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Cpu Running At 100%


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#1 chipmunky

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 08:37 AM

I've got a Dell XPS M1330 (laptop) running Windows Vista Home Premium (w/service pack 1). My processor is Intel Core 2 Duo CPU T7500 @ 2.2 GHz, my RAM is 4 GB, and it's a 32-bit OS.

And, for the past few months now, my laptop's been lagging. If I try to play any games, listen to web radio while using GIMP, or watch video clips; after a while, the CPU goes up to 100%, my computer feels hot, and everything lags. If I'm playing a game, it freezes in place. If I'm listening to web radio while using GIMP, the music stutters and the brushes in GIMP go very very slowly. If I'm watching video clips, the video either stops completely or goes very, very slowly. It takes a while for the CPU to go up to 100% (maybe 15 minutes or so), but when it does I have to stop what I'm doing.

When I first called Dell, they tried having me do an Express Scan, or something like that -- when the computer was booting up I hit a button and it scanned for hardware problems, etc. The computer would get so hot it'd lag, and it couldn't finish the scan. One time when I tried it, the thing turned itself off. After several more frustrating phone calls to Dell, they eventually had a new hard drive put in.

That hasn't solved the problem. I'm hoping maybe it's something with Vista that I can fix. If it's not, well, hopefully someone can tell me what is wrong...

I did a Google search on having the CPU run at 100%, and found a post recommending someone go to RUN and type in perfmon /report. So, I tried that. In the Resource Overview section of the report, it said:
Component - CPU
Status - Busy
Utilization - 86%
Details - High CPU load. Investigate top processes.

I tried to attach the report but it's 2.76 MB and the limit's 512kb, and so I can't attach it to the post. Copy & paste won't work either. So, I tried to be clever and took a screen capture of the first bit under CPU -> Process and saved it as a GIF image. It shows the Image Statistics and the Process Information.

Anyway, if anyone can help I'd really appreciate it. I've probably spent a total of at least 7 hours or so on the phone with Dell and another hour using their online chat, and it's never gone well. :huh:

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#2 Vino Rosso

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 09:45 AM

... after a while, the CPU goes up to 100%, my computer feels hot, and everything lags.

What's the temperature of the CPU? It could be the thermal paste between the CPU and its heatsink has dried up or making poor contact.
If you've no other way, try Motherboard Monitor.

#3 chipmunky

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 10:15 AM

... after a while, the CPU goes up to 100%, my computer feels hot, and everything lags.

What's the temperature of the CPU? It could be the thermal paste between the CPU and its heatsink has dried up or making poor contact.
If you've no other way, try Motherboard Monitor.


The Motherboard Monitor program doesn't seem to work. It says the case is at 30 degrees F, the CPU is at 30 degrees F, and "sensor 2" is at 32 degrees F.

The case is warm to the touch and very hot by the fan area in the upper left corner, so I really doubt those readings are accurate. The CPU's going back and forth between 70% - 99% right now and even scrolling in Firefox is hard/laggy.

#4 Vino Rosso

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 11:54 AM

Well, 30 degs F is below freezing so that is pretty cool! Even 30 degs C is cool running for a CPU.

Have you set up MB Monitor for your motherboard? What CPU/motherboard do you have?

#5 usasma

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 02:55 PM

What are the top processes running in Task Manager → Processes tab?
Also, once in the Processes tab, select the View menu, then the Select columns selection. In the next window place a checkmark by IOReads and click on OK.

Let us know the top processes for CPU, Memory, and IOReads (your hard drive). You can sort by the column by double clicking on the column header.
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#6 chipmunky

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 04:00 PM

Well, 30 degs F is below freezing so that is pretty cool! Even 30 degs C is cool running for a CPU.

Have you set up MB Monitor for your motherboard? What CPU/motherboard do you have?


I think I did set it up correctly, because the config wizard seemed pretty straightforward: select board revision -> Dell -> XPS -> all revisions -> Temp format -> Fahrenheit .

I wasn't sure what motherboard I had so I downloaded AIDA32. It just says:
Motherboard ID: <DMI>
Motherboard name: Dell Inc. XPS M1330

#7 Vino Rosso

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 04:12 PM

Searching around, it seems the M1330 has had a few overheating problems. If MB Monitor isn't giving expected results, it seems HWMonitor 1.09 is widely used.

Also, as usasma has asked, what are the top processes?

#8 chipmunky

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 05:04 PM

What are the top processes running in Task Manager → Processes tab?
Also, once in the Processes tab, select the View menu, then the Select columns selection. In the next window place a checkmark by IOReads and click on OK.

Let us know the top processes for CPU, Memory, and IOReads (your hard drive). You can sort by the column by double clicking on the column header.


Sorry for the delay in reply -- had to try and get the CPU to go up so I could note things as they are when it goes nuts. A video clip got it going up to 86%, then it shot down to 4% as I tried to type everything out 'cause I was taking too long and had stopped running anything. So then I tried playing a Flash game, and it shot up again...

I sorted it by I/O Reads and these are the top processes:

wisptis.exe 407,734
Wacom_Tablet.exe 406, 504
crss.exe 131,280
firefox.exe 19,156
explorer.exe 7,931
taskeng.exe 6,795
upeksvr.exe 6,607
psqltray.exe 5,091
PCMService.exe 1,977
sprtcmd.exe 1,845

That's everything that has an I/O read over 1,000.

by Memory:

firefox.exe 169,292K
dwm.exe 59,896K
explorer.exe 25,076K
sidebar.exe 8,200K
BTStackServer.exe 5,568K
TabTip.exe 4,756K
BTTray.exe 4,580K
PCMService.exe 4,532K
MSASCui.exe 4,492K
psqltray.exe 3,872K
wisptis.exe 3,852K
sttray.exe 3,804K
taskeng.exe 3,692K
iTunesHelper.exe 3,676K

That's everything that has Memory (private working set) over 3,000K

And for CPU:
firefox.exe 35
wisptis.exe 24
taskmgr 12
sidebar.exe 5
dwm.exe 3
PCMService 3
TabTip.exe 3
OEMO2Mon.exe 1
psqltray.exe 1
WrtProc.exe 1

That stunk to try and record. It was going all over the place! One second taskmgr would be at 36 and firefox would be down to 20, and then it'd shoot back up and taskmgr would go way down to 12, and then something else would pop up to the top... Oy, this's practically impossible to track when it the CPU gets high. It was like a bunch of people trying to fit through one doorway: shoving and pushing at each other to be first.

Edited by chipmunky, 28 July 2008 - 05:05 PM.


#9 usasma

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 07:04 AM

There's no clear cut reason in the processes for this, but we can start to draw some conclusions.

You have 4 gB of RAM (plenty for a 32 bit OS), and a 5400 rpm SATA hard drive

The performance report cited high CPU load - so the programs with the most effect here are Firefox and the Windows Tablet PC stuff

Since you've mentioned lag, the most common cause for this is accessing the hard drive. It can be caused by insufficient system memory (RAM) or by malfunctioning programs that excessively access the hard drive.

The memory load is mostly caused by Firefox and the Windows Desktop Manager service.
The hard drive load (IOReads) is mostly caused by the Tablet PC stuff (both the Windows stuff and the WACOM stuff) and the csrss.exe process

Finally, the overheating issue is significant, as it'll skew the results depending on which areas are stressed the most by the heat.
***************
So, here's what I suggest:
1) Get a can of compressed air and blow out the fans and exhaust grilles on the system. Blow in both directions several times to dislodge anything that may be reluctant to leave.
2) If not needed, disable the Tablet PC stuff through Control Panel - by uninstalling them in the Programs and Features applet, and then by removing the features through the link on the left hand side of the Programs and Features applet (Turn Windows Features on or off)
3) Figure out why Firefox is consuming so many resources. This may be normal (if you've always got a bunch of tabs open) or it may be a malfunction that will require a removal and reinstallation. To test, close Firefox and use IE temporarily for your web access. Keep the number of tabs open to a minimum and see if things improve.
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#10 chipmunky

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 02:48 PM

There's some problems with the suggestions unfortunately:

1.) I forgot to mention that I've tried the compressed air bit already, but it didn't help. Plus there was hardly any dust at all inside anyway.

2.) I do need my pen tablet: I've got tendonitis in my arm and if I use a normal mouse my arm gets very sore. The pen tablet's easier on it. Plus I do a lot of drawing with it, too.

3.) It's not just Firefox: GIMP, any computer game with graphics, and IE all cause problems as well.

I prefer Firefox to IE and so I use that more often instead. When the CPU was going up to 100% from listening to web radio in Firefox, I tried switching over to IE and got the same results -- no improvement at all, and lots of lag/music stuttering.

#11 usasma

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 04:33 PM

As the Performance Monitor report stated that it was a high CPU usage issue, your choices will be rather limited.
The easiest thing to do is to start disabling processes with high CPU usage to see if that improves things. Unfortunately, the tablet stuff takes a lot of CPU, so that's going to handicap you from the start.

I dunno if the CPU in your Dell is upgradable - but you may want to investigate that option also.
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#12 chipmunky

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 11:40 PM

The thing is, my laptop used to work fine for several months -- about 6 months, actually. Then one day it started having this 100% problem with the CPU. So, I don't think I'd need to upgrade the CPU, because it used to work perfectly.

What's perplexing is I didn't do anything different that I can remember. I've used the pen tablet since day 1, too. But despite this, my laptop hasn't worked right for a few months now, and I really miss when it did!

So I'll try disabling processes next.

#13 chipmunky

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 04:51 AM

Searching around, it seems the M1330 has had a few overheating problems. If MB Monitor isn't giving expected results, it seems HWMonitor 1.09 is widely used.


I tried downloading HWMonitor. Here's what it said, when the CPU's at 100%:


ACPI
Temperatures
THM_: Value 81C (176F) Min 69C (155F) Max 83C (180F)

Intel Mobile Core 2 Duo
Temperatures
core #0: Value 79C (174F) Min 67C (152F) Max 81C (177F)
core #1: Value 80C (175F) Min 68C (154F) Max 82C (179F)

GeForce 8400M GS:
Temperatures
GPU Core: Value 95C (202F) Min 83C (181F) Max 95C (202F)

Toshiba MK2051GSY
Temperatures
HDD: Value 48C (118F) Min 46C (114F) Max 48C (118F)

#14 Vino Rosso

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 05:37 AM

Looking at the temperatures, they would suggest that your computer has a similar overheating problem as reported by other owners of a Dell M1330. Do a search for M1300 overheating to see what I mean.

Some of the posts refer to Dell updating the drivers for the graphics card which basically result in the graphics card fan being on permanently. Others have managed to get Dell to replace the motherboard with some success. Besides ensuring you are using the computer on a hard surface, or even slightly raised, to ensure an unrestricted airflow to maximise cooling, I suggest you go back to Dell and insist on a repair.

usasma is more experienced and may have some other suggestions.

#15 usasma

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Posted 31 July 2008 - 06:03 AM

Heat is generated when the processor works - so the more the processor works, the more heat will be generated.
I'd suggest following Vino Rosso's advice because the overheating is a known problem with this model.

Although you may not have done anything to the PC over the last 6 months, it's possible that one (or more) of the programs/drivers have become corrupted. Based on what you've show us, I'd have to suggest a complete removal of Firefox (to include the folders in your user profile and in Program Files) after saving your bookmarks. Then I'd uninstall all the pen/tablet stuff and reinstall it to see if that helps.

You could also uninstall all of this, then test the system briefly before reinstalling everything - that'll give you a "baseline" to work from.
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.




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