Computer becoming slow and drained from CPU after a while

June 11, 2014 at 14:09:28
Specs: Windows XP Home, AMD FX 8150 Eight-core, 3,62 GB RAM, GA-970A-DS3
Since May 2013 I have been tormented with a returning and everlasting hardware problem in my XP setup, which has continued to occur after a while in almost every OS installation, seemingly after installing the latest Windows drivers and videocard updates. I got hit by it again yesterday, and decided to do another clean boot.
Through the year, I have suspected the NVIDIA drivers, my chipset and especially my CPU itself - because this unit is the one being overloaded and eaten away.

What happens is that suddenly, my whole system just runs slow for no apparant reason. My games lag as much to cause me headaches, the system performs poorly in general and in Reason I can't manage my music projects because "Computer too slow to play song". Especially games like Starcraft II becomes completely inplayable - but they function all well in the beginning after the fresh reboot! And I had the hardware examined last year, and there were no traces of defect, so they function alright when the system doesn't screw it up.

I have tried everything, from changing the page pool, using other video drivers, avoiding Windows Update..
But mostly it seems to come after installing the latest Windows updates, and after a Google search today, it came to mind that Microsoft may in fact be messing with the updates and make them over-use the CPU to make people switch OS.

Can this be true? Does some of the Windows updates or the XP update application cause some kind of CPU overload?

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June 11, 2014 at 14:36:35
"Can this be true? Does some of the Windows updates or the XP update application cause some kind of CPU overload?"

No, this cannot be true. Most likely is that you have some malware infection. I would suggest doing a thorough scan for viruses.

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June 11, 2014 at 18:00:25
I scan once in a while. But I can say for certain it's got nothing to do with that.
My system has been fully formatted countless times, and it's the exact same problem that occurs over and over. Malware infections would give off more random/varied sorts of symptoms.

What I found earlier was this thread:
It added to my suspicion about the Windows updates..

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June 11, 2014 at 19:00:05
I'm curious, how will continually formatting & reinstalling the OS fix a hardware problem?

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June 11, 2014 at 22:23:28
Temporarily drop the ram to 2 gig or less and see if that makes a difference.

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June 12, 2014 at 05:38:51
Hello Comrade,

I was about to suggest the ram, as had a very similar problem some time back. Are the sticks compatible for sure? - have you tried juggling them about - one in one out - mix em up like. I'm sure you already tried that but sometimes its worth another go.

The other thing that springs to mind is you have a temperature gauge on the system? i use "speedfan" it's excellent.

ATB - BongFury.

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June 13, 2014 at 07:19:49
Thanks for the replies, anybody.

"I'm curious, how will continually formatting & reinstalling the OS fix a hardware problem?"

It's more to avoid the problem - because I think it might be caused by some of the installations. Maybe they had a bad influence on the drivers. But given my posting of this very thread, it's a mystery.

message edited by Comrade

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June 13, 2014 at 07:33:11

You mean pull one of the RAM sticks out of the PC? Wouldn't that just slow it down even more? Unless one of 'em is bad.


Hello there!
My RAM stick is definitely compatible with my OS and mainboard, if that's what you mean. I bought it back in 2012. And all my hardware worked just fine in the years until May last year. Then it suddenly just started freezing in games or work like a snail.
I'll hold on to that and try pulling the RAM when my system is up again. Then I can see if it makes a difference.

The temperature is a good point, though I have checked this a few dozen of times in HWMonitor. But I think I gotta do some more - most of these tests have been without my games or music programs running.
What was the limit now.. It's dangerus when it passes 90ยบ c, right?

Again, thanks.

message edited by Comrade

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June 13, 2014 at 14:28:05
I'm not sure if you have the 32 or 64 bit version of XP but 3.5 - 4 gig of ram is about where the 32 bit version might start having problems. It's an addressing issue and your system may act like it has less ram. I don't know if that would result in a slowdown but it's easy enough to check. Even if you've got it loaded up with running software it should run OK with 2 gig. If you still have the problem with 2 gig (or an amount in that area) then that must not be the reason.

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June 15, 2014 at 05:48:10
Hello again, sorry for the delay!
I've got WinXP 32 bit.
I tested my ram in Memtest x86 v5 at Friday - 0 errors. So I doubt it's the RAM.

Things are getting worse now. The PC has freezed during the Windows installation a dozen of times when I tried to reboot it. It performs poorly and slow already from after reboot. And right now I can't even make it to the welcome screen. It just shows a black screen after Windows logo.

What can I do at this point?? I was about to go in and test my hardware in 3D Mark and do a HWMonitor test. But now I'm stuck. Can it be my mainboard that halts completely?

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June 15, 2014 at 12:56:00
This is driving my completely insane.. Can somebody provide a helping hand? I was supposed to run some tests by now, but I can't even start my god forsaken machine. I have even spent depressingly many hours trying to flash-update my BIOS, and it won't even let me (Neither through Q-Flash ('ID Check Error') or the DOS-booted EFIFLASH, which are provided for my GIGABYTE mainboard).

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June 15, 2014 at 17:53:00
The ram issue I mentioned is not about bad ram. It's a problem 32 bit windows xp has in addressing gobs of it. In that case memtest may not show a problem.

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June 16, 2014 at 09:25:29
Thanks for the tooltips selection.
I tried repairing. It wouldn't do no good. It has no problem with turning on, but it wouldn't get past a black screen after the Windows logo (splash screen). I could start it up in fail safe mode, being slow as hell.

Oh alright.
The RAM should be alright. What is suspicious here is the motherboard and CPU.

I figured out how to flash my BIOS. It went okay, after I found the drivers for the right rev. of my MB (GA-970A-DS3 rev. 1.0). I was mistaken a bit and got the rev. 3 ones.

I've updated my BIOS to F3, and rebooted XP once again. I'm running tests now.
Again, as mentioned, my performance problem is rather periodic. So I'm gonna run these tests throughout the day(s).

Right now it seems to run OK. I have tried blowing dust out inside the cabinet, but I wonder if there can be a lot of hidden dust behind my CPU - as I can't take it off (due to cooling paste).

message edited by Comrade

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June 16, 2014 at 16:06:28
"but I wonder if there can be a lot of hidden dust behind my CPU"
All you have to do is get the dust out of the cooling fins, also both sides of all fans & blow through all openings into your power supply.
Use a soft bristled non metallic paint brush where needed.

Information about cleaning computer components
Getting The Grunge Out Of Your PC, Fred Langa cleans the dirtiest PC he can find, and along the way shows you how you can easily tackle yours. There are 7 pages.
Quiet noisy computer fans with a drop of oil
Clean & oil computer fans

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June 17, 2014 at 16:21:32

Alright - thanks for the links. I just wondered if there could be dust inside the CPU itself, and not just in the fan. I searched quite a bit too. PC is clean now.

Finally, here's for the reports:
Two HWMonitor analyses:
- Temperatures does seem high, esp. on the last one. Should I change the fans? It has freezed a dozen of times, so makes sense.

And here, 3D Mark results:

message edited by Comrade

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