-09, 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by dauphin View Post
A lot lately my win xp pro laptop is running very slow and I notice that cpu usage is at 100%. Is this more likely due to the unit aging or is there something I can do diagnostically? I have looked through the list on task manager and don't see anything that would be suspicious to me, not that I would know what to look for. I run a virus scan once a day and delete temporary internet files several times a week.
Look at the process list. 100% usage is a sign of a runaway process -- even relatively intense operations should not be that high for any significant amount of time.
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Old 06-29-09, 03:52 PM
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What is the name of the process that is running amok?

Other things you should do:

Download and run Process Explorer and examine what is spawning the offending process. https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/s.../bb896653.aspx

Run Malwarebytes. I found a piece of malware recently that was causing svchost.exe to run at 100%. The tip off was that there was nothing listed as spawning the process. As svchost.exe normally hosts valid MS services, it was pretty clear it was something masquerading as svchost.exe. Malwarebytes found it.

Last edited by sneefy; 06-29-09 at 04:03 PM.
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Old 06-29-09, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by dauphin View Post
40 gig hard drive currently 3.5gb free
Sounds like you need to defrag it and clean it.
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Old 06-29-09, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Ed in GA View Post
Sounds like you need to defrag it and clean it.
While that is indeed good practice and probably true, it wouldn't cause the issue described.
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Old 06-29-09, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by mustang1 View Post
Some people mentioned you are low on RAM so it's using HDD to swap contents to disk. If it happened slowly over time, this could be a cause.
That probably wouldn't cause the CPU usage to go to 100%. I have that problem with my computer, and the CPU usage stays low while the HD goes nuts.
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Old 06-29-09, 08:15 PM
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You should start by looking at the "Processes" tab in Task Manager...find out which process is hogging the CPU. If CPU isn't showing on that list, you can select what you want to see by using the View menu and clicking "Select Columns..."
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Old 06-29-09, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by sneefy View Post
Run Malwarebytes. I found a piece of malware recently that was causing svchost.exe to run at 100%. The tip off was that there was nothing listed as spawning the process. As svchost.exe normally hosts valid MS services, it was pretty clear it was something masquerading as svchost.exe. Malwarebytes found it.
Not to hijack, but I just did this and Malwarebytes came up with two entries, both labeled "Disabled.SecurityCenter". any idea what it is before I trash it?
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Old 06-30-09, 03:36 AM
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It's highly doubtful that your disk & its activities is causing 100% CPU usage. Find out for sure which process is doing it by:

1. hit CTRL-ALT-DEL
2. pick "Task Manager" which brings up a window like this:



3. click on the "Processes" tab and you get this:



4. click on the "CPU" column-header twice to sort by CPU-usage

Which process is consuming the highest amount of CPU?

Typically if your computer isn't doing anything, the "System Idle Process" should be using the most ALONG with low overall CPU-usage in the Performance Tab. Now if you've got the majority of CPU going to "System Idle Process" AND full CPU usage in Performance, this is a problem. This typically is a hardware-interrupt problem where the CPU can't figure out which device is asking for attention. Typically changing around your expansion-cards into different slots may help.

Now, you'll also need to free up some disk-space. Anything over 85-90% full starts to cause severe disk and file-fragmentation. Go into Start->ControlPanels->Add/RemovePrograms and uninstalling anything you don't use regularly or really need. After that you can safely delete the contents of the following folders (leaving the folder empty):

C:\Program Files\InstallShield Installation Information
C:\Program Files\Uninstall Information
C:\TEMP
C:\Windows\$*.* ; all folders starting with $
C:\Windows\Installer
C:\Windows\ServicePackFiles
C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution\Download
C:\WINDOWS\system32\dllcache
C:\WINDOWS\Temp

Empty the trash and you can typically you can recover 5-10gb this way.
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Old 06-30-09, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by bigbossman View Post
Not to hijack, but I just did this and Malwarebytes came up with two entries, both labeled "Disabled.SecurityCenter". any idea what it is before I trash it?
^^ https://www.safer-networking.org/en/faq/46.html ^^

As for the OP, I think we're all giving you the same advice. The question we're waiting on is: "What Process?"
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Old 06-30-09, 09:12 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by ModoVincere View Post
I think MS is screwing with us...mine's been doing that a lot lately. Usually when downloading a security update.
Mine too, but then the college reduces bandwidth every Summer (to save $$) and it just bogs down. I and a couple IT people from here complained last year so they boosted it back up a little - and I could tell the difference. I have a feeling it's back down to the level of last year's low. Pain in the butt.
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