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Task manager consuming 40% of CPU time

Hi experts,
My computer (Dell Inspiron 520m laptop, XP home, SP2 build 2600, 600 MHz, 512M RAM, all updates) has been running much more slowly than usual. I've run a virus check, ad-aware and spybot, and removed anything found (just a few items on ad-aware and spybot). If I pull up task manager to see what's going on, I have the usual list of processes. However I've found that more often than not, taskmgr.exe is showing 30-50% under CPU, nothing else is showing significant CPU demand.I've never seen this before - normally taskmgr takes a few % only.
Is this a symptom of something wrong that we can fix?
Thanks
Stuart
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StuartOrd
Asked:
StuartOrd
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1 Solution
 
Dark720Commented:
That seem very high for taskmgr.exe

Does it just show this on task manager startup or does it maintain this % after 20 seconds.

In the view menu insure make sure update speed is normal.

end the taskmgr.exe task, task manager should disappear. fire up task manager again.
is it still 30-50% now.

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StuartOrdAuthor Commented:
Hi Dark720,
Yes, it stays at this level indefinitely.
I am on normal update speed.
It did end and the main icon in the task bar disappeared too, although curiously the little icon in the right hand section of the task bar is still there and showing about 50% green.
Restarting it, I've now got 2 little icons in the right hand section, the new one has the green bit changing as task manager blinks, the old one seems to be unchanged. I've not seen that before either! Task manager itself is showing one instance of taskmgr.exe and it's showing 40-50% CPU. Been like that for several minutes now.
Stuart
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StuartOrdAuthor Commented:
I've noticed that if I minimise task manager, the (second) little icon shows next to no green, but if I restore it then the usage goes up again to 30-40%
Stuart
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EE33Commented:
This isn't an answer but indeed that is very high,
Task Manager uses between 2 and 3 megs of RAM.
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Dark720Commented:
Do you know what processor is in your computer?
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wgalanisCommented:
The second icon occurs from time to time and can be ignored.  Usually if you pass your mouse pointer over it, it will disappear.  I would try shutting down task manager, renaming the file to taskmanager.bak and then replacing it with a new copy from another setup or from the CD.  It has not been modified since August 2004.
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Dark720Commented:
and after that which chipset you have. (intel, via, nvivia nforce2)
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StuartOrdAuthor Commented:
OK. One problem I have is that Dell didn't supply a CD for Windows

According to Belarc advisor:
600 megahertz Intel Pentium M
Doesn't mention chipset - I'll look in the BIOS and get back.....

The second icon has gone - I'd suspended and rewakened the computer since I entered the above
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StuartOrdAuthor Commented:
I've had a look in the BIOS at bootup, but it didn't  mention chipset. How do I find out?
The BIOS said 1.7 GHz/600MHz Pentium M, current speed 1.7GHz. Belarc now tells me it is 1.7GHz
However taskmgr.exe is still consuming 40%.....
Stuart
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wgalanisCommented:
Go to http://www.cpuid.com/ and download their CPU-Z tool.  Everything you wanted to know and more about your rig.
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StuartOrdAuthor Commented:
Wow, like you said. OK, chipset is Intel i855GM/GME rev 2.
Stuart
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StuartOrdAuthor Commented:
Hi,
Does the info help? It's still showing 30-50% when as a window, but the green shading in the small icon does drop to a low value when I minimise the window. The computer seems to be running at a normal speed at the moment (in terms of how long it takes to save things, open dialogue boxes etc) despite this.
Stuart
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Dark720Commented:
you could try downloading and installing your chipset driver. and after that i'd look at graphics driver.
Is there any yellow marks in your device manager?

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Dark720Commented:
you can get chipset driver from intel.com using download search, and if you are using the onboard graphics then you can get that driver there also.
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StuartOrdAuthor Commented:
OK, I'll try that. This is new territory for me so I'll have to be cautious.
My device manager shows a clean sheet.
Searching the Intel web site for i855GM/GME and i855GM found nothing. i downloaded their chipset id tool and it seemed to be unsuitable - said I needed a previous version that i've not found in the site yet.
Presuming I get some file to download, what do i do with it? Is it a straightforward "Run..."?


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EE33Commented:
"OK. One problem I have is that Dell didn't supply a CD for Windows"

Did I just read that right?

If so - why is "Dell" allowed to copy Windows
but individual users are not? Dell make millions,
individual users struggle to afford Windows.

I am a little confused here!
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Dark720Commented:
EE33,
They give you a disc that will revert your computer back to the state you bought it,
which has the unfortunate side affect of removing all your data.
Although they do usually also supply your with a drivers disc.

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StuartOrdAuthor Commented:
OK, thanks. Just to be sure, Belarc says about my display:
       Intel(R) 82852/82855 GM/GME Graphics Controller [Display adapter] (2x)
Iiyama 17JN1 [Monitor] (17.1"vis, s/n 1002630036445, December 2003) (2x)
MS_ [Monitor] (2x)
Does this mean the graphics are onboard? Being a laptop I'd guessed it would be but I'd like to be sure.

Why do you suspect the chipset and graphics drivers?

Regarding the disks, I bought the computer with 4 yr on-site next-day guarantee. When I queried the lack of disks they said MS now won't let them supply disks and if it all went horribly wrong needing reversion to original setup they'd come out and do it under guarantee. The chances of me having the computer more than 4 years on is slim so I thought OK. I keep Acronis images regularly anyway, but I've no idea when this started so don't know how far back to go to step back over the problem, and would then be faced with updating everything again, so it's not much of an option. However I could get specific files from an old image (I have one of the computer not long after getting it) if I knew what to look for.

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Dark720Commented:
The reason i suggest the above is that if these drivers are not setup properly then an abnormal amout of processor will be used for disk access and displaying graphics. when the drivers are working properly then alot of the processes are handed of to the chips that are supposed to be doing the jobs. from the above it looks like the graphics drivers are installed correctly. (correctly identified anyway)

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Dark720Commented:
Since you keep good backups it might be worth doing a full disk image of current setup, Then revert to the earliest backup you have or origional setup. If the problem still exists at this time then you can restore back to now and start looking for hardware problems.
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StuartOrdAuthor Commented:
Yes, that sounds the safest strategy. I can then also try stopping some of the processes as other sources have suggested it might be one of these making task manager appear busy. Comparing two images will help me home in on the offender if this is right. I've run an extensive hardware test and it's all OK, so it must be something like that. (For those needing to know, on my Dell you shut it down, then press and hold the Fn key, then start the computer to enter diagnostics mode)
Thanks for your help.
Stuart
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