CPU spikes

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

Windows XP, SP 1
HP machine, Athlon 2400, 512MB

My computer is tormenting me by being unavailable for about two seconds (or
more) out of every 10 or 15 seconds. The mouse cursor moves during these
intervals, but Web pages do not scroll, the cursor does not change to a
pointing finger when hovering over hyperlinks, and typed words do not appear
on-screen.

Checking my CPU usage in the Task Manager, I see regular usage spikes to 100
percent for no apparent reason. Here is a screen shot of the usage graph--

http://www.bradhill.com/cpuusage.jpg

--taken after a fresh boot, with just two programs running (email and
browser).

Any help gratefully received! Thanks in advance,
Brad
6 answers Last reply
More about spikes
  1. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    Brad Hill wrote:
    > Windows XP, SP 1
    > HP machine, Athlon 2400, 512MB
    >
    > My computer is tormenting me by being unavailable for about two seconds (or
    > more) out of every 10 or 15 seconds. The mouse cursor moves during these
    > intervals, but Web pages do not scroll, the cursor does not change to a
    > pointing finger when hovering over hyperlinks, and typed words do not appear
    > on-screen.
    >
    > Checking my CPU usage in the Task Manager, I see regular usage spikes to 100
    > percent for no apparent reason. Here is a screen shot of the usage graph--
    >
    > http://www.bradhill.com/cpuusage.jpg
    >
    > --taken after a fresh boot, with just two programs running (email and
    > browser).
    >
    > Any help gratefully received! Thanks in advance,
    > Brad
    >
    >
    Check the processes tab and see what program is taking all of the
    CPU cycles. Once you identify the program google on the name.
    Sounds like spyware to me. Do you run an antivirus program and keep it
    updated? Do you run any programs to kill spyware?

    gls858
  2. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    "gls858" <gls858@yahoo.com> wrote in message
    news:#$fxh8b7EHA.1300@TK2MSFTNGP14.phx.gbl...
    > Brad Hill wrote:
    > > Windows XP, SP 1
    > > HP machine, Athlon 2400, 512MB
    > >
    > > My computer is tormenting me by being unavailable for about two seconds
    (or
    > > more) out of every 10 or 15 seconds. The mouse cursor moves during these
    > > intervals, but Web pages do not scroll, the cursor does not change to a
    > > pointing finger when hovering over hyperlinks, and typed words do not
    appear
    > > on-screen.
    > >
    > > Checking my CPU usage in the Task Manager, I see regular usage spikes to
    100
    > > percent for no apparent reason. Here is a screen shot of the usage
    graph--
    > >
    > > http://www.bradhill.com/cpuusage.jpg
    > >
    > > --taken after a fresh boot, with just two programs running (email and
    > > browser).
    > >
    > > Any help gratefully received! Thanks in advance,
    > > Brad
    > >
    > >
    > Check the processes tab and see what program is taking all of the
    > CPU cycles. Once you identify the program google on the name.
    > Sounds like spyware to me. Do you run an antivirus program and keep it
    > updated? Do you run any programs to kill spyware?

    I did this and discovered that Firefox was spiking the CPU meter (!). I do
    run AdAware periodically.

    I was surprised to discover Firefox causing the trouble--any insights about
    that appreciated. I'll ask in the appropriate newsgroups, too.

    Thanks,
    Brad
  3. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    Brad Hill wrote:
    > "gls858" <gls858@yahoo.com> wrote in message
    > news:#$fxh8b7EHA.1300@TK2MSFTNGP14.phx.gbl...
    >
    >>Brad Hill wrote:
    >>
    >>>Windows XP, SP 1
    >>>HP machine, Athlon 2400, 512MB
    >>>
    >>>My computer is tormenting me by being unavailable for about two seconds
    >
    > (or
    >
    >>>more) out of every 10 or 15 seconds. The mouse cursor moves during these
    >>>intervals, but Web pages do not scroll, the cursor does not change to a
    >>>pointing finger when hovering over hyperlinks, and typed words do not
    >
    > appear
    >
    >>>on-screen.
    >>>
    >>>Checking my CPU usage in the Task Manager, I see regular usage spikes to
    >
    > 100
    >
    >>>percent for no apparent reason. Here is a screen shot of the usage
    >
    > graph--
    >
    >>>http://www.bradhill.com/cpuusage.jpg
    >>>
    >>>--taken after a fresh boot, with just two programs running (email and
    >>>browser).
    >>>
    >>>Any help gratefully received! Thanks in advance,
    >>>Brad
    >>>
    >>>
    >>
    >>Check the processes tab and see what program is taking all of the
    >>CPU cycles. Once you identify the program google on the name.
    >>Sounds like spyware to me. Do you run an antivirus program and keep it
    >>updated? Do you run any programs to kill spyware?
    >
    >
    > I did this and discovered that Firefox was spiking the CPU meter (!). I do
    > run AdAware periodically.
    >
    > I was surprised to discover Firefox causing the trouble--any insights about
    > that appreciated. I'll ask in the appropriate newsgroups, too.
    >
    > Thanks,
    > Brad
    >
    >
    You say you run Adaware but you didn't say if you had an antivirus
    program. If you don't or you have one and don't keep it updated
    you are probably infected. Try Spybot Search and Destroy also.

    http://www.safer-networking.org/en/download/

    Go to http://housecall.trendmicro.com/ and run a virus check.

    gls858
  4. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    > I did this and discovered that Firefox was spiking the CPU meter (!). I do
    > run AdAware periodically.
    >
    > I was surprised to discover Firefox causing the trouble--any insights about
    > that appreciated. I'll ask in the appropriate newsgroups, too.
    -------------

    Firefox itself is not causing your problem -- or at least it doesn't on
    mine. More likely is some software on your machine that's using the
    browser to touch the web periodically. My bet is that some sort of
    mal-ware has installed itself on your machine.

    You might try using IE as a default browser temporarily. If you see the
    same problem then you know something is using the default browser to get
    to the web. If you don't, then you might suspect some extension or
    something you've added to Firefox itself. Have you installed custom
    tool bars or something for example?

    Good luck...

    Bill
  5. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    "Bill Martin -- (Remove NOSPAM from address)" <wylie@earthNOSPAMlink.net>
    wrote in message news:eAFsgyc7EHA.3708@TK2MSFTNGP14.phx.gbl...
    > > I did this and discovered that Firefox was spiking the CPU meter (!). I
    do
    > > run AdAware periodically.
    > >
    > > I was surprised to discover Firefox causing the trouble--any insights
    about
    > > that appreciated. I'll ask in the appropriate newsgroups, too.
    > -------------
    >
    > Firefox itself is not causing your problem -- or at least it doesn't on
    > mine. More likely is some software on your machine that's using the
    > browser to touch the web periodically. My bet is that some sort of
    > mal-ware has installed itself on your machine.
    >
    > You might try using IE as a default browser temporarily. If you see the
    > same problem then you know something is using the default browser to get
    > to the web. If you don't, then you might suspect some extension or
    > something you've added to Firefox itself. Have you installed custom
    > tool bars or something for example?

    Thanks for the ideas. I installed three Mozilla extensions custom-made for
    Firefox: a mouse-gesture utility, a clock, and something else that I don't
    remember. I am running Netscape 7.1 now as the default browser, and there
    are no spikes. I will try IE also. And I'll look into those Firefox
    extensions.

    Thanks,
    Brad
  6. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.basics (More info?)

    "gls858" <gls858@yahoo.com> wrote

    > You say you run Adaware but you didn't say if you had an antivirus
    > program. If you don't or you have one and don't keep it updated
    > you are probably infected. Try Spybot Search and Destroy also.
    >
    > http://www.safer-networking.org/en/download/
    >
    > Go to http://housecall.trendmicro.com/ and run a virus check.

    I tried this. It downloaded a package to make it work in Netscape, but
    couldn't find the Netscape directory, depite its obvious location in the
    Programs hierarchy. After I pointed it in the right direction, it couldn't
    find the Plugins directory, which was right there. I solved that, and it
    refused to install the program for reasons that aren't clear. I tried again
    using IE6.x, and Housecall refused to show the hard-drive directory that is
    supposed to display. I watched it for ten minutes, but it was clear that
    nothing was happening.

    (I hadn't used IE for a long time, and was horrified to see the flood of
    pop-open browser ads. Why does that happen with IE but not my other
    browsers?)

    I tried Symantec's virus-check, and it likewise choked, saying it could not
    install the necessary ActiveX controls.

    Does all this shed any light on my situation?

    Continued thanks,
    Brad
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