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Laptop CPU spikes with very little activity (Resolved)


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#1
pystryker

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Hello :)

It feels weird posting for help in one of our other forums but here goes. I have a laptop running Windows 7 that runs very slow. I know it's malware free, but the CPU will spike from 0% to 84% and 100% when just opening a web browser. I'd like to get it checked out and see if it's a hardware issue or if it's just time to retire it. Thanks in advance!
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#2
phillpower2

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Hello Pystryker,

 

Possible causes may include overheating, tired hardware and/or out of date drivers but can I ask if you have taken a look in Task Manager to see if any particular entry is causing the spikes.

 

Worth mentioning is that if overheating is causing the processor to be throttled back to cool it down the CPU will not be functioning at a true 100% of its capability, Task Manager may however report it as operating at 100%, this because the processor is busy but at a much reduced performance level, hope my waffle explains it ok  :unsure:

 

We could do with some info on the notebook and installed software if you will;

 

Download then run Speccy (free) and post the resultant url for us, details here,  this will provide us with information about your computer hardware + any software that you have installed that may explain the present issue/s. 


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#3
pystryker

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Possible causes may include overheating, tired hardware and/or out of date drivers but can I ask if you have taken a look in Task Manager to see if any particular entry is causing the spikes.

 
Hello Phill, hope all is well with you. :)

I really think it'll turn out to be tired hardware, but I want to make sure before I retire the machine and look into getting another one.  Regarding the Task Manager, I can have just a web browser only running and the CPU will jump 100%.
 

Worth mentioning is that if overheating is causing the processor to be throttled back to cool it down the CPU will not be functioning at a true 100% of its capability, Task Manager may however report it as operating at 100%, this because the processor is busy but at a much reduced performance level, hope my waffle explains it ok :unsure:



We could do with some info on the notebook and installed software if you will;


No worries, your waffle explained it quite well. :thumbsup: I'd like to mention, the machine is considerably quicker when running in Safe Mode with Networking.

As for the software. I have very little running on the machine. Just the OS, FireFox, Dropbox, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, Avast Antivirus, and Blueline by Azarl. That's all other than the software that came with it. The machine is an older one no doubt.

It's an HP, model CQ60-615DX. I went to HP's site, but it says no updated drivers are available, which I kind of find hard to believe. The Speccy url is below. :)

http://speccy.pirifo...uVZouHMpgBQIu5b
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#4
SleepyDude

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Hi  Pystryker,

 

If possible connect the machine using a Ethernet cable to see if it does any difference. If it does then probably you have some problem with the wireless card, try to update the driver

https://www.atheros....set=37&system=5

 

P.S.: Atheros doesn't have an official place to download drivers, the above link is a trusted repository for Atheros drivers.


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#5
pystryker

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Hi SleepyDude

I updated the drivers, but still getting the CPU spike with only a browser window and 2 tabs open. I have the forum open in one, and Netflix in the other as a test. But it still spikes when doing nothing but browsing.
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#6
GDM67

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I can tell you what's going on, your running too much at once for that single core CELERY 900 to effectively handle.

 

I know what Microsoft states as the official hardware requirements for Windows 7 but unfortunately the "minimum doesnt get you very far" especially when you start running multiple malware applications,virus scanners messengers, skype, and numerous other apps. This is no fault of yours I assure you, but when you have that much going on with a single core Celeron eventually it's going to hit a wall. Opening up the browser, or anything past whats actively already running is that wall.

 

What you can do about it.

 

1: back up personal files, bookmarks,web passwords, product keys, for office software etc, and save those files to a thumb or external hard drive. Make sure you copied what you want then double check again, because once you restore it's going bye bye without recovery software.

2: run whatever factory restore solution you have "tap the F11 key at startup for the HP/Compaq CQ 60 series for example"

3: after restoring uninstall all the bloat ware you don't use. also install all cumilative updates for Windows 7

4: Install what you do use, "Ninite is great for installing most common apps you want in one shot and excludes toolbars and unwanted garbage from the installers". https://ninite.com/

5: when you've done that "if possible" use a USB hard drive to create your own custom restore Image. http://www.howtogeek...e-in-windows-7/

6: Create a Windows 7 Repair CD

7: Do a happy dance!!! as thing's should run noticbly smoother than they had previously.


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#7
Alan1998

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Yeah, I'll plus one the Single Core Celeron being a wall for you.

 

I will not +1 the wiping it though. Yeah, you might notice a SLIGHT improvement. But after you re-load the AV, AM, Scanners etc. You're back to square one. Phil has got some tricks though, you never know :-).

 

I do think it's time you retire the old lappie and get a new one. You're running BARE req's for Windows 7 64 bit.


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#8
pystryker

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I can tell you what's going on, your running too much at once for that single core CELERY 900 to effectively handle.
 
I know what Microsoft states as the official hardware requirements for Windows 7 but unfortunately the "minimum doesnt get you very far" especially when you start running multiple malware applications,virus scanners messengers, skype, and numerous other apps. This is no fault of yours I assure you, but when you have that much going on with a single core Celeron eventually it's going to hit a wall. Opening up the browser, or anything past whats actively already running is that wall.
 
What you can do about it.
 
1: back up personal files, bookmarks,web passwords, product keys, for office software etc, and save those files to a thumb or external hard drive. Make sure you copied what you want then double check again, because once you restore it's going bye bye without recovery software.
2: run whatever factory restore solution you have "tap the F11 key at startup for the HP/Compaq CQ 60 series for example"
3: after restoring uninstall all the bloat ware you don't use. also install all cumilative updates for Windows 7
4: Install what you do use, "Ninite is great for installing most common apps you want in one shot and excludes toolbars and unwanted garbage from the installers". https://ninite.com/
5: when you've done that "if possible" use a USB hard drive to create your own custom restore Image. http://www.howtogeek...e-in-windows-7/
6: Create a Windows 7 Repair CD
7: Do a happy dance!!! as thing's should run noticbly smoother than they had previously.


Unfortunately, that's one of the things I've already done. I wiped it when I first got it and chose only the operating system to be reinstalled and none of the HP garbage.

I do think it's time you retire the old lappie and get a new one. You're running BARE req's for Windows 7 64 bit.


Yeah, I think that's probably what'll end up happening unless Phill has some tips up his sleeve. :)
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#9
phillpower2

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Possible causes may include overheating, tired hardware and/or out of date drivers but can I ask if you have taken a look in Task Manager to see if any particular entry is causing the spikes.

 
Hello Phill, hope all is well with you. :)

I really think it'll turn out to be tired hardware, but I want to make sure before I retire the machine and look into getting another one.  Regarding the Task Manager, I can have just a web browser only running and the CPU will jump 100%.
 

Worth mentioning is that if overheating is causing the processor to be throttled back to cool it down the CPU will not be functioning at a true 100% of its capability, Task Manager may however report it as operating at 100%, this because the processor is busy but at a much reduced performance level, hope my waffle explains it ok :unsure:



We could do with some info on the notebook and installed software if you will;


No worries, your waffle explained it quite well. :thumbsup: I'd like to mention, the machine is considerably quicker when running in Safe Mode with Networking.

As for the software. I have very little running on the machine. Just the OS, FireFox, Dropbox, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, Avast Antivirus, and Blueline by Azarl. That's all other than the software that came with it. The machine is an older one no doubt.

It's an HP, model CQ60-615DX. I went to HP's site, but it says no updated drivers are available, which I kind of find hard to believe. The Speccy url is below. :)

http://speccy.pirifo...uVZouHMpgBQIu5b

 

 

Hi Rusty, all is well thanks and likewise I hope all is well with yourself  :thumbsup:

 

The notebook performing better in Safe Mode with Networking may suggest that the spikes are software as opposed to hardware related so a couple of suggestions along those lines in due course but can I ask you to try something hardware related first, manually turn off the wireless device and use the notebook without being connected to the internet to see if you still get the spikes, this to see if the browser is in some way responsible.


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#10
pystryker

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Possible causes may include overheating, tired hardware and/or out of date drivers but can I ask if you have taken a look in Task Manager to see if any particular entry is causing the spikes.

 
Hello Phill, hope all is well with you. :)

I really think it'll turn out to be tired hardware, but I want to make sure before I retire the machine and look into getting another one.  Regarding the Task Manager, I can have just a web browser only running and the CPU will jump 100%.
 

Worth mentioning is that if overheating is causing the processor to be throttled back to cool it down the CPU will not be functioning at a true 100% of its capability, Task Manager may however report it as operating at 100%, this because the processor is busy but at a much reduced performance level, hope my waffle explains it ok :unsure:



We could do with some info on the notebook and installed software if you will;


No worries, your waffle explained it quite well. :thumbsup: I'd like to mention, the machine is considerably quicker when running in Safe Mode with Networking.

As for the software. I have very little running on the machine. Just the OS, FireFox, Dropbox, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, Avast Antivirus, and Blueline by Azarl. That's all other than the software that came with it. The machine is an older one no doubt.

It's an HP, model CQ60-615DX. I went to HP's site, but it says no updated drivers are available, which I kind of find hard to believe. The Speccy url is below. :)

http://speccy.pirifo...uVZouHMpgBQIu5b

 
Hi Rusty, all is well thanks and likewise I hope all is well with yourself  :thumbsup:
 
The notebook performing better in Safe Mode with Networking may suggest that the spikes are software as opposed to hardware related so a couple of suggestions along those lines in due course but can I ask you to try something hardware related first, manually turn off the wireless device and use the notebook without being connected to the internet to see if you still get the spikes, this to see if the browser is in some way responsible.


Hi Phill

I shut down the wireless connection and connected a cable. I'm still getting the spikes and freezing. I watched it spike from 5% to %100 with only a browser and the Task Manager going.
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#11
phillpower2

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Hi Rusty,

 

Apologies, I should have also asked that you do not connect an ethernet cable to the notebook  :oops:

 

manually turn off the wireless device and use the notebook without being connected to the internet to see if you still get the spikes, this to see if the browser is in some way responsible.

 


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#12
pystryker

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Hi Rusty,
 
Apologies, I should have also asked that you do not connect an ethernet cable to the notebook  :oops:
 

manually turn off the wireless device and use the notebook without being connected to the internet to see if you still get the spikes, this to see if the browser is in some way responsible.


No worries. :) I shut down the wireless and loaded up Free Cell. I played it a couple of minutes and then shut it down. I looked in Task Manager and it was at 85%, then jumped down to 2%.
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#13
SleepyDude

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Hi,

 

No worries. :) I shut down the wireless and loaded up Free Cell. I played it a couple of minutes and then shut it down. I looked in Task Manager and it was at 85%, then jumped down to 2%.

 

IMO its better to use Process Explorer because it gives you more detail about what is using the CPU, also the Windows Resource Monitor (Task Manager -> Performance tab -> Resource Monitor) can be useful to see what the machine is doing.

 

You probably want to get rid of the Windows 10 Offer? GWX Control Panel

 

On a machine with those specs (2GB of RAM) I found Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit SP1 overkill at least it should be a 32 bits edition because there isn't any advantage on x64 and it uses more memory.


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#14
pystryker

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Hi,
 

No worries. :) I shut down the wireless and loaded up Free Cell. I played it a couple of minutes and then shut it down. I looked in Task Manager and it was at 85%, then jumped down to 2%.

 
IMO its better to use Process Explorer because it gives you more detail about what is using the CPU, also the Windows Resource Monitor (Task Manager -> Performance tab -> Resource Monitor) can be useful to see what the machine is doing.
 
You probably want to get rid of the Windows 10 Offer? GWX Control Panel
 
On a machine with those specs (2GB of RAM) I found Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit SP1 overkill at least it should be a 32 bits edition because there isn't any advantage on x64 and it uses more memory.


I've gotten rid of the GWX alert, but I think it's pretty much a gimme that the laptop doesn't have enough power to run what's on it and it's not going to get much better. :) I think it's getting about time to retire it and start looking for a replacement.
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#15
SleepyDude

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I've gotten rid of the GWX alert, but I think it's pretty much a gimme that the laptop doesn't have enough power to run what's on it and it's not going to get much better. :) I think it's getting about time to retire it and start looking for a replacement.

 

One problem I found on older machines is that most if not all AV products demands to much for the old machines.


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