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High Windows 7 System Resource Usage at Idle (doing nothing)

Posted on 2015-02-13
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
Windows 7x64 Pro, Dell Inspiron 1749, first gen. Core i5, 8GB RAM, and an SSD. I did a clean install on Windows 4 months ago, and I keep my system clean. Two days ago I created a 25 MB PowerPoint 2013 file (lots of pictures). It takes the machine maybe 10 seconds to save the file, which is comparatively very sluggish. I figured that is  probably just because of the file size--but just to check, I opened System Resources. With all programs CLOSED and the laptop at idle (doing exactly nothing), disk access is very high, as is network traffic. ???? I reboot, and it does the exact same thing. Is that right/normal?

I ran Microsoft Security Essentials, and it found nothing. I uninstalled MSE and installed Webroot, ran it, and it also found nothing. What is causing the high disk and network access issues? Thanks.
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Question by:normanwillis
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Assisted Solution

by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 400 total points
ID: 40609246
First let your system run for a bit (an hour) and look at the monitor every 15 minutes.

CPU is low and looks normal.
Disk is high in the picture:  Updates, Office click to run updates, A/V scanning, Indexing and so on all use disk. It should calm down after a half hour. If not see what processes are always running.
Network is high: It looks like it IS doing updates. Again, if Network does not calm down, see what processes are running.

You may, or may not, have an issue.
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by:bbao
bbao earned 400 total points
ID: 40609264
when the system is idle, check CPU usage as what you did but make sure to Processes (not Programs) by CPU usage in descending order, this will let you know which particular processes are consuming the most CPU resource.

the same method applies to network activities, too. you may then learn what processes are the major contributor to the 'abnormal' network activity you have observed.

once you got a basic idea about what process(es) caused the usage, then we may further investigate why this could happen against the suspected process(es).

does it make sense?
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Author Comment

by:normanwillis
ID: 40609284
John, thanks. I let it run for about 45 minutes. It kept doing about the same thing.

Bbao, yes, it makes sense. I just gave the system a reboot it wanted (probably an update for MSE, which I just reinstalled). I left Outlook 2013 closed. Below is a Snagit (screen) shot.
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LVL 50

Assisted Solution

by:dbrunton
dbrunton earned 400 total points
ID: 40609305
TrustedInstaller.exe seems be very busy.  That is a Windows service.

Also a lot of communication with 134.170.53.30 which is Microsoft.

Quite possibly a lot of patches getting downloaded.  You might wish to do the patching yourself rather than let Microsoft do it automatically.
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Author Comment

by:normanwillis
ID: 40609309
dbrunton, you are correct. It had two "important updates." I am downloading and installing now.
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LVL 33

Accepted Solution

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Paul Sauvé earned 800 total points
ID: 40609318
The second Tuesday of every month, MS makes new updates available.

Another thing to check is Administrative Tools ―> System Configuration ―> Startup tab and see what starts in background when you fire up your PC.
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Author Comment

by:normanwillis
ID: 40609321
Two updates installed successfully. System has been up for about 9 minutes. Not sure what to make of the resource monitor.Resource monitor
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Author Comment

by:normanwillis
ID: 40609328
Paulsauve, good point. I am unchecking iTunes, Roxio Burn, Adobe Acrobat, Acrotray, and Quicktime from starting on bootup.
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Author Comment

by:normanwillis
ID: 40609337
It is looking somewhat better. i am going to call it quits for the evening. Thank you all.
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Author Closing Comment

by:normanwillis
ID: 40609340
It seems like downloading the updates, and then stopping services on startup helped somewhat. Thanks to all.
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