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System Idle Processes

Posted on 2003-11-19
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What do you do when a XP Home edition machine is so slow because it has system idle process fluctuating from 80-95% constantly.  There are no viruses on the machine.  I checked.

Thanks,
Tom
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Question by:TomAsimos
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sunray_2003 earned 300 total points
ID: 9781489
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by:sunray_2003
sunray_2003 earned 300 total points
ID: 9781503
TomAsimos,


Computer slows down as Norton AntiVirus Auto-Protect CPU utilization reaches 95% or higher

http://service1.symantec.com/SUPPORT/nav.nsf/b69c799adfa31ecc85256aa30052f4d0/f0c69fcb50e2eeaa85256b180068dbf5?OpenDocument&src=bar_sch_nam

Thanks,
Sunray
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by:sunray_2003
sunray_2003 earned 300 total points
ID: 9781508
a) Check this and remove unwanted service

http://www.blackviper.com/WinXP/servicecfg.htm

b) Update your OS with all the latest updates

Sunray
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by:sunray_2003
sunray_2003 earned 300 total points
ID: 9781514
Try restoring your system to a previous state and check if that would help


windows xp restore :
--------------------

HOW TO: Restore the Operating System to a Previous State in Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;306084

HOW TO: Start the System Restore Tool from a Command Prompt in Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=304449

HOW TO: Start Your Computer by Using the Last Known Good Configuration Feature in Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;307852&sd=tech

Try repairing or reinstalling windows xp ( if nothing works)


http://www.webtree.ca/windowsxp/repair_xp.htm

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;307545

How to Perform an In-Place Upgrade (Reinstallation) of Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;315341


Sunray
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by:Dufo G. Belski
ID: 9781526
If the system idle process is fluctuating from 80-95%, that means your CPU is not in use 80-95% of the time; in other words, only 5-20% of your CPU power is being used. So that's not the cause of any slowness.
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by:sunray_2003
ID: 9781528
Use this tool to check which process might be using lot of CPU time

http://www.sysinternals.com/ntw2k/freeware/procexp.shtml

Also check the task manager

Also check again with these scanners for virus

online virus scanner:
---------------------

http://housecall.trendmicro.com/

http://security.symantec.com/

http://www.pandasoftware.com/activescan/com/activescan_principal.htm

http://www.pcpitstop.com/antivirus/default.asp

DOS based : http://www.f-prot.com/download/download_fpdos.html

Sunray
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by:sunray_2003
ID: 9781543
go to task manager

go to performance tab

and check for CPU usage.. Is it high always when you are not working on any applications..

Also at the bottom you can see CPU usage.. Check how much is that

Sunray
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by:sunray_2003
ID: 9781578
If you want to know what is a system idle process

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.

Source : http://www.reger24.de/prozesse/System%20Idle%20Process.php

Sunray
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by:BloodRed
ID: 9783412
asyscokid is right, you want System Idle Processes to report a high percentage of usage.  It's just the percentage of time your CPU is idle.
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by:stevenlewis
stevenlewis earned 50 total points
ID: 9783512
How much RAM is installed?
also shut off any un needed services see here for a list of services safe to shut off
http://www.blkviper.com/WinXP/servicecfg.htm
us msconfig sto stop uneccessary programs from starting up
defrag your drive
system idle of 80-95% is a good thing
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by:1turk2many
ID: 9783740
kazin what u need is wintask that will put your performance to 100% again ;)
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by:adam_g
adam_g earned 100 total points
ID: 9784221
hey there's nothing to worry about with the system idle process.
It norton thats mainly slowing your computer down, obviously you won't want to get rid of norton but you can try and minimize the amount of background processes. An obvious way to tell if you have a lot of background processes is to look at the system tray and if its full of icons try to disable some of the unecessary ones.
If that isn't the case use regedit(go to Start-run-type regedit and press return). then go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnce
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\RunOnceEx.
and delete anything that isn't necessary from there. Be careful and make sure you know what your doing though. In registry territory don't guess!

Hope this helps.
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by:qualserve
ID: 9789990
Hmmmm, 12 answers, nothing from Author? Hello, author, ??
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by:qualserve
ID: 9790029
Your System Idle Process is not bad, however, here is a neat little tweak which will stop programs from "bleeding" off" system resources after you exit the program:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer

Create a new DWORD named AlwaysUnloadDLL and set the Decimal value to equal 1 to disable Windows caching the DLL's in memory.  Restart for the change to take effect.
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by:Gnart
ID: 9790587
Agree with everyone's post on the system idle process meaning that your system is not being used.  So what do you mean slow.... more information is needed.  

cheers
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by:chris_v
ID: 9799462
Check to see what processes are using the processor when running slow.  Sort the proccesses by cpu time.  Let us know what processes are being used.  Also if you system is slow.  You might delete unneeded programs from the startup menu.  Excess programs starting will slow down the system.
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by:SunBow
SunBow earned 50 total points
ID: 9800415
Asker Response?

In a quick read, I think that I agree with the majority, that 100% CPU usage (0% idle) is something that can be viewed of as a good thing, that you are actually using the built-in capability of the processor.

> system idle process fluctuating from 80-95% constantly.

However, this part is not my own 'normal' experience. My own is typically over 95% idle for years, OS independent. Now, running task manager in itself can run up a few percentage points. So can explorer, the taskbar, windows redrwing itself, etc, just the basic system.

> There are no viruses on the machine

What this may mean is that you have realtime scan running, more so than I, so your usage runs higher. It could mean that you are running a smaller machine, which can make it slower than mine.

> when a XP Home edition machine is so slow because it has system idle process fluctuating from 80

This is not true, as-is. 80% idle is really fast (only 20% used). One thing you can try is to identify the hogs by looking at total time used with task manager.

What is slow? What you may have is too many windows open, or programs running at a time. The slowness is also possibly for certain programs retrieving data from disk, which is slower than for RAM.

Answer 1: Add RAM. (there's never enough)

Sometimes one program can impact another. Do NOT run more than one disk manager at a time, and when you are running them it is wise to not run anything else, for they step upon each other by trying to access the same file at the same time. This includes disk scan programs.

Answer 2: Configure your anti-virus software. Until I hear otherwise from you, my assumption is that you are always scanning all of the files, which is a needless overkill. Scan them all once, OK. Once they pass, then filter the list and just scan executables. If you are not downloading new suspect programs, you can also turn off the AV realtime scan, which is probably what is giving you that 'slowness' feeling.

Try to distinguish between online (internet) vs offline when looking at speed. If you are ever online, you really must install a personal firewall to stop needless intrusions and spies, and then download ALL of the MS upgrades for XP, they are coming out at about a weekly rate now. If you do not, then when you are online, the odds are that others will be trying to get their   5% cpu usage of your machine.
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by:stevenlewis
ID: 9800813
Hi Tom, I see your fairly new here, so  just a friendly pointer on how this site works. It's interactive
Experts take the time to read and post in your questions, and then you post your feedback, and then we post some more, until the question is solved, and then you award the points to whomever you feel helped the most (or split the points up between experts)
I checked your history, 5 questions asked, 5 open questions, only one response from you in one question. Hardly fair to the experts who volunteer to help you, would you agree?
Thanks
Steve
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by:chris_v
ID: 9810767
I agree with stevenlewis!!
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by:aLk0
ID: 9892615
Check what processes/services starts automatically. Some of them may be shut down to manual run mode or deleted from autorun without pity. Have you ever installed SETI@home, distributed.net or other similar client? What antivirus are you using? Ough. One Idea. Is DMA mode on for your HDD drives? In compleatly idle state only data transfer with HDD may seriously slow down the machine. That means that you don't have enough RAM memory. For winXP 256MB RAM is a real starting point. And finally 20% is not a big problem. So calm down or upgrade your PC :-))
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by:Dufo G. Belski
ID: 9924267
Hahahahaha.
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by:utensils
ID: 10048088
After reading this forum i understand that it is good to have a high value for the idle procces. I have a 1.9Amd athlon, 1024mbddram, 128mb fx5200 but when i play Command and conquer generals: Zero hour after about 5 minutes the game pauses about every two seconds for about a second. This is very annoying as a game takes a third longer to play. My idle procces is at 98 when i start generals. I also have norton av.
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