Strange Spikes in CPU Usage

By skyseemstragic
Dec 21, 2006
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  1. I have a 3 year old Alienware PC with a Pentium 4 2.66GHz, 1 gig DDR ram and GeForce 6200 video card.

    Recently, I noticed that my CPU usage would spike from 0% to about 50% every few seconds like a heartbeat. This occurs even after a restart with no start up programs. I've ran Spybot, Adaware, AVG and have Norton installed.

    Looking at the process monitor, when the spikes occur every few seconds, the CPU usage jumps from 'System Idle Process' to 'System' then back to the prior. The memory usage, however, stays the same.

    I have tried rebooting with all start up processes disabled and this still occurs.

    However when starting the computer in safe mode, this does not occur.

    Any ideas as to how to make this stop? It makes gaming, music and videos impossible as it causes the entire system to hiccup every 3-5 seconds.
  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu Newcomer, in training Posts: 9,431

    If the hogging process is "System", then you have some driverish issues. Try uninstalling your software firewall and antivirus programs - check after removing each one if the problem is still there. Start with Norton - it is a huge bloated resource-eater.
  3. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 4,985

    Download either the free AVG or Avast antivirus programmes and either the free Zonealarm or Kerio firewall programmes from within this link - http://www.techspot.com/vb/topic58138.html

    Then, disconnect from the net and completely uninstall Symantec/Norton. If you have any problems in uninstalling the programme, take a look at this thread - http://www.techspot.com/vb/topic57112.html

    Once you`ve completely uninstalled Symantec/Norton, reboot your system and install whichever firewall programme you chose, followed by whichever antivirus programme you chose. Reboot your system the required number of times and reconnect to the net. Run the antivirus updates.


    Once you have done that you can go and read the Viruses/Spyware/Malware, preliminary removal instructions. Follow all the instructions exactly.

    Then post fresh HJT and AVG Antispyware logs as ATTACHMENTS into a new thread in the Security and the Web forum and we will then be able to see if you have any infections giving you trouble.
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