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System process using 99% CPU time

Posted on 2003-02-27
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We have a problem with a users PC running Win NT 4 SP6. It is running slow and the system process is staying on 99% CPU usage. Any ideas what's using this up? and what to do to get this back to normal.
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Question by:F_MERLIN
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14 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:NstyDevil
ID: 8033984
how much ram have you got, and what is your swap file size set to?
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Author Comment

by:F_MERLIN
ID: 8034139
The RAM is 256 and the swap file is 181Mb (i think, it wont be any less but is on a remote site) It has a P4 1.5ghz
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by:NstyDevil
ID: 8034176
do  you have any anti-virus running, or any other program that might be running in the background?
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Author Comment

by:F_MERLIN
ID: 8034236
We have mcafee antivirus 4.5.1 with e-policy, but we have hundreds with this. The product has been reinstalled but made no difference, and a colleague says he had the pc with no antivirus running and still had problems. A reboot clears the problem and its totally sporadic and cant seem to replicate the problem.
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NstyDevil earned 400 total points
ID: 8034298
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Expert Comment

by:ProgSysAdmin
ID: 8035082
I suspect that the McAfee anti-virus is causing a memory leak.  Try and remove McAfee from the startup and see if you are still having the memory leak.  I had a similar situation with my bosses home PC.  He is using Symantec Norton Anti-virus now.
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Expert Comment

by:ShadowWarrior111
ID: 8038686
I do encounter this problem before, for it is solve after I've run chkdsk.
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Expert Comment

by:evco
ID: 8038905
I've read about usb causing this sort of problem. Try disabling usb devices that is if you have any.
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Expert Comment

by:iamwiz82
ID: 8042949
What process has the highest CPU utilization in the Task Manager?  Once you find it out, use the kill.exe command to kill the process.
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Author Comment

by:F_MERLIN
ID: 8043115
Wooooaah loads of answers.

I havent done the stuff from nstydevil from the microsoft site but it relates to a device driver problem, and after doing some looking on the system looks as if the Intel pro 100 NIC has some sort of driver problem? Possibly give that a reinstall (which will be hard as it is about 300 miles away and we work on it remotely)

Tried with and without Antivirus but doesn't seem to make a difference, and unfortunately changing to Norton isn't an option as it is company policy (and the fact we spent too much money on Mcafee) to stay with what we have.

No usb devices being used, at all, anywhere (NT).

And the SYSTEM process is using the CPU time. It could get killed each time but at the moment I dont know what it would do and whether windows wont work without it, but also I would rather find out why it is doing it rather than sorting it out every time it does it.

Looks as if nstydevil and the device driver problem is something to look at more.
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Expert Comment

by:SysExpert
ID: 8044926
Sounds good.

In addition :

1) Update ALL of your drivers.

2) REINSTALL SP6A AND ANY RELEVANT PATCHES.

3) Check for viruses, spyware etc.

4) Disable any unneeded services.

I hope this helps !

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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:JMansford
ID: 8051553
System process is usually a hardware device which is utilising the CPU.

Commonly, this is USB (under Windows 2000 and above), printers and software-modems.

Does this machine have a local printer attached? If so, is it a 'cheap' one?  Try disconnecting it and see if the problem goes away.

What other hardware is in the machine?
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Expert Comment

by:Hegemon
ID: 8058217
Size of swap file should be at leas<Amount of Physical RAM> +12Mb.
Try to increase it to 268.
How much memory do all processes use ?
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Author Comment

by:F_MERLIN
ID: 8058375
It was the NIC after all. Reinstalled and now ok (so far).
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