Computer slow to load and CPU usage is high
Posted 04 April 2012 - 01:52 AM
A few months ago I noticed my desk top PC was slow and taking longer than normal to star up, load programs and open web pages etc. When Task Master is launched I notice the CPU usage goes up to 100% while web pages try to load or when a program is launched etc. Often the process will "freeze" and the PC is unresponsive while the usage stays at 100%. On ocassions the PC will "crash" while the CPU usage is at 100%.
Recently, when I start the machine the error message "Windows cannot load the user's profile but has logged you on with the default profile for the system.
DETAIL - Insufficient system resources exist to complete the requested service." will appear. I get around this by pressing the reset button on the front.
I have no idea what is likely to have slowed the PC or why the CPU usage is so high i.e. whether the problem is a result of Malware/Rootkit infection or a hardware component [CPU] malfunction.
Thinking the problem may be caused by an infection I followed the instructions contained in the :Preparation Guide For Use Before Using Malware Removal Toola and Requesting Help, before posting a new topic in the "Virus, Trogan, Spyware and Malware Removal Logs" Forum. I have been receiving advice and assistance from "mOle" [Malware Response Group] who after running a number of scans and not finding any infections suggested the following:
"There is clearly a hardware problem and often using a resource-heavy scan such as ESET flushes them out. The CPU problem plus the fact that we've never found any evidence of malware points to a more pressing problem.
This topic needs to be moved to a more appropriate forum so you can get some help diagnosing this fault. Here's the XP forum link"
If it is of any help basic details of my system are :
Windows XP Professional Service Pack 3
Celeron ® CPU 2.8 GHz. 1.00 GB of RAM
Obviously, I am keen to identify the cause of this problem in order to return the PC to a more functional state. If the cause can be established then I will hopefully be able to avoid a reoccurrence. Any advice to overcome this problem would be gratefully received.
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Posted 04 April 2012 - 04:55 AM
Website policy is to generally not have two possible topics open on the same issues, thus minimizing the chance for confusion and conflicting suggestions/approaches.
To give us some basic info, please Publish a Snapshot using Speccy - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic323892.html/page__p__1797792#entry1797792 .
<<Recently, when I start the machine the error message "Windows cannot load the user's profile but has logged you on with the default profile for the system. DETAIL - Insufficient system resources exist to complete the requested service." will appear.>>
FWIW: Profile problems may be the result of damaged files...which, in turn, may be the result of a failing hard drive.
How large is your Windows partition...and how much free space currently exists on it?
Posted 05 April 2012 - 11:22 PM
Thank you for your reply. As requested, a PM was sent to mOle but as you know the topic was closed by the time he received the PM.
I am not sure what my Windows partition actually is but I assume it is something to do with the hard drive. The only information I could find showing free space is the Local Disc [C: drive] to have a 37.2 GB Capacity with 27.6 GB Used and 12.7 GB Free.
Speccy has been downloaded to the desktop OK. However, I didn't have an opportunity to run it before the onset of the Easter holidays here in Australia.
I am currently away from home for the holiday period but will run Speccy on my return and forward the results.
This reply is being compiled on a computer belonging to the friend that I am staying with. I thought it important I should keep you informed.
I appreciate your patience.
Posted 10 April 2012 - 01:07 AM
Thank you for the warning in relation to
As a precaution I have just backed up my data to Norton Online Secure Storage in case the hard drive should fail.
Profile problems may be the result of damaged files...which, in turn, may be the result of a failing hard drive.
Speccy has just been run. On completion two  error messages were displayed i.e. "Windows could not load the installer for keyboard. Contact your hardware vendor for assistance" and "Windows could not load the installer for mouse. Contact your hardware vendor for assistance" .
Hopefully, the link below will display a snapshot of the details required
Posted 10 April 2012 - 05:25 AM
Your motherboard dates back to 2003.
You are running the system with only 1GB of RAM.
Taking the above into consideration, I would suspect that any number of hardware items may be problematical.
I would start...with running the appropriate hard drive diagnostic for your Seagate ST340014A (PATA) hard drive. The long test. if short and long diagnostics are offered.
SeaTools for DOS , read the tutorial first...then download and run the diagnostic, following Seagate instructions.
Posted 12 April 2012 - 12:40 AM
Thank you for your prompt response and observations.
By way of back ground I purchased my PC as a package deal new in 2003 - my first ever PC. Since then a number of upgrades have taken place i.e. the CRT monitor was replaced with a widescreen LCD, the old ball mouse has gone. a printer scanner installed, external speakers added and the old basic keyboard replaced with a wireless unit with a number of special function keys, zoom etc. Basically, of all the original hardware items that comprised the original package only the tower remains.
However, the tower has not entirely escaped change either. The original 512 MB of RAM has been increased to the present 1GB, CD unit replaced with a CD/DVD burner, Office 2003 replaced with Office 2007 and XP Home replaced with XP Professional. Needless to say none of the changes to the tower were undertaken by me. Plugging in a new piece of external hardware is about my limit.
I have always ensured Microsoft/Windows updates are applied and the latest Norton products used to provide internet security
Anyway, all the changes carried out progressively over a period of years have been done with the aim of enhancing computer use as my experience and knowledge has developed. In my ignorance I had no concept that extensive updating of hardware items would cause problems for the operation of the PC to a point whereby it is no longer a pleasant experience.
Which gets us to where we are now.
SeaTools was downloaded to the desktop OK but installation of the program was not immediately possible.In order to instal the SeaTools files on my PC it seems I needed to have something called MICROSOFT.NET FRAMEWORK 4. I eventually was able to download to the desktop and Run the extended version of this. Installation of the SeaTools software proceeded. The next day I tried to run SeaTools but was unable to do so until I had run MICROSOFT.NET FRAMEWORK 4 again. Eventually we got that done, SeaTools files were installed again and the program started. From the drop down Scans menu the Long Generic was selected.
This scan seemed to take an inordinate period of time to complete with the old PC "chugging" away at 100% CPU usage but it finally got there after about 41/2 hours of runtime.
This is the result
--------------- SeaTools for Windows v220.127.116.11 ---------------
10/04/2012 11:28:13 PM
Serial Number: 5JX3YGE5
Firmware Revision: 3.06
Long Generic - Started 11/04/2012 10:44:45 AM
Long Generic - Pass 11/04/2012 3:17:50 PM
I was surprised the harddrive passed the test as it has been a bit noisy of late.
It was only after the test was completed yesterday that I realised the scan I had waited for so patiently to complete was a Sea Tools for Windows scan not the SeaTools for DOS scan that specified in your last post. I had obviously clicked on the wrong download link from the SeaTools website and I apologise sincerely for the error.
I will go through the process again with the SeaTools for DOS scan as soon as I have posted this reply. My apologies for the delay in getting back to you but I will post the results of the DOS scan as soon as I am able to do so.
Thank you again for your patience.
Posted 12 April 2012 - 10:35 AM
Please use the SeaTools for DOS diagnostic, following the Seagate instructions.
Posted 12 April 2012 - 10:50 AM
Your current install of Windows is over 4 years old, something I find a bit remarkable .
I realize there is a preference not to start side conversations but I must ask - why do you find that remarkable?
Posted 12 April 2012 - 12:10 PM
Edited by hamluis, 12 April 2012 - 12:12 PM.
Posted 12 April 2012 - 05:42 PM
Also, I know lots of folks with similar stories.
Edited by Allan, 12 April 2012 - 05:43 PM.
Posted 13 April 2012 - 01:06 AM
Well I have been able to burn the SeaTools for DOS as an ISO Image to a CD after carefully studying the tutorial. The PC started up OK with the CD inserted. However, I could not click on the "I Accept" button on the terms & conditions screen that appeared. It seemed that neither the mouse nor the keyboard would respond. I then downloaded the Legacy version v2.20 to a diskette with the same outcome. The same result with v1.12.
The mouse and keyboard work fine when I reboot the PC normally i.e. without one of the SeaTools CD or Diskette inserted. I don't know how to progress the test. Is there any way of bypassing the terms & conditions screen or is there a way of activating the mouse when the PC is stated using either the SeaTools CD or Diskette?
Your advice would be apppreciated.
Posted 13 April 2012 - 03:07 AM
Louis is not around at this time, but this has been a known (but rare) issue with the DOS test unfortunately
Some computers do freeze and will not let you past the "I Accept" stage -
You have run the Sea tools for Windows test (long and short) and both have passed for now -
Louis will be back later and apart from your Speccy showing 1G Ram, I will not add advice over his at this time
Unless you have pre-installed diagnostics on the computer Please wait a while -
Thank You -
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