System process at 100%

A friend brought me his computer complaining that its terribly slow.  After intstalling the latest Microsoft Critical Patches, his computer became unusable.  During boot up, just as the message "Applying security policy" appears, the system process pegs at 100%.  It will take the computer about 20-30 mins to get to a login screen.  Once you put your username and password in, it will take another 20-30 mins to get to a desktop but after that you can't run any programs.  I took the hard drive out and put it in another computer as a slave drive and scanned it with Norton Anti-virus, no virus was found.  I put it back in the original computer, removed all unneccesary hardware, no change.  I booted into safe mode and that doesn't make a difference, System pegs at 100%.  I don't know what else to try.  Any ideas?  Remember, I can't run any programs under Windows.
jmcguire56Asked:
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averybCommented:
How much free space is there on the hard drive?

Run msconfig from cmd line and disable everything that runs at startup.  Safe Mode should have done this too, but worth a quick try.

Try logging in as another user.  Check the user profile size.  How much stuff (in KB) are on the desktop?  Purge the temporary internet files.


GearyTechCommented:
When you finally get to the desktop, press CTL-ALT-DEL and bring up the task manager; click on processes and look for the one that is at > 90%. Then do some research into that process (put the full name of the task into google with the word "processor" - you'll get a hit.

By the way, is this box running CA Etrust AntiVirus? If it is, there's a problem that requires a patch... had that issue with various clients since the daylight savings time change.
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CrazyOneCommented:
GearyTech ummm unless I misread what jmcguire56 said it is the System Process that is pegging at 100%
GearyTechCommented:
missed that. thanks for pointing it out.
CrazyOneCommented:
:)
berni1234Commented:
had the same problem. i have copied you the comment from crissand, which helped me


Comment from crissand
Date: 04/28/2004 06:35PM CEST
 Comment  


This behaviour happens after installing KB Q835732? I yes, you can uninstall it, here is the procedure (this is from a newsgroup):

After installing Security fix KB835732, the SYSTEM.exe
procress uses up 99% of CPU time, and make the system non-
responsive.

To unistall it, I did the following
(1) Boot into Safe mode.
(2) Run TaskManager - and noticed that the SYSTEM process
was using 99% of the CPU time.
(3) From TaskManager set the Priority of the EXPLORER
process to REALTIME, so that I can get to the control
panel.
(4) Run ADD/REMOVE PROGRAM from control panel.
(5) Go back to TaskManager and set the Priority of
MSHTA.exe to REALTIME, so that the ADD/REMOVE PROGRAM can
get some CPU time.
(6) Select and Remove "Windows 2000 Hotfix  - KB835732".
(7) Go back to TaskManager and set the Priority
of "SPUNIST.exe" to REALTIME, for the uninstall program to
run.
(8) Wait a few minutes, and the uninstall program will
eventually ask you to click FINISH to reboot the machine.
It took a long time for the system to shutdown and I just
unplugged the power.
(9) The machine should become normal after reboot.

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jmcguire56Author Commented:
Berni, thanks a million!  That was the fix!
clayroadCommented:
Thanks for the solution Berni! And thanks jmcguire56 for asking! This was exactly what I needed for a computer of a friend.
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Windows 2000

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