CPU at 100% for my brand new Dell Power Edge PER720 server.

My brand new Dell Power Edge server PER720, CPU for the last 3 weekends has been running very hard almost 100%.  This server has SQL 2012 SP1 installed with 32GB of RAM and an Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-2640 0 @ 3.30Ghz processor.

During the week the CPU is normal, about 5% on average, however during the weekend starting Sat morning around 9AM, the CPU jumps to 80% to 100%.  

Let me also share with you that I have ruled out the following.  I don't believe that this is a SQL 2012 issue because I would shut down the SQL engine (and everything related to SQL) when this happens and the CPU would still be running at 80 to 100%.  So this is not an out of control SQL process.

OK, before all the DBA's start commenting how could I shut the the SQL engine first please keep in mind two things.  This server is not in production and I have tried many other trouble shooting methods before I would ever simply shut down the SQL engine.

I did this to prove a point to the Windows admin that this is not a SQL issue!

To continue, I had the Windows admin check to see if he had any of his applications running.  Such as Symantec, Avamar and Disk keeper, he assured me that none of these were running at the time.

So it wasn't doing a virus scan or backup or defraging the drive volumes.

However, I did asked him to shut down the Symantec and disk keepers services to see if the CPU would drop.  Unfortunately it did not,  finally we would reboot the server, thinking that this would kill the whatever was eating up the CPU.

Well guess what?  The CPU would simply go back to the same utilization without a hick-up!

This is where it gets really interesting, mysteriously the CPU would go back to normal (around 5%) all by itself Monday at midday and for the rest of the week.

Ruling out that I have a possessed server, have I missed anything?  Could there be some embedded scheduled task stored in the BIOS level?  I am at my wits end with this problem and I need some good advise!
RayManAaaAsked:
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Dirk MareSystems Engineer (Acting IT Manager)Commented:
What's the process name that's causing the heavy load?
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RayManAaaAuthor Commented:
Neither task manager, Perfmon or sysinternals can identify the process.  By the way this is not a VM server this is a physical server.
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PerarduaadastraCommented:
When the CPU is running at 80-100%, what process is using the most CPU?

What happens to this massive CPU usage if you disconnect the server from the network ? If usage falls to normal levels, that would indicate a network communication issue that might be explained using Wireshark or similar.

Another thing to try would be to reset the server's clock in the middle of the week to, say, 8.55am on the next Saturday morning, and see if CPU usage shoots up again at 9am. If it does, it would seem to suggest a problem with the server's RTC, in which case invite Dell to replace the server...
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smckeown777Commented:
What do you mean they can't identify the process? Task manager shows the cpu usage is 100% which means it must show the process that is at the top...

Can you post a screenshot of task manager, the Processes tab, click on CPU column so we can see...
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RayManAaaAuthor Commented:
Thanks Perarduaadastra!

I like both of your ideas, it never occurred to me to pull the cable for the NIC.
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Daniel WilsonCommented:
When using Task Manager, be sure to click the "Show processes from all users" button.
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Anthony PerkinsCommented:
When using Task Manager, be sure to click the "Show processes from all users" button.
Good one!  You would have thought that "the Windows admin" would have considered that.
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Daniel WilsonCommented:
That's the difference between an admin and somebody doing tech support.  You look for the hard problems.  I look for the user to overlook something easy :)
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RayManAaaAuthor Commented:
I've requested that this question be closed as follows:

Accepted answer: 0 points for RayManAaa's comment #a39563604

for the following reason:

Well it turns out that it was Disk Keeper causing all my problems.  Shame on the windows admin, hurry for the DBA!
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Anthony PerkinsCommented:
The author has chosen to accept their own non-solution.  Re-opening the thread to allow then to select a more appropriate comment as a solution or request the question be deleted.
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