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Thread: CPU Usage at 100% all the time

  1. #1
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    CPU Usage at 100% all the time

    My neighbor had me come over and help out his PC. He is now running windows XP PRo ( I deleted windows 2000), installed by yours truly. His PC is an old IBM Aptiva with 192MB of ram, an AMD 488Mhz CPU, 6 gigabyte Quantum Fireball HDD, Voodoo 2 Graphics card, onboard sound, etc...

    I could go into how long it took me to find drivers for his 1995 hardware.. but I won't, just know that I spent about 8 hours working on his PC last night and yesterday.

    Well, XP does fine, but it uses his CPU at 100% all the time.. I have shutdown every service imagineable. Hit cntrl alt del, and minimized all of the services down to about 12 or 13...

    It doesn't matter what I shutdown, something else always uses the CPU at 100%... which bogs his computer down to a crawl. It takes about 4 minutes for IE to load...

    Anyone have any ideas?

    I have adjusted his Pagefile to reflect the amount of RAM he has available. Typically he has about 80-100MB of Free ram available. I went into the properties of My Computer and adjusted windows for max performance. I made the system restore file very small to conserve his HDD as much as possible, I disabled Hibernation.

    I edited his IE temp folder size to about 80MB, deleted all the cookies etc...

    I defragged his HDD, so that it had 0% defragmentation, it is still at 100%.

    The only thing I didn't try was changing the GUI back to look like windows 2K... and he doesn't want to change it back..

    ANy ideas on what could be causing the CPU to run at 100% regardless of what is running in the processes panel of task manager?

    I haven't a clue.

  2. #2
    Techzonez Governor Super Moderator Conan's Avatar
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    Did you install Antivirus and Firewall? In my previous setups, Norton Firewall would cause 100% CPU usage.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    installed Norton AntiVirus. But I disabled it and the CPU still stayed at 100%.

  4. #4
    Techzonez Governor Super Moderator Conan's Avatar
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    It seems that the only way is another reformat and then monitor the CPU usage everytime a new program is installed.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    That would be nearly impossible for me It took 8 hours to get everything installed, from his printer, video camera, USB modem, sound card, voodoo 2 card, etc..

    I mean from teh fresh installation, it was 100%.. even before I installed a single program.

    I think it has something to do with a system service, but I am not 100% sure.

  6. #6
    Techzonez Governor Super Moderator Conan's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Big Booger
    That would be nearly impossible for me It took 8 hours to get everything installed, from his printer, video camera, USB modem, sound card, voodoo 2 card, etc..

    I mean from teh fresh installation, it was 100%.. even before I installed a single program.

    I think it has something to do with a system service, but I am not 100% sure.
    It must be a driver then causing it since you mentioned the hardware is from 1995.

    Might be connected to his USB ports since USB then wasn't natively supported by Windows during 1995.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    I will try to disconnect all the USB connected devices. Hopefully that will work for him.

    BUt his modem connects via USB... so he will definitely need it to surf the internet.

  8. #8
    Friendly Neighborhood Super Moderator phishhead's Avatar
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    what about disable the monitoring for the restore function I now it constantly monitors the system...also disable the hibernate.



  9. #9
    Head Honcho Administrator Reverend's Avatar
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    Have you updated it to SP1 ?

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  10. #10
    all bets are off... TZ Veteran SupaStar's Avatar
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    Just curious as to whether you updated the BIOS...

    A lot of older machines that I have upgraded to XP have had issues until their BIOS has been flashed.

    Just a thought...

    Me thinks you are going to spend some time with that re-format...LOL

    *EDIT*

    BTW - Does the problem still occur in safe mode?

  11. #11
    Techzonez Governor Super Moderator Conan's Avatar
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    Originally posted by SupaStar


    BTW - Does the problem still occur in safe mode?
    Nice question for you Boogs.

  12. #12
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    Couple of things to try.

    I did disable Hibernate, and I minimized the size of system restore... I might get him to disable it totally.

    I don't want to re-install it.

    I installed the XP, which had already been slipstreamed with SP1.

    I will definitely look at a BIOS upgrade.. but I am afraid to do it on his machine.. if done wrong.. bam, I have to get him a new PC.

    but I will look into it.

  13. #13
    all bets are off... TZ Veteran SupaStar's Avatar
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    Yeah be careful if you decide on a BIOS flash. It could spell disaster...

    How about the safe mode issue? Does the problem still occur in safe mode?

  14. #14
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    Will find out soon if safemode works or not. I hardly see him except on weekends.

  15. #15
    Titanium Member efc's Avatar
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    Thought I would spend some time on this. Searched internet for the problem and found that it is not an unusual problem. There is no consistant fix.

    Here are a few things that seemed to work:

    Open Task Manager to see if you can identify the process causing the problem. If so kill the process to see what happens.

    There was one instance where an old PCTEL modem in a Dell was the problem. They couldn't find a driver that would work, so changed out the modem for a hardware modem and solved the problem.

    One was strange so I will provide the information as posted: After trying various solutions,
    i suceeded by changing the following registry entry:
    hkey_local_machine\software\microsoft\windows current version\run
    change pctvoice to be
    xpctspk.exe
    June 15, 2002 03:14 AM GMT [ unassigned ]
    i was having a similar problem (explorer suddenly useing 99% cpu), i am connected to a network of over 100 pc's, i had a folder (named 'shared' but not actually shared) that contained 3 shared folders and heaps of sub-folders. these 3 folders were originally on my desktop but i put them in the 'shared' folder to neaten things up a bit, thats when the problem started, if i so much as touched the 'shared' folder or any sub-folders, or any files in them, then the cpu would shoot up to 99% and stay there until a reboot. It wasnt a virus (i ran a scan), or anyone accesing my hdd (happened when network cable was unplugged). It took me a week before i tried putting the 3 shared folders back on the desktop, and deleting the 'shared' folder, and now the problem is gone, i havent had any worries for the last day, so i assume its gone.
    hope this helps a little.

    Also know that more than one incident involved Explorer.exe. This is one of the more promising posts:
    If Internet Explorer (IE) 6 is slowing to a crawl and/or hanging and starts to use 100 percent of CPU time it may well be a corruption of the "Temporary Internet Files folder". In particular, trying to delete Temporary Internet files via Tools, Internet Options or other privacy software seems to trigger this behavior. Also, attempts to view files in the Temporary Internet Files folder may show the folder as already empty when it is not. This behavior occurs because the Temporary Internet files database is corrupt.

    The Temporary Internet files aren't really files but entries in %systemdrive%\Documents and Settings\%username%\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\index.dat. Deleting that file solves the problem. This same problem has occured for NT users and the fix works for XP.

    1. Open a command prompt window on the desktop (Start/Run/command).

    2. Exit IE and Windows Explorer (iexplore.exe and explorer.exe, respectively, in Task Manager, i.e - Ctrl-Alt-Del/Task Manager/Processes/End Process for each).

    3. Use the following command exactly from your command prompt window to delete the corrupt file:

    C:\>del "%systemdrive%\Documents and Settings\%username%\Local
    Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5\index.dat"

    4. Restart Windows Explorer with Task Manager (Ctrl-Alt-Del/Task Manager/Applications/New Task/Browse/C:\Windows\explorer.exe[or your path]) or Shutdown/Restart the computer from Task Manager.

    Good Luck big guy.

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