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CPU Usage Unusually High


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#1 peasandcarrots

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 07:56 AM

First of all, as I'm sure you receive a ton of posts on slow-performing computers, let me assure you that I have gone through the steps outlined in the Slow Computer Checklist located here: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic44690.html. Unfortunately, it did not resolve my problem.

I would say that my issue started rather suddenly a couple of weeks ago. While booting my PC, I noticed that it got stuck on the Windows XP splash screen for longer than usual. The progress bar had stopped moving and I was about to do a cold shutdown when XP finally launched.

I should ask that I have not installed new software on my PC in quite a while, nor have I been visiting shady websites. I mainly use my PC for home recording of music, which brings me to the next issue I noticed after booting.

When my computer was functioning normally, I would have no problem running my recording software (I use Cockos Reaper) along with other programs such as Google Chrome or VLC Media Player. I would regularly listen to music with VLC while jamming to it using Reaper without any issues. However, when my PC performance problems appeared, I noticed that even running Reaper on its own is now problematic. Playing guitar or keyboard through Reaper is now very choppy.

As an example of bad performance, I have Google Chrome as the only running application, and CPU Usage in the Windows Task Manager continually jumps anywhere from 4 to 65%.

I'm starting to think the problem might be hardware related.

I am running an old HP Pavilion a320n with the following specs:

  • 2800+ AMD Athlon XP Processor (2.08 GHz)
  • 1.18 GB of RAM (One 1GB stick, one 256MB stick)
  • 120GB Ultra DMA Hard Drive

If you require further information on my part, let me know. Thanks in advance for any help. I have used this forum once in the past and the service I received was very much appreciated.

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#2 Allan

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 08:11 AM

Which process is using the cycles (open task manager to the processes tab and sort on the cpu column)?

#3 peasandcarrots

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 12:58 PM

Hi Allan,

I've attached a screenshot of the processes as they appear right after booting without opening applications.

Attached Files



#4 Allan

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 02:44 PM

that screenshot does not tell me how much of the cpu is being used or what the most active processes are. Please sort on the cpu column and let us know.

#5 peasandcarrots

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 03:08 PM

Granted, I did not sort on the CPU column in the screenshot I attached, but it contains the list of all processes. If you look at the CPU column, all CPU processes are at 00, save for four:

  • System Idle Process at 82
  • avgrsx.exe at 14
  • explorer.exe at 02
  • System at 02

If you really need a new screenshot, let me know, but all the information you requested is there.

#6 Allan

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 03:25 PM

Okay, I had no way of knowing that was the entire list of processes. Please see this thread: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic168841.html

#7 peasandcarrots

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 10:18 AM

Thanks for the link, but I doubt that AVG is the problem. I understand that in the screenshot I gave you, it was taking up 14% of CPU, but for instance, as I am typing this, all AVG processes are at 00. Also, I have been using AVG for a couple of years now, without any problems.

Another reason why I don't think AVG is the culprit is because my problem starts even before Windows has finished loading. I could be wrong, but I don't see how AVG would make the booting process stick at the Windows XP boot screen (the black screen containing only the Windows XP logo and a "progress bar").

I should also mention that anytime I do something, the hard drive seems to be working unusually hard. Last night I purchased and installed more RAM, bringing the total to 2 GB, and it didn't improve the situation in the slightest bit.

#8 frankp316

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 12:12 PM

AVG ain't what it used to be. In the last couple of years, it has become a resource hog. So AVG could very well be the problem. Maybe it's time to switch. There are products like AVG, AdAware, Spybot that were good several years ago but have declined badly and have been eclipsed by other products. I understand people don't like to change. But sometimes you should.

#9 peasandcarrots

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 02:42 PM

I completely uninstalled AVG, and ran my PC without any Antivirus at all. My problem persists both when booting and trying to run applications in Windows XP.

I am experiencing CPU spikes when running applications with which I had no problems running a couple of weeks ago.

#10 Allan

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 02:45 PM

You need to post which process(s) is using the cpu when it spikes. Meanwhile, you might want to post in the Am I Infected forum.

And I strongly urge you to NOT run your system without a good AV installed and active (and IMO, AVG does not qualify as a "good" av).




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