Missing 50% of CPU Usage on Win2000

Configuration: Dell PC, Pentium 1.6GHz, 256 MB RAM...
OS: Windows 2000 with latest patches.
Applications installed: Vanilla PC: MSOffice, couple of tools. No servers, no databases. Networked for non-server functions.
Startup (known) applications: McAffee Virus Scan.

Situation: Right after the boot the CPU usage according to Task Manager Summary is 40-50%. The processes windows shows 99% of CPU with System Idle process, 1% with taskmgr.exe. Mcshield.exe grabs some CPU now and then for a moment.

Dilema: Who consumes 50% of CPU, which is not reported by process CPU usage breakdown? The PC has some actions slower than expected (closing spreadheets, page views generating). I do believe that the missing usage is for real.

Actions taken:
- verified on "Identical Twin" machine. Summary CPU usage is 0-1% on the Twin.
- Checked startup folder to see that there are no applications registered there.
- Scanned the machine remotely with Retina - clean
- Scanned the machine with Adaware 6.0 and removed cookies/keys flagged.
- Used a few 3rd party task monitoring SW (e.g. Process Explorer by sysinternals.com) just to see the same: 50% of CPU usage is not broken down with a process. Surprisingly PE shows that Idle has 50% of CPU.

My action of last resort is to reformat/reload W2K...
Thanks for your help
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I also have seen this behaviour. One of our NT4 webservers constantly consumes 50% CPU time, but the Taskmanager tells that 99% is idle. We suspect some bad sectors on the harddisk which causes Windows to think in circles or something.

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Backup the system

sfc /scanonce

reboot machine with win2k cd in drive.

This will check for improper system files.

Bring up task mananger and kill processes to look for problem.


Bring up the management console for "services"

stop and start services that you may think are appropriate, but be very careful as you will most likely stall the computer forcing a reboot. To this end do not modify the service startup type.

While looking in services and perhaps find the offending service take note of its dependancies as this may be the actual problem.

jstodolaAuthor Commented:
Hello bouke,
I defragmented the HD (it was not really needed) to see if I have some file orphans. None.
Tomorrow I will try the solution by netmage.
I'm curious about your results, but am not too hopefully.
jstodolaAuthor Commented:
Bouke, your hard disk suspicion gave me idea of turning off the Indexing Service, fond in HD properties. It took its time... Once finished, I rebooted the PC and voila: the total CPU usage went to 0%. Previous reboot did not help. So, we have solution:

Bouke, I take your comment as answer. Netmage, your direction sounded very promissing, too.

Thanks to both of you. Jan
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