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CPU usage spikes to 100%


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#1 wigglepickles

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 04:26 PM

I have cleaned up the HD, ran CCLEANER, Scanned for anything and everything with CA suite and yet, just running any application will spike the CPU usage sky high. This is a 2.8 GHZ processesor with 1 gig RAM running XP and, according to the device mangler, evrything is running fine. Does this sound like a virus/trojan/hijack thing or, a CPU problem? Has anyone seen this before?

Thanks!

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#2 Allan

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 04:29 PM

Open task manager to the Processes tab. Sort on the cpu column with highest usage at the top. When the cpu spikes, which process is using the cycles?

#3 MrBruce1959

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 04:34 PM

What program are you using to monitor the CPU usage with?

I would suggest downloading and running Process Explorer, this will help you determine what is causing the spikes in your CPU usage.

The web site explains in detail how to install and use the program, you can even right click any process and get more information on each process or even kill it if you prefer to.

Process Explorer http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653.aspx

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#4 wigglepickles

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 06:09 PM

I checked out the cpu usage, sorted as suggested, and system idle processs was always on top with others popping in and out below it to quickly to read. With nothing else running it spiked between 0 & 98% while typing this. While monitoring usage, and I open an e-mail, it jumps up TO 60-70%. If I try to run a short video in Media Player it pegs at 100% and plays very choppy video and audio. When finished playing it drops back down. Anything I do causes a spike and sometimes while doing nothing it jumps up there. Like right now...0 to 98 just from typing.

I'll download Process Explorer per MrBruces suggestion and see if that helps...

Thanks!

#5 MrBruce1959

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 06:21 PM

If you read through the documentation for Process Explorer, it will show you how to set it up to record the processes that have ran during the cycle, this way you can see what processes popped up and disappeared quickly, it also has graphs at the top of the window which show where spikes took place and if you click that graph in the area the spike took place, the program will display what caused the spike.

The graphs show both CPU and RAM activity, they are always visible on the top of the process explorer window.

If you see a spike, click where the spike took place and the program will offer details on what caused it.

Please read up on it as much as you can, this tool is very, very useful for figuring out what is doing what when it comes to RAM or CPU usage.

Bruce.
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#6 MrBruce1959

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 06:29 PM

One thing I want to add if you downloaded the .Zip file, I use WinZip which has an unzipped folder it un-zips files to.

What-ever program you used to extract the zipped file, make sure you extract to a folder on C:\ if you want to keep the program.

The reason for this is ProcessExplorer is NOT an installation program, it is only three self contained files that requires no installation.

I personally have moved the folder winzip created with the 3 self contained files to my C:\ directory and added a short-cut to the ProcessExplorer.exe to my desktop for easy access.

Bruce.

Edited by MrBruce1959, 12 March 2011 - 06:30 PM.

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#7 wigglepickles

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 10:51 AM

Sounds like just what I need. I'm on it and will let ya know what I find.

Thanks again.

#8 wigglepickles

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 12:25 PM

I ran Process Explorer (nice) and find that, while running nothing else, the spikes are caused mainly by "Interrupt" and by "procexp.exe". If I start another program it creates spikes up to 90-100% cpu usage as well.

Your thoughts?

#9 wigglepickles

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 06:55 PM

MrBruce - After researching interrupts and high CPU usage, I reloaded my hard drive drivers and rebooted twice. Lo and behold, we are now running Ultra DMA instead of POI and the interrupt spikes are gone and it boots much faster. Although better, I now get spikes up to 85-100% from iexplorer just by opening a web page. Process Explorer also makes it jump up to 45-50% cpu usage. Are there more tricks out there to use?

#10 MrBruce1959

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 12:29 AM

Lo and behold, we are now running Ultra DMA instead of POI and the interrupt spikes are gone and it boots much faster.


LOL PIO, yeah that is the old way hard drives were configured, Motherboards still support PIO for older hard drives and disk drives, but for todays demanding world UDMA is the way to go.

I didn't even think of that in this case, but I usually do when other members mention slow hard drives or slow disk drives.

UDMA being set to 1 or PIO can make a DVD drive react and respond slowly, so make sure you have those set to UDMA 4 or 5.

Older CDROM drives are best when ran with UDMA set to 1 and PIO set to 3, however, I really do not think many people use those old cd disk drives any more.

What are you still having issues with?

It is not un-common to have things running on the computer such as system idle process or windows indexing service running in the back ground.

Bruce.

Edited by MrBruce1959, 15 March 2011 - 12:31 AM.

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#11 ThunderZ

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 12:45 AM

I`m just curious, as there is usually an underlying reason for Windows to set a drive to PIO.

It will normally do it after a series of read\write errors in succession.

I would consider running the proper hard drive diagnostic tool for the hard drive in question purely as a precaution.

#12 MrBruce1959

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 04:47 AM

I`m just curious, as there is usually an underlying reason for Windows to set a drive to PIO.

It will normally do it after a series of read\write errors in succession.

I would consider running the proper hard drive diagnostic tool for the hard drive in question purely as a precaution.

You are 100% correct about that and I am glad you popped in there with that recommendation! :thumbup2:

Wiggle, you should try what ThunderZ suggested, at the very least, you'll know your drive is okay if it passes the test.

If you need to know what to do, just ask, ThunderZ or I will assist you in getting the proper hard drive diagnostic software for your hard drive. :)

Bruce.

Edited by MrBruce1959, 15 March 2011 - 04:48 AM.

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#13 wigglepickles

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 06:55 PM

MrBruce & Thunderz - You guys know your stuff and I really appreciate what I'm learning here.

I would like to test the HD and I might as well just ask what to use. I have WD Caviar SE EIDE w/160 GB. It would be nice to know why that setting changed or if I have a problem on the horizon.

Otherwise, I still see these cpu spikes except now they are from Windows Explorer, Outlook, or just about anything I open or click on. 61% just by clicking on this window to activate it. 84% just by starting Outlook and 64% by opening an e-mail. I see this by running Process Explorer next to these windows. It just jumped up to 100% and it was caused by this little Weather Channel app that sits in the tray and tells me the temp! Insidious forces are at work...

Thanks!

#14 ThunderZ

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 08:58 PM

These are the tools available for your hard drive.

If you have a CD and CD burner available and are familiar with burning an .iso then I would suggest Data Lifeguard Diagnostic for DOS (CD).

If you want to go a little easier route then Data Lifeguard Diagnostic for Windows should be fine. However I have never used this version.

As far as your CPU spikes. Does it return to normal after the program is launched? Some jumping in CPU usage is normal on initial start-up of any program.

#15 wigglepickles

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 09:12 PM

ThunderZ - Thanks for the tools. I'll give it a whirl and let you know what I see. Also, yeah, it does go back to normal now after the initial spike but the hesitation just seems excessive. Should I see a 60+% spike in CPU usage just by clicking on another already open window? Just seems like I still have some lingering issues that are eluding me.




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