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Sudden CPU jumps & Fan usage

by dr_mabeuse / February 28, 2014 12:42 AM PST

Every so often my cooling fan kicks on as my CPU usage jumps to 80-90% for no reason that I can see. It's a 3-4 year-old Dell Studio desktop with an Intel Core 2 Quad, running Vista, and it just started doing this like a month or so ago.

When it happens, it seems to happen in bunches. i.e. be okay for a day or so, then bang: fan on like every few minutes for 20-30 minutes.

I can see the CPU usage on a widget, and it jumps up into the redzone when this happens, and then falls back to normal when it stops. Memory usage also seems to rise to ~50-60%. It even happens when I'm running nothing but MSWord

I've checked Task Manager, and I don't see anything really notable, most activity in a process called Windows Sidebar. The fan grill is clean and gets plenty of air. Does anyone know what's going on? Should I be worried?

Any help appreciated.

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All Answers

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 28, 2014 12:45 AM PST

Updates to OS, antivirus and more can cause odd things like this. As I see a change in how folk write apps they tend to just task the CPU to get it done rather than code carefully anymore.

Why not stop Sidebar? I did long ago.

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Are we talking laptop or desktop and how long has it been
by VAPCMD / February 28, 2014 9:54 AM PST

since you've eliminated the 'dust bunnies' in your PC ?


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