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High cpu usage in Windows, pc shuts down at times with warning high lo


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#1
Chicken mania

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In the previous 2 to 3 days, I've noticed extremely high cpu usage in Windows XP. Certain Windows components like add/remove programs(Control panel), games(Diablo: Hellfire, fanmade games, etc., etc.), or even other applications like Gimp, etc., etc. seem to run with low to high cpu usage.

Sometimes, cpu usage hits 100% and the computer emits a high-low beep which repeats, then the pc will shut down and not start up properly at times. I actually uninstalled Abit's uGuru but the problem still continued.

Now, this pc has had some serious problems. It was in fact sent for troubleshooting about 1 to 2 months ago. However, I'm not very sure if this issue is related to the PSU(which was replaced). And after the computer had been repaired, there were some funky directory listing issues with Win XP which have more or less resolved by themselves.

Anyways, I've been told to check and clean the heatsink but of course, I'd also like to try and reduce cpu load in Win XP as well.

Indexing is disabled. I've also emptied the recycle bin(except for some folders which I might still keep). I've also disabled visual effects. However, I have a ton of programs and codecs installed.

Two major culprits which have been identified so far are: explorer.exe and rundll32.exe

Any tips or ideas on how to reduce the cpu load in Win XP?

Thanks! :whistling:

Edited by Chicken mania, 02 August 2006 - 08:18 AM.

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#2
AitrusSkyy

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OOOOHhhh I love finding the way to tweak xp into best performance...

#1 Dont user a firewall, use a router, this ensures you have no software on your pc, and the router secures you, thus resulting in better CPU load without a firewall...

#2 High load on explorer.exe and rundll usually means there is a virus involved (especially if rundll is running and you are not running any instalations and/or updates... if you just start up windows and rundll is constantly going in the background, something is wrong.

#3 Check your pc for viruses ( unistall your current protection unless you pay for it ) and download http://www.download....tml?tag=lst-0-1, install this sucker and update it, its free, but its pretty darn good.

#4 Check your pc for spyware
adaware free http://www.download....tml?tag=lst-0-1

ewido free http://www.ewido.net/en/download/

install both of those ( one at a time ), update them, full scan with each.

*********************

As for tweaking windows xp... hahaha :whistling:
The following #1 step has been known to free up 1gb-5gb depending on if you have ever done it or not and how long you have had your pc.

#1 Clear old restore points (only if restore is enabled and unless you turned it off, by default its on)
Open MY COMPUTER> RIGHT CLICK C:> CLICK PROPERTIES> CLICK DISK CLEANUP ( I know you done this before but there is an advanced option> WHEN DISK CLEANUP scans and the next window opens CLICK THE OTHER OPTIONS submenu, then choose the bottom option CLEANUP SYSTEM RESTORE Posted Image

#2 If you have divx or xvid, or quicktime or realplayer or any of that crud, UNLESS YOU use them to purchase music and or burn with them, UNINSTALL THEM ALL and download this. http://www.fileshari..._codec_pack.php it is a mega codec pack and if you scroll down you can see what it installs, when installing just choose the EVERYTHING option, and when it asks you to disable filters for some codecs click YES...

This makes it so you dont have to have a buch of different programs installed to play diff types of videos, the CODEC pack simply places the codecs from quicktime, divx, xvid and many others into your SYS32 folder, saves on diskspace and programs running, AND you will be able to play any computer video or audio on the planet.

#3 Visual elements, adjust your visual elements for BEST performance in the CONTROL PANEL> SYSTEM window...

#4 Disable unwanted, annoying services.

Open control panel, if you have SERVICE PACK 2 installed, open your WINDOWS FIREWALL and turn it off, UNLESS you want it on, if you have a router you do not need it.

Open Control panel and open ADMINISTRATIVE TOOLS>> Then open SERVICES

You can find and stop and disable the FOLLOWING named services... Simply find the named services below, DOUBLE CLICK THEM, and CLICK STOP if they are running, THEN CLICK DISABLE, then APPLY AND OK.

AUTOMATIC UPDATES
Note: Auto Updates can be annoying, and if you ever want to update, turn this service back on for updating, then off again when you are done so it doesnt run in the background.

ERROR REPORTING SERVICE
That stupid window that pops up when any program crashes and asks you to SEND ERROR or DONT SEND ERROR but doesnt help worth crap for either one you click. In fact, if a program is about to crash and you see this window, if you DONT CLICK send or dont send, THE program that is crashing will actually stay open, giving you time to save any stuff you need.

HELP AND SUPPORT
Not to many programs ever use this, and the dumb thing never helps you anyways, that why you are here at geekstogo instead of using window help right???

REMOTE REGISTRY (only on XP PRO and win server 2003)
Hey who in the heck wants their registry remotly edited by some hacker, did you even know this crap was turned on by default??? Turn it off, unless you run a business or have a pc with no monitor and for some strange reason you need to change its REG remotly...

SECURITY CENTER (only on XP SP2 "service pack 2")
The annoying program that constantly pops up and tells you, you have updates, your virus protection is out of date, your firewall is off "even if you dont want it on on purpose" it will constantly remind you and sometims EVEN turns the firewall BACK ON BY ITSELF, its annoying and I like to manage stuff myself, and its another process you dont need running.

TASK SCHEDULER
The program that schedules tasks, say everynight at 3am you want your virus program to do a scan... Task scheduler is another background process, and all in all its really prefrence... Like I said, I dont like anything happening on my pc I dont know about.

THEMES
This one is VERY VERY optional and disabled the pretty look of XP, making it look like the windows 2000, but if you want to run your machine for performance and more like a server, disable this service, I however leave mine running for possible windows mods I want to install.

WINDOWS FIREWALL
Up to you

WIRELESS ZERO CONFIG
Only disable this if you have a desktop that has no wireless card and is connected to internet via a cable




All of the above once again can be done by going to CONTROL PANEL> ADMINISTRATIVE TOOLS> SERVICES.

All of them can be STOPPED and DISABLED via the STARTUP MENU when you double click each.
It is completely safe, and will not harm your computer in any way to disable those features. At anytime you can also go back and re-enable them.

************************************

These last 2 also help...

I do these once every 5 days.

click START > RUN > type in %temp% and delete everything in this folder that you can. All temporary files go there and are not needed, even spyware and viruses reside in the temp, and if you do this, you will notice your pc speed up the slightest bit.

Note: Some files cant be deleted in the temp, cause a program is currently using a temp file, no harm can be done in deleting anything in the %temp% folder, if a program needs a file, itll just create another temp file :blink:.



Also do this once every 5 months.
Go to C:/windows and delete all files in the PREFETCH folder, a folder than windows stores files about the programs you use the most so that it can pre fetch them for you to open quicker, however over months of time, every program you use can be in there and it can be slow. It is safe to delete all files in prefetch, after 4 restarts windows will rebuild the prefetch itself based upon the programs you use.



Hope this helps
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#3
Chicken mania

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Awesome!!!

Wow, so much info!!

Yes, I have an adsl modem with firewall and router inbuilt. :whistling: And I actually have disabled some of this stuff before.


Thank you for your post! :blink:

Edit: For some of these programs though, what if they hit high cpu usage? What can I do, then?

Edited by Chicken mania, 02 August 2006 - 10:28 AM.

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#4
AitrusSkyy

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Sometimes, cpu usage hits 100% and the computer emits a high-low beep which repeats, then the pc will shut down and not start up properly at times. I actually uninstalled Abit's uGuru but the problem still continued.
Now, this pc has had some serious problems. It was in fact sent for troubleshooting about 1 to 2 months ago. However, I'm not very sure if this issue is related to the PSU(which was replaced). And after the computer had been repaired, there were some funky directory listing issues with Win XP which have more or less resolved by themselves.


Oh also reffering to the above items you stated. Computer beeping or shut down man mean 1 of 4 usual things...

#1 Overheating, if your cpu or ram is overheating your pc can auto shut off to protect itself ( if it happens when playing games, this is mosty likely the cause, as games use high cpu and heat the system up, maybe go pick up some silver bond for 5 bucks from a local pc store, take off your alluminum cpu cooler and put silver bond inbetween the processor and the cooling block )

#2 You have installed or upgraded your machine with items recently, and now you do not have the wattage or power to support it, may need a new power supply with more watts.

#3 Some stuff on your motherboard is connected or confugured incorrectly. Windows having an issue with invalid directory can happen if your WINDOWS HARD DRIVE, is not the PRIMARY MASTER in your BIOS settings, which is actually configured by WHICH CABLE the HD is connected to via the motherboard, and the PINS on the HD itself in the back, MASTER/SLAVE/CABLESELECT

#4 Perhaps you have a virus, not likely if you have already WHIPED your system and re-installed windows... I would check your RAM though and CPU, if windows shuts down and computer beeps... that usually means something is up with your power/cooling/ram/cpu...
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#5
Chicken mania

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Sometimes, cpu usage hits 100% and the computer emits a high-low beep which repeats, then the pc will shut down and not start up properly at times. I actually uninstalled Abit's uGuru but the problem still continued.
Now, this pc has had some serious problems. It was in fact sent for troubleshooting about 1 to 2 months ago. However, I'm not very sure if this issue is related to the PSU(which was replaced). And after the computer had been repaired, there were some funky directory listing issues with Win XP which have more or less resolved by themselves.


Oh also reffering to the above items you stated. Computer beeping or shut down man mean 1 of 4 usual things...

#1 Overheating, if your cpu or ram is overheating your pc can auto shut off to protect itself ( if it happens when playing games, this is mosty likely the cause, as games use high cpu and heat the system up, maybe go pick up some silver bond for 5 bucks from a local pc store, take off your alluminum cpu cooler and put silver bond inbetween the processor and the cooling block )

#2 You have installed or upgraded your machine with items recently, and now you do not have the wattage or power to support it, may need a new power supply with more watts.

#3 Some stuff on your motherboard is connected or confugured incorrectly. Windows having an issue with invalid directory can happen if your WINDOWS HARD DRIVE, is not the PRIMARY MASTER in your BIOS settings, which is actually configured by WHICH CABLE the HD is connected to via the motherboard, and the PINS on the HD itself in the back, MASTER/SLAVE/CABLESELECT

#4 Perhaps you have a virus, not likely if you have already WHIPED your system and re-installed windows... I would check your RAM though and CPU, if windows shuts down and computer beeps... that usually means something is up with your power/cooling/ram/cpu...



Ooh removing the heatsink would be nice but I'm afraid I don't have the expertise to do it. And I don't think I'd dare to remove it. I tend to destroy plenty of hardware so these days, I stay far away from them unless I really need to. :whistling: Perhaps I' could try cleaning it without removing the heatsink, though. Hopefully, there will be some guides on how to do that!!
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#6
Chicken mania

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Btw, I just cleaned the pc again. Things are a bit better now(less 100% cpu). However, why does it seem the problems are not just hardware? Now this is speculation but if I had a dirty heatsink(means cpu can't cope too well with heat), and software issues that resulted in high cpu load, wouldn't the pc trip up and shut down as well?

And I downloaded Processor Explorer. For now, it seems that rundll32.exe is behaving badly when I open "Add or Remove programs". And there seem to be some really nasty issues when I run certain games. Whoa... think there might be some nasty software problem out there.

Edited by Chicken mania, 03 August 2006 - 07:11 AM.

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#7
AitrusSkyy

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Well... in my experience with gaming... Once upon a time I ran css and then halo, about 20 minutes into playing my computer started to glitch badly, I couldnt figure out what was wrong... so I actually took the side or my case off while the pc was running, I lightly touched my ram, and CPUs alluminum cooler, and they were hot enough to burn my hand...

Overheating...

Thats my experience... However you could do a similar test, I dont reccomend risking electricuting yourself :whistling: but sometimes you just gotta be a caveman and test stuff out in what I call the dumbazz way.

I would reccomend somehow checking the temp when the problem is happening, I would also reccomend going to windows update, and updating all critical updates...

Also perhaps your video drivers are outdated or corrupt. What card do you have? when did you last install the drivers for your video?
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#8
Chicken mania

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Okay, yeah... forgot to state that I also downloaded Hardware Sensor Moniter. The temperatures are as follows:


Mainboard 44 degrees celcius

CPu: 53 degrees celcius

Power: 42 degrees celcius

Hdd 1 temp: 47 degrees celcius

Hdd 1 temp: 46 degrees celcius

However, where can I find another software to do this since I'm not sure how accurate this software is?
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#9
AitrusSkyy

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55 degrees Celsius = 131 degrees Fahrenheit

Nevermind thats alright for your cpu etc... your temprature looks fine...

Your ram might be wrong though... Do you know how to take it out?

Edited by AitrusSkyy, 03 August 2006 - 08:39 AM.

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#10
Chicken mania

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55 degrees Celsius = 131 degrees Fahrenheit

Nevermind thats alright for your cpu etc... your temprature looks fine...

Your ram might be wrong though... Do you know how to take it out?

Yes, I know how to remove my ram. What's my ram got to do with temperatures, though?

Edited by Chicken mania, 03 August 2006 - 08:45 AM.

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#11
AitrusSkyy

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Well your tempratures are fine... so it sounds like perhaps your ram is either

A: Bad and has some errors, may need to run a mem diagnostic on it to test its stability.

B: You are using the wrong kind of ram for your system and/or you have 2 ram sticks which are different in speed so its causing an issue.



Of course, it could all be just a windows problem because you have a virus or something that is making everything run slow...


Its really to hard to say...

Try taking your ram out, and if you have more than 1 stick, switch places with them ( sometimes this resets the ram ) and see if it changes anything.


Also what type of graphics card do you have?
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#12
Chicken mania

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Anyways here are my specs:

Athlon A64 3000+ / Abit AV8 / PowerColor 9600 Pro / Corsair ValueSelect PC3200 1GB
WD SATA 80 GB + WD IDE 160 GB / Benq 1620 Pro + LG DVD-Rom

As for PSU: It's Antec TruePower 2.0 .

And actually, I had a hardware issue which was diagnosed to be a faulty PSU with weak rails. So, it was exchanged and I put it in but there was some other issue too with the motherboard(faulty on board lan) which has now been solved.

Anyways, after the pc came back, there were plenty of cpu spikes. Yeah, there used to be quite a lot of cpu load before the psu was replaced but with the new psu, there were way more spikes.

And also, Windows XP started acting really messed up: if i had a usb thumbdrive connected, Windows XP's "select user" screen wouldn't load. And there was quite a bit of stuff crashing right and left... gah.

Anyways, I'm going to try and reinstall my graphics and sound drivers and uhm, my antivirus.

And as for ram, hopefully it's not a ram issue. I totally cannot afford any new hardware for now. *groans*

Edited by Chicken mania, 03 August 2006 - 10:16 AM.

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#13
AitrusSkyy

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Try downloading the updated drivers for your graphics to see if it helps...

is the webpage you find it on

https://support.ati....mp;folderID=293

you want the 34mb one

CHOOSE XP DRIVERS<

CHOOSE REDEON

THEN CHOOSE Catalyst 6.7 Windows XP - Driver Download

Then choose the

Download
2 of 2

Edited by AitrusSkyy, 03 August 2006 - 10:36 AM.

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#14
Chicken mania

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Reinstalled sound card drivers. No effect.

Gonna reinstall graphic drivers too.

According to Process explorer though, often when many of my programs have high cpu, explorer.exe, nod32(trial) are often the cause.

Hmmm... I seem to get really high cpu when unzipping an archive or installing something too.

Also, 100% cpu problem occurs when running Sybot.

Dang looks like a repair of Win XP is in order.
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#15
Chicken mania

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EVIL EVIL EVIL EVIL Ati control panel!!!

AHHHHH I uninstalled it and the cpu doesn't peak as much anymore.

Now, time to reinstall ATI drivers. But, does anyone know of an alternate control panel where I can still adjust the ATI settings? ATI's control panels used to be really nice before they switched to Dot Not framework.
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