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50% CPU usage

by Talib / August 15, 2007 2:49 AM PDT

Hi all,

From time to time, I experience a strange issue with my Windows XP SP2 system. The system will be normal until I perform some operation requiring opening a new window. Whether it's a new browser window from an already open browser or a new application, the application jumps to consuming 50% of my CPU -- always 50%. The app just about stops working and I'll End Task to close it. Another app will then jump to 50%. End that task and it jumps until it eventually lands on explorer.exe at 50%. At this point, all I can really do is reboot. The system will be fine for days and then I'll experience this again.

Virus scanners and spy software don't see anything. Anyone else seen anything like this and/or have any ideas?

I'm very tech savvy, but this one has me stumped.


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(NT) (NT) System specs please.
by boisebird / August 15, 2007 4:46 AM PDT
In reply to: 50% CPU usage
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System specs
by Talib / August 15, 2007 5:57 AM PDT

HP Desktop w/ Windows XP Professional. Running E6400 processor with 2GB RAM. Video is NVIDIA GeForce 7300 set at 1280x1024. Typically run Firefox, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Thunderbird, Trillian and Microsoft Office 2007.

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by tomron / August 15, 2007 9:34 AM PDT
In reply to: System specs

What "Virus scanners and spy software' did you try?

You can try HOUSE CALL and AVG ANTISPYWARE,I suggest scanning in safe mode.


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Seems to me
by Jackson Douglas / August 15, 2007 9:46 AM PDT
In reply to: 50% CPU usage

That Spybot has a program called TeaTimer, that will do something sort of like this. The idea behind the program is to keep any one program from hoarding CPU time. It's a symptom rather than disease sort of solution like pretty much all spyware removers, but it could explain the 50% aspect of things.

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I Suspect Tea Timer (if you have) May Be....
by tobeach / August 15, 2007 4:25 PM PDT
In reply to: 50% CPU usage

something of a red herring. It's basic intent is to lock down over-all system settings to prevent malware from altering settings to it's advantage & your disadvantage. Additionally it requests your approval or denial of new changes to make you aware that something is going on.
Approve/Deny can be changed, after the fact, if need be.

It CAN & DOES cause conflict with some other protectors background guards, especially if they want to make changes. It IS possible that such conflict may slow of even hang computer processes.

I've just discovered such a case with TT & Comodo BOClean (computer hang during disabling LAN connection.).

If you have S&D, you can easily test by right clicking Tea Timer Icon (near clock) & select: " Exit SD Resident".
Does that clear up problem?
If you don't have/use Spybot....Than "never mind"...:D

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Why it's 50% (instead of 100%)
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 15, 2007 5:13 PM PDT
In reply to: 50% CPU usage

That's worth noting. The failed app can only tap one of your two CPUs in that dual core CPU.

Not that it means much to trouble shooting but someone asked me why it's only and exactly 50%.


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Virus and spy scan
by Talib / August 15, 2007 10:59 PM PDT

I haven't used S&D. I've used Yahoo's anti-virus scan and Lavasoft's AdAware. They've been pretty reliable in the past. As for virus scanner, I've used both Housecall and AVG. Both report nothing.

Now, I didn't think about dual-core processor being the reason the rogue process uses only 50% of the CPU. That's an interesting idea. Anyone know if any utilities that point out which processes are using a particular "core"?


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Just sharing (what I use)
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 16, 2007 12:15 AM PDT
In reply to: Virus and spy scan

Today I head to and type in EWIDO ONLINE and run that scan. It's very uptodate and has found things other scans haven't. Hint: I've found that multiple scanners are now needed.

As to the CPU I think task manager can do that but I'm on my single core machine right now so I can't check.


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(NT) Thanks for That Info on Dual Core, Bob! Makes Sense! :D
by tobeach / August 16, 2007 2:53 PM PDT
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