100% CPU Usage all the time!Help!

January 15, 2006 at 23:40:40
Specs: Windows XP pro 5.1.2600 S, ?
Hi, i'm an idiot in computers but our home computer (used by different members of the family) is really dead slow, and i have discovered it has 100% cpu usage all the time and it's not good!! The latest virus scan with updated Kapersky was clean. I just learned about spyware so I downloaded an antispyware and im trying to get it running, but its too slow and it's bugging all the time and keeps going between Running and Not Responding (it runs about 2 seconds at a time)..so the scan will probably take a century! In Applications in Windows Task Manager there are no applications running (except the lavasoft ad-aware now) and it's still 100% cpu usage. In Processes the things that seem to take the most memory usage are: ATIMMC.exe, msnmsgr.exe, kavsvc.exe, explorer.exe (even though all applications are closed?? there is something i dont understand), EasyShare.exe, svchost.exe and qttask.exe. Earlier I tried to delete the Internet Temporary Files in the IE Tools/Internet Options but it bugged and I couldn't do it. Help!!! what is my problem and how can I fix it?? thanks!!


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January 16, 2006 at 07:35:41
Download & install CCleaner & use it regularly...also get AdAware & Spybot. All of them can be found here under "Most popular downloads":


If you have Real Player & Quick Time Player installed, dump them both & get the "Alternative" versions...find them at the above site under "Latest updates"

Run MSCONFIG & disable any unnecessary programs from loading at startup & stealing system resources:


This space for rent

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January 16, 2006 at 09:10:49
You can't close explorer.exe without loosing your desktop, and explorer should have hardly any usage unless you are indeed doing something.

Arrange the tasks by CPU usage (click CPU tab from task manager), SIP (System Idle Process) should always command the majority of your CPU usage, 95% average when doing nothing.

What is your SIP showing and what other tasks are listed below that and what % CPU usage are they commanding?

You'll be able to find the culprit, also their are applications known as TSR's (termiate and stay resident), this programs like AOL, real player and others that run in the background even after you've closed them or load themselves at startup even without opening them.

I believe jam already hinted how to take care of those.

- Below are tips that will help you -

Without adding RAM, you can significatly improve your system's performance with the things listes below.

- Always have Up-to-date Virus engine and Scan periodically or as needed.

- Spybot, Ad-Aware, Spywareblaster, CrapCleaner are all things you should never be without.

- Check your startup items (msconfig) for TSR's or memory hogs and disable them.

- Make sure Windows registry is uncluttered.

- Empty the Recycle Bin

- Delete .tmp files, run CHKDSK,and DEFRAG as needed.

- Delete files that begin with a tilde. When cleaning the system of garbage files, check for any files beginning with a tilde (~). Make sure all your applications, such as word-processing, spreadsheet, and graphics programs, are closed first, since sometimes the temporary file you are currently viewing uses a tilde. If the applications are closed, the tilde files can be deleted.

- Delete old .zip files that are'nt needed.

- Delete .chk files, and switch the swap file. If you've got permanent swap files, it's sometimes a good idea to set the swap file back to temporary and then permanent again to clean out any garbage.

- Check browser history and cache files. Check that the user history files and Internet cache settings are set properly (cache size). Delete the cache files and history files then reset the history files to no more than three days unless you specifically need to store that information
longer. By freeing up the cache, downloads from the Web actually speed up since there is more space available to store the temporary files. Clean out Windows temporary Internet files.

- Update drivers as needed. Make sure you've installed the latest drivers for your devices.


Leadtek sucks BIG TIME

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January 16, 2006 at 14:04:23
Thanks Sabertooth (and Jam), as you said I think I found the culprit -- i had ATIMMC in processes using up to 92% (even though I had nothing running?? anyway I don't understand everything)... So I ended that process and the CPU usage became normal I think... But! Then I ran the Lavasoft Ad-Aware, it found something called speer.dll (VX2) so I wanted to clean it but it couldn't delete it, I had to restart first, then I think it did it. But even after that I still had a file somewhere in Windows called speer.dll, is that normal? shouldn't it have erased it? Anyway at that point I downloaded Spybot and ran it and it found 5 more spywares which I fixed. But the computer is still quite slow. I tried to use the Diskcleanup in System Tools but I can't get it working. It stagnates forever on the first window which says "calculating free space... etc, this can take a few minutes"... But it takes a century, it never goes beyond the 3 little blue squares of progress, and I still get 100% CPU usage (the cleanmgr.exe uses up to 99), so I close the disk cleanup window, but the process still goes with 100% CPU usage, so I end the process... and end up with nothing done. Can you help on this? Thanks so much! and thanks for your long answer, I appreciated it, it helped me a lot since I'm quite new to computer maintenance!!


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January 16, 2006 at 15:35:58
P.S. When I say the Disk Cleanup bugs and keeps the CPU usage at 100%... I waited up to 3 hours before ending the process! Nothing moves! Even though it constantly says "Running" in Task Manager Applications (I would expect a "Not Responding" at that stage!)... So what can I do???


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January 16, 2006 at 16:47:42
Turn off system restore before you do any of this.

0. Download Crapcleaner and MoveOnboot.
1. Startup your system from safemode.
2. Run Crapcleaner, and clean out junk.
3. Use MoveOnboot to remove evasive files.
4. Turn off all startup items.
5. Run diskcleanup from safemode.
6. Run chkdsk afterwards and also defrag.

Reenable system restore and only critical startup items after you're done.

Leadtek sucks BIG TIME

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January 16, 2006 at 17:31:55
Agreed....run from safe mode with system restore disabled. Probably should have mentioned that earlier

This space for rent

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January 17, 2006 at 18:15:57
I have the same problem (100% cpu usage). My computer shuts off (without logging off,just completely shuts off)within a half an hour after turning it on. It even shuts off while I'm trying to reformat my computer. My computer hangs at the "Windows is shutting down..." after reaching 100% CPU usage. After I opened up the task manager, it listed "System" in the Image Name column and "SYSTEM" in the User Name column. There's no virus nor spyware on my computer. If I have Windows Media Player on, that program then takes up most of the CPU usage. But mainly it's the System SYSTEM that takes up all the usage when there's nothing running.

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