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Sudden System Slowdown

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I'm running a Dell Inspiron E1705 laptop with 2gb ram and 2.16ghz Intel Centrino Duo processor. I have never had a problem with speed or performance on my computer until a few days ago. Now my CPU usage almost constantly reads at 100% and loading anything takes several minutes. Before this problem started I hadn't done anything that would be an obvious cause - e.g. installed any new software, made registry changes, added new hardware or made BIOS changes.

I've done all the things I can think of to fix/identify the issue:
* Looked for anything new or unusual in the startup log and the process task manager
* I did a system restore to about a week before the problem started (I don't have points that go any further back)
* Ran Adware and Spybot S&D (identified 2 or 3 minor issues, not unusual, and corrected those with no noticeable change in performance)
* Ran a virus scan (I use avast!) - no issues
* Ran scandisk
* Defragged my pagefile (had a slight positive effect on preformance)
* Ran CCleaner
* Defragged the hard drive

If I had to make a guess what the issue is I'd guess my computer is slightly overheating - which I've heard can cause the computer to start running the CPU at slower speeds, till it cools down. I ran SpeedFan and it shows lots of little flame icons on the list of detected temperatures- which I'm thinking are not good. If this could cause my computer to slow down any information on how to verify this is the problem and to fix it would be appreciated.

I'm running out of ideas on what could have/could be causing this problem so any suggestions would be appreciated. This is my only computer so I am anxious to get it fixed.

Thanks for your help!
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Hello and welcome to Geeks to Go!!

Download Process Explorer from Sysinternals

Extract and run it. Go to VIEW > SHOW Fractional CPU usage
Make sure it is checked.

Look in the CPU column and relate what is consuming your CPU

If you can, a screencapture would be useful.

Edited by computerwiz12890, 13 April 2007 - 09:38 PM.

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