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system high CPU while Idle Process < 10% and no tasks running

Posted on 2010-11-10
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
How do I determine what is using CPU resources, when nothing appears to be running? There are no applications running. I have Windows Task Manager open. Typically, the System Idle Process is using close to 100% of the CPU. Now, the System Idle Process is at 9% and System is at 91% CPU usage.

It is strange to me how Firefox can be very responsive, so it must have higher priority than the system process, which consumes most of the CPU when I stop typing this. How do I figure out, which process is using the CPU. Mem Usage is only 240K for the System process under User Name SYSTEM.

The OS is Windows XP SP3 with all of the critical updates applied.
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Question by:tonygallo10
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9 Comments
 
LVL 66

Accepted Solution

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johnb6767 earned 500 total points
ID: 34108047
Process Explorer
http://live.sysinternals.com/procexp.exe

Run this, and double click on SYSTEM Process. Go to the Threads Tab, and select the highest CPU hog once again. Paste the results here please....

What is the Interupts/DPCs there as well?
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:HRL
ID: 34108283
You should also look at process monitor from sysinternals. Just out of curiosity what is your network usage? If it is above 5% then you should run an antivirus, malicious software and malware chaecker. all of these can be located on google for free utilities.
Antivirus -- AVG free
Malware -- Adware and/or spybot
malicious software -- microsoft
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Author Comment

by:tonygallo10
ID: 34108288
parport.sys is consuming over 86%.
Here are the stack results:
ntoskrnl.exe!KiDispatchInterrupt+0x7f
hal.dll!READ_PORT_UCHAR+0x7
parport.sys+0x5b45
parport.sys+0x6750
parport.sys+0xa353
parport.sys+0xa5a3
parport.sys+0xa630
parport.sys+0xe41e
parport.sys+0xe54c
ntoskrnl.exe!PsCreateSystemThread+0x70
ntoskrnl.exe!KeInitializeTimer+0x107

Here is the module information:
File version 5.1.2600.5512
Description: Parallel Port Driver
Copyright: Microsoft

Here is the info for both Interupts and DPCs
PID = n/a
CPU is blank
Private Bytes = 0 K
Working Set = 0 K

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Author Comment

by:tonygallo10
ID: 34108308
I ran a Kaspersky antivirus scan and it found nothing.
The same results occur, when the wireless network is turned off. This is a Dell Laptop, so I can press <fn+2> and turn off the network. The problem is local and nothing is connected to the parallel port.
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LVL 66

Expert Comment

by:johnb6767
ID: 34108846
Try disabling it, and rebooting.....
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:HRL
ID: 34114772
drop into command prompt using start run cmd <enter>
type
net stop spooler

then type net start spooler

check you printer selections and delete any printer configured for the parallel port.
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Author Comment

by:tonygallo10
ID: 34116946
johnb6767, thank you for showing the sysinternals process explorer to me. It is provides good information. Sorry, for the delay in response. I shut off my network, in order to run a full virus scan. Typically, this takes 8 hours. Last night, it was only 90% complete after 10 hours, and Kaspersky was estimating a completion time of one hour. I cancelled the scan an hour later, because it only progressed to 92% complete. I need to get work done today. A slow computer is better than no computer. Note: I suspended parport.sys during the virus scan, which found no problems.

I think, the problem is related to Maestro.Service.exe from Seagull Scientific. It runs every few seconds and causes the parport.sys to work. There is a problem with my installation of the Seagull printer drivers and Bar Tender v9. I will work on this tomorrow, while I am at my client's site, who needs me to use this for creating Zebra printer labels.

For now, I ran C:\Seagull\DriverWizard.exe and uninstalled all of the Seagull printer drivers. After an auto reboot by the uninstaller, it displayed an error that the Zebra 140xi (first of several) printer driver could not be removed. This allowed the System Idle process to consume most of the CPU cycles as I worked for 6 hours today.

Somehow, I need to uninstall Maestro.Service.exe, because every few seconds it tries to do work ... which then causes System to do work (and probably time out) ... after avp.ese (Kaspersky) does work.

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LVL 66

Assisted Solution

by:johnb6767
johnb6767 earned 500 total points
ID: 34117470
Use sc.exe to remove the service...And the drivers should be removable if you stop/restart the spooler, from teh Server Properties from within Printers and Faxes....OR, disable the related service, reboot and clear them that way....

Is this a Service or an App?

"Maestro.Service.exe"
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Author Comment

by:tonygallo10
ID: 34123895
Maestro.Service.exe is a service. It went away, after I uninstalled Seagull Scientific BarTender v9.

I finally uninstalled all of the Zebra drivers and both version 7 and 9 of BarTender. The problem is gone. I will reinstall this Seagull Scientific software next week and hope the problem does not start again.
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