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Constant 30% CPU usage in windows 7 when idle

Last response: in Windows 7
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August 31, 2012 12:15:21 PM

Hello, I'm having a problem where windows utilizes 30% of CPU usage even when Idle.

The problem starts when i open a program like games or any intensive application that requires alot of CPU load. But after closing the program, i noticed in my taskbar that windows generates and continues to use up to 30% of CPU load on other applications for example Dwm.exe (desktop windows management) but if i stop DWN.exe from taskbar, another program or service will replace it and generates the same CPU load, if i stop that another will take its place like svchost or the taskbar.exe itself getting a 25 to 27 cpu load. Its like an ongoing cycle or Loop of CPU usage, its supposed to stop after closing programs.

I already have done steps i thought would clear this problem and these are:
Registry fix
ran Avast Anti-virus
reset BIOS
ran anti malware programs
ran Msconfig and disabled unwanted programs running on the background
ran windows 7 update
updated all my drivers

Summary:
The problem still persist. This problem doesnt occur after boot, everything is fine with my system idle getting 97%. it only starts after i ran a program that utilizes high CPU load but after closing it, the heavy CPU load continues by replacing the closed program with another either dwm.exe,taskmanager.exe,svchost.exe..etc

I hope somebody helps me resolve this problem, i greatly appreciate it. thank you
a b à CPUs
August 31, 2012 1:59:03 PM

Have you tested you memory yet? Try running memtest86 to see if you have any memory errors.
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August 31, 2012 2:26:49 PM

OK, I'll try but you will have to help me too.

Fisrtly, these processes dwm.exe,taskmanager.exe,svchost.exe are suppossed to be there.

dwm: is the Desktop Window Manager <- does exactly what it says
taskmgr: is the Task Manager <- This is the window that shows you the processor usage
svchost: is the Host Process for Windows Services <- There can be multiple instances of these for different services started

So leave these alone, ending them will just cause windows to reload them.



You can do the following to track down the process eating away at your CPU.
*Start a game or something to get the CPU to idle at ~30% like your problem your are having...
*Open Task Manager, click on the Processes Tab.
*Click View, select Columns...
*Find CPU Time and Tick it,
*Find I/O Writes and Tick it,
*Find I/O Reads and Tick also.
*Click OK.
*Click on Show processes from all users.

Now sort the processes by CPU, do you see only 1 process with ~30% or is it the total CPU Usage at the bottom that is ~30% ?
Next sort the processes list by CPU Time, the System Idle Process should be on top.Do you see any other process with dramatic high CPU time?
Next sort the list by IO Reads, any process with a fast steady increase?
Next also sort by IO Writes, any process with a fast steady increase?

From what you have seen in test above, is there a single process that come up most of the time?
Can you give me the processes' names please.?
and the trouble process name ?
and also Physical Memory: ???% used

With your PC specs?
c drive size and free space?
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a b $ Windows 7
August 31, 2012 2:27:54 PM

Switch your windows desktop to "classic mode" or diable Aero.
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August 31, 2012 3:52:06 PM

Hi, thank you all for replying.

@Knightdog56 No, i have not tried memtest yet except Windows memory diagnostic which found no problems, I'll
try memtest after i ran further suggestions here.

@Geekapproved I have disabled aero and chosen basic theme. thanks for the suggestion :) 

@BlackwidowRSA I did what you advised and I took a screenshot of my taskbar, its more clearer in this way rather than i described it in words. I started a game and closed it and the result is this: as you can see after closing the game, explorer.exe spikes up and uses 25 under CPU. Now it remains constant like this
utilizing 30% of CPU usage under the performance tab on my taskbar.

http://img191.imageshack.us/img191/5927/pic1bl.jpg

other times it was (DWM.exe) but this time its explorer.exe. And i bet if i reboot and start a game again, DWM.exe may be the first having 25 under CPU like it did in the past.
The odd part is if i try to close explorer.exe right now another program either DWM.exe or svchost.exe or Tskmanager will get 25 as replacement...its pretty weird.
There doesnt seem to be an increase in both I/O reads/writes as i have observed. and the physical memory used was only 15%


here are my specs by the way.

*CPU AMD Phenom(tm) 9750 2.2Ghz Quad-Core Processor
*MotherboardMSI 785GTM-E45 (MS-7549)
*RAM 4GB
*Hard Drive Western digital 75gb (has extra 30Gb free space) i only use this HD for games.
i have an another external 250GB drive for storage.
*Graphics Card Palit 9800GT 1Gb 256bit GDDR3
*Sound CardRealtek High Definition Audio
*Operating System Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
*MonitorViewsonic 24" Full HD LCD
*Power Supply Unit 600watt generic


I have a Hunch that this problem have something to do with my graphic card or graphic driver because i noticed this issue happens when an application with heavy graphic rendering is being used.
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September 4, 2012 3:03:53 PM

anybody?
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September 4, 2012 9:45:46 PM

*Hard Drive Western digital 75gb (has extra 30Gb free space) i only use this HD for games.


Sure it's a 75gb and not 750gb ?


That will explain the explorer and scvhost being at around 30 when you quit a game.
74gb is really small and I bet your hard drive light is ON alot ? This is because windows uses some space on your hard drive for a pagefile. And because the drive is probably very fragmented(Your games) and windows is fighting for disk time, and any 74gb drive is relatively slow.

Do a disk cleanup and Defrag c:

This all ONLY applies if it is a 74GB.
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September 7, 2012 1:03:44 PM

Yes its 75gb, i tried to defragment the drive but the problem goes on however i tried switching into a different user and opened the programs that triggers the constant cpu load and things go back to normal after i closed the applications. unlike my administrator account the other user (guest account) is fine, it doesnt fire up the cpu and things go idle at 97% after.
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September 7, 2012 4:54:38 PM

The Guest Account is limited, so Im guessing some installed application/web toolbar/"crap-ware"/registry problem is honking the system on your admin account. or simply because you are allways on the admin account. ^^

Go through your installed programs list and Uninstall any program you don't need. Open Internet explorer and look for any add-ons/toolbars your not using. After that run a disk cleanup with windows, and chooses Clean up system files. (If the button is not there go to the advanced tab -> clean up system files -> More options tab and Let it cleanup System and Shadow copies too. (This will prob be about ~10GBs freed up) Then back to Disk Cleanup tab and select everything and OK. Let it run and finish. After that do a defrag. Reboot.

Tell me if its better...if not we'll check the startup programs.
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