CPU usage 100% / Task Manager

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  1. 12moon

    12moon Banned

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    Hi folks,

    I have an aging Dell Inspiron 6400 running Win XP Home.
    Yesterday I resorted to running DSR.exe (from Dell Utilities folder) to restore the laptop to factory defaults because the laptop problem had become intolerable.

    Basically, the CPU usage went to 100% for a few minutes and the laptop was unresponsive. This was happening more and more often.

    I thought it was a virus or spyware that I had failed to remove properly. Something (a process I suppose) was starting the SQL Configuration Manager.

    I did try to track down the process and end it with Task Manager and disable services etc but my efforts did not resolve the problem.

    After restoring my laptop to factory defaults, I thought I had eliminated the problem. WRONG AGAIN !!! The problem started again last night. (But I had reinstalled a couple of applications which I have had a few doubts about before..)

    Anyway, I'm rambling a bit, sorry. My question is this - if the problem is dust and failing fans or overheating of the CPU ... can someone explain to me why Task Manager would show CPU usage 100% ??

    Thanks in advance.
    Ali
  2. Airman24

    Airman24 New Member Elite Member

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    Hi Ali,

    Welcome back to PC Help Forum :)

    I have marked your thread as open to as so you can receive technical support from our Tech team and talented forum members, someone will be with you as soon as they can.

    Regards,

    Airman24.
  3. Capt.Jack Sparrow

    Capt.Jack Sparrow Well-Known Member Elite Member

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    Hello there,

    What Process or Service is taking up 100% CPU? If you can't find it with regular Task Manager then use Process Explorer.
  4. monkeymagic

    monkeymagic guinness gives you strength Tech Member Elite Member

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    Can you downlaod speedfan, link in my signature and tell us what the temperatures are. When was the last time you cleaned out the cpu fan vents/heatsink.
    Here is your manual showing how to do this. Documentation
    Monkeymagic.
  5. 12moon

    12moon Banned

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    Thanks Monkeymagic that's what I wanted.
    Sorry it took so long for me to get back ..
    In answer to your question - never (lol) I've been too scared to get to the fan in case I break something. I've watched a youtube video and there's one bit that looks a bit dodgy.

    B4 I used DSR.exe the problem was severe, even when nothing else was open traversing folders in Windows Explorer was really slow. Now everything is fine (back to normal), the only time CPU usage hangs around 100% is occassionally when running a tv tuner program.

    I think I did make a mess of removing some malicous code B4.
    I reckon the registry was a mess too.
    But the fan thing is definitely my top priority now.
    Btw I've read somewhere that a flat battery can also cause high CPU usage, as it constantly checks its status. Is this true? Would that process show up in Task Manager? Any idea what it might be called?

    Thanks for all your help. I really appreciate it.
    Ali
  6. 12moon

    12moon Banned

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    Oh .. btw if anybody else is thinking about using DSR.exe on this Dell model, put all your files on the D: drive because DSR.exe does not alter the D: drive.

    Or put them on an external drive or something.
    Ali
    Hengis likes this.
  7. monkeymagic

    monkeymagic guinness gives you strength Tech Member Elite Member

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    Hi Ali, never heard of a battery causing that. If you see any thing in task manager and think it is related to battery, remove the battery and check again to see if its still there. Don't know what it would be called.
  8. 12moon

    12moon Banned

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    Thanks Monkeymagic (I used to watch that show years ago .. well funny).
    I installed Speedfan, it did read the temps of CPU and HD but it did not see any fan/controller. I also tried i8kFanGUI and it did give me some fan control - normal, 100% or off.

    I've been monitoring the temp for the last couple of days. The HD starts around 42C and gets above 60 but from what I've read on the net this is normal.

    The CPU Core 0 and 1 climb to 89C.
  9. monkeymagic

    monkeymagic guinness gives you strength Tech Member Elite Member

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    Those temperatures are fine.My dell inspiron runs about the same. I am glad some one else remembers that great program. If only i had a cloud to float around on.
  10. monkeymagic

    monkeymagic guinness gives you strength Tech Member Elite Member

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    You said you restored it to factory settings. How did you do this. Was it by using the partition on the HDD. If it was, you will still have a diagnostics partition. Can you restart the laptop and when you turn it on again can you tap f12 and select diagnostics from the menu.
  11. 12moon

    12moon Banned

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    The Dell Owner's Manual states to press Ctr + F11 during boot. I tried this method 3 or 4 times but it did not work, so I just let it boot normally - traverse to C:\Dell\Utilities\DSR folder and double-click BOOT_DSR.EXE

    The laptop then proceeded to reboot and restore to factory default condition.
    It was a bit of a pain reinstalling Windows updates and programs but I now have the more up-to-date versions of the programs I want.

    I did what you asked - rebooted + F12 and I went to diagnostics and let the thing run. All was well.

    I think I know what you might be thinking - that perhaps I have altered my hard drive partition structure or lost MediaDirect or Diagnostics and Dell Restore but I did check and its all still there. (note - I had not previously altered the partition structure).

    partitions.JPG
  12. monkeymagic

    monkeymagic guinness gives you strength Tech Member Elite Member

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    So how is it running now. Are you still watching cpu usage.
  13. 12moon

    12moon Banned

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    Yup still monitoring. Accidently blocked the air vents (hehe) and sure enough CPU usage went to 100% and the laptop was unresponsive until CPU usage started to drop again.

    I'm on holiday at the mo but when I'm at home I usually leave the laptop running overnight with either freeview tv or radio on and I've noticed the fan gets lazy after 12 hours or so ..

    But I'll be able to gauge things better now with Speedfan.
  14. monkeymagic

    monkeymagic guinness gives you strength Tech Member Elite Member

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    It just needs a rest now and then....I try and turn my laptop and desktop off a few times in a week if I remember...There are other tools you can use but will give you the same results. SIW for example. (System Information for Windows)
    Can we mark this as solved for you.
  15. 12moon

    12moon Banned

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    Yea resolved mate.

    That's a bit odd though init? Because one would think it would be something simple like - if CPU temp > 80C turn fan on full.

    Why it would get lazy after being on for a day and a half is weird. Still .. it doesn't take 5 seconds just to open My Music folder any more and the laptop is working much better. Thanks for the info.
    Cheers!
    Ali
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