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100% CPU usage whenever I open or run anything

By moftasa ยท 14 replies
Apr 8, 2011
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  1. Well..... my cpu usage goes up to 100% whenever I open anything, explorer or fire fox or when I try to install a program

    that's my pc

    Processor : Inter(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 3.00GHz 3.00 GHz
    Installed memory : 4.00 GB
    Display adapter : Nvidia Geforce 8400 GS

    I tried the next. but didn't succeed to solve the problem:

    1- performed an virus scan using kaspersky and Avira.
    2- performed spyware scan using spyware doctor.
    3- performed malware scan using Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.
    4- reinstalled the OS several times ( tried windows seven ultimate 64 and 32 bit and windows xp sp3 32 bit ).
    5- formatted my hard disk then installed a fresh copy of windows.
    6- checked the CPU temperature and made sure it's fine.
    7- tried removing one of my 2 rams.
    8- tried working with the build-in VGA card instead of the nvidia one.
    9- tried restoring the BIOS default setting.
    10- even tried changing the processor itself ( but with an older one ).
    11- and of course tried to see which progress sucks up the cpu usage, and the result is that every program I open gets 90 to 100 % of the cpu usage!

    and yet I couldn't solve this problem.

    wonder if any of u can help me

    thanks in advance
  2. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,512   +65

    In the Task Manager, if you were to click "Performance" and then enable "Show Kernel Times" under the "View" menu, what do you see? There should be a red line which indicates kernel times. If the line is abnormally high, then that's a good clue this could be driver related or hardware related.
  3. moftasa

    moftasa TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for your reply!

    I don't know if that's abnormal or not, but you can check that photo and see

    sorry I couldn't post it as an image.

    Attached Files:

  4. Ultiweap

    Ultiweap TS Enthusiast Posts: 585

    Send us the list of your processes running
  5. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,512   +65

    The kernel times seem high, but not what I was looking for.

    Knowing what processes are running would be good for us too (as mentioned above). If I were to take a stab in the dark, I might guess you have two antivirus programs installed? Some of them don't play nicely together and can cause this exact behavior.

    Using hijackthis to generate a log might be useful too. You can post it here.

    Although I know you've done a virus scan, some viruses are very good at concealing themselves. You may need to use more specialized tools than Kaspersky/Avira and Malwarebytes/Spyware Doctor, like combofix.
  6. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,430   +185

    In addition to providing above data requested, you might also checkout Process Explorer.
    Among its many features (it's Task Manager on steroids!) when you minimize it, it provides a small icon with a real-time view of:
    > % CPU total usage (the green wave)
    > % usage of the process using the most of the CPU (the red wave)
    > Simply do a mouseover to see the offending process name
  7. moftasa

    moftasa TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks to all of u for all of your replies, really appreciated!

    In the attachment you will find a photo of process explorer as requested.

    I also made a CombatFix scan and the scan log is attached too.

    I'm working on a newly installed windows 7 professional sp1 64-bit, and I don't have two antiviruses installed, just Avira.

    Here is a list of my installed programs:

    Adobe flash player 10
    Adobe Shockwave Player 11.5
    Avira Antivir Personal
    Microsoft Net Framework 4
    Mozilla Firefox
    Nvidia graphics driver
    Realtek Ethernet Controller Driver
    Realtek High Definition Audio Driver
    WinRAR 4.00

    that's all!

    and here is a list of my start up programs:

    Realtek HD Audio Manager
    AntiVir Desktop


    hope these info can help.

    P.S : the program sucking most of cpu usage changes constantly, for example let's just say I have only firefox opened, so it takes about 90 % or so from the usage, then if I open explorer or internet explorer for example the total usage goes 100 % and my pc becomes extremely slow.

    Attached Files:

  8. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,430   +185

    Others may have more info/input, here's a couple thoughts

    1. Your screenshot happened to show PEV.exe with high CPU usage. i tried googling and found some people suggesting it was part of Combofix others saying it's malware. Were you running Combofix at the time?

    2. You keep mentioning IE and firefox in your descriptions. So try this too
    > Reset IE settings
    > Try running FF's Safe Mode option (so no FF addons etc. will run). To run FF without addons, Start->Programs->Mozilla Firefox->Firefox Safe Mode

    3. Try clean boot troubleshooting to see if it's a non-Microsoft startup
  9. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,944   +562

    Sounds like something is crashing in a nasty way. Only time I've seen behaviour like that is when something has crashed and affected the kernel. Sounds like it isn't actually the program you are opening that is the problem but something that broke before that all started happening. In my case a reboot fixed the issue but your problem is it is probably a startup program that is doing it. That includes services.

    If you are comfortable disabling services, you can try as many as possible, reboot and see if the problem is still present. There are obviously quite a few important ones that you shouldn't disable so google them or ask here first before disabling one that you aren't sure about.

    You checked your event viewer? I notice no-one has suggested it.
  10. moftasa

    moftasa TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks to all of u

    Thanks to all of you guys for helping me solving my problem.
    Actually the problem is in my processor, I tried my friend's processor ( dual core 2.7 )
    and everything worked great, so now I'm pretty sure it's my processor.

    Again thanks to all of u for your help, and sorry for taking me so long to reply, I've been busy.
  11. Blitzer

    Blitzer TS Rookie

    Watch for Errent Software for Lock Ups

    I just had a situation where my PC started to run slow or freeze erratically.

    After a lengthy investigation it turned out to be a small Gigabyte Motherboard power saving application which was turning off the power to my HDD's constantly.

    As soon as I disabled it from starting up my pc ran smoothly.
  12. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,562   +1,441

    in the TASKMGR, double-click on the column heading CPU; this orders the usage descending and places the big-pig at the top of the list
  13. Sev

    Sev TS Rookie Posts: 79

    I just skimmed thru the threads and no one has spoke up about this so i will, your using Win 7 on a single core CPU, not exactly the smartest idea, since the operating system needs X amount more of the resources just to run, and then having IE/FF/GC running also eats your resources granted i may be wrong and you may be having other issues, but i advise to atleast upgrade to a dual core there very cheap now pocket change can buy one lol
  14. Sev

    Sev TS Rookie Posts: 79

    lol.. i should have read the threads
  15. Tedder

    Tedder TS Rookie

    It's been two years but what the heck I'll give it a try.

    I have just set up an older computer for my wife on a P4 2.66 single core system with Windows 7 32 with 3GB memory. Since the installation any program that takes any amount of time to load either hangs entirely or lags quite a bit before loading. I have checked out the processes and it makes no difference what program initiates, ie: Firefox, Explorer etc., the CPU utilization goes up to 100% and then falls off after the program loads.

    I have exhausted the possibility that this is driver or single process that is responsible which leads me to wonder if your suggestion regarding the Dual core vs. Single core is the problem. Is this a known issue and if so, even though MS seemingly denies the requirement for a Dual core, is there a minimum Dual core CPU standard for Windows 7?

    Any info would be appreciated.

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