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Nonstop CPU Usage Spikes

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#1 teamocil


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Posted 03 June 2010 - 05:53 PM

Good evening,

I hope I am posting in the proper forum for this issue, if I'm not please just let me know and I'll be more than happy to move it myself (if it isn't already done by a moderator).


I inherited a HP-dv2174cl laptop from a friend, and I've noticed non-stop CPU usage spikes (between 4-20%).

Known Issues:

The laptop's battery is fried, so it runs exclusively on AC power. I've heard of laptops with dead batteries having issues because of some sort of power management constantly checking if the battery is charging, and that this problem would be fixed by removing the battery altogether - tried this to no avail.

Bottom line:

I realize that it is a possibility that the computer is infected with some form of malware, but I'm not really proficient enough to be able to extrapolate any useful information from something like HijackThis on my own, or determine for sure if this is a hardware issue for that matter. Which is why I have come here, as I did once over a year ago in which I was helped tremendously by the community here.

I am ready/able to upload any sort of reports I'm directed to but I didn't want to do so in my first post, spamming a wall-of-text + HELP!

Once more, I apologize if I have posted incorrectly, but if I have not - thank you sincerely in advance for your help.


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#2 Mr.VisualBasic


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Posted 04 June 2010 - 11:19 AM

It sounds to me like a hdd reformat might do the trick. It does sound like you have some fort of viruses installed on your computer. With this in mind, you will first need to decide what method of reformatting you need to use. Many laptop manufacturers now-a-days install a partition on your hard drive specifically for getting your OS and the corresponding partitions back to their factory defaults. If this is an option, I would try this first (as it will insure than you'll have all of your necessary drivers, proper OS, etc. To access the factory reset partitions on most laptops there is a unique key to be pressed during boot-up. Because the key varies, you might consider researching the specific key for your laptop. If you get this working, simply follow the steps provided.

Your other option are to use a windows installation disc (or linux if that's what you're using) to reformat the hard drive and re-install the OS.

The only other thing I can think of off the top of my head is an overheating issue. If your CPU isn't getting the air it needs for cooling, it could quite possibly be overheating and causing it to get bogged down when the OS is running.

#3 hamluis



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Posted 04 June 2010 - 02:23 PM

<<between 4-20%>>

IMO, that would not concern me...even if it were "nonstop".

Using Task Manager...what processes are running...taking up this usage when it happens?


#4 teamocil

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 05:53 PM

Below are the system processes running in order from highest to lowest resource usage.

System Idle Process

Louis, I wouldn't have been concerned either with such usage, but to clarify the primary use of this laptop - its quakeworld - a 15 year old game, and it seems to be getting FPS spikes in much the same manner making it unplayable. My concern is that the GPU (a GeForce Go6150 - a notoriously garbage GPU that is incapable of accepting a driver update as it is controlled by HP, not Nvidia AFAIK) could just be so terrible that even though its relatively new and same series video cards should be creating blistering FPS in such an old game can't even sustain a stable 70+FPS (where as an older standalone nvidia card can pull 500+). Once I noticed this, I started tracking the Performance Monitor and this is when I noticed the CPU spikage. Long story short, its not a terribly important problem as its not related to the work I do on the computer, but it would be nice to find out with certainty if theres anything I can do about it.

Once again thank you for your assistance, and please let me know if there is any more information necessary.

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