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20 Percent CPU Usage Showing At Idle...Why?

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August 27, 2002 3:30:29 AM

I just rebuilt my computer; replacing the motherboard, the RAM, and the OS. For the past two years I've used W2K, a *Great* product. Thanks MicroSoft!

I'm now stumbling through the minefield known as XP Pro, and I have reservations. One of the best features of XP and 2K is the “Task Manager”. It tells me all sorts of things. On this occasion it’s telling me something that I’m unclear of.

My new machine starts much as my old one...after the initial boot the Task Manager shows my CPU Usage History to be one or two percent as long as my computer sits idling. After using the machine for 5 minutes or so the CPU Usage History averages around 25 percent. This then continues once the machine starts idling again. Rebooting the machine starts the whole story over, little or no usage until I do something then away it goes to around 25 percent even if the machine sits for hours.

Selecting the Task Managers Processes tab I shows me that the problem appears to be svchost.exe . I can force that off using “End Process”. As soon as I do that the CPU Usage drops to 0 to 2 percent. Nothing else seems to change, eg. Everything appears the same in the taskbar, no program seems to disappear.

I’ve tried to correct the problem using the “System Restore” feature. I take the machine back to just the OS, upgrades and motherboard and card drivers. The problem does not seem to change.

I’ve really got to figure this out as theoretically this could be a problem with the RAM or the motherboard. If so I only have a few days to exchange those components.

Any help is appreciated...jim

Rats in the hold.
Crews all dead.
I fear the end is near...
August 27, 2002 12:43:44 PM

Don't know if it's any help, but you can find info on svchost <A HREF="http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q314056" target="_new">here</A> at Microsoft.
svchost probably runs many applications in the background.

<font color=red>If you feel like going to work today, just lie down and it'll go away.</font color=red><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Oracle on 08/27/02 08:45 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
August 27, 2002 4:31:30 PM

I've never ran into such a problem but here's some things I do to keep XP in line and behave itself.

First, like you, I really loved the way W2K. Never a problem until I tried it on a twin CPU system and... onto XP.

I find and turn off all excess crap that XP is laden with. Start with the graphical crap. All you need is "Drag n' Drop shadows for Icons" and "Smoothe Screen Fonts". Now XP looks like a prettied up Win2K system.

Next run MSCONFIG (Yup. They brought it back for hardcore 98/ME users). Somewhere you'll find all the startup services and background services like built in CD-Writing and ICS Firewall. You'll also find remote desktop and that's how you know you're there. First go through and turn off anything obviously named that you don't want or simply will never use. With a fresh install I've trimmed my laptop from using 88 to 56MB of ram on startup and my Dualie XP2000 from 92 to 64. The only thing that keeps my CPU usage high at Idle is Kazaa... but there are known reasons for that. Otherwise I can have applications loaded but doing nothing and I'll coast around 5 - 10%

Hope you find something usefull like that.

Intel is god, cleanroom is life, and the wafers are all that matter.
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August 27, 2002 11:23:42 PM

list all cd roms, dvd drives, scsi adaptors and ide raid adaptors.

how do you shoot the devil in the back? what happens if you miss? -verbal
August 28, 2002 9:48:42 AM

Only 25%. Well then your lucky. I have a Dell XPST 500 (PIII 500 MHz) the utterly refuses to run XP. Right after install of XP (clean fresh install) my CPU usage is at 100% ALL THE TIME. Even after all updates and driver install, the 'System' process still uses 100% of the CPU time.
If you figure out a solution to your problem, please post it. Perhaps mine is related somehow.
August 28, 2002 3:50:18 PM

heheh.. 100%, hu? Well, there goes that "installing XP for the games" idea.. It just doesn't make sence to me.. My PIII w/ OpenBSD has been up 32 days with X (Openbox wm) and running a tail -f on /var/log/messages, tcpdump, and 6 doc apps, and has a .04 load average. I even changed the IP twice and installed to programs without restarting!

Oh well.. You wouldn't be trying to run a USB scanner would you? We all know how much windows like scanners... ;0p

Say, what version of DOS is on this sparc thingie?
August 28, 2002 8:08:57 PM

well, my computer use between 0 a 3% when idling, with a USB scanner ans USB printer connected and ON all the time. It is an Athlon XP1700+ with 512 megs ram. So I doubt that it is XP fault. If the one that started this thread could list his system, then investigating could be more easy.
But keep in mind that XP need a lot of computer's ressource.

-Always put the blame on you first, then on the hardware !!!
August 29, 2002 12:24:53 AM

HEY...I FIXED THE PROBLEM...all I had to do was reformat the drive , then load W2K back onto it. Once again I have a fast non-locking/non-crashing, HAPPY computer...anyone want to buy a cheap registered version of XP Pro...

Rats in the hold.
Crews all dead.
I fear the end is near...
August 29, 2002 2:40:02 AM

lol NO.
why is that not suprising hehehe
i use win2k. love it too.

<b>My CPU cooler is so Massive it bends Space and Time! :eek:  </b>
August 29, 2002 10:40:46 AM

Nice to hear you solved the problem. But I actually knew that solution all the time since that was what I did too, after fighting with XP for almost a week. Sorry I didnt mention that one earlier :wink:
May 4, 2012 7:05:45 PM

I'm just a trial and error knucklehead, but for what it's worth, I did some research, found out my RAID wasn't using Intel Rapid Storage Technology, disabled it, and CPU usage dropped from 20 percent at idle down to 2 percent. Would have saved me a lot of time if someone else had posted this little piece of information -so I'm doing it now for someone with a similar problem in the future. To them, I say in advance, "you're welcome."
**IMPORTANT: Make sure your RAID isn't using it: It will tell you how to check when you go to remove it under add/remove programs... or here: Under device manager/Storage Controllers: You should NOT see intel controllers ALSO under Device Manger/IDE ATA/ATAPI controls Yous should NOT see intel controllers -if you do NOT, you should be able to remove IRST with no problems, like me.
!