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[Help] - CPU usage at 100%


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Please help if possible.

I recently moved home, set up my girlfriends laptop (Dell Inspiron) as the home PC. Have carried out all XP updates, installed Norton anti virus and then my Internet line onto the machine.

Can't work out why but machine is incredibly slow and is running at 100% CPU. Have removed every program that is not absolutely neccessary and it still runs at 100% CPU.

I have had an IT specialist who happens to bea friend loot at it and he thinks the next step is to re-install the OS.

Any ideas?


Title Edited - Please follow new posting rules from now on.


Edited by Zxian
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Nothing stands out as using up CPU.

It tends to be whatever I am using, i know that sounds stupid but opening task manager or changing from apps to Processes within task Manager takes it up tp 100%CPU on it's own.

I have the machine sitting next to me right now and I have my documents and task manager open. With only these 2 it is idling at about 30 CPU and if I touch anything that goes up to 100%.

There doesn't seem to be anything specific gobbling up CPU. Systrem idle is running at about 80% but as I am aware I shouldn't worry too much about that?

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Does this happen all the time, or just when you first boot up into Windows? I know that, although necessary, anti virus programs (of which Symantec is one of the worst offenders) eat a lot of resource, especially if they are trying to check for updates and/or do a system scan on first log on of the day, ie it may have missed a scheduled system scan during the night, so runs it the next time you boot your PC up. I would disconnect from the Internet, uninstall the anti virus program, to see if this is what is causing it.

On the other hand, if you have an unattended Windows CD/DVD, you can't beat a clean install. In my experience, this is often by far the quickest solution, even though you don't get to the bottom of the root cause of the problem (and the obvious experience you get from going through the pain!!!)


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I have had a similar problem with 100% CPU utilization also on my windows xp boxes. I found a problem with norton that is a know issue. the only difference it makes in my situation is that I am using symantec Anti-Virus 10.0 corporate edition. I don't know what is changed in the consumer version but that is what I found on that product. The link to at least this issue is http://service1.symantec.com/SUPPORT/ent-s...niver=sav_ce_10

Not sure if this will help but I have had many complaints about this with my users

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Hi guys,

I have uninstalled norton and the same thing still keeps happenning. I have totally stripped down the amount of processes that are running and that doesn't seem to make a difference either.

I am considering just uninstalling the OS and then starting again from becasue I have uninstalled pretty much everything else thus far to see if it makes a difference so the re-install will be quite easy. Obviously let me know if you can think of a way that is less extreme.

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I second the sysinternals post - use Process Explorer to see exactly what is using CPU on the system (you can even see which thread if you so desire). If you have a few processes using significantly more CPU than the others at idle, then you should be able to get a lot of information about those processes via Process Explorer (you should also be able to kill any offending processes). It sounds like a very odd problem indeed. Does this same issue occur if you boot into Safe Mode?

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