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Cpu Utilization Goes To 90+% On Random Applications


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#1 222fbj

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Posted 13 January 2007 - 01:59 PM

How should I go about isolating the cause of the symptoms below? I have installed Process Monitor to log activity but don't really know what I'm doing or looking for.

The Symptoms: After booting I may work for a few hours without a problem. Then an application (e.g., maxthon) will suddently and for no reason I can see - go to about 90% CPU utilization which effectively brings all work to a stop. The strange thing is these symptoms do not appear to be related to any application - the same events can occur using almost any app - including Process Explorer, Process Monitor, Windows Media Player, etc. And...these apps may have been working before without a problem.

After this happens, I usually kill the process and can contirue working. But about a third of the time, this is the begining of 'the end' . Meaning that ANY process I load afterwards will immieadely go to 90% cpu. And sometimes I can no longer even kill the process because I cannot launch Task Manager (I actually use Precess Explorer.) So I then power off/on and wait till the next occurence.

My PC info: P4, 1gbRAM, CPU is not overheating and memtest passes; XP Pro, SP2, Comodo Firewall, AnitVer, Spybot Search+Destroy. Maxthon browser. I use AutoRuns and Starter to make sure I know what is loaded at Startup. No Virus/Malware detected.

My Thoughts: I may have caused this by running Regseeker in 'Autofix' mode. But I don't recall exactly when or what caused this poblem to begin. I have a few old registry backups, but have added software since then and don't know what doing a registry restore will do. I also was no using XP System Restore. So at this point I don't think 'rolling back' is a real option. After many years without a real backup/restore plan I now realize I need one (which will be another project after I get this CPU problem fixed).

Thanks for any suggestions.

Edited by 222fbj, 13 January 2007 - 02:00 PM.


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#2 Walkman

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Posted 13 January 2007 - 03:07 PM

1. It very well may be that your hard drive is going south on you. You described the symptoms, but that's not cast in stone proof either that it is.

If you have access to another hard drive, I'd at least start backing up what I can, while I can.

2. It could be a memory issue (R.A.M. going bad).

What you may want to do is uninstall a few programs (one at a time - then rebooting), working backwards,.... meaning, uninstall what you installed last, until you go back until you know you didn't have the problem.

a. Are you connected to the Internet when you're experiencing these problems?

Oh.. in case I haven't mentioned it............. invest into what's needed to backup your hard drive. I've been through 2 of them so far in my life that went bad on me, but I ignored them both,,,, years worth of data and work,....... down the drain. I should still be kicking myself... but you live, and hopefully you'll learn from this, even if your hard drive isn't your problem. You may still have to reformat your hard drive, and that will mean erasing everything on it. Who knows? We'll see.

Post back after uninstalling a few programs that you can easily reinstall again.

#3 usasma

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Posted 13 January 2007 - 03:44 PM

Do the backup now. If this is a problem with your hard drive - you could loose everything!

Since you've mentioned the use of RegSeeker - this may be the cause of the errors. If this is the case, try a repair install of XP to restore the registry.

http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

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#4 222fbj

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Posted 13 January 2007 - 11:29 PM

Thanks for the suggestions. I'll do both (Repaire and go ahead with the backup system. I'm still interested in hearing other ideas on how to troubleshoot this problem...so pls add a post if you have a suggestion.

#5 usasma

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 10:29 AM

The issue here is the "randomness" of the problem. Usually hardware is pretty simple (when it comes to failures) and if it fails, it's predicable. Software, on the other hand, is pretty complex - so the randomness points to software as the culprit here.

Nothing in your system is truly random (IMO) - it's just that you haven't discovered what causes this yet. So troubleshooting would focus on figuring out how to reproduce the problem - that would also give us clues as to what's causing it.

Eventually you'll be able to figure if it's a Windows problem - or it's another software program problem. If it's the other software - then you either fix it or uninstall it. If it's a Windows problem, there's only limited ways to fix it - the repair install being the most effective while still retaining your data and programs.
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.




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