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CPU usage is at 100% all the time


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#1 Chris4835

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 02:23 PM

This is Widows XP professional. I deleted tons of junk already. Did all the virus scans and every thing else I could think of. But the Task Manager shows 100% even if nothing at all is running. Except, when I boot it into Safe Mode then it's down to 3%.See attachments.

Now it has only 33-37 processes running. I know the memory should be much more than just 512 MB, of which the video card uses 32 MB. I'm not sure if I upgrade the memory to the max of 2 GB that the board can handle, that this will solve the problem. I'm guessing that one or more processes are the problem, as is apparent when running in safe Mode.

My question is, how can I tell which process is the culprit?

Edited by hamluis, 28 October 2011 - 08:57 AM.
Moved from XP to Am I Infected.


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#2 Allan

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 02:29 PM

Open task manager to the Processes tab and sort on the cpu column with highest usage at the top. I'm guessing it's almost certainly a spyware issue, but let's see.

#3 Chris4835

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 02:59 PM

Thanks Allan for the quick reply.

(sort on the cpu column with highest usage at the top).


SORT? If I right-click on the CPU column I get the following warning:Changing the priority call may cause undesired results including system instability. I just want to make sure if this is the way to sort CPU usage, before I actually try it. Pleas confirm.

#4 Allan

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 04:01 PM

You want to double click on the title "cpu" at the top of the column (one click sorts ascending, two clicks sort descending) You should not see ANY message when you sort the column.

#5 Chris4835

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 04:57 PM

Got it Allan. At the top is: wuauclt.exe SYSTEM. So could this be the culprit? But with Sysinternals shows it as Windows Update. So what to do now?

#6 Allan

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 05:16 PM

How much of the cpu is it using? You said the cpu is pegged at 100%. Is that file using 100%?

#7 Chris4835

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 06:46 AM

It is using 98%.

#8 Allan

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 07:49 AM

Okay. Clearly there's no way Windows Update should be pegged that high. I strongly suggest you post in our Am I Infected forum. My guess is malware - but either way let's be sure before we look elsewhere.

#9 Chris4835

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 08:28 AM

OK Allan, I'll try to find the forum and post there.



Mod Edit: I moved topic to Am I Infected ~ Hamluis.

I see my whole post is here now.

Here is some additional info: I got this used computer from a friend that moved away. It looks like he upgraded from Windows 98, without doing a clean install, as the HD. is still FAT 32. He must have had this problem too. As there was malwarebytes and highjackthis, reference to. After using them and fixing every thing they found, and the problem still remained, he just gave up. If he would have left me the Windows CD I wold have done a clean install and I'm sure everything would work fine.

Edited by Chris4835, 28 October 2011 - 02:37 PM.


#10 IguanaGrrl

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 12:36 PM

This very well might be a memory leak caused by a WinXP update. I've been researching a very similar situation, but haven't been able to cure mine (nor have I been able to receive much help from people here, unfortunately :( )

One of the things I've read suggested is to stop the windows update service altogether, rename the folder, and then restart the service - this will cause it to re-write all of the files associated with it and hopefully fill the hole.

Start -> Run -> type cmd in the box and click ok to open a Command prompt window
type net stop WuAuServ
That will stop the windows automatic update service.

Type cd %windir%
That takes you to your windows install directory

Type ren SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution_.
This will rename the config for Windows Update

Type net start WuAuServ
Restart your computer

At this point, your Windows Update configuration should be rewritten and should hopefully fix the leak. Unfortunately, this did not work for me, as my system was unable to stop the service, but I'm going to keep on trying other options...

#11 Chris4835

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 01:55 PM

Thanks for the tip, iguanaGrri. It might be worth a try. But first I'll go and post in the oher forum and see what kind of solution they might have. Actually I thught I might be able to just stop that process. But it came right back on the next reboot.

#12 Chris4835

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Posted 30 October 2011 - 09:39 AM

Hi IguanaGrrl. I just tried your suggestion. After I typed in;
net stop WuAuServ then pressed enter button I got the following message, The requested stop or pause is not valid for this for this service. So I'm still where I was at the beginning.

Has anyone ever solved this 100% CPU usage in this forum? I even ran the AVG tuneup tool which found 1,324 problems and fixed 1,321. Right after that I installed WiseFixer. It also found hundreds of problems but they wanted $48.95 to register their program.

It looks like all of the programs people recommend are all registry cleaners and junk file removers. But none seem to address the real problem, of why the CPU usage is at 100% all the time. On my other computer I have over 60 processes versus this one that has only 29 at the present, yet on that computer the CPU usage is only 3%, if I don't run any other programs.

#13 Chris4835

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 02:10 PM

I finally tracked down what causes the 100% CPU usage problem. It is definetly caused by the WUAUCLT, the automatic Windows update. When I disable it the computer runs perfectly normal and pretty fast. And it is a pleasure to use.

Unfortunately with Automatic Updates off, I'm unable to download any updates from Microsoft at all. Someone said there is a bug in the Automatic Update program and that Microsoft has a fix for it. But I have not be able to find the fix yet. so that's why I'm asking for help here one more time. Someone must know where the fix is and how I can get and install it.PLEASE

#14 Chris4835

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 02:14 PM

Automatic Updates is now FIXED. Thanks to the post by IguanaGrri
I spent a couple of months and many, many hours trying all kinds of solutions. But none of them helped. Finally I tried the Memory Leak solution again. It still didn't work the first time.

Then I tried again, typing each letter carefully. This time I noticed the, 'underline' at the end of Distribution_. Then as soon as I re-booted the computer, it right away started downloading 134 MB of updates and the CPU usage was back to normal. Later on, when I looked in My Documents folder I found the following text in a notepad:

net stop "Automatic Updates"
del /f /s /q %windir%\SoftwareDistribution\*.*
net start "Automatic Updates"
wuauclt.exe /detectnow

I certainly did not put that there. I was always wondering. Why text_words_sometimes are seperated by_this? Maybe there is a programmer on here who has an explenation.




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