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Trying to figure out why my MacBook Pro is idling at 60% cpu in XP

LoneIgadzraLoneIgadzra Registered User regular
I've done virus scans and disabled indexing and everything, no results. All task manager says is 30% is being used by the process "System" with the other 30% a mystery.

Needless to say, idling at 60% cpu is completely unacceptable for a laptop, especially one that already runs hot. :| This process seems to be low priority at least, since it doesn't reduce game framerates.

Anyone got any suggestions?

MacBook Pro, 2.16 GHz, Radeon X1600 gimped (128MB), Windows XP SP3 with all updates, .NETs, and everything, Boot Camp 2.1 drivers, with mobility modded catalyst 8.7 for video (to make OpenGL work, which is not the case with the latest official boot camp drivers which are 8.4).

Also why in god's name does add/remove programs list three different versions of every driver, presumably once for every time I've installed a new version of Boot Camp. It's disturbing. Should I just format or some shit? God knows I just use this partition for gaming, backing up doesn't matter.

I have a shitton of other random Boot Camp problems too, like when I boot it up with a firewire hard drive plugged in, instead of loading my desktop it just shows a completely black screen for like 10 minutes.

LoneIgadzra on

Posts

  • AzioAzio Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    I would say maybe try uninstalling Boot Camp and all other Apple software, see if that fixes the 60% CPU problem

    95% of the problems I've had with Vista on my MBP have been caused by Apple software.

  • LoneIgadzraLoneIgadzra Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    This also only started happening the past couple of days, so it could coincide with me doing a couple things, such as installing Microsoft Works (yes I know, I needed to read a file so I could convert it out of MS works), installing boot camp 2.1, installing MySQL server, and messing with the video drivers.

    Also, the last time I tried to uninstall Boot Camp it wouldn't let me and things got ugly from there, resulting in about three formats and retries at installing XP.

  • AzioAzio Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    SQL server is probably causing it. Turn it off/disable it and see if it fixes.
    Also, the last time I tried to uninstall Boot Camp it wouldn't let me and things got ugly from there, resulting in about three formats and retries at installing XP.
    Wow that's awesome, I guess they were so busy creating the World's Most Advanced Operating System™ that they forgot to QA their own fucking driver kit. But then I suppose their products are just so amazing that they don't need to test for scenarios in which someone might decide not to use said amazing software.

    If you manage to fix this I suggest getting InputRemapper which will replace a couple of the Apple drivers, and the Boot Camp control panel, with superior ones. It even enables the automatic backlight functionality from OS X.

  • LoneIgadzraLoneIgadzra Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Well, I just up and formatted. I've taken it in stages to see if I get the same CPU problem, and finally got all the drivers in including my modded catalysts (had to use the device manager to uninstall the default ATI driver since add/remove programs couldn't do it) and am on to updating. Except Windows Update seems to be doing this thing now where nothing ever downloads. "Downloading Windows XP Service Pack 3 (KB936929) (update 1 of 1)... " my ass. The bar has been at nothing for half an hour, and the proof that it's not doing anything is my java download is going at my connection's max speed.

    MySQL was not the CPU problem, since it was the first thing I tried killing and I didn't have it autolaunching on startup; I just turn it on when I need it for software development. Indeed, it was just about the only stable piece of software on this POS.

    Input Remapper huh? I'll see how that works. Last time when I tried to uninstall Apple drivers, half of them would say NO U CAN'T and other half would uninstall and them come right back the next time I rebooted. By the time I was done messing with safe mode (no idea how I got to it) and a bunch of other shit my installation was hopelessly fucked. Maybe I should try the device manager instead of add/remove programs?

    Edit: oh hey it uninstalls them automagically. Hooray!

    Also what is the deal with Boot Camp 2.1 and why do I have to install 2.0 first? That's bullshit and I don't trust Apple's updater in the least since all the old drivers are still in add/remove programs.

  • AzioAzio Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    You can get a manual installer for SP3 here

    The reason it's doing that is Microsoft staggers service pack downloads via Automatic Updates because they want to conserve bandwidth, and they figure most home users won't care about getting the latest service pack right away, and the ones who do care can just google it and get the manual installer.

    InputRemapper will automatically remove certain relevant Apple drivers when you install it. Just install the latest Boot Camp and then InputRemapper over top of it and it should do its thing. Best not to try "helping" it in any way because that will most likely fuck it up again.

    You should do Service Pack 3 before you install anything else though.

  • LoneIgadzraLoneIgadzra Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Oh fuck yes I could kiss the man who wrote Input Remapper.

  • AzioAzio Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    I know, I know. It needs work, but he doesn't appear to be working on it anymore, so hopefully some other good soul out there will hack the shit out of it and make it more gooder. But honestly I think you and him and I are the only three people on the entire planet who run Windows on Macbook Pros.

  • LoneIgadzraLoneIgadzra Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Yeah I was messing around with some OpenGL stuff earlier and discovered inadvertently that the catalyst 8.4 drivers (latest boot camp) have gimped OpenGL support (and have since after 7.4), which ATI fixed in the next version which still hasn't made it into Boot Camp yet. So MobilityModding we go.

  • KrisKris Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Azio wrote: »
    But honestly I think you and him and I are the only three people on the entire planet who run Windows on Macbook Pros.

    Count me in too. :P I need to run Windows for all the .NET coding I have to do.

    Actually though, my XP partition just got totally fucking corrupted a couple days ago, so I trashed it and am gonna reinstall XP in a day or two. Perfect timing mentioning this Input Remapper program, as it sounds pretty awesome. Thanks in advance! :D

    Steam: Zephyrall || XBL: Zephyrall || PS3: Zephyrall_KN || Battle.Net: Zephyrall#398
  • AiranAiran Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    You may want to have a tinker with Process Monitor and Process Explorer to see what the 30% CPU usage came from, if you still have it that is. Process Monitor just records action after action after action in a long list, allowing filters and whatnot, while Process Explorer is like Task Manager on steroids.

    paDudSig.jpg
  • LoneIgadzraLoneIgadzra Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Cool, I formatted and am pretty happy with the results, but I'll keep those around.

    Check out this laundry list of Boot Camp bugs that five seconds of testing could have dug out:
    • Screen brightness goes down halfway for the first notch of the control, then the rest of the way gradually. Apparently only applies to ATI video cards.
    • Messing with the brightness sometimes causes a spontaneous reboot WITH THE DEFAULT DRIVERS. (Not yet after formatting though thank god.)
    • Volume slider has half the range that it has in OS X, forcing me to open the volume control panel and adjust the "wave" slider all the time.
    • After shutting down Windows XP and closing my laptop, the next time I opened it it would sometimes spontaneously turn on. Haven't tested this after formatting.
    • Sometimes when I start up the iSight triggers a "FOUND NEW HARDWARE" sequence of events. Still works but...
    • Bluetooth drivers are garbage that barely work.
    • why do the old driver entries stay in add/remove programs after I update to a new version of Boot Camp? that shit is kind of scary
    • In fact if you actually try to remove any of the drivers in there things will go horribly wrong. What are you trying to prove Apple by breaking the basic purpose of that control panel?
    • ATI drivers prior to 8.5 are confirmed all over the internet to have broken OpenGL support that doesn't actually match the OpenGL 2.0 specification at all.
    • Brightness and volume change overlays can be hideously disruptive and bugged in XP depending on what you are doing when you hit those keys and were unnecessary.
    • I can't enter safe mode? Really?
    • I can't change the questionable keyboard mappings without third party software?

    You get the idea.

  • KrisKris Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    So have most of those issues been addressed by reformatting and running that Input Remapper software?

    Steam: Zephyrall || XBL: Zephyrall || PS3: Zephyrall_KN || Battle.Net: Zephyrall#398
  • LoneIgadzraLoneIgadzra Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    No for the most part except for the keyboard thing, just wanted to end the topic on a positive note. :)

  • AzioAzio Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    I have no trouble getting into Safe Mode, just spam F8 as soon as the grey boot screen disappears. Although from the sounds of it you might have better luck with Vista -- I still encounter problems but not to the extent you're describing.

    I'm also glad to hear I'm not the only one whose MacBook Pro is suddenly waking up from the off state without warning.

  • LoneIgadzraLoneIgadzra Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Hey the 60% CPU when idle is back! Either coincided with Quicktime/iTunes or MySQL (fuckin forgot to check after iTunes). MySQL service is currently inactive. Process explorer shows "deferred procedure calls" as being what's gobling cpu under "system".

    The process monitor log shows this pattern over and over again (these same lines make up 90% of the log output):
    Spoiler:

    Aside from all the normal stuff I'd expect from the apps I have running. Googling the service names has turned up nothing conclusive, though personally I bet it's Apple. Who else could write a bunch of shitty services that fuck up Windows?

    DaemonTools is also a possibility I suppose, though I made sure to isolate its installation so I could tell if it messed anything up. Likewise with my my video drivers (catalyst 8.7 run through MobiltyModder).

    Update: I have now eliminated Quicktime, MySQL, video drivers, game cube controller adapter drivers, and search indexing as possible culprits. Also, after disabling my video drivers from the device manager, all my tray icons for network stuff disappeared and won't come back. I love Windows.

    Update 2: Yeah fuck this shit. Explorer.exe keeps hanging everything up when I try to shut down, so I click "End Now" and 10 minutes later the laptop still hasn't shut off. Also DaemonTools wasn't the problem either. I'm returning to the blissful ignorance of Leopard for a while.

  • LoneIgadzraLoneIgadzra Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Just formatted again, this time going straight for all the potential problem apps, and rebooting a bunch. Can't make it do it. Haven't activated and updated to SP3 yet. Jesus it would be a riot if it turned out mysql .net connector is what causes this.

    It's probably some combination of my unsanctioned video drivers with some other shitty driver and a full moon.

    Edit: oh fuck I hate when I have to call microsoft to activate it, I wish the voice recognition thing would work just once but I always end up talking to some indian lady who asks me pointed questions about how many computers I have this copy installed on

  • Epyon9283Epyon9283 Registered User
    edited August 2008
    Use this: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653.aspx

    You can track CPU usage by thread (since the system process is multi-threaded) to see what exactly is causing the issue. I had a win2k3 box at work that had the system process using 100% of the CPU. The USB driver was doing it.
    Spoiler:

  • LoneIgadzraLoneIgadzra Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Yeah, I have that, I just suck at using it. I couldn't seem to get it to give more info about DPC's (definitely what was causing the cpu use), maybe I missed something.

  • LaCabraLaCabra Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    So I haven't actually installed Windows on a Mac, do you absolutely have to use Boot Camp or can't you just do it conventionally?

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  • LoneIgadzraLoneIgadzra Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Have fun getting some of the hardware to work.

    Yeah, so I still can't make this happen again. Which is cool, but... I will have to maintain extreme installation vigilance until something fucks up my DPCs so I know exactly what I did.

  • BasarBasar Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Epyon9283:

    Is that really how you see Windows on a Mac even when using BC? I thought it would be fullscreen and native, not run in app :(

    confused.
  • LoneIgadzraLoneIgadzra Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Basar wrote: »
    Epyon9283:

    Is that really how you see Windows on a Mac even when using BC? I thought it would be fullscreen and native, not run in app :(

    Yo don't let your imagination run away with you. The whole point of "Boot" Camp is to "Boot" into Windows and run it natively like a "real" PC. He's just using a virtual machine, vmware by the look of it.

  • Epyon9283Epyon9283 Registered User
    edited August 2008
    Its VMWare fusion 2.0 beta 2. Didn't feel like booting into Vista to get a screen shot of my boot camp install. On my Mac Pro VMWare is fast enough for most of the stuff I use windows for.

  • AiranAiran Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    KrView is a program I once used to track down an intermittent CPU spikeage on my previous computer. It's run by command line, but it's fairly easy to use. I remember there being a text file that'll list the procedures for a basic CPU usage capture. It does't list CPU usage like Process Explorer, but hey, one more tool doesn't hurt.

    paDudSig.jpg
  • TrentusTrentus Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    LaCabra wrote: »
    So I haven't actually installed Windows on a Mac, do you absolutely have to use Boot Camp or can't you just do it conventionally?

    All Boot Camp really is is an EFI module that BIOS compatibility. Then there's a separate little app called the Boot Camp Assistant, which will help you non-destructively repartition your HD. It'll also restart your machine and tell it to boot from the DVD drive. Then you just go through the Windows installer like you would on any other machine, select your new partition, and go for it.

    You can avoid using the Assistant app if you like, and use diskutil via the command line to do all your partitioning. But there isn't really anyway to stop windows using the little BIOS module to help it boot... because if it did, it wouldn't work.

  • LoneIgadzraLoneIgadzra Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    The assistant leaves several hundred MB unpartitioned for some reason, I guess to annoy the shit out of me.

  • TrentusTrentus Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    If you open up a terminal window and do a 'diskutil list', you should be able to see a list of your partitions, one of which will be the EFI partition. I'd wager that that's where those missing MBs are.

    I kinda wish I had something to contribute to the actual topic... but all the bases seem to be about covered. Sorry for the off topic-ness of my posts..

  • LoneIgadzraLoneIgadzra Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Yeah the whole thing's very mysterious since I can't make it coincide with installing anything or fix it by removing anything.

    Alas, I'd let Input Remapper manage my screen brightness and such, but the light sensor every so often does this thing where it drops to zero for a flash and then the screen practically turns off because Input Remapper doesn't correct for it.

    Where are the light sensors anyway? Maybe I got a crumb in it.

  • AzioAzio Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Under the speaker grills, by the screen on the left and under the power button on the right. But mine's a Santa Rosa (the newer one with with Nvidia graphics) so it might be different on yours.

  • LoneIgadzraLoneIgadzra Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Yeah, found them by playing around with InputRemapper. It seems weird, but for some reason it just insists on jumping the screen brightness every now and then, so is unusable. And now the plastic cover of my power button started pealing off, making me sad for my laptop's once-wonderful aesthetics.

    Well, I've been cruising with this installation for a while now, so I'm gonna go ahead and blame DaemonTools tunneling bullshit for conflicting with an apple driver or something. Microsoft's virtual CD control panel doesn't handle as many image formats, which is a bit troublesome (I have some images I made with CloneCD to avoid having to bring game discs with me on the go), but it'll do I guess.

  • AzioAzio Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Yeah, IR's screen brightness thing can be irksome. At least the keyboard lighting still works, and you can swap Function and Ctrl, which is all I ever wanted.

    For disk images I prefer Alcohol 52%, it supports as many formats as Daemon, and as an added bonus it doesn't look like someone took a shit on their keyboard and called it image mounting software.

  • LoneIgadzraLoneIgadzra Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Hey, I'm just resurrecting this topic because I finally figured out what was causing this problem (as it occurred again, almost a year later, entirely at random): it was the battery driver.

    Just pop the battery out and presto - cpu use down to normal. Hope this helps someone. I don't know solution that lets you retain full battery functionality in Windows, but other people have the same problem:

    http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=8120596
    http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=7224691

    I have seen some rumors that rebooting into OS X and back will fix it, as will disabling "Microsoft ACPI-Compliant Control Method Battery" in the device manager. (I have tested this, and it fixes the cpu use issue, and if you unplug the power accidentally the battery will still work, so that's probably the best way to go.)

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