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Being driven crazy by random Hardware Interrupts


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#1
rch427

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For some reason, lately my computer's system resources have periodically been tied up by Hardware Interrupts, which cause everything to suffer a sort of delayed reaction. My mouse moves in fits and starts, applications operate slowly, everything gets wonky. When I consult Process Explorer, it says that Hardware Interrupts are using somewhere between 20 and 45% of my system resources, and System Idle Process (whatever that is) is talking up somewhere between 50 and 75% of them. This seems to be the case no matter whether I'm actually doing anything on the computer or not. With my computer just idling, and me not even using it, Hardware Interrupts is still just zooming along, sucking up resources like a lush at a kegger. Sometimes this comes on if I'm I've opened a bunch of applications, and other times it seems to come on with just the basic system operations going on. If I should try to play any media files, it goes all jittery and juddery. I've discovered that one can't "end task" on either Hardware Interrupts or System Idle Process so the only way I've found to remedy it is to re-boot; hardly a convenient solution.

Any ideas?

Thanks in advance --

Robert
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#2
Neil Jones

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System Idle Process means what it says - when the system is sitting there doing nothing.
Hardware Interrupts are a fact of computer life. They're caused by you doing stuff, even just pressing a key on the keyboard is an example of a hardware interrupt. Or if you plug in a USB device, that's another example of an interrupt, so called because you've interrupted the computer from whatever it was doing before you plugged the USB device in.

This may be an issue with your Windows installation because you shouldn't be seeing messages about Hardware Interrupts. A Windows Repair may sort it, or in serious situations a back-up anything important and wipe the machine may be in order.
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#3
Ztruker

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Where are you seeing this "Hardware Interrupts"? I have never, ever seen this in Task Manager on any machine I've looked at and that is probably in the thousands by now.

Can you post a picture of it? http://www.geekstogo...st-t185663.html

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#4
Neil Jones

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It isn't in Task Manager, its a hidden process,. though you can probably see it in Process Explorer, some third-party software and also some scanners will flag it up too. If its ended up in Task Manager, you have one sick computer.
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#5
Ztruker

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I wonder if DEP is involved here? Try turning it off: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/875352
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#6
cmpm

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This was just discussed here at this forum-

http://www.donationc...p?topic=12327.0

This could be of some help. Good info imho.
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#7
rch427

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Where are you seeing this "Hardware Interrupts"? I have never, ever seen this in Task Manager on any machine I've looked at and that is probably in the thousands by now.

Can you post a picture of it? http://www.geekstogo...st-t185663.html


Here you go:

Posted Image
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#8
rch427

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The strange thing is that I can leave Process Explorer running and not touch my computer, and yet the "hardware interrupts" still uses up 40% of my CPU.

I'm starting to wonder if it could indeed be an issue with my Windows installation, or perhaps a conflict with the slave HDD that I installed. How can I go about testing for this?

Thanks for your help --

Robert



System Idle Process means what it says - when the system is sitting there doing nothing.
Hardware Interrupts are a fact of computer life. They're caused by you doing stuff, even just pressing a key on the keyboard is an example of a hardware interrupt. Or if you plug in a USB device, that's another example of an interrupt, so called because you've interrupted the computer from whatever it was doing before you plugged the USB device in.

This may be an issue with your Windows installation because you shouldn't be seeing messages about Hardware Interrupts. A Windows Repair may sort it, or in serious situations a back-up anything important and wipe the machine may be in order.


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#9
Neil Jones

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Well if its a conflict with the second drive, shut the system off and unplug it.
I'd rather be inclined to argue that your Windows installation is damaged.

Having just downloaded Process Explorer and ran it, I'm getting no usage on "Hardware Interrupts" whatsoever. I might get the odd 1% on occasion which I would expect bearing in mind what I was doing at the time and the fact I've already explained what it does, but 40% would realistically indicate there's some serious system software error here, since there's no real practical way of making so many hardware changes to justify that amount of CPU usage. Hardware Interrupts are handled two fold - by the hardware which Windows then picks up on and takes appropriate action depending on what's just happened to trigger the interrupt. So realistically I can only assume your installation is badly damaged.

Edited by Neil Jones, 28 February 2008 - 04:55 PM.

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#10
Ztruker

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Power off then unplug all external connections except mouse and video (yes, unplug keyboard) and disconnect everything inside the computer not absolutely required to boot XP. If there are any PCI/PCIE cards, remove them as well.

See what happens now. I'm more inclined to think this is a driver or hardware problem than than a corrupted XP install.
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#11
cmpm

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why not try some simple stuff
some different things to try-

1-check device manager and see if any of you IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers are set to PIO mode rather than DMA
They need to be set to dma or higher.

http://www.onthegoso..._setting_nt.htm

2-check your jumper settings for master and slave drives
Some master hard drives need a different jumper setting when you add a slave drive

3-turn off computer and disconnect slave
set master to single, if it has that setting
reboot and see if the problem is still there

Those three are for your drives, hard drives or cd/dvd.
And mainly to check that slave drive.

Another option--

For your other hardware
right click 'my computer'
properties
hardware
device manager
-
you can uninstall each device
including any cd/dvd drives and the slave
reboot and windows will reinstall it automatically
or should, windows already has the drivers

Edited by cmpm, 28 February 2008 - 09:38 PM.

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#12
cmpm

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I suspect the slave though really...
Is it new or a pull from another computer?
Does it have an OS on it or files?
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#13
cmpm

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O yeah, and make sure the hard drives are on the same ribbon cable with no other devices, like a cd drive. That will slow any hard drive and cause problems for sure.

When you boot up, the screen should show the hard drives first then any cd/dvd drives.
Does it do that?
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