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Solved high cpu, high system idle process, and crappy sound

January 10, 2012 at 23:13:04
Specs: Windows XP, 1GB T2400 @1.83 GHz

i have a Dell 6400, running XP with SP3, which has been rock solid for 5 years even when running heavy load apps.

Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) appeared about 3 months ago, and has been repeating almost daily since, and my sound is skippy/crappy.

- system idle process is always high, typically 50-97% of CPU load, which is understandable if there are no other apps active HOWEVER when I intentionally open multiple heavy apps such as Photoshop, Maximizer and MS Access in quick succession, and the CPU use spikes to 90-95% capacity (as expected), system idle process still hogs the vast majority of the CPU use and leaves maybe 10-20% for all the other apps.
- i opened my task manager and listened to a MP3 file. System idle process was always high (as per above) and the sound 'skipping' increased proportionally with CPU load, which was being hogged by the system idle process

- i downloaded and ran the MS SDK debug program on the BSOD mini-dump file. This revealed ... "unable to load image ntoskrnl.exe", "Unable to load image portcls.sys", and "Unable to load image sthda.sys" Since the latter 2 are audio related I uninstalled my audio driver and re-installed the latest version
- i updated my Bios to the latest version
- i ran chkdsk and it was error free
- my system is virus free - i run Norton scans frequently

I've spent a couple of days googling to solve this. Any help would be appreciated, txs, Robert

Bug details follow
* Bugcheck Analysis *
* *
*******************************************************************************

DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL (d1)
An attempt was made to access a pageable (or completely invalid) address at an
interrupt request level (IRQL) that is too high. This is usually
caused by drivers using improper addresses.
If kernel debugger is available get stack backtrace.
Arguments:
Arg1: 88858fbb, memory referenced
Arg2: 00000002, IRQL
Arg3: 00000000, value 0 = read operation, 1 = write operation
Arg4: 85a0e017, address which referenced memory

Debugging Details:
------------------


READ_ADDRESS: 88858fbb

CURRENT_IRQL: 2

FAULTING_IP:
+1244
85a0e017 8588988f8588 test dword ptr [eax-777A7068h],ecx

CUSTOMER_CRASH_COUNT: 1

DEFAULT_BUCKET_ID: DRIVER_FAULT

BUGCHECK_STR: 0xD1

PROCESS_NAME: Idle

LAST_CONTROL_TRANSFER: from aa630a3b to 85a0e017

STACK_TEXT:
WARNING: Frame IP not in any known module. Following frames may be wrong.
805512b0 aa630a3b 872ca2a8 805513fc aa661edb 0x85a0e017
805512bc aa661edb 875d61c0 872ca2a8 aa661d11 portcls!CPortWaveCyclic::Notify+0xe
805513fc 8050232b 8055c0c0 ffdff9c0 ffdff000 sthda+0xeedb
80551428 80545eef 8055c4c0 00000000 0006b8a0 nt!KiFindFirstSetRight+0x9b
ffdff980 8055c4c4 f79a5000 000c84a8 00000002 nt!ExpCheckForResource+0x7
ffdff98c 00000000 80551440 00000001 000c84a8 nt!MiPageFileTraces+0x1244


STACK_COMMAND: kb

FOLLOWUP_IP:
portcls!CPortWaveCyclic::Notify+e
aa630a3b ?? ???

SYMBOL_STACK_INDEX: 1

SYMBOL_NAME: portcls!CPortWaveCyclic::Notify+e

FOLLOWUP_NAME: MachineOwner

MODULE_NAME: portcls

IMAGE_NAME: portcls.sys

DEBUG_FLR_IMAGE_TIMESTAMP: 48025ccc

FAILURE_BUCKET_ID: 0xD1_portcls!CPortWaveCyclic::Notify+e

BUCKET_ID: 0xD1_portcls!CPortWaveCyclic::Notify+e


See More: high cpu, high system idle process, and crappy sound

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✔ Best Answer
February 6, 2012 at 14:54:56

Right click on 'my computer' - manage - device manager - IDE/ATAPI controllers
dropdown and rightclick on Primary IDE channel - properties - advanced settings (transfer mode and current transfer mode should be set to DMA) If not, just uninstall the driver, this will requaire you to restart your pc in order to set your hardisk to DMA mode. Hope this info will solve your problems ^o^


#1
January 10, 2012 at 23:45:07

system idle process is always high, typically 50-97% of CPU load

That is fine,. System Idle Process should be around 90% on a properly running computer. Sysytem Idle Process is what the CPU does when it has nothing else to do which is most of the time. I booted my computer just over an hour ago and 50 minutes of the CPUs time has been taken up with that System Idle Process. That is good.

With such a low System Idle Process I would start looking at what else is hogging the CPU and not giving the CPU time to rest. whatever it is, it is not the Ssytem Idle Process.

Stuart


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#2
January 11, 2012 at 00:07:01

Hi Stuart: I understand the background function of the system idle process. It can be high when there is not much going on. It should not, however, be high when I have several "open application" requests underway concurrently. My CPU should be focused on these 'open' requests, and idle activities should be suspended or de-prioritized. At present, my System Idle processes consume say 85% of CPU while simultaneous requests to open Photoshop, Maximizer, MS Access and MS Excel are allocated 15% of the CPU collectively. That is not fine.

Regarding the suggestion to "start looking at what else is hogging the CPU " ... there is nothing else. System Idle Process is using up to 97%, and ALL of my other apps are humming along with 3% collectively.


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#3
January 11, 2012 at 00:48:06

It should not, however, be high when I have several "open application" requests underway concurrently

If it is, then that is a good thing. It means the CPU is processing instructions efficiently.

When System Idle Process is running the CPU is just processing NOP instructions just to keep it in sync with the rest of the system. This is something designed into the CPU and the CPU will not execute the idle process while the OS is throwing instructions at it. I think you are barking up the wrong tree with System Idle

Idle Process is using up to 97%, and ALL of my other apps are humming along with 3% collectively.

That is the perfect situation. Nothing wrong there at all. Ever since computers were invented CPUs have been able to process data faster than memory, hard disks and operating systems can. All CPUs in all computers spend most of there time doing nothing, waiting for memory and hard disk to catch up. System Idle Process cannot be suspended. If it were the computer would crash.

You need to be looking elsewhere for the problem. It is not system Idle Process.

Stuart


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Related Solutions

#4
January 11, 2012 at 04:15:43

In addition to Stuarts correct analysis you have a laptop which varies the CPU speed according to need. This is done to conserve battery life and prevent overheating.

If the system seems sluggish the first thing I would check would be temperatures. If the laptop is 5 years old the air flow is no doubt compromised. Check system and CPU temperatures in the BIOS or install a real time monitoring program like HWMonitor. Get it at the link below.

Try blowing out the vents with a compressor or canned air.

http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/hwmo...


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#5
January 11, 2012 at 10:16:50

the CPU will not execute the idle process while the OS is throwing instructions at it ... My Task Manager shows that the CPU is executing System Idle Processes - to the tune of 85-90% of the CPU - while i wait 1-2 minutes for 4 apps to open (using 10-15% of the CPU). During this wait period my CPU is 100% commited; there should be no idling ... while I wait wait wait ... for executable actions.

I also have a skippy sound problem, for both music and system sounds. It is clearly linked to the CPU load. Tunes sound fine when CPU load is low (say 5% capacity) and are unintelligble above 50% CPU.


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#6
January 11, 2012 at 11:04:41

Go to the link below and enter the service tag off your laptop to download all the latest drivers for your unit.

http://www.dell.com/support/drivers...


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#7
January 11, 2012 at 11:22:13

Hi, i'll investigate my temps - txs for the link. The behaviours I describe occur when my laptop has just been flipped on, i.e. when it is at room temp.

My fan cycles on/off at a reasonable rate (mostly off). This suggests temp controls and temp ranges are OK. I'll blast the fan anyway.

Skippy music?


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#8
January 11, 2012 at 11:24:16

I updated my drivers and bios yesterday. Problems continue.

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#9
January 11, 2012 at 12:26:51

OtheHill ... chip and CPU temps are 50-54C (122-129F) and fairly steady (measured 3X over an hour)

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#10
January 11, 2012 at 13:49:32

when was the last time you ran disk cleanup and defragged the hard drive?

severe fragmentation will also result in choppy sound/video

Answers are only as good as the information you provide.
How to properly post a question:
Sorry no tech support via PM's


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#11
January 11, 2012 at 13:57:05

i ran disk cleanup and defrag 2 days ago. Completed without problems

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#12
February 6, 2012 at 14:54:56
✔ Best Answer

Right click on 'my computer' - manage - device manager - IDE/ATAPI controllers
dropdown and rightclick on Primary IDE channel - properties - advanced settings (transfer mode and current transfer mode should be set to DMA) If not, just uninstall the driver, this will requaire you to restart your pc in order to set your hardisk to DMA mode. Hope this info will solve your problems ^o^

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#13
February 6, 2012 at 15:33:03

circlesuck

Your response is the reason I suggested rbowden1960 install all the drivers from the manufacturer's site. Good to have him check to though.

If you are running multiple memory intensive programs you need more than 1GB of RAM. When your RAM is all in use the swap file on the hard drive comes into play. If your hard drive is fragmented and/or too full (over 85%) the swap file process will be slow. Laptop hard drives are usually 5400RPM or slower so that doesn't help either.

Referring back to your first post see the link below in reference to your audio drivers.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/950616


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#14
February 7, 2012 at 14:41:29

Thanks, I followed your path and found ..

Device 0
- auto detect
- transfer mode = DMA
- current transfer mode = PIO ... No option to change or delete this

Device 1
- auto detect
- transfer mode = DMA
- current transfer mode = Not Applicable

Therefore i made no changes


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#15
February 7, 2012 at 17:38:00

If you can't set DMA mode then the motherboard drivers may not be installed. If you tried installing all the Dell drivers available then I suggest you remove the IDE controllers from within Device Manager and then reboot. Windows should find new hardware and install it.

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#16
February 7, 2012 at 19:34:51

THANKS - You nailed it. Following your suggestions, Windows reinstalled the device, the current transfer DMA option became available, the sound quality/video streaming is now perfect, my apps load/act faster, my hard drive activity has plummeted, background CPU is back to normal (ie low). You have given me back my computer! Thank you sooooo much.


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#17
February 7, 2012 at 19:41:08

circlesuck - see my comment above which i wrote to the wrong person. You were teh first to suggest the IDE path .. and it was the best/crucial answer - txs

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#18
November 7, 2012 at 06:54:01

that is freaking retarded I have been try to search the wev for a job but I cant load over half of the wedsite because the idle proccess is using 99 percent of the f---ing cpu

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#19
November 7, 2012 at 11:29:32

You would be better starting your own thread and not tag onto one that is nine months old. But as stated above, System Idle Process is not you problem.

The CPU is doing nothing, waiting for something else to do its thing like the hard disk or the internet connection or memory.

It is no the System Idle Process.

Stuart


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