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Computer with high CPU % when idle


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#1
Gnitrops

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Good evening,


I have a computer with a strange problem. It's an old laptop running Windows XP which is used occasionally by my family. Everything was OK until a few days ago, when a friend borrowed the computer from me and brought to his home for a day. He tried connecting to his home's wireless connection, but connected to a random open wireless lan, which claimed to be "free internet hotspot". No internet access was granted though. The computer came back to my home on the same day.

Since then, the computer is extremely slow to boot up and very very laggish when using. Also, I can't shut it down normally. The task manager shows me the "SYSTEM" is using ~95% of the CPU, and I guess it's because of that it is so slow. I can't access the Internet either (browser crashes when I enter any address).

I've been looking around trying to find more info, and what I noticed is that if I disable the wireless (button on the laptop) before turning on the computer, the CPU usage on idle is ~20%, and I can shutdown the computer and work with it normally (well, it is still slow to boot up; other than that, works fine). If I switch the wireless to ON, I immediately get the CPU to ~90% and it won't go back down, even if I turn it back off later on. Also, the Internet Explorer crashes if I try to visit sites other than the start page (google).

I also get a Windows - No Disk error every once in a while, at boot up.


I posted this situation on the Malware section, and maliprog was kind enough to help me out with this. We reached the conclusion that the computer is clean and it must be some configuration problem. Maliprog advised me to post here on this forum. I leave you the link to the details and what have we tried so far. Might be useful for pointing out other symptoms. For instance, some diagnose programs didn't run at all or had problems (GMER, RKLookUP, ComboFix).

Here's the Malware thread: http://www.geekstogo...u-usage-on-idle

Any advice on fix this would be mostly appreciated!

Edited by Gnitrops, 09 February 2011 - 02:55 PM.

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#2
Macboatmaster

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Firstly, I have not had time to read the whole thread in Malware, so some of these points may have been covered.

1. What is the free space on the HDD. I know from the way you word your thread, that you would not have had a HDD with insufficient free space, but what is it now.

2. In Task Manager on the Performance tab, what is the total memory, available memory and system cache. Now open a browser - what is it now
Also in Task Manager on the Processes tab, click the sub tab Mem Usage. One click will put it on a rising scale and another on a falling scale.With the browser open how much is that using. If you CAN just open the Home Page.

3. You are on IE. Go start, programs, accessories system tools and open IE from there with NO add-ons. When IE opens, do not select any of the options just continue and see how it is then. If you are also on Mozilla, find that in the programs list and open that in Safe Mode and try that.

4. Have you checked to ensure, although you make no mention of it that a driver update has not been installed.
Just a few days ago I worked on a computer that was crashing with a BSOD and established that Microsoft had on Custom Updates offered an update for the Wireless card. It had been accepted, but it had changed the wireless card from TPLink to Media?. As soon as I rolled back the driver it was OK.

5. Have you examined Event Viewer to establish if any error is logged when the crash occurs.

6. Have you checked for any errors on devices.

7. Does IE still crash if you connect wired to LAN

8. Clean boot it - how is it then.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929135

9. Have you checked that wireless card is securely seated..


Edited by Macboatmaster, 09 February 2011 - 09:31 PM.

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#3
Gnitrops

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Hi Macboatmaster,

1. What is the free space on the HDD. I know from the way you word your thread, that you would not have had a HDD with insufficient free space, but what is it now.


C: (root) is 16,2 Gb free (of 37,2)
D: is empty (29,3 Gb free)

2. In Task Manager on the Performance tab, what is the total memory, available memory and system cache. Now open a browser - what is it now
Also in Task Manager on the Processes tab, click the sub tab Mem Usage. One click will put it on a rising scale and another on a falling scale.With the browser open how much is that using. If you CAN just open the Home Page.


Total Memory: 1046572
Avaliable: 548348
Cache: 460376
(CPU @90%)

With IE at home page, the values barely change.


3. You are on IE. Go start, programs, accessories system tools and open IE from there with NO add-ons. When IE opens, do not select any of the options just continue and see how it is then. If you are also on Mozilla, find that in the programs list and open that in Safe Mode and try that.

No options show up. One time it crashed, had to reboot. After that, IE didn't open at all. Reboot again. Now curiously CPU usage was around 40% on idle, and IE without add-ons opened OK, and opened another website OK as well. Then I closed it, opened normal IE, opened OK but froze when trying to move to other website. CPU usage stayed on 50% though.

4. Have you checked to ensure, although you make no mention of it that a driver update has not been installed.
Just a few days ago I worked on a computer that was crashing with a BSOD and established that Microsoft had on Custom Updates offered an update for the Wireless card. It had been accepted, but it had changed the wireless card from TPLink to Media?. As soon as I rolled back the driver it was OK.


The wireless drivers are from 2006, from what I could check.

5. Have you examined Event Viewer to establish if any error is logged when the crash occurs.


I'm not keen on that, but it appears to me that no errors are logged (hungapp is the only "info" I can see)

6. Have you checked for any errors on devices.


Everything seems to be normal.

7. Does IE still crash if you connect wired to LAN


Can't test it right now, but will do so when I can and let you know.

8. Clean boot it - how is it then.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929135


Can't connect to Internet after that. Still, IE with add-ons seems sluggish to open, at least.

9. Have you checked that wireless card is securely seated..


It's internal :D
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#4
Macboatmaster

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1. Make and model of laptop please and if available service tag no or equivalent depending on make.
Pls provide the generic model and the specific variant of that if applicable.

2. I realise the wireless card is internal but on most laptops there is a small panel on the base giving access to that and the ram. - if you are uinsure please wait for me to come back.

3. Go back to clean boot pls the Microsoft article and re=enable the wireless please, then test the computer with various web pages etc.

4. What is the Mem usage please on the Task Manager for the browser..?

5. Go to IE - if it is IE8 on the Safety button - delete browsing history. Unless you NEED to retain any personal settings uncheck the top box and check the others please.

6. On event viewer what is that Hung Application report.
Double click to open. Provide any further details.

7. Download please, to another computer if necessary, install and run Who Crashed please, click analyse button and if there are any minidumps it will provide the analysis.

8. When this person took this computer was a user account established for him, or did he use yours and is that an admin account.

9. Please check Device Manager in NORMAL boot, including on the view tab - show hidden devices.

Edited by Macboatmaster, 10 February 2011 - 06:43 PM.

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