System using 50% of CPU

By Knot2Brite
Aug 30, 2009
  1. Process Explorer reports that 50% of my CPU is being used by "System." it appears that there are two files, SMSS and CSRSS, directly subordinate to "System". I assume some process of one of my programs excites or activates these files. Nothing shows being active among my programs.

    I don't have a clue as to how to troubleshoot this so you're contribution of information would be greatly appreciated.

    XP SP3

    Thank you

  2. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 1,835

    Boot into safe mode (w/o networking) and see if the resources are still being hogged. This will help narrow down the possible cause(s).
  3. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    It sounds like client server (CSRSS) is not shutting down properly and causing 'session manager subsystem' (SMSS) to hang. have you tried safe mode as EXCellR8 suggested?
    This is the session manager subsystem, which is responsible for starting the user session. This process is initiated by the system thread and is responsible for various activities, including launching the Winlogon and Win32 (Csrss.exe) processes and setting system variables. After it has launched these processes, it waits for either Winlogon or Csrss to end. If this happens "normally," the system shuts down; if it happens unexpectedly, Smss.exe causes the system to stop responding (hang).
  4. Knot2Brite

    Knot2Brite TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 49

    thank you!

    Once in safe mode I got a handle on it.

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge.
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