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View Full Version : Funny problem. Looks like it is reformat time AGAIN



theBlackman
7th Jun 2003, 23:39
I just reformatted and installed XP a week or so ago.

Now I have a wierd problem. Something is causing my CPU to go to 100% usage when I go on line.

I have run Vchecks, Adaware, Sys diagnostics, and everything checks out.

I have a RAM diag prog I will run, although SISOFT and BMX all show no problem.

This is driving me crazy.

If RAM check clears the system, then it's back to REINSTALL.

ARRRRGGGGHHHH!

LeatherMan
8th Jun 2003, 03:55
Is this just with IE, or are you using another browser?

What about when you are downloading email or newsgroup headers or messages?

Are you running a firewall? XP includes a firewall, but I don't know if it is enabled by default. I hear that you would fare better with a 3rd party firewall.

Are all of your drivers updated (especially NIC/modem) to the latest version and for the correct OS?

Vanguard
8th Jun 2003, 14:19
Does XP have file indexing enabled by default when installed (and does XP have file indexing)? Under Windows 2000, you would open Start -> Search -> For Files and Folders, click the Search Options link to expand the section, and check the "Indexing Service is currently <status>" link. This is probably the same as the "Indexing Service" shown for NT services.

Have you tried running msconfig.exe to disable all startup programs/services (other than those you must have for whatever you want to test) to see if one of those is slamming the CPU at 100%?

Even if CPU goes to 100% usage, it could be for a program that has also set its priority at low so anything else that wants some CPU time will get it. When the CPU goes to 100%, are you actually impacted?

Do you have the Microsoft auto-update service enabled (so it starts checking your system to determine what, if any, updates might be applicable)?

Have you ran an anti-virus scan (not just having it enabled but have it scan all files) to ensure that you don't have any zombies running on your machine that then get involved in a DOS (denial of service) attack when they contact their master to find out who to hit with a concerted slew of UDP packets aimed at a domain that the master's owner wants to whack? Many firewalls only protect you against incoming attacks and do nothing to check that outbound traffic is permitted. Norton's AV does let you determine which programs get to connect for outbound traffic and prompts you for your permission (provided you don't use their stupid auto-configure option). I don't know about ZoneAlarm but I thought it also prompted you (the first time) a program wanted to connect for outbound traffic. Toss (i.e., disable) Microsoft's embedded firewall in XP; it's worthless and only guards somewhat against inbound traffic, and get a real firewall. Most routers that have firewalls (for personal use) only protect against inbound traffic attacks, too.

Sometimes SpyBot catches adware crap that Adaware misses (but it also wants to report MRU lists as hazards). Although you have mentioned that CPU goes to 100% when you are online, you did not mention if there is a lot of traffic, either inbound or outbound, when that happens.

theBlackman
8th Jun 2003, 22:26
Originally posted by Vanguard
Does XP have file indexing enabled by default when installed (and does XP have file indexing)? Under Windows 2000, you would open Start -> Search -> For Files and Folders, click the Search Options link to expand the section, and check the "Indexing Service is currently <status>" link. This is probably the same as the "Indexing Service" shown for NT services.

Yes but I have it disabled in Services. This is the same as the old FIND routine that came with Office 97. Slows down the document programs too much so I don't use it.

Have you tried running msconfig.exe to disable all startup programs/services (other than those you must have for whatever you want to test) to see if one of those is slamming the CPU at 100%?
Yes! Only the Inet program shows usage everything else is at or near zero.

Even if CPU goes to 100% usage, it could be for a program that has also set its priority at low so anything else that wants some CPU time will get it. When the CPU goes to 100%, are you actually impacted?
Yes. System goes into complete lock up for the Browser page

Do you have the Microsoft auto-update service enabled (so it starts checking your system to determine what, if any, updates might be applicable)?

Yes. No updates except for the Netcard, and it's the wrong driver for the card

Have you ran an anti-virus scan (not just having it enabled but have it scan all files) to ensure that you don't have any zombies running on your machine that then get involved in a DOS (denial of service) attack when they contact their master to find out who to hit with a concerted slew of UDP packets aimed at a domain that the master's owner wants to whack? Many firewalls only protect you against incoming attacks and do nothing to check that outbound traffic is permitted. Norton's AV does let you determine which programs get to connect for outbound traffic and prompts you for your permission (provided you don't use their stupid auto-configure option). I don't know about ZoneAlarm but I thought it also prompted you (the first time) a program wanted to connect for outbound traffic. Toss (i.e., disable) Microsoft's embedded firewall in XP; it's worthless and only guards somewhat against inbound traffic, and get a real firewall. Most routers that have firewalls (for personal use) only protect against inbound traffic attacks, too.
Ran 3 different Vprogs. Have firewall with Inet hub, and also another for out.

Sometimes SpyBot catches adware crap that Adaware misses (but it also wants to report MRU lists as hazards). Although you have mentioned that CPU goes to 100% when you are online, you did not mention if there is a lot of traffic, either inbound or outbound, when that happens.

Traffic is minimal. Only single source from the site I am on.


Thanks for the input. It has given me some ideas. Will be back with update(s).

Vanguard
9th Jun 2003, 03:08
Have you tried shutting down unneccessary services during the test, like the web server (i.e., actually stop it and not just disable connections to it) which include the WWW service, IIS, , FTP server, gopher, Messenger (the NT service, not the chat app), etc.

Have you uninstalled any unneccessary network services, clients, or protocols, like file/print sharing, NetBEUI (although you mention that traffic seems pretty light)?

Checked if you have events in Task Scheduler (that keep trying to restart due to an extended duration allowed for the task)? Have you installed Norton Utilities and then scheduled it to optimize your disks (assuming there is also lots of disk activity when CPU usage goes to 100%). It runs as an NT service and doesn't show in Task Scheduler.

Have you tried reinstalling IE? If you get it from Microsoft's web site, you have to install twice. The first time it lets you just "refresh" the already installed components, so you have to run the install a second time to then opt to reinstall all components.

Have you tried deleting or disabling all rules in your firewall that permit applications or services to have outbound connections, and then connect to see what applications popup alerts from the firewall (that want an outbound connection)? Just do the connection without opening a browser or other application and see what comes up as wanting a connection. It might not generate a lot of traffic but might be what causes the high CPU usage (because of bad coding, a trojan, or other malicious or non-informed intent). I haven't bothered to move from Windows 2000 to Windows XP (no bang for the buck) so perhaps its trying to "phone home" for registration purposes; i.e., not much traffic but lots of looking on your system.