Processor running at 100% all the time

By Aximilator ยท 29 replies
Jul 2, 2010
  1. Hello,
    My Desktop has 1GB ram and 2.19ghz processor. I have nothing on startup, i have no programs running, and i just recently reinstalled xp home edition. It runs super slow and when i go into task manager it says the CPU is running at 100% while the page file usage is at 512. I do not know what to do to make it faster. Im pretty sure it is not supposed to be that high all the time. I have plenty of disk space left. I have 40GB drive with 18 free.

    My system is a Gateway 300s. I ran comodo registry cleaner it found over 600 problems and it fixed them, and it did not do anything. Could it be a problem with the CPU itself because it is 7 years old. Is it just losing its effectiveness?

    Please help. Thanks in advance.
  2. Ididmyc600

    Ididmyc600 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,415

    which process is using 100% , most of the time TM will show system idle at 99% with the odd service using anywhere from 1-4%.
  3. Aximilator

    Aximilator TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 63

    But thats just it, there isnt any process that is running that is near that high...
  4. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Is task manager actually saying (at bottom of window) CPU Usage at or near 100???

    In Task Manager, you can click Processes tab, then click on CPU column header to sort processes by CPU usage.

    As Ididmyc600 mentioned, the System Idle process often shows a high number which is good. Because CPU Usage = 100% - (System Idle process CPU usage)
  5. Aximilator

    Aximilator TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 63

    Yes at the bottom it says 95-100% all the time. When i look through the processes none look too high, they are all around like 7% and the System Idle process is at 75%. So it is not good. Good to see you again LookinAround.
  6. TonyGuitar

    TonyGuitar TS Rookie Posts: 90

    I think you can safely ignore the Idle process at the bottom...

    Any other process listed using too much resources is a worry though. Here are a few that bother me..

    MsMpEng......................heavy cpu hog.........Microsoft security
    SZServer.exe.................very heavy cpu hog....StopZilla from iS3... malware suspect

    Vsserv.exe...........busy but not too greedy
    liveserv.exe...........busy but not too greedy
    wmiprvse.exe...........busy but not too greedy

    Internet Explorer8 is slooow and a cpu resource hog.

    Have other browsers..Opera is fast. FireFox is good. Chrome is good, Safari is so-so.

    Some Java routines and updates are slooow too.

    That SZServer.exe from STOPzilla is a terrible cpu resource hog. Making a new thread on that. I removed it but another copy continues to run in TaskMngr and STOP process has no effect on it at all. I suspect a trojan using it as cover..
  7. Aximilator

    Aximilator TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 63

    Ok thanks, i did have a few of these, and seems to run tad bit better but not like it should.
  8. Tryckee

    Tryckee TS Rookie

    Put another GB of RAM in there.
  9. TonyGuitar

    TonyGuitar TS Rookie Posts: 90

    More on SZServer.exe Removal.

    SZServer.exe, [ resources hog], runs all the time making it impossible to remove.

    Re-Boot using F8 key to go into safe mode.

    change read only attribute of SZServer.exe by changing directory to the iS3 directory.

    cd C:\Is3...

    attrib SzServer.exe -A -R...[removes read only, making it open to delete command]

    del SZServer.exe..[.Now the app should be gone]

    Can't do this in normal boot-up as SZServer is always running and thus can not be deleted.

    Attrib and del are Dos commands.
  10. Aximilator

    Aximilator TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 63

    "Put another GB of RAM in there." I have plenty of ram. It is not running over 600mb so that is not the problem. I do not have that "SZServer.exe" process running so it is not that. It is not an program hogging anything. It is something else.
  11. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Hi Aximilator

    Good to see you again too! :)

    A couple things
    1) If, in fact, you;re seeing CPU Usage=100% while System Idle is about 75% then something is very strange if not downright wrong just given the math where CPU Usage should be about= (100% - System Idle)

    Open Task Manager. Click Process tab then CPU column to sort processes by CPU usage (highest to lowest). When you see CPU Usage=100% at bottom of Task Manager hit PrintScreen to do a screen capture and then attach the .jpg

    2) Let's also check your Virtual Memory settings
    Rt click My Computer->Properties->Advanced
    Then Performance Settings->Advanced
    Then Virtual Memory->Change

    Could you do a screen capture of your Virtual Memory settings also?

    3) Here's a handy tool to monitor CPU usage and see which process is most responible
    • Install Process Explorer
    • Click Options and set Hide when Minimized, Allow Only One Instance, Confirm Kill, CPU History in Tray Icon
    • Whenever PE is open, you can click CPU column header to see processes sorted by CPU usage. When usage high, check top of the list, OR
    • Minimize PE. Note the red and green waves through its system tray icon
      • Green indicates total CPU usage
      • Red indicates the process using most the most the CPU time
    Simply hover the cursor over the system tray icon to get info about CPU and process usage. Whenever you see alot of red and green (meaning high CPU usage and one process is consuming most of it) in the system tray icon, just hover your mouse over it to see which process is consuming the most of it

    /* edit */
    Note: Using PE tool, you can also click File->Save As to capture the system usage of all processes in the display to a text file you can also attach if need be
  12. Aximilator

    Aximilator TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 63

    I will do this as soon as i can for you but it may be a few days. AS it is my friends pc. But i will try to get it done quickly so u can see.
    Thanks for all the help so far people!
  13. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    No worries. And no need for speed for me. Whenever is convenient is OK
  14. esbo

    esbo TS Rookie Posts: 102


    I seem to have a similar even weirder problem!!

    I have a similar problem but I have a X2 processor, but just one core is running near 100% when I look at the the performance window graph, the system idle process shows about 97%
    but the CPU usage overall says about 47% !!
  15. esbo

    esbo TS Rookie Posts: 102

    You might like to take a look at my thread entitled "How much thermal paste"

    I had a very similar problem, it seems it was a hardware issue, possibly badly seated memory.
    Had you been 'messing around with the innards of your PC?

    A hardward problem does fit the bill in away, the CPU may be getting low level faults, possibly parity errors etc... which might not show up as a process.

    Anyway, that's something for you to consider.
  16. esbo

    esbo TS Rookie Posts: 102

    I had made some other changes, removed a blue-tooth start-up process but I doubt that was the cause.
  17. Aximilator

    Aximilator TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 63

    "I had a very similar problem, it seems it was a hardware issue, possibly badly seated memory.
    Had you been 'messing around with the innards of your PC?"

    I have, i do mess around with the inside. But i have checked and the memory is seated properly.

    "A hardward problem does fit the bill in away, the CPU may be getting low level faults, possibly parity errors etc... which might not show up as a process."

    What are "low level faults possibly parity errors?"





    Here are the pics you requested.
  18. esbo

    esbo TS Rookie Posts: 102

    Well firstly it is not running at 100% all the time.

    What is chrome doing it is obviously doing something as it us using CPU.

    That WDsmartware is not as smart as you think I would guess, why do you need that running?

    I mean you say you have no programs running but you have at least 3!!

    What have you installed into Chrome? Or are you on a page with pile of flashy graphics?
  19. Aximilator

    Aximilator TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 63

    I know, It is at 100% for like a minute and then 30seconds of it being like 40 and repeat. Yes i had chrome open this time and it did have "flashy graphics" but it still acts the same with chrome closed.

    Wdsmartware is the program for the external harddrive my friend has plugged in and it periodically backs up the pc when there has been a change or software added.
    It was running slow before that so that is not the problem.

    All of the programs i have running do not change the performance that much because i have closed them all and had only necessary processes and it was slow so it is no any process hogging it. there is some other problem. Is the cpu just going bad or something? As it is 7 years old.
  20. esbo

    esbo TS Rookie Posts: 102

    Your attempts at demonstrating the problem are rather poor, you have a lot of things running and it all looks like legitimate processing to me.
    Your processor is about half the power of the one I just upgraded from, it is a quarter fo the power of the one I have now.

    It' looks fairly normal for your processor and the overblown applications using fancy graphics as they tend to do these days.

    OK there maybe some problem if it was faster before you reinstalled, but I expect your reinstalled because things were getting slow?

    Start off by getting rid of *all* the stuff you do not need.
    And I mean all, go into msconfig and unchecked all the startup stuff.
    Also uncheck al the non-Microsoft services.
    See what it is like then and then gradually re introduce stuff.
    Get rid of any chrome extensions too.
    You can see yourself chrome is using 42% cpu!!

    Basically you have to simplify the problem.
    Further more your processor is coming to the end of it days, there are one on the market will will do 10 and maybe 30 times as much as yours!!!

    Chip makers want you to upgrade so they can make money, application developers will assist them in doing that by assuming you have a better processor, unfortunate but true!!
    Graphic will be higher resolution requiring more processors.

    Maybe the is something else wrong with your set up but I think maybe an upgrade is due sooner or later.

    Also you should have service pack 3? (as I have).

    Sorry if this sounds all a bit mean, I don't mean to be!! :)

    (the reason I upgraded was because i felt my system was struggling at times) remember 'updates' are being installed all the time
    automatically often, they do not tend to speed things up)
  21. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184


    If you go back to my earlier post and refer to

    Step 2
    I'd rather see a snap shot of your actual Virtual Memory settings first (vs. just the commit charge)

    Step 3
    Also do install and use the Process Explorer system tray icon to monitor (at a glance) current CPU usage and the top offender. Note:
    > When you first open a new program, it's normal for CPU usage to peak and the new program to take lots of CPU
    > So you want to look for colored spikes in the PE system tray icon when you're running normally, then simply move the cursor to the icon and it'll report the top offender. After a couple days, should be easier to note consistent top offenders and any usage patterns
  22. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,073   +219

    Backing up your computer usually uses as much cpu as is available. So the main culprit is likely his backup program. Also update windows, avg and then scan with avg. Next if I was you I would go to the antivirus section in this forum and read the stickies.

    And of course follow the rest of LookinAround instructions.

    Btw esbo thread hijacking is frowned upon try to stick to your own thread.
  23. Aximilator

    Aximilator TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 63

    I will get that to you soon lookinround and i will install that stuff.

    And Esbo all i know is ive had all this running in the past and it has run fine and worked great, now for no reason all of a sudden it is not working like it used to with nothing changed.

    I also changed the virtual mem which helped a little.

    Esbo i have already done that. And i do have servicepack3

    Thanks all!
  24. esbo

    esbo TS Rookie Posts: 102

    Your last picture says service pack 2 though.

    Yes check memory and your swop files (one on each drive).

    Actually I thought my PC started running badly when I downloaded a memory identification program from a memory retailer.

    DO you have a pile of extensions installed on Chrome?

    YOu look to run a fair bit of software whihc is not strictly necessary however they not be slowing the machine,
    but the way I look at it is if they ain't running (or installed) they can't be doing any harm.
  25. Aximilator

    Aximilator TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 63

    I installed sp3 after pics. Plus I figured it out. I uninstalled all of the programs and reinstalled them and it works sooo much better now so Im thinking one of the programs were corrupt
    So thanks all!!!
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.

Similar Topics

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...