Lag spikes after format

By Wais
May 3, 2009
  1. I formated my computer and add in a new 500gb Harddrive and changed powersupply to a new one (same brand and same model). after installation I try out stuff like surfing webs and play games.. it has a lag spike that goes really really slow for like 5 sec and then back to normal and repeat after a 2 min or 3. I checked task manager and those program i open uses alot-all of my cpu speed, especially on games such as ffxi and starcraft. The CPU usage goes from a regular amount of a few % to 50%+ and sometimes 90%+. I had all drivers up-to-date. at first I thought it was the new harddrive so i took it out and use the old 300gb harddrive again. i install windows xp pro and update all drivers and the lag spike stays. I switch back to 500gb harddrive and format+ install everything again and still the same. i tried everything i know and i can't seem to fix the lag problem. plz help.

    System info:
    Microsoft Windows XP Professional
    Service Pack 3
    Intel(R) Core(TM)2 CPU 6600 @ 2.40GHz
    2.00 GB of RAM
    Motherboad: MSI SLI P6N Platinum
    "I use On board network adapter and soundcard"
    Video Card: Evga Nvidia Geforce 7950 GT
    Harddrive: WDC WD5001AALS-00L3B2 <== 500gb drive
    2nd Harddrive: ST3320620A5 <== 300gb drive
    CD-roms: TSSTcorp CD/DVDW SH-S182D and SAMSUNG CDRW/DVD SM-352B
  2. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,423   +77

    There is possibly some software running once every couple of minutes or so. This could be all sorts of things such as software looking for updates. This is not uncommon and takes a little experience to check all software to discover where the automatic update option can be turned off.

    Examples - java runtime, browsers, online messaging, anti-malware of all types, games, printer drivers, almost anything. Malware is also a distinct possibility - see the malware problem forum and follow the 8-step process.

    You could run msconfig and check all tabs to see what is automatically started with windows. If you have never checked before, you may be astonished. Also open task manager (ctrl-alt-delete) and watch the CPU. When you have established when the usage spikes to 100%, watch the 'processes' tab and spot some software appear at high utiliisation and disappear again.

    Check the event log to see if any messages occur at the time the usage spikes.

    However, I do note you have fully installed XP afresh on two separate HDD, so a hardware problem is also a possibility - it is just not likely to be the HDD !
  3. Wais

    Wais TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I tried turing off all starup service, window auto updates and all programs that i normally would open, but still the same.
    when i do the XP installation i only have1 Harddrive connected. I plug in the other one after installations are done.
    I notice CPU % usages goes up whenever i open programs or folder, but i think that is normal.
    The CPU usage goes up really high from a normal ~20% to 50/60--99%. it lags until CPU speed back down to <20%. Everything is fine when I watched downloaded shows and surf the internet, but lags when I play online games and watch streamvideos on website. I didn't try offline games because id ont have any. I notice that games runs fine when i am alone, but when i am near other players or in a place with alot of npc; Lag starts and cpu % goes all the way to 80%+ and then back to normal and again after 30sec-1min later and repeat. I only play "final Fantasy XI" and "Starcraft" on my computer and both lag as I stated. I dont think its my internet because I can download stuff with max speed which is 200+.
  4. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,423   +77

    Firstly, CPU should when idle be 0-2%. If you never see under 20% something is very wrong. Please name the applications showing in task manager processes which show anything at all % wise, especially when 'lagging'. I have to say your PC might be extremely compromised and acting as a malware server. I hope you have done the full 8-step checks on the malware forum.

    A less likely alternative is your video card is bad. Try reinstalling with the latest driver.
  5. Wais

    Wais TS Rookie Topic Starter

    The CPU usage always at 0-3% when i'm doing nothing. It stays above 20% when i play games and watch streaming video.
    I did the "8-step Viruses/Spyware/Malware Preliminary Removal Instructions", and i dont think anything is wrong.
    I have the lastest Version of driver for my video card.

    Attached Files:

  6. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,423   +77

    Sorry I am not an expert on the malware logs. If you want assurance that they are clean, you could try reposting in the malware forum, where there are experts.

    It is possible you actually have 'too-much' protection running, causing two or more protection programs to 'trip over' each other when monitoring your games. This is only a guess - again reliable advice on exactly that topic could come in the malware forum.

    AVG8 is now generally discounted by our knowledgeable ones. I would remove it. You are already running Avira, which is fine.

    The executable taking all your cpu is pol.exe, and googling that gives a lot of worrying responses. It is a play-online thingy (if it has not been hijacked by something else), and as you say you run online games, I assume you need it. I would carefully read all the google returns from "pol.exe" and find out how you can verify that the version you are running is absolutely kosher.
  7. wizmo

    wizmo TS Rookie

    Hey i am not very knowledgeable computer guy but i have been having the same problem maybe the fact i have same problem with same hardware will help.

    i use the computer mainly for pro tools recording and have a separate hardware profile with everything off and i still have these spikes. however they are not xconsitan. sometimes everything will run smooth and somtimes my computer will freeze opening IE

    Microsoft Windows XP Professional
    Service Pack 3
    Intel(R) Core(TM)2 CPU 6600 @ 2.40GHz
    2.00 GB of RAM
    Motherboad: MSI SLI P6N Platinum
  8. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,423   +77

    Are you up to looking at Wais' hijackthis.log file and comparing it with your own? Is there a common software factor - I am thinking the anti-virus, anti-spyware.....
  9. wizmo

    wizmo TS Rookie

    well... i encounter this problem with none of those anti spi stuff running. i have reformatted. updated all drivers windows etc. also defragged. ran hdd and mem tests

    am at a total loss of what to do please help
  10. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,423   +77

    Clutching at straws then .......

    Try a fixed-size virtual memory cache. On System properties/Advanced/Visual....virtual memory button gets you to performance options. On the advanced tab, check processor scheduling is for programs, memory usage is for programs, and set the virtual memory paging size to a Custom size, with max and min the SAME. How big ? Well at 2Gb real memory, I find 1000 is fine. You could experiement of course, some say 1.5 x real memory, but I think that is for quite low real memory. Plus XP-32 is limited to 3.2Gb memory anyway/.


    personally, I put my paging file on a second hard drive, but I doubt if it matters much.

    If this fails to improve matters, then I think you should be looking for logging going on (of your games for instance). In other words, when you are doing some of these things, there is lots of other activity on your hard drive. Check your system error log - is something moaning all the time? Check for things running that do not need to be. See my post#2. Some software like volume shadow copy running? Indexing service ? Some game with developer logging not turned off?

    See this mostly to do with removing unnecessary windows processes. And this (not sure if this is still specific to Dells, as it was to start with).

    Let me point out that some years ago, I had one PC that would consistently 'lock up' entirely two or three times a day. This went on for a significant part of my lifetime :eek: until one day I disconnected the CD drive completely. Problem gone. (the CD was never in use you realise).

    This is an illustration of how a technician will solve an intermittent bug - first by running absolutely bare-bones, then adding replacement hardware one item by one for testing. Unfortunately in a home environment you can rarely test by replacement, but you can run bare bones, and sometimes......
  11. jknappy46

    jknappy46 TS Rookie

    maybe we had the same problem

    I had a very simialr problem that i wound up solving this morning.... the read/wirte mode of my hard drive was wrong. to check go to device manager and check the advanced setting of your IDE channels, if it says it's operating in PIO that is your problem. now there are quite a few causes and solutions....

  12. Wais

    Wais TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I found out what caused the problem a week after I posted that last message. It was my CPU fan, I Replaced it with a New CPU Fan and everything works perfectly fine.
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