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CPU Spikes With Any Screen Movement

Last response: in Windows XP
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February 10, 2013 7:01:24 AM

Hello all.

I have a desktop computer. Windows XP Pro.

Recently I've been experiencing high CPU usage spikes. If I could trace back into any changes, the recent ones were a latest java console for Firefox and using a new TP-Link wi-fi adapter. But I think things were good after and problems came later, hard to tell. I only started paying attention when I saw things were laggy. I'd notice the spikes would go up with nearly any movement on the screen. Moving my mouse around, holding a window and moving it around. Any scrolling. Videos were the worst. Any movement, but if I close all programs and just let it sit, it will be normal. If I grab a window now and move it around fast, it'll spike to 100%.

After scanning for viruses and trojans, etc. (SuperAntiSpyware, Malware Bytes, Microsoft Essentials, Ad-Aware), I couldn't find any and figured it would just be a good time to do a fresh reinstall of windows anyway because there were also some other little errors and whatnot I wanted to fix. I've been running my OS for a long time. Did a complete format of my partition and installed Windows XP SP2.

Anyway, did a complete fresh install on my C partition (the other is my "data" partition, clean and just has music and movies and pictures), and notice it's still the same. I didn't do anything yet like install any additional drivers, windows updates.. nothing. Opened task manager, closed all programs I could. Same deal. Normal without movement or programs running, spikes when moving around.

Any clues? I have little knowledge of computers so please be kind with computer terms and programs. I have an Intel Pentium 4, Asustek Goldfish2 1.xx motherboard... I don't think I have a video card...? If someone can confirm if my motherboard has a built-in one or not, I think it does. If I look into my tower I just see the motherboard, and RAM sticks poking out. And then the ethernet card which I no longer use.

Please help!

*** EDIT: I said in my original post that it spikes only with any movement, but now I'm noticing that simply any dominant program running even if in the background is spiking it to 100% or near. So this leads me to believe it may not solely be a video issue. Basically any "work" going on, just spikes CPU.
February 11, 2013 7:05:20 PM

Install Service Pack 3, then DirectX 9.0c, then the latest driver for your video hardware.
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February 12, 2013 12:27:36 AM

PhilFrisbie said:
Install Service Pack 3, then DirectX 9.0c, then the latest driver for your video hardware.


Hello, thanks for the reply.

Even though I had this problem when I had those things before my Windows reinstall, I tried them again anyway. I installed SP3 and DirectX 9.0c... but I can't seem to install my Video Controller under Device Manager. I suspect it may have to do with all the Windows Updates I need to do for SP3 (correct me if I'm wrong), but before I get into that 2 hour long download, I wanted to update on some things I've now noticed now.

I said in my original post that it spikes only with any movement, but now I'm noticing that simply any dominant program running even if in the background is spiking it to 100% or near. So this leads me to believe it may not solely be a video issue. Basically any "work" going on, just spikes CPU.

Any ideas?
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February 12, 2013 11:39:59 AM

Do you have all the chipset/motherboard drivers installed? If any devices in your device manager have a yellow exclamation mark next to it, you need to install the driver for it.
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February 14, 2013 6:52:18 AM

Hawkeye22 said:
Do you have all the chipset/motherboard drivers installed? If any devices in your device manager have a yellow exclamation mark next to it, you need to install the driver for it.


Apologies for the late responses, I'm quite busy these days.

Yes, I did all the Windows Updates and installed all the latest drivers. Though this problem was here even before my re-installation of Windows when I had all the drivers and codecs, etc.

Any other ideas?

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February 14, 2013 10:56:34 AM

It sure sounds like chipset drivers. Sometimes a flaky USB device can cause jerky cursor movememnt. I guess it could spike the CPU also. Other than that, not sure, sorry.
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February 14, 2013 11:32:32 PM

Hawkeye22 said:
It sure sounds like chipset drivers. Sometimes a flaky USB device can cause jerky cursor movememnt. I guess it could spike the CPU also. Other than that, not sure, sorry.


Yeah, I'm not sure what else to do. All I can do is right-click on the drivers and hit Update Drivers, but they're all up to date. Also, it's not just the cursor. If I leave the cursor still but a dominant program is running it spikes it (or keeps it at 100%) as well. Or if I'm streaming a video. In other words, it's just really sensitive to anything doing work.

Granted I feel all my software is in order, can it be hardware at all?
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February 15, 2013 11:00:47 AM

Have you tried using the task manager or process explorer to see which program spikes the CPU?

I guess faulty hardware could cause CPU spikes if it's sending the CPU a lot of interrupts or something.
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February 18, 2013 12:36:26 AM

Hawkeye22 said:
Have you tried using the task manager or process explorer to see which program spikes the CPU?

I guess faulty hardware could cause CPU spikes if it's sending the CPU a lot of interrupts or something.


Yes I have. Usually either the dominant program is using most of the CPU or if it's something like scrolling or moving windows around it's explorer.exe.

Especially now that I have next to no programs installed I can clearly see that nothing else is spiking it. Process Explorer shows no hardware interrupts, and the same thing pretty much as the taskmgr with everything else. All temperatures are fine...
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