I need to restore registry to fresh load state

I need to konw if there is a way to restore the registry of a machine to a "fresh load" state, such that it only starts up essential task.  (I have a computer that I think has Adware or something that consumes all of the CPU time - but it is not apparent using the task manager = whatever it is it's banging the heck out of the "C" drive.  Also, What is the best utiltiy to show "hidden tasks" that are running such as this.  I am a programmer of 25 years, but thios has me stumped!
audiodudeAsked:
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JonveeCommented:
To check out the CPU time suggest you download & run Process Explorer version 11.04, it should show you what you have (hidden also)running:

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysinternals/ProcessesAndThreads/ProcessExplorer.mspx
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HardiCommented:
Have you tried ComboFix?
I got a stubborn virus and ComboFix removed it for me.
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/combofix/how-to-use-combofix
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JonveeCommented:
If you see an increase in CPU usage you can double click the file that appears to be the the problem.  Is it a svchost.exe file?   If it is, select the Services tab.  That should list the services that are running within svchost.exe.

Presume you have thoroughly scanned for viruses and Malware?  Have you had any error messages, pse?

You could also look at the SCU & untick any unwanted items. These will help>
http://netsquirrel.com/msconfig/
http://www.answersthatwork.com/             
http://www2.whidbey.net/djdenham/Uncheck.htm
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JonveeCommented:
For Malware>
Superantispyware download:                        
http://www.superantispyware.com/

and viruses>
Kaspersky free online virus scanner:
http://www.kaspersky.co.uk/virusscanner

If then you still have a problem, try  Trend HijackThis 2.02 :
http://majorgeeks.com/Trend_Micro_HijackThis_d5554.html

The technique is to create a folder where you would like the HijackThis file to reside, and run it from there, not from the Desktop or a temp folder. Post back for further details, if required.
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johnb6767Commented:
Would like to add to Jonvee's suggestion of Process Explorer, to get more detailed....

Process Explorer for Windows v10.21
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysinternals/ProcessesAndThreads/ProcessExplorer.mspx

Double click the offending file. If it is a svchost.exe, then Select the Services Tab. Please list what services are in that svchost.exe.

Then Select the Threads tab, and see what .exe or .dll is using the CPU, and then select it by double clicking it....and copying/pasting the call stack here.....

What I would be curious to see is the Interupts, and the DPC's in Process Explorer. If thats what is using the CPU (not seeen in the Task manager), then you have either a HW problem, or a Driver problem.

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audiodudeAuthor Commented:
Process Explorer did not show me the offending process  - the process (or service) was hammering the hard drive, creating 10K files in the root directory named POSXXX, where XXX is a hex number starting at 100.  Task manager still shows over 90% Idle on the cpu clock, even tho the PC is running at a crawl..
I am going to try some other other utilities mentioned above. Thanks
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JonveeCommented:
Ok.  Well probably your next move is to thoroughly scan for Malware & viruses, as already suggested.

Then at a later time, it would also be prudent to check your hard disk.
"Hard Drive Diagnostics Tools and Utilities ":
http://www.tacktech.com/display.cfm?ttid=287
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johnb6767Commented:
Process Explorer should register the module using the CPU, unless you dont have the CPU Usage tab shown.... Might need to look all the way at the top, to double check to make sure that it is not an actual process, but the Interupts or DPC's...

Those 2 do not register in Task Manager for sure, but they do in PE...

Could you post a screenshot?
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audiodudeAuthor Commented:
Thanks guys!
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