High CPU usage, System Idle Process @ 99 ....????

Problem solved! I decided to reveal how given how many high CPU usage threads there are with people claiming System Idle Process was at 99%. Turned out to be a problem with hardware interrupts, which is either related to a driver you're using, or an actual hardware failure. Found it by using a program called Process Explorer to further inspect my processes. Used a program called RATT to actually see what was requesting so many CPU cycles. I checked the log RATT created for a column labeled IRS, which showed one file requesting a staggeringly higher amount of CPU cycles In particular hdaud.sys had to be disabled. Set the driver to disabled in Device Manager and the problem no longer persists. If it continues to persist after being disabled, then it is likely a hardware problem and need to reseat components and check their integrity through tools available from their manufacturer.
450 Watt PSU
2.0 Ghz AMD 3200+
Gigabyte K8N Mobo
512mb Corsair RAM x2
HIS Radeon 4670 AGP
XP Home SP3
Western Digital 200gb x2

Yesterday I woke up to find my computer was off, due to a power outage. CPU usage is now idling at around 30-50%. I checked the process tab in task manager to find that nothing was using my CPU, and that System Idle Process was at 99. This should mean nothing is using it, yet the high CPU usage remains.

Prior to this my computer would often idle at 2-4%, only reaching about 50-60% when running Call of Duty 4, and 80% when running Starcraft 2. I noticed in both games with the graphics on low that I was getting around 30 fps, whereas I normally get around a steady 60 with medium settings. Interestingly enough, my ping to nearby servers was up 20-30 ms which has never happened before. Ping increase was also present at speedtest.net

Scanned using Avira and Spybot, found nothing. Uninstalled Avira, checked with AVG, still nothing.

Checked MSConfig, most of startup is always unchecked, in services there wasn't anything new.

I run my OS partition very lean, so reformatting was a quick answer to try. Surprisingly it remained at a consistent medium usage despite the fresh install.

I've tried googling various terms and have come across many with CPU usage problems, but my situation hasn't been answered by anything I've found.

So I turn to minds more experienced than my own:

Is there a program I can use to break down CPU cycles more completely?
Is there a way to test if the power outage has partially damaged the CPU, without another computer to test it in?
Are there other plausible explanations for this behavior I'm unaware of?

Screenshots of my task manager processes and performance tab can be found here:

http://img413.imageshack.us/i/wtm1.png/

http://img690.imageshack.us/i/wtm2.png/so
15 answers Last reply
More about high usage system idle process
  1. Under the processes tab in the task manager, check the box that says "show processes from all users". Then sort by CPU usage. Ignore the "system idle process". It is always the leftover. ie, if your CPU usage is 30%, the system idle process will be 70%.
    See what is using those CPU cycles.
  2. Nothing different. This is the confusion. Everything looks normal from the processes view, my CPU is idle at 46% right now, with 10% usage by firefox shown in the processes tab with 'Show processes from all users' checked.
  3. Quote:
    Nothing different. This is the confusion. Everything looks normal from the processes view, my CPU is idle at 46% right now, with 10% usage by firefox shown in the processes tab with 'Show processes from all users' checked.

    Can you show us a couple printscreens? A picture's worth a thousand words.
  4. Sort your task manager by CPU usage (with processes from all users shown), then take a screenshot of it. That's probably the fastest way for us to see what's going on.
  5. Let me know if you need more. Thx for taking a look! :D




    Included these with the OP as well.
  6. quit same problem.
    havnt played sc2 for 1.5month,
    came back home,
    updated all the patches,
    and after i enter pass and login i get 98-99% cpu ussage from sc2.
    pc on idle shows 98-99%.

    updated newest video drivers, same.
    amd 3400+
    2gb 530 ram
    gf 7600gt
    previously worked good.
    i gues its the problem somewhere with patch :/
  7. Lol that System Idle process doesn't acutally exist and doesn't use your CPU at all... its something buggy and fake... nothing to worry about

    i have it as well myself.. it doesn't affect my pc performance :D
  8. Anonymous said:
    Problem solved! I decided to reveal how given how many high CPU usage threads there are with people claiming System Idle Process was at 99%. Turned out to be a problem with hardware interrupts, which is either related to a driver you're using, or an actual hardware failure. Found it by using a program called Process Explorer to further inspect my processes. Used a program called RATT to actually see what was requesting so many CPU cycles. I checked the log RATT created for a column labeled IRS, which showed one file requesting a staggeringly higher amount of CPU cycles In particular hdaud.sys had to be disabled. Set the driver to disabled in Device Manager and the problem no longer persists. If it continues to persist after being disabled, then it is likely a hardware problem and need to reseat components and check their integrity through tools available from their manufacturer.
    450 Watt PSU
    2.0 Ghz AMD 3200+
    Gigabyte K8N Mobo
    512mb Corsair RAM x2
    HIS Radeon 4670 AGP
    XP Home SP3
    Western Digital 200gb x2

    Yesterday I woke up to find my computer was off, due to a power outage. CPU usage is now idling at around 30-50%. I checked the process tab in task manager to find that nothing was using my CPU, and that System Idle Process was at 99. This should mean nothing is using it, yet the high CPU usage remains.

    Prior to this my computer would often idle at 2-4%, only reaching about 50-60% when running Call of Duty 4, and 80% when running Starcraft 2. I noticed in both games with the graphics on low that I was getting around 30 fps, whereas I normally get around a steady 60 with medium settings. Interestingly enough, my ping to nearby servers was up 20-30 ms which has never happened before. Ping increase was also present at speedtest.net

    Scanned using Avira and Spybot, found nothing. Uninstalled Avira, checked with AVG, still nothing.

    Checked MSConfig, most of startup is always unchecked, in services there wasn't anything new.

    I run my OS partition very lean, so reformatting was a quick answer to try. Surprisingly it remained at a consistent medium usage despite the fresh install.

    I've tried googling various terms and have come across many with CPU usage problems, but my situation hasn't been answered by anything I've found.

    So I turn to minds more experienced than my own:

    Is there a program I can use to break down CPU cycles more completely?
    Is there a way to test if the power outage has partially damaged the CPU, without another computer to test it in?
    Are there other plausible explanations for this behavior I'm unaware of?

    Screenshots of my task manager processes and performance tab can be found here:

    http://img413.imageshack.us/i/wtm1.png/

    http://img690.imageshack.us/i/wtm2.png/so
  9. yeah man i got the same problem. system idle process says one thing but means another. because of the iproper driver or hardware being the root of the problem it is the idle process thats hogging up the UNUSED space thats not doing anything bullshit i keep hearing. and those idiots that keep saying that well experience the issue and tell me differently..........
  10. In my case it was a driver that caused high cpu usage. I don't know exactly which one it was so below is the list of drivers I rolled back:

    Computer configuration:
    Intel i5-3470 3.20 Ghz
    ASRock Z77 Pro3
    Nvidia Geforce GTX 660
    16GB DDR3 Ram 1600Mhz
    Windows 7 Home premium 64bit

    list of rolled-back drivers:

    -Intel HD Graphics
    -Nvidia GeForce GTX660
    -Generic bluetooth radio
    -Intel 82801 PCI bridge -244E
    -Intel 7 Series/C216 Chipset Family SMBus Host Controller -1E22
    -Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller
    -Intel USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller

    After i restored above listed drivers to previous version, computer idles normally at around 7%. Prior to this, usage was constantly between 40-60%.

    Hope this helps and if someone finds out which driver in particular causes this problem, be sure to let me know.
  11. 1] open run and type without the quots "TASKSCHD.MSC" and press enter onthe left panel u will see the running shedule task @ idle , either end them or delete them.
    2]open run and type without the quots "msconfig" goto "services" and click on hide all microsoft . It will show what services otherthen microsoft are going, then uncheck them , & hit apply & go to the next tab which is "Startup" uncheck those u dont need to run when u boot.
    3]open run and type without the quots "services.msc" it will open a window & stop or disable those u dont need.
    It will solve ur problem.
  12. I hope this is a joke.

    Are you all retarded???

    Read the process description - "Percentage of time the processor is idle".
    This will show the opposite of what is being used - If you have a process using 30% of your cpu - this process will show 70%.
    If your computer is doing nothing then this process should be displaying 99-100% cpu usage.
  13. PRAISE MICHAEL PARR!

    "are you all retarded?"
    "is he picking on the short bus friends?"
    "no no... it's a hypothetical pejorative..."

    ME: still some weirdness @ choppy broken playback of files aud & vid from HDD using semi-minimal progs like VLC - verifying file integrity and such with other tools but seeeems recent.

    been away from this Lenovo R61i quite a while and still working to get progs & apps & stuff & things installed patched scanned protected humping bumping grinding dancing singing trromping 'bout the may pole 'neath the fullest moon [winXP and all that sport]

    i miss my k6R4 tower of power "Dark Tower 3" but some things will NEVER get past tech quarantine... damnit.

    screenshots but too lazy & not quite tall enough yet this awful awful hateful nasty spiteful grotesque bright shiny sunny day.. in Texas... ewwwwwwww.

    "IMPLODE. THE. SUN."
    "let us watch!"
  14. Michael Parr said:
    I hope this is a joke.

    Are you all retarded???

    Read the process description - "Percentage of time the processor is idle".
    This will show the opposite of what is being used - If you have a process using 30% of your cpu - this process will show 70%.
    If your computer is doing nothing then this process should be displaying 99-100% cpu usage.
    ...

    SSSO the crunchiest in file playback could be anything but most likely.... ummm... file integrity ?

    look for crunchy playback across apps.

    run malware & such scans.

    ummmm...

    damnit.

    just want the music files to play without stop start skip resume play play play stop play play.

    starting with file integrity.

    wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

    stress complications could be wonking on me & this complication...

    yep
  15. Michael Parr said:
    I hope this is a joke.

    Are you all retarded???

    Read the process description - "Percentage of time the processor is idle".
    This will show the opposite of what is being used - If you have a process using 30% of your cpu - this process will show 70%.
    If your computer is doing nothing then this process should be displaying 99-100% cpu usage.


    Yes thay are all supid, Thanks for help you make my life easier and safe me some time!! Thank from Croatia
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