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Problem with Sony Vaio laptop CPU usage

  • Laptops
  • Sony Vaio
  • Windows XP
Last response: in Windows XP
December 5, 2006 11:55:34 PM

Sony Vaio laptop, core duo and 2gigs of ram.

In short the System process (NOT system idle) was using 80%+ cpu usage, so I eventually broke down and reinstalled windows. So no this is not malware, spyware or a virus. BTW I tried using Sony's restore from partition program but that failed, so I built an XP home sp2 disc with nlite and ryanvm's update pack so that it had all updates from the get go.

Let me re-iterate, this is a CLEAN windows xp home sp2 install and the problem persists. Any ideas how to proceed from here? In my google searches I found a similar example where the guy used pview or some such program to break down the process and find 2 offending drivers that were soaking up the resources. Can anyone explain to me how to do that?

More about : problem sony vaio laptop cpu usage

December 6, 2006 1:51:44 AM

clean? how clean are we talking here...clean with sony's restore cd, which may have other software, or clean as in a retail xp install which only has xp

system process usually contains kernel mode processes where it's harder to can use this proggy to break it down further maybe to see what's going on

is this cpu spike happening as soon as you log in, or takes time to come up, does it happen in safe mode...usually this is caused by a kernel mode driver...anti-virus, any application which runs in privilaged mode
December 6, 2006 2:26:41 AM

I thought I was clear about this but just to restate: This is a clean cp disc install, using an xp disc, not the sony restore option. Also keep in mind that no anti virus has been installed, and the firewall disabled (JUST in case).

As for when the problem appears it depends, sometimes not for a minute or two, othertimes right away. Right now its constantly occuring, keep in mind the cpu temp stays at 60~ C while its been in use, im sure that isnt helping.
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December 6, 2006 11:50:08 AM

Alright finally got in with some touchpad ninjitsu and found kmixer.sys 0x21f0 sucking up 50% cpu, google serach led me to find that it was at least related to a kernel audio driver (as most mixers are), uninstalled the sigmatel audio driver and for now the problem is gone. Gonna do some hardcore websurfing to make sure it doesn't come back.

Okay next problem, I cant get the video card drivers to install. The notebook uses a Nvidia Go 7400 GPU (I checked in everest) but the drivers from the product support page fail to install. Same thing with the nvidia 84.63 forceware drivers. The first says not compatible with your systems hardware, the second "setup could not find any drivers compatible with your system and will now exit".

On the support page it was noted you should have the machine in Speed mode and not stamina, but I DO have it in speed mode. I've tried it both ways to no avail.
December 20, 2006 4:31:27 AM

hi guys, i am new here but i have the same problem with my sony viao. it does'nt work properly when my audio is enable. i also removed the partition that was created by the manufacturer but before that i was able to create a restore disc unfortunately i have the same problem.

i downloaded different drivers but still the same problem...SIGMATEL HD does'nt work. in vista is working fine, it uses its own built in HD audio driver/codec but i can't use vista now its not mature yet most of my work tools doest work on vista.

i am starting to regret replacing my toshiba with this vaio...HELP.
December 20, 2006 4:41:13 AM

Sorry never found a fix other than to disable the device in the device manager. For what its worth the client will be returning it to Sony, if a fix comes to my attention ill be sure to post it.

My guess is if you could find an older driver it might work, it was probably some sony auto update program that caused it. I know the most recent from either sigmatel or the sony site wont work.
December 23, 2006 3:46:50 AM

hi guys, i found the solution and my vaio is now working fine. visit this site from sony:
at the left pane look for download and select notebook, you'll find all notebook series (sony) find your model and download your upgrade.

in my case i just downloaded the bio update and the audio update and it works fine.

Good luck.
October 17, 2008 2:25:40 AM

Vaio System File at 80% or Higher SOLVED
1 Core Maxed at 100% other at 80-100% SOLVED
High CPU Usage
Non functional
Called sony. They had me go go through bunch of steps including wiping the hard drive Did not work. Could barly get the new load and SysPrep to go through the refresh.


20+ hour later 3 calls to Sony, A hard drive totaly rebuild and it took all of 2 minutes to refresh the BIOS...This was my last step next to shipping computer to Sony's LA repair depot and paying god knows what.....
a b D Laptop
November 22, 2008 6:21:00 PM

Thank you Vaiopiet. I have spent the last 3 weeks with a Vaio paperweight until I read your post. Entering BIOS (press F2 during startup) and resetting the Bios to factory default (press F9) and saving it (press F10) worked like a champ. Thanks again.
March 19, 2009 4:30:44 AM

Thanks maaaaan
You saved me
after 2 weeks searching forums, ...
Than you