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Task Manager CPU Usage History gets stuck at 100%

Posted on 2009-04-23
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-06-22
I'm running XP SP3 and bring up Task Manager following boot to monitor CPU Usage in the Performance tab. After about 10 minutes, CPU Usage spikes to 100% and stays there. The odd thing is if I navigate to the Process tab and back, or even just tap on the Task Manager title bar, CPU Usage drops back to normal. Why does Task Manager appear to get stuck?
Question by:alconlabs
LVL 97

Accepted Solution

Lee W, MVP earned 1000 total points
ID: 24221120
I would suggest using Process Explorer to try to track down what's going on - http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653.aspx
LVL 39

Expert Comment

ID: 24221387
Is it after 10 minutes of watching the task manager tab?  If so, you may have some sort of maintenance job or something setup to run when the computer is idle for 10 minutes.  Switching tabs is activity so whatever you are running stops.  

just a thought.
LVL 27

Expert Comment

ID: 24224248
There are several reasons for this particular error.  
Try first turning off your MS automatic updates, then reboot.  
Manually select Windows updates, install the appropriate ones, then turn on automatic updates once again.  
Reboot, & hopefully that will do the trick.  

If unsuccessful, see if there's anything appropriate here >

or in this previous thread >
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Expert Comment

ID: 24224560
check your computer for spyware with some good tool, it could be a tricky trojan or you have some high processing startup application like some heavy antivirus.

Author Comment

ID: 24230482
Automatic updates are disabled, and there are no viruses or spyware. But I don't think CPU utilization is really at 100%, I think Task Manager is somehow stuck and doesn't report the correct usage. I'll try Process Explorer and report back.
LVL 27

Assisted Solution

Jonvee earned 1000 total points
ID: 24231139
Process Explorer (as first suggested by Leew) should confirm whether it's correct CPU Usage or not, but while you're there you could see if there's any unusual svchost activity.

Worth querying .. are you perhaps running a Norton product, or have recently uninstalled such a product?

Does it occur(as you describe), *only* 10 mins or so after your IE is up and running?  
If yes, you could empty TIF folder & disable add-ons.

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