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CPU spikes when transmitting large files via internet

I'm running Win7, Core2 Duo 2ghz, 4gb RAM, and I've recently been running into a rather odd problem. When I'm either downloading a file or transmitting a large email attachment, my CPU spikes and the computer bogs down considerably. In fact, using The Ultimate Troubleshooter I'm showing that transmitting a file, be it in iTunes, Firefox, or Thunderbird, adds about a 20-40% load on my CPU. With these three programs open my "resting" CPU load is at ~5%. I first noticed it while playing a song in iTunes, and this sort of spike makes the song garbled and causes it to hang repeatedly.

Malwarebytes runs every day, and I've recently used Glary Utilities to clean up the registry, etc. I connect to the internet via the Ethernet jack through a non-wireless router. Any ideas on why this is happening?

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Update

I've since noticed that I get a momentary spike even when I'm loading a website, especially if it involves Flash.

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Ouch!

I always worry where I see users mention system optimisers and registry cleaners. We are never quite sure what damage may have been done to the registry.

That aside, you made no mention of any anti-virus, or other security software, so I can only surmise;

1] The latest editions of AVG anti-virus includes a "LinkScanner" component. It is often reported that this affects performance. Look at the discussion in the link below for a similar problem;
http://forums.cnet.com/5208-6142_102-0.html?messageID=3280816#3280816

2] Spybot Search & Destroy installed? If so, is it's TeaTimer resident scanner enabled? problems can often be traced back to that.

Just a couple of clues there, without knowing more.

Mark

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Hi Mark

I mentioned that Malwarebytes runs every day. I've never installed Spybot or AVG.

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So, no anti-virus?

Malwarebytes is not sufficient on it's own to combat today's threats.

Here's a test. In the Task Manager > Processes tab, click the CPU column header once or twice to list all items in CPU usage order with the highest at the bottom. You may need to click the option to "Show processes from all users".

Watch out for any processes that seem to be taking the CPU usage higher when you are downloading web sites or sending large email attachments. That may help you track down what is happening here.

Mark

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