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High CPU usage by kernal, W2kpro

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#1 Frank C

Frank C

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  • Location:Boston, MA
  • Local time:07:51 AM

Posted 03 July 2005 - 12:00 AM


I've recently noticed very high CPU usage by the kernal (70-100% after logon)as observed in Task Manager. I know my machine is a bit underpowered
(PII 233Mhz/384MB), but it's worked fine until just recently.

Problem was observed shortly after installing the new W2kPro sp4 rollup that was released Jun 28th. I download the file from MS.

I tried looking in the MS forums, for others with similar problems, after they installed the new rollup. There were posts from people who noticed either severely
increased drains on performance from winlogon.exe service, or others who had damaged msxml3 and msxml3r DLL's. My DLL's were checked and appear o.k. and
the winlogon.exe service is sluggish but eventually stops eating up CPU time. However, the high CPU usage by the kernal continues and boggs down the performance of my apps severely. I tried uninstalling the rollup but the performance degredation continues.

I believe my machine is pretty clean as far as malware is concerned. I regularly
run scans with Spybot S&D 1.4, Adaware SE, MS Antispyware, CWShredder and Spyware Blaster. I also run Steven Gould's "Cleanup" frequently. I use Spybot to
minimize startups. I'll provide a HJT log if requested.


I twice noticed attempts by spoolsv.exe to access the internet and I may have allowed one of these to go through. I'm not sure why these attempts were made.

I've been running NAV 2004 and AVG antivirus concurrently, for over a year without problem, but due to the circumstances I've tried disabling NAV when trying to open resource hungry app's.

I just remembered that use of Spybot's "HOST File" utility to block access to malware sites can be a problem when running on W2k. I'll try disabling it to see if it helps.


What's causing the recent high CPU usage by the kernal? How can I more closely monitor the activity? Could there be a hidden trojan? What tweaks can I try to improve CPU performance?

I'm hopeful that something can be done to improve performance, because I've
got a new Transenders test-prep app that's a little "bloated" for my machine. I'd like to use it without buying/building a new machine. I'm an out of work I.T. guy
who's too tight on funds right now.

Thanks for Your Help, Frank

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