Cpu usage lag spiking

My computer's cpu usage is spiking constantly creating lag on the desktop. Even if nothing is opened the lag spike occurs about every 5 seconds. I've tested the memory and all tests said that the memory was fine. I hooked up my computer to three different video cards and the lag was still present. Defragmenting the hard drive did nothing. Nothing under device manager was listed as having a problem. The only thing that kind of worked was destructive recovery and that only worked until i reset the computer in which the problem arose again. Does anyone have a clue as to what could be causing this and what, if anything, I would need to replace?
PC specs:
3500+ AMD Athlon 64 processor
1gb RAM
200gb Samsung SP2004C Hard Drive
Nvidia GeForce 7300 GT PCI-E
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  1. It could be a number of things causing your CPU lag spiking. Here are a couple of things that might be cusing it.

    1) AMD Quiet and Cool is enable in Bios. Which you would have to Disable.

    2) Ram. Since you only show 1gb of ram, I would suggest you increase it to 2gb of ram. The reason is your ram is getting used up and it is hitting your CPU to make up the difference that your system needs.

    3) PSU is not supplying enough wattage evenly or is dying. Which means you should get a tier 1 or 2 PSU. Would recommend either Corsair or PC Power & Cooling PSU, from 520w to 750w depending on what Graphic card you also have hooked up.

    4) House electric current is not supply electricity evenly (flucuating). Remedy for this would be to get a UPS like one of the two below.

    APC BR800BLK 800 VA 540 Watts $115.99 Free Shipping

    CyberPower Intelligent LCD Series GreenPower UPS CP1000AVRLCD 1000VA 600 Watt $119.95 Free Shipping

    Thats about all I can give you without knowing the full specs of your computer parts (i.e. PSU).
  2. Look in EVENT VIEWER for something that recurs or shows as an error - these errors can be insignificant such as a service not loading that doesn't have to load. but other errors might be indicators.

    dump all temp files, internet temp files, open windows\temp directory and del everything (probably 1000 files = all junk)

    if you messed with an hp printer driver recently, that can be it too

    run disk cleanup

    run checkdisk

    scan for spyware
    scan for virus

    check hard drive access indicator light, if it is on all the time, or occasionally or repeating while idle.

    look in task manager for something that looks unusual - if you aren't used to that, it is all unusual

    in RUN command type "msconfig" = go to "startup" and UNCHECK ALL - restart

    if it's still screwed after all this - well - it's something else

    consider a massive data backup cos you might have to reinstall O/S

    If it's some other problem with hardware, probably hdd - but that's a wild guess

    try this stuff as much as you can and then report back
  3. what did you do recently - before you restarted

    if you restart daily, that's perhaps easy

    if you restart once a decade or whatever, thaat's really hard to answer

    nasty spyware is a good bet - virus, trojan - surfing pr0n sites or warez sites
    idiot emails from well meaning friends

    it's either infected or some new software app screwed it up

    if it's psu, you might smell things burning up - the smell of capacitors melting might be notice able once in a while

    chase software first, it's cheaper.
  4. Wow...I feel like an imbecile. After checking the BIOS I found that my computer had an onboard LAN and when it first started lagging I had just installed a PCI network card but didn't disable the onboard one in the BIOS. There's no more lag, even after restarting a few times just to be sure, so I believe I found the problem. Thanks for your help everyone.
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