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100% CPU usage problem

Posted on 2010-08-24
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
I have an Intel Quad-Core CPU running Windows XP Pro.  Things have been working fine up until today.  Starting this morning, my CPU keeps pegging at 100%.  I looked at Windows Task Manager and see that it is the "System" task.

The 80-100% CPU usage occurs frequently and sometimes for up to 30-60 seconds.

So, I run Kernrate and CTRL-C it during the 100% spike.  Based on the report it provides, it appears that the problem is with the HAL process taking up 80% of the CPU as shown here:

C:\Program Files\KrView\Kernrates>kernrate

Kernrate User-Specified Command Line:
kernrate


Kernel Profile (PID = 0): Source= Time,
Using Kernrate Default Rate of 25000 events/hit
Starting to collect profile data

***> Press ctrl-c to finish collecting profile data
===> Finished Collecting Data, Starting to Process Results

------------Overall Summary:--------------

P0     K 0:00:06.484 (91.6%)  U 0:00:00.046 ( 0.7%)  I 0:00:00.546 ( 7.7%)  DPC
0:00:00.046 ( 0.7%)  Interrupt 0:00:00.000 ( 0.0%)
       Interrupts= 11373, Interrupt Rate= 1607/sec.

P1     K 0:00:06.453 (91.2%)  U 0:00:00.046 ( 0.7%)  I 0:00:00.578 ( 8.2%)  DPC
0:00:00.000 ( 0.0%)  Interrupt 0:00:00.000 ( 0.0%)
       Interrupts= 3286, Interrupt Rate= 464/sec.

P2     K 0:00:06.484 (91.6%)  U 0:00:00.093 ( 1.3%)  I 0:00:00.500 ( 7.1%)  DPC
0:00:00.031 ( 0.4%)  Interrupt 0:00:00.000 ( 0.0%)
       Interrupts= 3530, Interrupt Rate= 499/sec.

P3     K 0:00:06.406 (90.5%)  U 0:00:00.078 ( 1.1%)  I 0:00:00.593 ( 8.4%)  DPC
0:00:00.000 ( 0.0%)  Interrupt 0:00:00.000 ( 0.0%)
       Interrupts= 3286, Interrupt Rate= 464/sec.

TOTAL  K 0:00:25.828 (91.2%)  U 0:00:00.265 ( 0.9%)  I 0:00:02.218 ( 7.8%)  DPC
0:00:00.078 ( 0.3%)  Interrupt 0:00:00.000 ( 0.0%)
       Total Interrupts= 21475, Total Interrupt Rate= 3034/sec.


Total Profile Time = 7078 msec

                                  Total      Avg. Rate
    Context Switches     ,        86068,         12160/sec.
    System Calls         ,       236310,         33386/sec.
    Page Faults          ,        16677,         2356/sec.
    I/O Read Operations  ,          938,         133/sec.
    I/O Write Operations ,          775,         109/sec.
    I/O Other Operations ,         4447,         628/sec.
    I/O Read Bytes       ,     38754675,         41316/ I/O
    I/O Write Bytes      ,     38697496,         49932/ I/O
    I/O Other Bytes      ,       103939,         23/ I/O

-----------------------------

Results for Kernel Mode:
-----------------------------

OutputResults: KernelModuleCount = 176
Percentage in the following table is based on the Total Hits for the Kernel

Time   11049 hits, 25000 events per hit --------
 Module                                Hits   msec  %Total  Events/Sec
hal                                    8892       7078    80 %    31407177
aswSP                                  1006       7078     9 %     3553263
intelppm                                803       7078     7 %     2836253
ntkrnlpa                                220       7078     1 %      777055
win32k                                   82       7078     0 %      289629
aswSnx                                   10       7078     0 %       35320
Ntfs                                      7       7078     0 %       24724
tcpip                                     6       7078     0 %       21192
fltmgr                                    6       7078     0 %       21192
Aavmker4                                  5       7078     0 %       17660
aswMon2                                   3       7078     0 %       10596
nv4_mini                                  3       7078     0 %       10596
nv4_disp                                  2       7078     0 %        7064
symsnap                                   2       7078     0 %        7064
rdbss                                     1       7078     0 %        3532
atapi                                     1       7078     0 %        3532

================================= END OF RUN ==================================
============================== NORMAL END OF RUN ==============================


What can I do to fix this?

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Question by:cashonly
4 Comments
 
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by:
Jamie_Wilson earned 125 total points
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Run a AV scan, hal.exe can be infected and will cause this
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by:LatinX
LatinX earned 125 total points
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Update you machine, and use Spybot in safemode.
http://www.safer-networking.org/index2.html

if that doesn't work, go to msconfig- star-up tab and uncheck non essential programs ( blank, unknown manufacturer)
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by:jat0369
jat0369 earned 125 total points
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I'm a big fan of Hijack-This.
http://www.trendmicro.com/ftp/products/hijackthis/HiJackThis.msi

One you have your log file, paste it here and then disable the entries that are malicious.
http://www.hijackthis.de/ (don't worry, you don't need to speak German)

:-)
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by:Jonvee
Jonvee earned 125 total points
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An infection does seem quite likely...
Recommend downloading & updating Malwarebytes anti-Malware, from here:
http://www.malwarebytes.org/mbam.php

Tutorial, if you require >
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/lofiversion/index.php/t169669.html

If unresolved, try Hitman Pro, a fairly new 2nd opinion scanner:
Hitman Pro http://www.surfright.nl/en/hitmanpro
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