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CPU usage near 100%


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#1
Pluto56

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Hi all,

Recently purchased from Dell a new laptop. Inspiron 1501.
Have only installed some utilities, CCleaner, TuneUp, AVG Anti Spyware, and AVG anti virus.
Also a Roxio CD burner program that Dell forgot to install when built. (they sent me the disc).

I've emailed Dell with this same question, no answer as of yet. Wanted your opinion.

This puter came with 512 RAM, AMD Sempron 3500+ mobile processor. Since it was new, I've tweaked things, startup menu, etc.. The RAM since new is 2/3 to 3/4 used up already. I've followed all of TuneUp's suggestions, helped a little bit to free up some RAM.

Also, both TuneUp and Windows Task Manager (control/alt/delete) show CPU usage at near 100% nearly constant. From the day it was taken out of the box.

I'm going to add another 512 RAM, make a total of a gig. Will this relieve the processor? Get it off 100% or do I have some other problem?

Thanks beforehand,
Richard

P.S. Forgot to mention.... Windows XP Home, 60 GB HD, 512 RAM.

Edited by Pluto56, 24 December 2006 - 01:36 PM.

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#2
pip22

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Increasing the RAM will not reduce CPU load, but it will nevertheless give speedier performance. Are you running Norton AV or Norton firewall on it by any chance. They are infamous resource hogs.
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#3
Pluto56

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Hi Pip,

No, it came with no antivirus program. I installed AVG free antivirus immediately. Also disabled Windows Firewall and installed ZoneAlarm free.
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#4
Pluto56

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I realize the processor is "small" by todays standards. 1.8 GHz/512KB.
Possibly that's the problem.
This laptop is only for traveling, casual use. For any major computing I'll still use my desktop, it's a hummer.
Still urps me that the CPU usage is so high, with relatively few add ons of my own. Possibly all the crap that Dell preloads, and some of it I don't know wether to get rid of or not.
Thanks guys.
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#5
pip22

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You may need to submit a HijackThis log so we can read it and see what's running on your PC. It could be a service that's running which is unnecessary that's causing the high CPU load.

This is the forum section which deals with HijackThis, how to get it, how to install it and run it. Also, it links you to many other utilities for you to run to check out your system for malware:
http://www.geekstogo..._Log-t2852.html
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#6
Pluto56

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Thanks Pip,
I'm a friend of one of the malware experts here, think I'll run it, send them a log.
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#7
pip22

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Yes it is a low CPU speed by current standards, but with 512MB RAM it should still be reasonable in performance terms provided you don't try to run any heavy duty graphics program on it such as Photoshop. But for web-browsing and email and Office stuff it should perform as well as any Desktop Pentium IV.

As regards all the stuff that starts with Windows, if you know the name of the executable file that starts up, you only have to google it. You'll get some 'hits' which will tell you what the file does and whether it's really necessary to have it running --- or you may be able to decide that for yourself once you know what it does.

You could also go the "trial and error" route. Use the Windows or third-party startup manager to disable a startup item, re-boot and see if it has any ill effect.
Use your PC for a while and, if nothing unwelcome happens, leave that item disabled permanently. But the Google method is better since you'll be learning what each item is for rather than just blindly disabling them.

Edited by pip22, 24 December 2006 - 02:22 PM.

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#8
Serrik

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When you do ctrl-alt-delete check on the processes tab and see what is taking all the CPU usage up.

I found on my wife's computer it was AVG doing a scan and it was using 99% of the CPU while doing so in a constant manner.

I notice you have AVG installed which is why I point it out. It could be running a scan.
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#9
Pluto56

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Hi Serrik,
No, I have AVG set to do a scan at 8 am everyday. This high cpu usage is constant, anytime I've checked it.
I know AVG uses some resources, but it is not scanning now, nothing "extra" is running, and usage is at 95 - 100%.

By the way, you guys are great, getting immediate responses. I do appreciate it very much. Thanks.
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#10
Pluto56

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I'll disconnect my hummer, and get on the laptop. Post a Processes running list.
BRB.
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#11
Pluto56

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it's not letting me copy and paste the list. Looks mostly like system stuff. And AVG and Firefox are using a lot of resources also.
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#12
Pluto56

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just got this from Dell customer support.......


Thank you for contacting Dell Technical Support.

After going through your email, I understand the issue that CPU usage is improper in Task Manager.

I would request you to run PC Restore on your computer and restore the computer back to factory settings to resolve this issue.

Dell PC Restore is a method of restoring a system?s primary partition to the original factory image of operating system, drivers, and factory-installed applications. Dell PC Restore uses an image stored on a separate partition of the hard drive, accessed by a keystroke combination during system boot. Please follow the steps below to restore your computer to the original factory settings:

***********************************
CAUTION: The restore process will remove any software or files added since the system shipped from Dell
Please BACKUP all your important files.
***********************************

* Turn on or restart your computer.

* When you see a blue bar at the top of the screen with "www.dell.com" in white letters, press and hold the [Ctrl] key and then press [F11] to start the restore process. Please be ready to push the keys because you only have a few seconds once the screen appears.

NOTE: The restore process normally takes from 6 to 10 minutes depending on how large the image is.

If the image is no longer available, you will need to reinstall the operating system using the original CDs that shipped with your system.

The case number for this interaction is 151646983. The case has been documented and the contents of this case are available to all Dell support representatives. If you need additional assistance with this issue and you utilize our phone or chat support channels, please provide them with this case number. For additional assistance via e-mail, simply reply to this e-mail.

Thank you for choosing Dell.
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