High cpu useage

  Fat Boy Whoosh 01:30 26 Feb 2005

Hi Guys. I wonder if anyone can help with a problem that is currently doing my nut in!!
I have recently started having a few problems (crashes, hangs etc)on my system, especially when loading the computer. When I look at the Processes tab on Task Manager the cpu useage is normally between 40-80%, even when I have absolutely no applications running. The only thing seeming to use resource is 'System Idle Process' at around 95-99% - which is what I would expect. When I actually do any loading of the system, the cpu useage maxes out at 100%, with the bulk being the opened program eg. Nero Vision Express or Pinnacle Studio. Thereafter the darn thing is mega slow and will regularly crash!
I have spybot, ad-aware, cwshredder, Norton Systemworks, Hot cpu tester all installed and none of them have found/resolved the problem. Likewise I have used Registry Mechanic, Fix-it, PC Bug Doctor but all to no avail. I also keep up to date on all of the MS patches, so am pretty sure nowt has got onto my system. This maybe coincidental, but I am also not able to use the system restore to return the system to a previous setting ( it is activated). I am coming round to thinking I need to reformat and reinstall XP Pro, unless anyone has any other suggestions I could try?
Thanks for reading this thread, and looking forward to any ideas thgant may be about.
Yours Hopefully

  Jak_1 01:35 26 Feb 2005

What's your processor and how much RAM? Are you conected to the net constantly?

  Dan the Confused 01:41 26 Feb 2005

Toughie, but you could try Start>Run and type sfc /scannow (note the space & press enter), and also get rid of junk files: CleanUp! click here

Defragging your hard drive may also help.

  Dan the Confused 01:44 26 Feb 2005

A full HD can also cause problems.

  Fat Boy Whoosh 03:00 26 Feb 2005

Thanks for the wicked quick response guys, I'll try and answer as fully as I can.
Jak. 1 I've not got the quickest of beasts, but it is an AMD XP 1.7Ghz, with 756M of RAM.
Dan. I've tried both scannow and scanonce, but nothing was indicated as a problem, and there was no improvement after running it. I also defrag the disks on a weekly basis (40G master + 160G slave - both installed for many months)and have over 50% free space on both of them! I'll try the clean up link you indicated and post back - probably tomorrow as I am getting a bit sleepy.
Thanks again

  Fat Boy Whoosh 03:04 26 Feb 2005

Sorry Jak 1, didn't read your message fully. I can confirm that I am on Broadband constant connection, but the problem is still there even if I pull the connection and run a stand alone unit.

  the kopite 07:23 26 Feb 2005

Hi What psu have you and have you checked the cpu fan is it working ok could be caused by overheating?

  Mango Grummit 07:44 26 Feb 2005

click here and download Process Explorer. If everything seems normal as you read the results then the high usage may be caused my your optical mouse if you use one. Mouse usage does not show on these things and is often the cause of high usage and if so there's nothing to be done about that. My computers will all idle at 1 or 2 without the mouse connected but are at 38 with optical mouse connected. It's often the case apparently from what I've seen on many forums.

  Fat Boy Whoosh 08:41 26 Feb 2005

Hi Kopite. Good point about the cpu fan and oveheating, as I recently replaced it and the heatsink due to it running hot and making a noise. I now have a thermal sensitive unit which reacts to the temperature of the chip. Current temperature seems to be about 64 - 68°C, which I would have thought was on the high side, but as the fan is not running at max speed it must presumably be in the working temperature of the fan/chip combination. Is it possible that the overheating I was previously getting (around 80°C) has caused damage to the hardware which isn't showing up on any of the diagnostics I am looking at?
Mango Grummit. I don't have an optical mouse attached, but I am going to have a look at the Process Explorer you have suggested.
Thanks very much for all the suggestions guys, I'll keep you posted on how I get on.

  Fat Boy Whoosh 09:24 26 Feb 2005

Hmmmm interesting. Not sure what this means just yet, but the Process Explorer prog. is showing what looks to be high useage 30 - 60% for the harware interupts. Its' own helpfile says high cpu useage in this area could be hardware problem or device driver bug, so maybe there is some hardware problem about. I haven't installed anything new recently, but something might still be failing!

  Fat Boy Whoosh 14:05 07 Mar 2005

Well I have tracked down the problem - it was a failing USB expansion card. I finally had the time to remove all of the installed expansion cards, and used the Process Explorer utility to identify when the cpu useage dropped back to 'normal' levels. Have now ditched the faulty card and eveerything appears to be back to normal, as the cpu useage is ticking along at around 4% or so. Thanks for all the ideas and the links to useful stuff.

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