system slowdown

Hi Gang,

I don't know where to begin troubleshooting this problem, so I'll describe the symptoms hoping that some of you may be able to give me a few pointers.

Yesterday, for no obvious reason, all my audio/video playback became sluggish. Playback in all applications, Windows Media Player, Power DVD, iTunes, Real Player is about 40% of normal speed. Other applications have also experienced a sudden performance drop. The windows task manager now gives me a new baseline CPU usage of 20 % which is a task named simply "System". I did do a Windows Update the night before - perhaps this started then but I just didn't notice cause it was the last thing I did at night.

Any ideas? I'm comfortable poking around in the registry or the bios. I just don't know if this is a symptom of a pending hardward failure or it's software related.

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks!

PS I've already done a complete virus scan with up to date CA EZ Trust EZ AntiVirus. Nothing found. Also scanned with eTrust Pest Patrol and Ad-aware; nada thing...
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More about system slowdown
  1. just off the top of my head from skimming through the post i'd say... Try brand new drivers for audio, and download a video codec pack..

    i use FFDshow pack.. there's tons out there.

    try the driver up date and don't just do a reboot... do a complete system shut down.

    then bring it up and see from there.

    also uninstall all audio players and redownload and install something like winamp and try the audio .. and post back and see how that went.
  2. It's a heat issue. Turns out the bracket holding the heat sink onto the CPU was broken, making it a bit loose. Looks like Intel saved my CPU by slowing it down when it got too hot. I learned about this built in protection from Tom's first video. Thanks Tom and crew! Just waiting for the new heat sink to arrive...

    Thanks for the suggestion though.
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