I want to kick System Idle Process

Can anyone tell me the best way to find out what the ludicrously named 'System Idle Process' is actually doing? I can guarantee it's going to take up 95% of processor resources, just when I'm in the middle of something important.

There's probably a way to look at it's sub-processes which I can then kick into touch - I'm willing to bet that some of them are probably useless anyway.

The only trouble is process dependencies probably...
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System Idle Process is just that it is telling you that 95% of the CPU is not being used. It isn't what is causing what ever problems you may be experiencing.
In other words it doesn't decide on its own that make a decision and say "well it is time to idle a some more" it showing you the difference between what all the processes are using and what they are not.

Laurence  Hartje
  2/5/2002 5:39:50 PM  Not rated  
The system idle process is what is refered to as a sentinal process. It basically gives the CPU something to do when it does not have any other processes scheduled (this allows nicer code in the scheduler, since it does not have to have special cases when there are no runable/ready processes). Also, this process can be useful from an OS cleanup point of view (looks for deadlocks, etc.)

It runs at the lowest priority, and so will get cycles when nothing else is requesting CPU attention. So if you are not doing anything, then it is perfectly normal for it to have high CPU usage.

Laurence Hartje
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CEHJAuthor Commented:
Ah OK - i'm labouring under a misapprehension. I thought that SIP is a process that simply does some work occasionally when the system thinks it's relatively idle. So if I look in Task Manager and it's saying 95% CPU next to SIP, what does that mean then? I assumed that it meant SIP is taking up 95% of CPU resources.
The bottom line is that the "system idle process" idles.  In other words, it does NOTHING!

If it's "using" 95% of your CPU resources that means that 95% of your CPU time is available for something else if only something else was able to run.  This is a GOOD THING!

I think you may be confusing "something important" with something that takes CPU time.

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System Idle Process - You cannot end this process from Task Manager.
This process is a single thread running on each processor, which has the sole task of accounting for processor time when the system isn't processing other threads. In Task Manager, expect this process to account for the majority of processor time.
>>>I assumed that it meant SIP is taking up 95% of CPU resources.

Just the oposite
CEHJAuthor Commented:
I think I can guess how this confusion arose. When the system starts crawling, I often look at Task Manager as a guide to what's happening. SIP is usually showing up towards 100%. Maybe what's happened is that whatever is taking up resources is doing so to a such a degree as to disable refreshing of Task Man's SIP reading?
CEHJAuthor Commented:
i.e. if the system's getting a hammering, it's presumably unlikely that 95% resources are free?
Note that there are many things that can really bog down your system that have nothing to do with CPU utilization.  If you system is busy processing disk I/O there will be little CPU activity, since disk doesn't need much CPU attention, but the system will be very sluggish to user input.

Perhaps if you asked a DIFFERENT question, one stating the symptoms instead of your perceived diagnosis, we could be of greater assistance.
>>>i.e. if the system's getting a hammering, it's presumably unlikely that 95% resources are free?

Tha all depends. There is lot stuff in memory that could be doing something that doesn't require a lot of CPU time. Also if your system is using a Dual Processor or a Hyper Threading processor you will see a lot more System Idle then you would on a single processor.
CEHJAuthor Commented:
Point taken about CPU

>>Perhaps if you asked a DIFFERENT question

well I'm going to pull it around to that in this one. System behaving itself at this moment
Well some things like spyware can cause odd problems

Check for adware and sypware

spybot here



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CEHJAuthor Commented:
Thanks, but i'm reasonably confident that that kind of thing shouldn't be a problem. Shall be back in a few minutes
I just looked at your profile your an EE oldtimer. :)
CEHJAuthor Commented:
I suppose that length of time *is* long in IT years ;-)

One of the reasons i'm not keen about testing for adware is that the inspection programs themselves could become Trojans! But i'll have a look at these.

Thanks to both of you for correcting my misconceptions about SIP
>>>inspection programs themselves could become Trojans

No, no, no they aren't like that in anyway. Well at least I know for sure the ones I posted aren't.
CEHJAuthor Commented:
>>no they aren't like that in anyway

How do you know? I could post a program that claims to be inspecting your system for your benefit when actually its for mine. Unless you monitor the network packets, you'd never know ;-)
Because for one they have gotten excellent write ups in the the trade mags and thoroughly tested in many labs for accuracy and other things like are they planting viruses/trojans. The answer is a resounding no. These have been around long enough now if there were malicious code in them it would have been exposed and published. :)
CEHJAuthor Commented:
>>These have been around long enough now if there were malicious code in them it would have been exposed and published. :)

OK - that's the only answer that makes sense, although malicious code is not easy to find if the source isn't published. Obviously if they're downloaded from mirrors, they could be compromised though ;-)
>>>Obviously if they're downloaded from mirrors, they could be compromised though

True but I haven't seen any press about this being a problem
CEHJAuthor Commented:
Thanks guys

CrazyOne -> 100 points Accepted Answer
jhance -> 25 points Assisted Answer

although i think i managed to get accepted/assisted the wrong way round sorry 8-)

Thanks CEHJ
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