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What is eating my processor?


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#1
Ian W

Ian W

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My Win XP machine seems to run very slowly a lot of the time - several seconds to properly populate the icons on my desktop, 10+ seconds to populate the Start | Programs menu.

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.

Any suggestions?
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#2
Neil Jones

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How much memory is in the computer?
(Start Menu -> Right-click My Computer -> Properties).
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#3
Ian W

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736M of which, around 553 is occupied with browser, mail prog and stuff running
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#4
Ztruker

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Couple possibilities come to mind.
  • Paging file is to small so system is thrashing. The recommend size is

    Minimum = 1.5 x installed RAM
    Maximum = 2 x minimum

    To check/change:

    • Right click on My Computer and select Properties
    • Click on the Advanced tab
    • Click the Settings button under Performance.
    • Click the Advanced tab.
    • Click the Change button under Virtual Memory.

    You can set it to a custom size as described above or set it to System Managed.
  • Too many files in the temporary folder areas, especially TIF (Temporary Internet Files). The easiest way to clean them out and keep them clean is to install and run CCleaner. Go over the options before running so you don't delete anything you want to keep like cookies, MRU lists, etc.

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