Kerry_Irons
2 Bronze

CPU usage goes to 100%

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I've got a 2010 Dell Studio laptop, Intel processor, 4GB ram, 320 GM hard drive (180 GB consumed)  running Win 7 and IE 11 that is giving me CPU usage problems.  I don't know what all is related so here's the story.

I was experiencing slowing of my download speed - dropped in half every 2 hours or so after a restart.  Occasional problems with computer speed as well and when I checked Resource Monitor I would see CPU usage bumping 100%.  A restart always fixed the problem.  Running in Safe Mode eliminated the loss of download speed so I knew it wasn't a problem with hardware or my cable modem or wireless router.  I explored a lot of possible issues but none resolved the problem so I reinstalled Win 7 on Friday, January 16.  Download speed not only fixed but faster than it was before.  It remains steady and doesn't decay so there was something wrong with the OS, etc.

However the CPU usage problem remains.  What seems to happen is that something triggers high demand and then every process on the computer joins in.   When I look at resource monitor right now it's consuming 1.3% of CPU but when things are choking it is consuming 15% of CPU, and all the running processes jump from like 0.5% to 5%.  So you can't point to a single process as the culprit though it's possible that high demand web sites (lots of ads) trigger the problem.  I'm going to do some research on that.

I've done a lot of web searching as well as this forum and none of the fixes seem to either work or apply to me.  I've run a Malwarebytes scan and a full virus scan with Microsoft Security Essentials: nothing found.

The computer is almost 4 years old but I would hate to spend the $$ to replace it and find that the problem is software.  Any ideas?

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Kerry_Irons
2 Bronze

RE: CPU usage goes to 100%

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The issue resolved when I upgraded to Win10 on that machine.  At the same time a degrading download speed (with time) issue resolved.  I cannot imagine how that all worked though I have discussed the idea with several IT folks I know and have gotten various suggestions. 

Since a clean install of the OS did not fix it, I can't understand why installing Win10 fixed it, but there it is.

Since then I have replaced that computer.

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DELL-Ravi Ch
Moderator
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RE: CPU usage goes to 100%

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Hi Kerry_Irons,

I’d suggest that you optimize and maintain your computer. Please run the fix it tools from the link below to check for issue resolution.

http://dell.to/1a2tzGD

Also, we need to check if the issue is caused due to any application installed on the system. So please clean boot the system using the link below on the system.

http://dell.to/1eOndyH

Please let me know if this helps.

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BARADOS
Not applicable

RE: CPU usage goes to 100%

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Push CTRL+ALT+DELETE and open task manager. Then locate to processes. Then push on CPU usage to bring processes to descending to see which apps/processes using the most. I would highly suggest if you can do a clean-up on your PC/laptop and run full scan with antivirus and anti-malware programs separately so your hardware will not overheat (which is almost impossible but you never know). 

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Kerry_Irons
2 Bronze

RE: CPU usage goes to 100%

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I ran the Performance Troubleshooter and (I think) came up with nothing.  It gave a list of programs (Netgear Genie, Dell System Detect, and Dropbox) none of which should be an issue.  Then it listed startup items (Java, IDT PC Audio, Intel Common User Interface (listed 3X), MS security client, Intel Wireless, and IAStorIcon) none of which should be an issue.

Not clear what a clean boot would do, since this is not a matter of a program not running or not being able to install a program.

As a reminder, I did a clean Win7 reinstallation last Friday and have only installed Java, Adobe reader, Adobe Flash, Malwarebytes, Dropbox, Office 2010, Netgear Genie, Chrome, and Microsoft Security Essentials.  None of these should be causing the CPU usage I see.

I am also seeing my download speed slowly decline (drops roughly 50% every 2-3 hours after restart).  This is the reason I finally resorted to the reinstallation of Win7.  The problem was temporarily (a day or two) fixed by the reinstall.  If I start in Safe Mode, download speed does not drop with time.

I am reaching the conclusion that I have a defective system.  I've spent several weeks trying to figure this out with all sorts of solutions implemented and none having any effect.  That's why I went through the pain of the Win7 clean install, but it has changed nothing.

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Kerry_Irons
2 Bronze

RE: CPU usage goes to 100%

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I have been regularly using Performance Monitor, which shows the CPU usage of every process.  Before I did the clean reinstall of Win7 last Friday, I did numerous full virus scans (Microsoft Security Essentials) and malware scans (Malwarebytes) and never found anything.

The processes that produce excess CPU demand vary.  Sometimes it is my browser (IE 11) with each tab showing 15% CPU usage.  Sometimes it is WORD or Outlook or Excel.  Sometimes it is System Interrupts, MsMpEnge.exe, svchost.exe, dwm.exe, etc.  And when the overall CPU demand goes high, then all of the "little" services increase their demand by an order of magnitude and it pushes the demand to 100%.  If I shut down all applications before the CPU gets totally consumed then the demand of the little services will slowly return to normal (30-60 minutes).

But for example this morning I have 4 WORD documents open, 13 IE 11 tabs open, Outlook open, 6 Excel spreadsheets open, and yet CPU usage is running below 10%.  The computer has been on for 4 hours with no problems but the odds are that sometime today, when I least expect it, things will start to get slow and Performance Monitor will show CPU usage skyrocket.

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DELL-Ravi Ch
Moderator
Moderator

RE: CPU usage goes to 100%

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Hi Kerry_Irons,

I would suggest you to clean boot the system and enable each application one by one and check the performance as we will be able to identify if there is any conflict between applications.

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Kerry_Irons
2 Bronze

RE: CPU usage goes to 100%

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Ravi, are you suggesting running applications "in pairs" to see if there are interactions that are different in one pair or another?  Would this give a different result than enabling them?

I have not been able to reproducibly create the high CPU usage problem by putting a heavy load on one application or another.  However most often I have only Outlook, WORD, Excel, and IE 11 open at any given time.  There does seem to be a dependence on which web sites I'm connected to w/IE 11 but even that is not reproducible.

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DELL-Ravi Ch
Moderator
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RE: CPU usage goes to 100%

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Hi Kerry_Irons,

We are trying to analyze if there is any conflict between application and the operating system so that we can check and reinstall the specific application on the system.

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Kerry_Irons
2 Bronze

RE: CPU usage goes to 100%

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The problem with your thought is that sometimes the system will run for hours with all applications open and experience no slowdown.  And other times it will bog down within an hour.  It would take literally days to determine if the problem actually was a software interaction issue and I would be without the functionality of Office 2010, IE 11, and/or Adobe reader during that time.  These are essentially the only applications I run.

I've had an independent computer repair shop look at it and they have suggested an essentially undiagnoseable hardware issue.  They would not work on the computer because they felt they could not solve a problem that was neither predictable or reproducible.  I'm going to limp along by restarting the computer when it gets slow (shades of Windows 95) and get a new computer when Win 10 comes out.

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DELL-Ravi Ch
Moderator
Moderator

RE: CPU usage goes to 100%

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Hi Kerry_Irons,

We have performed all the troubleshooting steps on the system. The hardware seems to be fine. Please follow the steps in the link below to check if it fixes the system concern.

http://bit.ly/1Dw42ST

Also, please check if there is backup software or antivirus scan which runs on the system when the issue reoccurs.

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