Windows Legacy OS forum

General discussion

Windows XP Home: won't load, iexplore.exe at 100% CPU usage

by Exaltare / August 16, 2005 4:39 AM PDT

Essentially, the computer in question loads to the desktop but refuses to display the taskbar or desktop icons. The task manager indicates iexplore.exe is using 100% of the CPU.

Subsequent boots into any safe mode without the command prompt simply fail. Chkdsk indicates that the boot drive is still viable. The computer does not have a system restore point that successfully resolves the problem.

I suspect that the issue is malware of some kind. However, I'm not entirely sure of my options, since I cannot perform a repair install (the user has no Windows XP installation disks).

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Windows XP Home: won't load, iexplore.exe at 100% CPU usage
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Windows XP Home: won't load, iexplore.exe at 100% CPU usage
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
by Merl Priester / August 16, 2005 5:29 AM PDT

You can get to Safe Mode w/command prompt.

Rename iexplore.exe so it can't be run and try restarting.

Collapse -
Have you tried
by chuckieu / August 16, 2005 5:32 AM PDT

simply using Task Manager to end the program, then go from there. Sometimes necessary when things get out of sync. One thing I would do if this worked is download and install any missing Anti-virus and Mal-ware programs, as well as a good firewall (like Zone Alarm or Sygate). These are all free. Do as much as possible before rebooting. chuck

Collapse -
Similar problem
by mencik / September 8, 2005 11:23 AM PDT
In reply to: Have you tried

In my case every once in while (every couple of days) either Internet Explorer or Outlook Express goes to 99% CPU, effectively stopping the machine. If I can get Task Manager to open, attempting to end the process does nothing. It is as if the process is a zombie that does not respond to anything, even a request to be killed. It just keeps eating up the CPU. I can not even shutdown except by powering off, which should always be a last resort. Spysweeper indicates system is clean, as does Pest Patrol. ZoneAlarm has not indicated anything amiss, nor has Norton Anti-Virus. So, I am truly stumped, and would appreciate any other ideas.

System is Win XP with all patches applied. Plenty of RAM and free hard drive space.

Collapse -
100% CPU
by foxyboy / September 9, 2005 6:51 AM PDT

When you are useing 100% CPU (Central processing unit) your computer will not be able to load any more programs. If iexplor.exe is making your computer use 100% CPU you may have tomany programs running if you do not have any other programs running your computer need ram memmory wich can be expensive for good ram

Collapse -
Bzzzzzzzt: Wrong answer
by mencik / October 10, 2005 10:48 AM PDT
In reply to: 100% CPU

Those of us posting this do not have many programs loaded. What we have is a program gone wild, using 100% CPU, that cannot even be killed via Task Manager. In my case I have 1.25GB of RAM, which should be plenty, so that is not the problem either.

Collapse -
Bzzzzzzzt: Wrong answer
by panther23 / October 10, 2005 4:02 PM PDT

it is interesting... what is your CPU speed?

If you have winXp, try to repair it by winXP cd.
insert the cd to cd-rom, reboot the system, press "any key" to boot from the cd-rom, and follow the screen says: repair windows xp, press R.

just a thought

Collapse -
Reply to: Bzzzzzzzt: Wrong answer
by mencik / October 16, 2005 3:42 AM PDT

I have an AMD 3000+ 64-bit processor, so that should not be an issue. I've done the XP repair before, and that didn't help.

Collapse -
1.26GB of RAM>>>?????
by spy HH / October 13, 2005 5:49 AM PDT

Wow!! i didn't know that was possible!!!>

Your pc should be really fast! ISN'T?????

Collapse -
Reply to 1.26GB of RAM>>>?????
by mencik / October 16, 2005 3:45 AM PDT
In reply to: 1.26GB of RAM>>>?????

Actually 1.25GB of RAM, but yes that's possible. I have a desktop with 4GB of RAM. Normally, the machine is very quick. However, when one of these processes decides to go nuts and hog 100% of the CPU, it doesn't matter how fast the CPU is, or how much memory you have.

It does remind me of the joke that the new Cray 3 supercomputer was going to be so fast it could execute an infinite loop in just over 3 seconds!

Collapse -
Na na nana.......l think you are all wrong,
by spy HH / October 11, 2005 5:52 AM PDT

This is obiusly the spyware of the IE.

this thing is unreapairable.

I suggest you to download another browser like Netscape or opera or better firefox.

Remove ie from the start up items and from running.

Collapse -
how can you remove IE??
by panther23 / October 11, 2005 8:17 AM PDT

If you have IE already installed in the computer, how can you remove it? Can you tell me how to? because I do hate IE, it gets a lot of memories.

unless you can restall the system, and then keep IE reach out of internet by "zonealarm" or something, I believe the same problem is gonna appear again.


Collapse -
Here's How...
by spy HH / October 13, 2005 5:46 AM PDT

If IE came up with your computer in from the factory, do this:

1.Go to Control Panel

2.Click on Add or Remove Programs.

3.On the left panel click on add or remove windows components.

4. a new windows will appear with this title: windows xp setup.please wait. Dont get scared or worried.

5.the last window will be closed after 2-5 minutes. then another window will appear, like those like the instalation process. the scroll down list you'll see IE, uncheck it and click next.

7.the changes will be maked and ie will be removed.

NOTE: if you have IE as your Default Internet Browser, Put another one as default browser, or you'll have some trouble.

Question: which is your Browser, appart of IE?
Tell me, so i can help you on how to set it to default.

Collapse -
yahoo brower
by panther23 / October 13, 2005 1:52 PM PDT
In reply to: Here's How...

I have installed Yahoo Brower.

If i removed the IE, will the yahoo brower works?

I do not like "Netcape" it took too much time to load.



Collapse -
I think
by spy HH / October 14, 2005 8:52 AM PDT
In reply to: yahoo brower

That if there isnt any technical difficulty, your yahoo browser will work ok.

REMEMBER: configure Yahoo browser as your default browser.

Good Luck!

Collapse -
(NT) (NT) yahoo browser its COOL, where did you get it??
by spy HH / October 14, 2005 9:07 AM PDT
In reply to: yahoo brower
Collapse -
from Yahoo DSL
by panther23 / October 14, 2005 9:40 PM PDT

I got the Yahoo broswer from install of SBC Yahoo DSL setup.

for those broswers, do they somewhat use IE's component? I mean like shared file?

Because i have could install another broswer, it was kind like the Package of "ICQ" chinese version. it comes with the broswer, but the windows everything is somewhat like the IE, so i mean i was wondering the above question i asked.

Collapse -
Congratulations, you have...
by Edward ODaniel / October 14, 2005 4:55 AM PDT
In reply to: Here's How...

removed Internet Explorer from the desktop but the Internet Explorer is still present and functional.

After doing that open a command prompt and type in:
dir c:\iexplore.exe /s and press the enter key

You will see that you still have it. You made the same assumption that Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson did.

You might be interested in this site which tells you how to go about changing the browser for those apps that will still open IE.

Collapse -
My answer, Good-knowing-FELLA
by spy HH / October 14, 2005 9:04 AM PDT

First of all, The command Prompt you gave in your post, was wrong...

Im going to suggest you to have some kind of "kind ability" when you're not pretty sure of what you're talking.

I don't know if you removed your IE, but i did it that way, AND IT WORKED. Some people have different testimonial of stuff they did and which worked.

And i also should tell you that don't know who in earth is ">>>Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson>>". and why are you saying i maded the same assumption as him. I didnt talked of law in my post, Did i????

Collapse -
by Edward ODaniel / October 15, 2005 6:37 AM PDT
First of all, The command Prompt you gave in your post, was wrong...

First, I offered NO COMMAND PROMPT, I suggested a specific command.

It appears you didn't try the command I suggested (that was a command, not a command prompt--a command is issued FROM a command prompt, which itself can vary widely depending on how you or someone else has configured the prompt in your system's environment).

the command dir c:\iexplore.exe /s issued by the user from the CLI's prompt will locate all instances of iexplore.exe in any directory on the C: partition (that is the purpose of the /s switch).

The link provided was so that you COULD get rid of most of MSIE if you really wanted rather than just the desktop icon.

If, in addition to what you sepcifically stated about using Add/Remove and Components, you manually deleted the iexplore.exe file (but you didn't mention any such thing) you would not see it listed by the above command but you would have encountered some rather interesting problems with other individual programs.

Penfield was the judge who ordered MS to provide a Windows without MSIE which BREAKS Windows so your method is what MS offered and what system integrators and manufacturers can use to keep MSIE off the desktop unless the user desires to have it.

You are welcome.
Collapse -
You're Right!
by arthsin / October 31, 2005 2:19 AM PST

I had exactly the same problem and followed your instruction to remove IE plus RealPlayer (I believe as long as I have MediaPlayer) and it works! Thank you so much!

Collapse -
try F8 'step by step' mode
by jonah jones / October 13, 2005 6:06 AM PDT

when iexplore.exe comes up, do not confirm [N]....


Collapse -
this is a adware
by badmash / October 15, 2005 6:52 AM PDT

install a program called "Ad-Aware se" it will solve you problum. goodluck

Collapse -
Reply to this is a adware
by mencik / October 16, 2005 3:54 AM PDT
In reply to: this is a adware

Problem is not adware, spyware or anything similar. It is not IE related, as it not always IE that runs amok. Sometimes it is Outlook Express. Sometimes it is Diskkeeper. Sometimes something else. Only thing in common is that some process suddenly goes to 100% CPU. The process cannot be killed, even using the Task Manager. Only solution is to power-off and restart. A normal shutdown or restart does not work.

I've run Ad-aware, Pest Patrol, and I have SpySweeper running all the time. I've done full anti-virus scans and have Norton Ant-Virus running all the time. I also have ZoneAlarm Pro running. So, the liklihood of a spyware or virus being the problem is quite small

Collapse -
It sounds like spyware of some kind.
by chuckieu / October 16, 2005 5:33 AM PDT

But with the programs you have, maybe not. To simlify the
previous posts (some of them, anyway), use Task Manager
to stop whatever is running amok. With a recurring problem like this, I would remove the battery or use the jumper to clear the CMOS. I have had malware that got into the BIOS and could not be eradicated any other way.
Record your BIOS settings first, though. Internet Explorer can't be uninstalled completely and is necessary
for some things (like Update). What many of us do is (as
mentioned) isolate it. Use a safer browser like Opera or Firefox (Yahoo browser is only repackaged Internet Explorer). My firewall-Sygate- is set to ask any time IE6
wants to access the net. Outlook Express and Messenger are Uninstalled as soon as Windows is installed on any of my machines. There are safer programs (Thunderbird, etc).
Hope this helps chuck

Collapse -
Reply to It sounds like spyware of some kind.
by mencik / October 16, 2005 7:42 AM PDT

As I noted, when this happens, Task Manager is not capable of killing the task. You can choose end task, and try to end it, but it won't stop, no matter how many times you try. It is as if it became a zombie process that is not capable of communicating. I eben downloaded a tool to run from the command line to kill a specific process, and that doesn't work either.

As for the BIOS, I have downloaded the latest BIOS from my manufacturer's site and flashed the new BIOS into my machine. If there were something in BIOS, it is gone now. However, I still get this problem once in while.

As I also noted, this is likely not an IE problem, as I have had non-Microsoft processes turn zombie. I think it is likely an XP issue, or perhaps an interrupt issue. I haven't noticed any driver conflicts, but perhaps there is some combination of events that causes this problem, and I just haven't figured out what that mix is yet.

Collapse -
spyware - sure it is
by hot_shower / October 19, 2005 4:43 AM PDT

it seems to be some spyware
i had 100% CPU usage with no disk activity, no applications loaded at all, for such a long time that i tried reboot safe mode - all clear - then reboot again and got 100% CPU usage after boot finished.
system clean by AD-Aware SE personal did not help.
full CPU load was caused by system, so i tried no t killing any processes. it was absolutely clear that the task has very high privileges.
i went out for about 20 min to browse from another comp, left the CPU load window on the screen. when I came back the load is absolute normal till the moment i write this.
i'm sure in a pair of days we will know who's the author of that ****.

Collapse -
just want to add one more thing
by panther23 / October 21, 2005 7:24 AM PDT
In reply to: spyware - sure it is

I have a computer running Sempron 64 2800+ with MB with 512MB memory(rosewill, DDR3200), and 128 Diamond S80 ATI9200 AGP videocard.

after I installed Yahoo Messenger BUNBLE from yahoo DSL package, everything is messeed up(don't like the yahoo messenger). Then, I tried to uninstall the yahoo messenger, but couldn't -- either from control panel or from "start" > "yahoo messenger"> "uninstall yahoo messenger"!

The CPU was running the full while i am trying to uninstall yahoomessenger, and I have to go into the Task manager to end "uninstall yahoo manager".

The computer was fresh installed, and I am playing CS1.6 with no problem at all.

Just don't know why couldn't uninstall the freken yahoomessenger.. Sad

Popular Forums
Computer Help 51,912 discussions
Computer Newbies 10,498 discussions
Laptops 20,411 discussions
Security 30,882 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 21,253 discussions
Windows 10 1,672 discussions
Phones 16,494 discussions
Windows 7 7,855 discussions
Networking & Wireless 15,504 discussions


The most beautiful phone ever has one wildly annoying issue

The Samsung Galaxy S8's fast speeds and fantastic curved screen make it a top phone for 2017, but the annoying fingerprint reader could sour your experience.