I run a Windows 98 peer-to-peer network with 7 PC's. One PC is extremely sluggish, sometimes even taking several minutes to respond to a mouse click. The way I need to have the PC configured, it is almost unusable. Upon using System Monitor, I discovered that the % of Kernel Usage is at a consistent 90% and above. The CPU is an Athalon800 with 128 meg of RAM.
Consequently, I used MSCONFIG and chose to have only System Tray and ZoneAlarm checked in selective startup. Upon doing Ctr-Alt-Del to bring up the Close dialog box, it now shows only System Monitor, Explorer, ZoneAlarm, Vsmon, systray and Minilog (for System Monitor) running. But, System Monitor still shows excessive kernel usage--it is at a consistent 75%, better, but much too high. And I cannot have the software running in the background that I need, mainly ArGoSoft MailServer, without it going back up up to 90-100% I can understand occasional spikes at this height, but not consistent levels such as I am receiving. The system resources are at 84%.
I have run virus scans using both Norton and Panda, plus have run a Trojan scan, finding nothing. Scandisk and defrag have been run recently. System File Check has also been run.
I am running out of ideas. How should I go about to continue to troubleshoot this problem? What could be causing the Kernel Usage to be so high when only a few essential programs are running? How do I go about detecting the "leakage"?
Hope someone can help me with this perplexing problem.