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Plug & Play service cause high CPU usage (80-90%)


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#1 Kewpy

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 02:46 PM

I'm working on a 3 year old Dell box, has Win XP Media Center edition. Has plenty of Ram (1.5 Gig)
Right now, the system is unusable as the CPU usage is always at 80 to 90%. If I disable the Plug and Play service, it drops down to almost nothing, and the system runs normally. Of course, Plug and Play service is an essential service, so I need to find the cause. Also, I'm sure it's related; the Device Manager opens (after a long deley) but it's blank.

I've used MSCONFIG to troubleshoot (That's how I stopped Plug & Play service- ordinarily you can't stop the service)

I've unplugged the 2 optical drives, however I can't unplug the front USB ports. If I remove the cable to them, the system won't turn on. (Go figure, it's a Dell). The only card in it is a modem. Tried removing that.

The hardware is ok, I tried a fresh install of XP Pro on another hard drive, everything worked as expected. I've also run scans, found a few pieces of malware, the system seems otherwise clean. (also cleaned out all the dirt)

There's a lot of services that depend on the Plug & Play service, but if I start and stop it, the CPU useage responds accordingly.

Is there anything I can do to figure out why the Plug & Play service is causing the CPU usage to go so high?

Thank you.

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 05:04 PM

Disable it temporarily...see if another service takes up the burden.

Louis

#3 Kewpy

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 06:01 PM

I've disabled it and re-enbled it many times. Nothing happens when I disable it, except that CPU usage goes down to zero, or near zero. The computer performs normally then, except for no USB, no Device manager, etc.

If I re-enable it, Device Manager is still blank, and everything that I try to open, such as Control Panel, Task Manager, Hard Drive Properties, etc. all take several minutes to open, because CPU is at 90%, and never drops.

#4 hamluis

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 07:21 PM

What errors do you need to look at in Event Viewer?

How To Use Event Viewer - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic40108.html

www.eventid.net is a good site for specific info reported by computer users on EV errors.

Stop...using msconfig to do things it is not designed for.

Start/Run...type services.msc and hit Enter. Disable the PnP service there. Leave it disabled until you finish reading up on how to use Event Viewer to get some clues.

I think that you've confused cause and effect...it may appear to related to the service, but probably is one of your svchost processes, with the effect in PnP...but that's just a guess.

If you want to investigate such, How to determine what services are running under a SVCHOST.EXE process - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/list-services-running-under-svchost.exe-process/ .

Louis

#5 Kewpy

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Posted 14 July 2011 - 08:59 AM

Louis
I am aware of the limitations of MSCONFIG, however it was the only way I could even get to services.msc, by using the diagnostic startup with all services disabled. From that point, I was able to selecetivly turn on services to observe the CPU usage, and when I got to Plug & Play, that's when the CPU usage shot up.

With Plug and Play service started, CPU usage is now at a steady 100%. Therefor, anything I click on or try to open, takes about 10 to 15 minutes to respond. It is now enabled, and I've been waiting for the Event Viewer to open, but it's been about 15 minutes now.

BTW-Safe Mode is even worse! I've also tried Debugging mode, as well as VGA mode.

If the Event Viewer ever comes up, I'll post the results.

Thank you.

Edit: The Event viewer finally opened. I've attached the exported .txt files of the events, starting today (7-14-11) at 7:11 a.m.. I then restarted with the PnP service disabled, and repeated above, for comparison. If you see something that needs looking at, please let me know.


Edit: This afternoon I ran the tasklist /svc /fi "imagename eq svchost.exe" command (with PnP enabled).
After about 10 minutes it returned this: Loading the tasks information...|Error: Server execution failed

Attached Files


Edited by Kewpy, 14 July 2011 - 04:45 PM.


#6 Kewpy

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 06:58 AM

Anyone have any ideas or suggestions?
Thanks.

#7 Kewpy

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 02:22 PM

Still needing some help or advice on this.

Tried the VEW event viewer, but can't get it to run. I was able to use Process Explorer, but no luck understanding that. I did try to use it to shut down each process one at a time to see what was straining the system, but nothing affected the 100% CPU usage. The only thing that happened was after stopping one of the SVCHOST processes, a small window appeared stating the system would shut down in 30 seconds. I rebooted and disabled that service last, but nothing brought the high CPU usage down. The only thing that affects it is to disable the Plug and Play service in SERVICES.MSC and rebooting. Then the sytem runs very well, at 2 to 4% CPU usage. Programs work ok and it also surfs the Internet well.

When I first posted, someone named Louis had responded, but haven't heard anything back from him since, so I assume he's not able to help. If anyone else has any ideas or suggestions, please let me know.

thank you.

#8 mporeda

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 02:57 PM

I know this topic is a bit old but the problem seems as common as ever. I have a solution that probably won't help many people but since it's tricky to spot I wanted to post my experience in the hopes it helps someone whose problems result from many unused USB device drivers.

We use our laptops as part of a programming process for devices our company sells. Each device has a unique serial number and as a result we end up with device drivers that are installed with each device programming but never used again. Our laptops would slowly become unusable and digging in to the cause showed that only disabling the plug and play service would bring the CPU cycles under control. Since disabling this service results in an unusable laptop, we did more digging and found that our problem was the unused drivers, which aren't normally viewable in the Device Manager. To view these, you must:

1. Right click My Computer and Select Properties
2. Click Advanced tab
3. Click Environment Variables
4. Below the bottom Environment Variables window pane (System Variables), click New
5. For Variable Name, enter devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices
6. For Variable Value enter 1
7. Click OK. OK to close My Computer

Open Device Manager, click on View, select show hidden devices from the menu. We found large numbers of unused drivers in three sections on Windows 7 machines and two sections on XP machines. Disk Drive, Storage Volumes, and one other section. If you see a large number of unused drivers, uninstalling them through this Windows interface is painful to say the least. You need to click on each one and select 'uninstall' after which the computer stays busy and unresponsive for a while. The better approach is to use this free tool which allows you to view only unused drivers and uninstall all in one pass.

http://www.pro-it-education.de/software/deviceremover/

Be advised that you may not want to uninstall everything just because it isn't being used at that instant. Consider what you are uninstalling first.




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