system resources being consumed by what?

  pistolpete 19:00 15 Nov 2007

Please can you advise me how I can investigate this problem further.
My system resources are being used by an unidentified process which has slowed my machine down to the point where it's almost unusable. ie, cursor moves jerkily across screen, dialogs take ages to open, and opening two items at the same time is impossible.
Task manager cpu monitor shows that cpu is operating erratically between 50% & 90% even when nothing is open and all should be at rest.
I tried eliminating start up items and other processes etc in msconfic up to the point of selecting 'safe startup', (NOT safe mode), but the problem remains. However, when I boot into safe mode then all is working ok.
I have 2 good firewalls (software and hardware)and up to date virus scan.
Machine is AMD Athlon 2.6 with 1gig ram running XP Pro.
Please suggest where I can look next.
Many thanks,

  Technotiger 19:10 15 Nov 2007

Task Manager should indicate what ever it is which is hogging the CPU. Have a look at the percentages in the Processes column, the only item which should be showing at around 95% is System Idle Process at the bottom.

  Technotiger 19:11 15 Nov 2007

A notorious cpu hogger is Adobe Updater.

  Cockney Rebel 19:13 15 Nov 2007

Hi pistolpete,
Try this click here
Should tell you which process is running and how much cpu usage.

  birdface 19:16 15 Nov 2007

It is normal to have only one Firewall,Could you tell us what Firewalls that you have running also what Anti-Virus and Anti-Spyware programs that you have.Like Technotiger say's System idle process should be showing about 97% and all the rest 3% when nothing is running.Under CPU what other programs are using a high % of the CPU.

  Technotiger 19:19 15 Nov 2007

Hi, it is also very normal to have two Firewalls - one software and one in the router/modem. I have the same two such firewalls.

  birdface 19:23 15 Nov 2007

Have you tried running your Anti-Virus and Spyware Programs while in safe mode.And if so anything found.

  birdface 19:27 15 Nov 2007

Ok,Thanks for that ,I have never used a router so did not realise that you could run two.That sorts that problem out.

  pistolpete 19:30 15 Nov 2007

Hi Guys,
Thanks for your speedy replies!
I'm at work now, so can't check, but when I checked task manager this morning the cpu meter was going wild, but the system idle process wasn't showing anything unusual, much as you've described it should be. At first I thought it must be hardware issue, but if it works in safe mode then presumeably not (??).
My firewalls are Netgear's built in router firewall and AVG software firewall plus virus scan updated daily.
I can't find any indication of any program using high cpu, just the symptoms I've described.
I'll be home in 2 hours and will update you more then if required.
Thanks again.

  birdface 10:23 16 Nov 2007

Just re-check when nothing running System Idle process should be showing about 97% The rest 3% it means only 3% of the CPU is being used at that time.Speed test just in case you are getting a bad download speed from your here just guessing here,But I would say it is probably Firewall related.Or maybe your Router driver maybe needing up-dated.You could try Winaso optimizer free or trial here Now this will only repair 10 items at a time,but you can run it as often as you like,Don't be surprised if it picks up a couple of hundred faults,Once repaired your computer should run a bit faster.It also has a Registry defrag on it and I would also run that,Last check all the air vents at the back of your computer are not covered in dust or fluff,If so the inside of the computer will also have to be cleaned out.I use a fine haired paint brush with a plastic nozzle fitted to my hoover.

  pistolpete 17:36 16 Nov 2007

Hi Guys,
Followed ALL the advice above and something seems to have worked, frustrating that I don't quite know what it was, but who's complaining?!!
Thanks very much for your excellent assistance.

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