task manager % CPU usage

  GPa 13:03 03 Jul 2011

Whenever my PC runs slowly, and I look at Task Manager, it tells me that my CPU is more than 89% idle. what is this telling me?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 14:01 03 Jul 2011

There are many things that can slow down a machine not just the processing rate.

1. Software

a) Clear out all temporary files and folders -- use CCleaner http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner/download

b) Scan for malware spyware and viruses --Free Anti Spyware :- Malwarebytes http://www.malwarebytes.org/ Superantispyware http://www.superantispyware.com/download.html

Free Antivirus software MicroSoft Security Essentials http://www.microsoft.com/security/products/mse.aspx Avast http://www.avast.com/en-gb/free-antivirus-download

c) Clean the registry -- Use the tool in Crap Cleaner its very safe and also allows you to back up the registry first.

d) Pagefile (Virtual Memory) -- Right click MY Computer - select properties - Advanced tab - Performance - advanced tab - Virtual memory click change, you can put the page file on a different drive (if you have one), click custom size and set Initial size to one and a half times the amount of memory you have fitted i.e. 512MB memory = set to 768MB, set maximum to double your memory amount i.e. 512MB memory = 1024MB click ok. If your hard drive is full and there is not enough room for the pagefile this can slow down, freeze or even cause the PC to crash (restart).

e) Cut down on the programs that load at start up -- Start - Run type msconfig - start up tab- untick everything except for firewall, antivirus and antispyware

and the services that run in the background. http://www.blackviper.com/

2. Hardware

a) Hard drives /

i) IDE Channels: (Not required if you have SATA drives) Check the transfer rate, you need to have the transfer mode set to DMA not PIO. Right click My Computer - Properties - Hardware - Device Manager - Expand (click the + ) IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers right click Primary Channel - Advanced Settings Tab - If transfer Mode is PIO then follow the instructions at http://forum.digital-digest.com/showthread.php?t=61905 to change.

ii) Check for errors and defrag your hard drives -- My Computer - select drive - properties - tool tab - Error checking / Defragmentation.

ii) If you are using Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7 it's a good idea to convert your system drive to the NTFS file system if you have not already. In addition to providing numerous security and data recovery improvements over FAT32 (the file system of choice for Windows 9x/ME and XP Home) it can also speed up your system slightly.

In fact, the only real reason for sticking with the FAT32 file system for any of your data is if you have more than one operating system on your PC and the other OS's can only see FAT32 partitions (as would be the case with Windows 98, for example, which is incapable of reading NTFS data).

To convert your drives to NTFS: Right click on 'my computer' and select 'manage' From the computer management window, expand storage and select 'disk management.' Using the 'file system' column of the upper pane of this window, you can easily check what file system each of your logical drives is using. Make a note of this information. Now open a command prompt window by going to 'start\run' and typing 'cmd' To convert a disk to NTFS, type 'convert (drive letter): /fs:ntfs' So for example, if you were going to convert your C: drive, you would type 'Convert c: /fs:ntfs' at the prompt.

b) Drivers Obtain the newest drivers for your hardware This may seem a bit obvious, but keeping your system's drivers up to date can give both your performance and stability a boost. Video card manufacturers release updates especially often, and these can often give "significant boosts" to gaming performance as video card in question is "optimized."

Don't neglect the other components of your system either. Your motherboard manufacturer may have released newer versions of its Input/output drivers for your board, and sound cards and other peripherals can also benefit from newer software.

c) Memory Add more physical memory, this of course means opening the "box" and fitting a memory module, make sure you buy one that is suitable for your PC. Crucial http://www.crucial.com/uk/ will guide you through the process of selecting the correct memory. http://support.gateway.com/s/Manuals/Desktops/8509270.pdf for a guide to fitting memory.

  bremner 14:23 03 Jul 2011

89% idle means you are only using 11% of the CPU thetefore not much is being used, you need to look elsewhere for the reasons it is slow as per Fruit Bats post.

  Ian in Northampton 15:10 03 Jul 2011

It seems strange that the OP talks about Task Manager showing CPU usage as "89% idle". What it shows is usage - it takes a small feat of mathematics (i.e. simple subtraction... :-) ) to tell you how idle it is. I wonder if he/she meant 89% usage, not 89% idle? That would make it completely different question.

  bremner 15:20 03 Jul 2011

Task Manager will show System Idle so have taken the OP at their word but they should confirm

  GPa 15:18 04 Jul 2011

Thank you fruitbat. I went through all the web advice about slow operation, then I took the PC to a professional and he did it all again and a bit more, so the listed items have all been cleared,plus CPU checks. I am wondering why the CPU is so idle when I think it should be sweating when struggling to keep up. I carried out a temperature check using Real Temp and this showed 60 deg C on each core. I wonder what all this means.

  GPa 15:24 04 Jul 2011

Thank you Ian in Northampton, and bremner. Yes that would be a completely different question. However,I meant what I said-- 89% idle. Any further thoughts????

btw - what's an OP??? Regards, GPa

  lotvic 15:33 04 Jul 2011

OP = Original Poster (that's you GPa)

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 16:21 04 Jul 2011

60 degrees is fine especially this weather :0)

What makes you think it's running slow? i.e. slow web pages is something else entirely.

  GPa 17:12 04 Jul 2011

Hello Fruit Bat, Slow startup and shutdown, slow opening photoshop, Outlook, and others. Yes, internet is slow at times, here is a recent reading:

Detailed Results

Date 04/07/11 17:06:10 Download speed 11398.39 Kbps (11.13 Mbps) Upload speed 846.46 Kbps (0.83 Mbps) Server Port 8095 (tcp) Server Address speedtest1.techadvisor.co.uk

Any ideas?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 19:24 04 Jul 2011

Make / model of machine and operating system?

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

Samsung Galaxy A8 review: Hands-on

Illustrator Juan Esteban Rodriguez on creating highly detailed official film posters for Star Wars…

iMac Pro review

Comment savoir si quelqu'un a bloqué votre numéro de téléphone ?