When I look at the Performance graph on Task Manager, the processor seems to be running at 60% or greater.
Normally - I have my mail program (MailCopa), browser (Firefox - typically with 2-3 tabs), plus AIM, YIM and a couple of assorted Systray utilities.
With all of those running - processor usage is > 60%, even if I'm not doing anything (and no animated graphics on the browser pages).
If I close all those apps down and kill all the systray utilities (and AIM/YIM etc), the processor still sits around 50% according to task manager.
If I go to task list - System Idle is the only one eating cycles, plus occasional butt ins from network etc.
The laptop - with the same software set and printer utilities sits at under 10% in the same circumstances.
I use AVG and run updates and scans regularly, I've run SPybot S&D and a few other utilities - nothing. Even a couple of rootkit utils didn't show anything immediately suspicious.
I can't see anything immediately obvious on Hijack this or Silent Runners. So, I'm at a loss, other than learning patience.
I am moderately proficient with computers and operating systems and networking.