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Ridiculous CPU Usage Numbers

INeedNoSaltINeedNoSalt with blood on my teethRegistered User regular
edited April 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
Okay, so, right off the bat, I'm using this: http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/series/category/notebooks/dv7t_series/3/computer_store

When I first got this machine it worked really well for me. It's got a nice big screen and it ran the games I wanted to play on it well enough -- Doom 3 chugged, but WoW ran pretty fine, and I could play older games with no problem.

Then lately, I started having really weird issues -- I'd be playing StarCraft 2, for instance, which would run perfectly fine ... and then, suddenly, it would grind to a halt, my FPS would drop to about ~3 or less, etc. Even worse, I wound up having the same problem with the original StarCraft -- which is more than ten years old and runs fine on PCs from that era.

So I decided to reformat my PC, fuck it, get it back to its factory defaults and it should be fine. But...

Right now, I'm running Google Chrome and I have the Windows Task Manager up. At the moment, I'm hovering between 15-25% CPU usage ... but even as I'm typing this, it just shot up to 47%. 58%. It just hit 61% there.

In the list of CPU usage by processes, I've got Chromse around 5, and 3-4 other processes between 1-2 -- definitely nothing that even remotely adds up to 60. What's going on here? Any ideas?

INeedNoSalt on

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    mere_immortalmere_immortal So tasty!Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Is Windows downloading any automatic updates?

    They absolutely destroy my CPU for some reason if I don't turn them off.

    mere_immortal on
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    OverOver ...laser cats? Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Try grabbing Security Task Manager and getting a better look at what exactly is hogging the resources.

    Over on
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    soxboxsoxbox Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Get process explorer: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653.aspx

    When process explorer graphs the cpu time, it takes note of what process is taking the most cpu (and what percentage) at that time. Might help you see what is making the spikes.

    soxbox on
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    OverOver ...laser cats? Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    soxbox wrote: »
    Get process explorer: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653.aspx

    When process explorer graphs the cpu time, it takes note of what process is taking the most cpu (and what percentage) at that time. Might help you see what is making the spikes.

    Hah, that's actually what I meant.

    I used to use STM, but I'd suggest Process Explorer over it.

    Over on
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    INeedNoSaltINeedNoSalt with blood on my teeth Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I'm getting an svchost at 48% for some peaks. :\

    INeedNoSalt on
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    The AnonymousThe Anonymous Uh, uh, uhhhhhh... Uh, uh.Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    What you've described sounds like it *could* be malware or spyware of some kind, but aside from that there isn't much to go on - it could be something else entirely. So just to clarify:
    • Have you tried anything besides formatting your hard drive (e.g. virus scan, booting into Safe Mode)?
    • Have you installed any software with known spyware? For instance, some MMORPGs have utterly Satanic "protection software" (read: hard-to-remove rootkits that can make your system insecure).
    • Have you done any "questionable" browsing/downloading, so to speak? You don't have to tell us specifics, just know that you can pick up all kinds of nasty programs that way if you aren't careful.

    The Anonymous on
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    soxboxsoxbox Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Malware is the most likely culprit - http://www.safer-networking.org/en/index.html

    If that doesn't find anything:

    Run "netstat -na" from a command line, look for any suspicious network connections.

    Process explorer lets you see the 'handles' of a process as well - look at what handles the svchost process has - looking through there might show up some suspicious looking dlls or file references. If you can't spot it yourself, feel free to post the handle list here, but svchost is a hodge-podge of things, so it may be difficult to spot.

    How is your computer connected to the internet? If you've got any type of modem connected directly to your pc, you may be a publicly visible node on the internet and will likely be compromised directly. If not, then after a reformat the FIRST thing (before ANYTHING else) is to run all your windows updates, and don't run anything else until you're done. If you have any other computers on your network, take them off until you've locked down the new pc (in case they're the source of the infection).

    soxbox on
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    INeedNoSaltINeedNoSalt with blood on my teeth Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Would any nasty malware have survived the reformat?

    INeedNoSalt on
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    finalflight89finalflight89 Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Possibly, but not probably. I'd check your CPU temps. Especially since you had the problem running both Starcraft and Starcraft II, after heavy use of your CPU over an extended period, it may be getting too hot and clocking itself down to cool off. In essence, the same amount of CPU instructions executing at 100% speed will cause twice the time to execute at 50% speed. Is the fan in your laptop running really fast?

    finalflight89 on
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    PeccaviPeccavi Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Having gone through this before, I'd say it's probably overheating.

    Peccavi on
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    INeedNoSaltINeedNoSalt with blood on my teeth Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    the fan in my laptop is always running pretty loudly yeah

    Is there something I can do about that, how do I cool it further

    It's only got one tiny little exhaust place which some genius decided to put right on the bottom of the thing

    So usually when I'm playing games on my laptop, I prop it up on a book or something so that the vent isn't obstructed (or like right now, I'm sitting with it on my lap, but making sure my legs aren't obstructing the vent)

    INeedNoSalt on
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    TofystedethTofystedeth Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Yeah, Process Explorer will actually show you which services each SVChost process is running if you mouse over it. I'd suggest overheating as a option. have you recently blown it out at all?

    Tofystedeth on
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    jungleroomxjungleroomx It's never too many graves, it's always not enough shovels Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I've taken to barely using my laptop keyboard and such. It sounds like overheating.

    I got a cooling pad, a wireless keyboard and mouse. Its only when I take my laptop on the road that I use the built-in stuff.

    My last laptop was doing the same thing as yours. The GPU fan failed, then the CPU fan failed. It would run horribly until one day it just sputtered its last clock cycle and popped off with a crackling sound. It may be time for a new laptop.

    jungleroomx on
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    SkyCaptainSkyCaptain IndianaRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    svchost.exe isn't always malware. It could also be some system resource loading thing I read about, but can't quite remember now how it worked. All I remember is that it had to do with file indexing and stuff. I was having issues with it doing that to my second hard drive.

    SkyCaptain on
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    soxboxsoxbox Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    svchost runs a whole bunch of windows service dlls into one process. Malware often registers a library as a service with svchost (or co-opts one of the existing libraries) rather than installing its on executable.

    Alternatively, it could be some crappy software that HP installed on the box (though I have the same model, and my lappy seems fairly sane).

    Could also be crappy antivirus - the 'name-brand' anti virus products are mostly pretty crappy performance-wise.

    soxbox on
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    ashridahashridah Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I've seen audio drivers, touchpad drivers, other peripherals go nuts and take out svchost with it. If it's happening regularly, and it keeps happening after you exit the app you're trying to use, process explorer can help track down the offending driver, so you don't have to blindly install lots of new drivers.

    See Mark Russinovich's blog posts on the subject of using process explorer to track down issues like http://blogs.technet.com/markrussinovich/archive/2008/09/24/3126858.aspx

    ashridah on
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    finalflight89finalflight89 Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    the fan in my laptop is always running pretty loudly yeah

    Is there something I can do about that, how do I cool it further

    It's only got one tiny little exhaust place which some genius decided to put right on the bottom of the thing

    So usually when I'm playing games on my laptop, I prop it up on a book or something so that the vent isn't obstructed (or like right now, I'm sitting with it on my lap, but making sure my legs aren't obstructing the vent)

    It depends on the model. You might be able to take it apart and see if there's dust clogging the exhaust ports. If that's the case, then your fans won't be able to do any good, no matter how fast they spin. I've seen people get those external laptop fan pads like one of these, but I never personally liked them.

    finalflight89 on
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    INeedNoSaltINeedNoSalt with blood on my teeth Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    audiodg is lagging like crazy now when i play sc2

    any ideas about that?

    INeedNoSalt on
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