Process Explorer should display CPU usage alongside each process. You can sort the processes by CPU usage as well. You can double-click an svchost process and then click the Services tab to stop the services it is, um, servicing, from within Process Explorer. It looks like you are running Vista/7 based on the "Network Location Awareness" service, so you may need to right-click the program and choose "Run as Administrator" to do this.
Note: the following suggestions may come a bit fast and furious. You may want to read the entire post and then pick and choose what you want to do first.
In Process Explorer, ensure that you are not getting hit by lots of DPCs and Interrupts. These are under the System Idle Process umbrella and don't show up in Task Manager. You will get some but just ensure that they are not spiking very high.
If you are sure that a svchost.exe process is causing the problem, try this: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929135
The article is a bit confusing. Simplified steps are as follows:
1. Open msconfig.
2. On the General tab, select "Selective startup," then uncheck "Load startup items."
3. On the Services tab, tick "Hide all Microsoft services," then click "Disable all."
4. Click OK, then restart.
5. When the PC boots up, ascertain whether the problem is still occurring.
6. If not, re-enable services one by one, restarting each time, until the problem does occur.
7. Once the problem occurs, disable all services except for the one you enabled last.
8. If it still occurs, you have found your offending service.
If the problem still occurs on step 5 then you should, of course, disregard the other steps and set everything back the way it was unless you want to troubleshoot further on your own.
Here is something else I would try. Click Start, type Event Viewer, then hit Enter. Browse to Windows Logs, then scan the "Application" and "System" sections for any errors that seem to be related. One clue might be the timestamps: check for things that seem to happen on boot. If nothing obvious pops out, create a custom view to check for performance degradation and boot degradation. To do this:
1. Right-click on "Windows Logs" in the left-hand pane and select "Create Custom View..."
2. Tick all the "Event level" boxes.
3. Under By log / Event logs, expand "Applications and Services Logs," "Microsoft," "Windows."
4. Tick the "Diagnostics-Performance" checkbox.
5. Click OK.
6. Name it Diagnostics-Performance and put it under a folder named Custom Views.
Repeat steps 1-4, but this time click the text box that says "All Event IDs" and type "101-110" without the quotes. Then repeat steps 5 and 6, naming it Boot Degradation.
Browse your new custom views, starting with the boot degradation one. I believe this one works best if you can find the date on which you started experiencing symptoms. If you find no leads there, browse the other one (which btw will include all the events from Boot Degradation). For example, my Diagnostics-Performance custom view tells me that my USB driver caused a delay in resuming from standby while servicing a device. If the delay were major (in this case it was less than 200 ms, so not major), I might be more careful about unplugging devices before going to standby. If no devices were present, I might think about updating my chipset drivers and/or BIOS.
Some other suggestions:
- Update drivers. Your PC manufacturer's website is a good place to start, but sometimes these are not updated very frequently and old computers are generally forgotten. For audio and video I would try the website of your respective audio and video manufacturers.
- Update your BIOS. Your PC manufacturer should have this in the same place as drivers. Use care when doing this, but don't be afraid to do it. After downloading the file I would definitely wait until your PC hit normal speed after booting before running it. (Anecdote: a BIOS update once fixed a strange slowdown problem for me after upgrading a laptop from XP to Windows 7.)
- Are you mapped to any network resources that are possibly trying to reconnect every time you turn your computer on?