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Problem: CPU spikes in Windows 7, multiple processes?

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April 13, 2010 8:28:24 PM

Hi all, being an avid viewer of Toms hardware charts and reviews I thought this was the best place for help.

Recently Ive been having huge slowdowns and after checking my Resource monitor, noticed that the CPU is spiking up to almost 100% almost on a cycle.

Now usually I'd put this down to a virus or such, however, it isnt a single process that is causing the spikes. I have never come across one that would make about 10 processes at once increase their CPU load.

In all honesty im stumped, I've taken some screenshots just so you can see exactly what I mean.

Any hints or help is welcome, It seems that the problem arises when I have multiple things running, for example, Diablo 2 and Virtual Box, I thought it could be the virtual OS that was causing it but even when its not running and all related processes are closed it still seems to happen.

My real concern is that its multiple processes pulling at the CPU at the same time, not just one process.

Thanks all,
Thom





a c 147 à CPUs
a b $ Windows 7
April 14, 2010 12:51:26 AM

I cant say I know whats going on but the SS i looked at had a total of 97+ cpu usage but if you added up all the individuals it only totalled 86%. I would look for a stealthed virus if it were me.
a c 133 à CPUs
April 14, 2010 3:55:32 AM

It could be one of windows services running try disabling windows search (indexing). Also open up msconfig and check to see what non windows services are starting on startup and check to see if there are any rouge programs in the startup section as well. To troubleshoot just disable all startup programs and all non windows services and see if it still does it after reboot if it stops by doing this start enabling some of the essential services like your antivirus and what not and reboot to see if it does it repeat this till you find the program causeing this.
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April 14, 2010 2:18:32 PM

Quote:
It could be one of windows services running try disabling windows search (indexing). Also open up msconfig and check to see what non windows services are starting on startup and check to see if there are any rouge programs in the startup section as well. To troubleshoot just disable all startup programs and all non windows services and see if it still does it after reboot if it stops by doing this start enabling some of the essential services like your antivirus and what not and reboot to see if it does it repeat this till you find the program causeing this.


Actually come to think of it, I did tell a 1TB HDD to index, but when i found it was hogging a lot of the CPU i stopped the service, is it possible that its still trying to index or something similar on another process?


Quote:
I cant say I know whats going on but the SS i looked at had a total of 97+ cpu usage but if you added up all the individuals it only totalled 86%. I would look for a stealthed virus if it were me.


I shall give a full AV scan tonight, 2TB will take some time.
a b à CPUs
April 14, 2010 4:41:22 PM

fettor said:
Actually come to think of it, I did tell a 1TB HDD to index, but when i found it was hogging a lot of the CPU i stopped the service, is it possible that its still trying to index or something similar on another process?


Just halting the service is effective only until you boot up next time. You have to actually disable it. What I do, is right-click on the particular drive with Windows Explorer (in XP), then select properties, then uncheck the indexing box to turn off indexing for that drive. IIRC both Vista and Win7 come with indexing disabled by default.

Quote:
I shall give a full AV scan tonight, 2TB will take some time.


I've had the best luck using Microsoft Security Essentials, which is free. You'll probably want to do an online scan first however, which is also free.

Many virii won't advertise themselves in the MSConfig services or startup list, so a full scan would be advisable.
April 16, 2010 9:16:40 PM

FIXED!
Thanks for all your help guys, After running an AV scan and preparing to format, I did one last google search and someone said it was CPU overheating. Now I though *when I checked my CPU clocks they were steady and not dropping* Foolishly I didnt check the temperature (averaging 86 degrees while idle).

Once I had seen this it had all become apparent, after a year in a newly built room with the PC case on the floor enough dust had managed to block up the fan to cause serious over heating, After a good cleanout and a remount I was back in business, been running the PC all after noon at approx 55-60 degrees and have had no CPU spikes.

Thank you all for the help once again, and hopefully lesson learnt, CPU Spikes can be caused by temperature!
!