Hidden task is using 45% of CPU time every 4 seconds

Posted on 2004-03-28
Last Modified: 2012-05-04
I juste reformated a PC and I noticed mouse cursor just froze for a moment every 4 seconds.  If I take a look to Performance graph in Task Manager I can see a pulse up to 45% each 4 seconds (about 4 seconds).  However if I go to Processes tab, I can see CPU Usage go from 3 to 45% each 4 seconds but the Image Name "System Idle Process" stays to 98-99% all time.  Windows Update all done.  I did some reboot and it occur one time that this "Hidden Task" did not show up.  Any idea?
Question by:Alain_Labelle_Ing
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LVL 49

Expert Comment

ID: 10698921
Hi Alain_Labelle_Ing,

First suggestion would be to check for spywares and virus in the system

Use spybot ,ad-ware ,CWshredder and post the log from Hijackthis here

After installing them, First Update them and then run

Spyware/Adware removal tools:

What is spyware :

SpyBot-S&D : 

Ad-aware : 


HijackThis : 

Pest Patrol :

Trojan Remover :

online virus scanner:

LVL 49

Expert Comment

ID: 10698924
Also go to start ---> run ---> msconfig
go to startup tab and disable all applications

restart your machine and check if the CPU usage is still high with no applications running..

Then if it doesnot , enable each application one by one in the startup tab of msconfig and try to find the bad application
LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 10698996
Try a different mouse and/our update your video drivers and mouse drivers
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Author Comment

ID: 10699931
I ran Ad-Aware and Symantec Anti-virus and found nothing (which make sense because PC is about just reformated).  Looked in the Profile Startup folder and All user startup folder and found nothing interesting neither.  Is there a tool better than Task manager to see running process?
Mouse is Ok.  The problem is not the mouse: it is the Hidden task which might have a high priority because even mouse stop moving when CPU raise up to only 45%.
LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 10700654
Drivers are not listed in the task manager that is why I suggest what I did about the drivers.
LVL 44

Accepted Solution

CrazyOne earned 250 total points
ID: 10700658
Try using this

Process Explorer

Note when you open the program go to the menu View and make sure there is a check mark next to View > Lower Pane View > DLL's if there isn't then click on it.

just click each process one at a time and look at the bottom window note if that file is listed and if it is kill the process that had the files open.

Author Comment

ID: 10700981
Yeah: great tool.  It identifies the problem: Hardware Interrupts.  It goes from 0 to about 40 each 4 seconds.  Now, I don't know what I can do with this...
LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 10701506
Under what process perhaps the SYSTEM Process. and does it identify the interupts/drivers?

Author Comment

ID: 10703222
No process at all.  According to Process Explorer Help, "High CPU consumption by these activities (Hardware Interrupts and Deferred Procedure calls [DFCs]) can indicate a hardware problem or device driver bug."  Only four column give information in the top pane: Process (Interrupts), PID (n/a), CPU (varies from 0 to about 40) and Description (Hardware Interrupts). All other column stays empty (I added all possible column (total of 11 column).  These two items are called Artificial Processes from Process Explorer Help.
I am planning to visit the Motherboard Manufacturer Web Site this evening and find out if any debugging tools available out there.
LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 10706481
Do these things show any files they may be attached to in the bottom pane. Also if you can upload a snapshot of what you see in Process Explorer.

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