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Intel Core 2 sometimes sluggish with nothing running


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#1
bjg222

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I just put together my new computer, but it's acting strange at times. The computer has the following:

MB: Asus P5K WiFi-AP
CPU: Core 2 Duo 6420
RAM: 2 GB OCZ Dual Channel 1066 Hz (2 x 1 GB DIMM)
GPU: XFX GeForce 8800 GTS
HS: WD 160 GB
CD-ROM & Floppy: these drives came w/ the Gateway computer that occupied the case before this computer!

I just put it together and installed windows, so there are no programs on it except the drivers for the hardware and the ASUS utilities provided with my mother board. It starts up nice and quickly, but shortly after windows starts, the computer becomes sluggish for a few seconds (The cursor stutters as it moves, etc), then returns to normal. The odd thing is that there are no programs running, and the process list shows nothing in the background is using the processor, but one of the processors is completely occupied. It always does this shortly after startup, and sometimes does this later on too, though there doesn't seem to be any reason. I included some screen shots that have more information.

Pictures:
spike.jpg spike.jpg: screen shot of CPU graphs showing one processor completely occupied for a brief period of time. The computer wasn't doing anything in particular during that time.
proc.jpg proc.jpg: screen shot of the processes showing what was running at the time.
1.jpg 1.jpg: Screen shot during one of these periods, showing Idle Process at 98%, but CPU Usage at 50% (processor graphs shown at top).
2.jpg 2.jpg: Screen shot following 1.jpg after computer returned to normal.
3.jpg 3.jpg: Another screen shot of the processor list during such a period (idle = 99, CPU usage = 47)
4.jpg 4.jpg: screen shot of another spike after I installed Norton Internet Security (Not particularly fond of this program, but it came w/ the MB, and I'd rather have it than no anti virus. It wasn't installed when any of the other screen shots were taken)
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#2
james_8970

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AVG is free, install it instead over Norton.

There are quite a few processes that need to be loaded, a spike is fine, it's when your computer is operating at 100% for a long period of time when your running no applications that your aware of that you have to start to panic. You have nothing to worry about here.

James
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#3
bjg222

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Sorry, guess I should clarify a bit. The computer boots fine, all the processes load. Once everything is loaded, within 5 minutes it will always do it, usually for about 20-30 seconds at a time. Sometimes it does it multiple times, then sometimes it'll do it later on. It's basically one of the cores running at 100% for a period of time with nothing running.
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#4
Guest_MarkN_*

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Is AVG better than Norton in your opinion or are you basing it on price?

Edited by MarkN, 27 July 2007 - 02:44 PM.

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#5
james_8970

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MarkN I have blocked all your posts, so if you saying something to me I cannot read your post and respond to it.

I'll have you try and number of things to try and stop this form occurring.
First you can try to disable the search Indexer, you can do so by following the directions below.

1. Click Start
2. Click Control Panel
3. Click System and Maintenance
4. Click Administrative Tools
5. Double-click Services
6. If asked for permission, click Continue
7. Scroll through the list and find "Windows Search"
8. Right-click it, and click Properties
9. Click Stop
10. Click the dropdown box next to Startup Type
11. Click Disabled
12. Click OK

Next I highly recommend you uninstall Norton as install AVG as it requires much less system resources when running in the background which could help fix this problem.
http://free.grisoft....s/frt/0?prd=aff

Try these two things and let me know if you notice any difference, can you list your entire system specs and we'll go from there. Also if your wondering what the search indexer is, it's a service on vista which uploads all the new files added to a directory so that your search results (when searching for a file on your OS) will be virtually instant. Also what programs have you installed to date?

James

Edited by james_8970, 27 July 2007 - 09:29 PM.

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#6
bjg222

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I'll try disabling search indexing, but I'm pretty sure it's already off. Also, I know Norton's not the problem. It actually ran fine (I'm aware of Norton's issues), but only the very last screen shot (#4) was taken after I installed Norton, the others were all before, and I was having the same problem then. That's actually why I installed Norton. Before that it was a completely fresh install, and I thought maybe somehow, a virus had worked its way onto the system (unlikely, considering it had been on the network for all of 2 hours, but possible). I just wanted a sanity check. I've since removed it, and still have the same problem.
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#7
james_8970

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Have you installed all updates to your computer (both hardware and OS), double check that search indexing is in fact off.
Do these still occure 30 minutes after the PC has been running? Mine does this for the first five minutes that I have my PC up and running from a reboot as it restarts all the programs that start up after a reboot.
James

Edited by james_8970, 28 July 2007 - 12:45 AM.

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#8
Troy

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Is AVG better than Norton in your opinion or are you basing it on price?

Norton once used to be a great program, but the last few years it has been nothing but "bloatware". It eats system resources like anything. Same goes for Mcafee and, to a lesser extent, Trend Micro as well. I used to use Trend Micro, it was good, but hated that it was using about 60MB+ of my RAM. With the right combination of free tools, safe computer habits, and a maintenance/malware check schedule, you can have a secure system with much less resources being used. This does seem to be beside the point now (for this thread), but just thought I'd put an answer to your question. The fact that it's free is a huge bonus!
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#9
Guest_MarkN_*

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Thanks for the response. Since I posted I had read some articles on hom much memory those other programs use. Funny how they've all gone to yearly subscriptions now. I have removed my Norton since reading this and downloaded AVG on both my computers now. Again, thanks..
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#10
Troy

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Sure no worries, I'm not exactly sure about Vista Home Premium, as that's the OS your sidebar says you have, but I have XP and I'm very comfortable setting it up securely. I personally prefer ZoneAlarm firewall, though I have heard reports that Comodo is excellent also. I use Spybot S&D, Ad-Aware 2007, SpywareBlaster, IE-Spyad (but I don't use IE7 much anyway), AVG Anti-Spyware, Anti-Virus and Anti-Rootkit, and SUPERAntiSpyware. I try and keep everything updated as much as possible and run full scans for each once a week minimum. I don't schedule them, I just set one up to run as I'm leaving the house for a bit or something like that.

Anyway, apologies to bjg222 for taking over your thread!
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#11
bjg222

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Ok, well, the problem seems to be "fixed". (Knocks on wood!) I went through and disabled as many startup options as I could, and it didn't seem to help. I unistalled as many of the drivers as i could and basically stripped it down to a nearly fresh install, also to no avail. So I reformatted and reinstalled XP, and it seems to be fine now. I've reinstalled the drivers (but not any of the utility programs) one by one trying to find out which one caused the computer to lag, and none of them created any problems. So as far as I can tell, it was either one of the ASUS utility programs, or it was some kind of fluke! But either way, thanks so much for everybody's help, I really appreciate it!

And no problem about "taking over the thread" ruthandtroy! Thanks to you, I'll prob install AVG on my new computer, too. I already use AdAware and Sbybot S&D, so AVG seems like a good choice.
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#12
james_8970

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If you install AVG be sure not to install norton, having two antivirus prorgrams running at once will cause a major headach.
James
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#13
Troy

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Sure no worries, more importantly, I strongly suggest you also use a good firewall. The built-in firewall into XP SP2 is only one-way, very ineffective. Like I have mentioned, I personally use ZoneAlarm (link in my signature). After a fresh install, before I connect the computer to the internet or even install drivers, I first install my firewall, reboot, and then install anti-virus, reboot, then connect and let them update, then I worry about drivers and programs. Other forum users have success with Comodo Firewall. Both these firewalls are free. Also note that james is right, you must only have one anti-virus and one firewall program installed. As for Spybot, Ad-Aware et. al., these can go together no problems.
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#14
Guest_MarkN_*

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What do you guys think about Spy Sweeper?
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#15
Troy

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I'm pretty sure that it's a good program, but I've never tried/used it. Are you using/considering the pay-for version or the free version? The pay-for version removes found spyware as well, which is disabled in the free version. With my combination of anti-malware tools, I pretty much have everything covered and don't need it.
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