Explorer.exe using 100% CPU Usage!

September 4, 2005 at 22:36:59
Specs: Windows XP Home Edition S, P4 2.25GHz CPU / 1.25GB R

OK, here's the situation...

When I switch my PC on, and XP loads up, I get a "Dial-up Connection" prompt - This wasn't happening a week ago. If I close it, it comes back.

If I connect to the internet, my CPU Usage goes up to 100%, and "explorer.exe" is the program using up all the CPU Usage. If I close "explorer.exe" whilst online, the CPU Usage goes back down to a respectable level. As soon as I re-open "explorer.exe", the CPU shoots back up to 100%.

If I close "explorer.exe", disconnect from the internet, then re-open "explorer.exe", the CPU Usage, again, runs at a respectable level. As soon as I re-connect to the internet, the CPU Usage quickly hits 100%.

I'm pretty sure my PC's infected with something, but I don't have a clue what with.

I haven't found copies of "explorer.exe" anywhere where they shouldn't be, and unfortunately haven't found anything online that has helped me out in the slightest in regards to this particular situation.

I have run full system scans with the latest updates and definitions on Norton, Spybot, Ad-Aware, Trojan Hunter, Microsoft AntiSpyware, NoAdware and Swat It, but they have found nothing of any severity.

Any suggestions? This is really bugging the hell out of me!


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September 5, 2005 at 09:01:30

This free
On-line Spyware Scan
should find it for you.
I worked on a laptop for a friend and he had the same problem. We ended up uninstalling Norton completely and using Avast! and his problem was cured after Avast! found the other problems Norton missed. He was on DSL and couldn't connect, also use a good firewall....I installed Sygate on his laptop and DISABLED the XP firewall and all works well for the past 7 months.

Hopefully my advice will help you...Please post back with your results....thanks

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September 5, 2005 at 14:06:45


I scanned my PC with "On-Line Spyware Scan" and removed everything it found, but the problem is still there.

I haven't yet tried Avast! and have recently renewed my subscription with Norton (which made no difference) - Do you have to pay to use Avast!, or is it free?



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September 5, 2005 at 15:49:28

Avast is free, you can get it here:
Avast! 4 home edition

I also noticed you didn't do a system restore? You may try that too before uninstalling Norton.
If the restoration works, then you'll have to run all your up-dated spyware progs and scans again. If it doesn't work, make sure to undo that restoration before trying another one.

There really is light at the end of the tunnel for you....it just may take a little of your time...I spent 5 hrs cleaning up the other guys PC and getting it running back up to speed. I remember having to keep the task manager open and constantly shutting down the IE that was up to 100% in order to get my tests to run properly.

Give it a shot, and if Avast doesn't make a difference, you can always reload your Norton. Avast doesn't take up 1/2 the resources that Norton does and also has free on-line up-dates as you surf the net.

One more free prog to use is
Spyware Blaster

Hopefully my advice will help you...Please post back with your results....thanks

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September 5, 2005 at 21:25:29


I haven't done a system restore, no - What exactly does this do?

Should I uninstall Norton before installing Avast? Or is there a way I can "disable" Norton and still install Avast without any conflicts occurring, but without having to uninstall Norton?

Thanks again,


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September 5, 2005 at 22:05:30

you can leave Norton on your PC, just make sure to turn it off when you do the avast viru scan

Hopefully my advice will help you...Please post back with your results....thanks

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September 7, 2005 at 08:46:15

I'd recommend if you don't get the problem fixed turn off system restore and boot into safemode with networkign and do a scan with Http://housecall.trendmicro.com see if that will get rid of it. And also rename the shell in the reg to explorer.exe if the problem persist.

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September 7, 2005 at 08:49:45

sorry for this double post but for the reg option pm me and i will help u with it if u need it just becuse i don't wana be responsible if u are going into the reg looking for "shell" and change the wornge values.

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