High CPU usage when connected to the Internet

By TorturedChaos
Mar 25, 2013
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  1. As the title says, I have a computer here that when its connected to network/internet - it has high CPU usage and runs REALLY slow. Core0 will sit between 50-80%, and core1 between 10-30% when doing nothing at all on the computer.
    I have ran a full scan with AVG, then read AVG can cause this so I uninstalled AVG and gave Avast! a try. Full scan with Avast! shows nothing. Also gave it a full scan with Spybot S&D, it found a few things to removed but didn't seem to help the speed at all.

    Also when I first boot the computer up it takes a VERY long time. From pressing the on button its about 7-10min to see the desktop, then another 5-7min after I see the desktop before I can do anything. First 20min or so after I get the desktop up and running tho, the CPU usage stays very high whether its connect to the internet or not. After 30-40min from pressing the start button, if the computer isn't connect to the network, I can start to use it - but even then it runs very slow, and isn't much use having it disconnect from the network :p.

    I have turned off any background services or auto starting programs that are not required, and I went through the task manager and killed any processes that are not required (Carbonite, QuickBooks background process, things like that) that I thought might be connecting to the internet and slowing things down.

    The computer is a Dell Optiplex with WinXp Home SP2. Dual Core P4 CPU and 2 gigs of ram.
    I know its not a very speedy computer, but up until a week ago it ran just fine for what the book keeper needs to do on it (little bit of internet and email, an QB Pro 2011).

  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    Have you thought about replacing the power supply? Why haven't you installed Service Pack 3? With only SP2 installed, you're missing some 300+ updates
  3. TorturedChaos

    TorturedChaos TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 839   +29

    Computer has been sitting at the book keepers house. She isn't the most computer savy, and I didn't want to break it while it was 45min away from me.

    I don't think its a hardware issue (such as PSU). When I boot in safe mode or boot Linux from a USB drive it runs perfect. So something is loading under normal windows boot that is eating CPU cycles, but isn't showing in task manager.

    I finally decided to just reformat the computer. It doesn't have much software installed on it, and the book keeper really needs it back. I figure it will take me less time to re-install the dozen or so pieces of software on it than chase down the issue.

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