CPU always at 100%

My CPU is always at 100%, and the task manager reveals nothing that is taking up any of my cpu, yet it remains at 100%, idling or not. My system was running great for months with virus software running until it randomly started doing this. No updates were installed, nothing has been installed in over a week. If anyone can give me any idea why this is happening I would very much appreciate it.

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at the start of my computer ranging anywhere from 10min-3 hours( and reoccurs sometimes), both my cpus stay at 100%, and when i looked at performance monitor, it showed that SVCHOST.EXE (netsvcs) was using 40-50 percent of the cpu. The high cpu usage also messes up any type of audio(causing crackles and pops).

Hi all,

Recently installed the 64 bit Windows 7 beta, and my CPU usage is constantly at or near 100%, even with no external programs running. Just to give a quick run-down of my system, I have:

-- AMD Athlon 64 3200+ Processor (2.2 GHz)
-- 1GB Diamond Radeon 3650HD Video Card

The rest of my setup is a basic desktop machine -- plenty of storage space, etc. It runs XP Professional (32-bit) just fine. I installed the Vista x64 driver for my video card last night; it installed successfully, but did not seem to help much.

Should I abandon the 64-bit version and stick with 32 bit? Will that lessen the load on my CPU, or is there another problem here that I am not seeing? Any input would be appreciated.


I have a user who is having problems with Windows XP. There will be frequent brief moments when the computer seems to lock up for maybe 15-20 seconds. When looking at the task list (control-alt-delete) I notice CPU usage is 100 percent... it seems to show a spike on the chart, then quickly drops to zero. The effect is always triggered by a keystroke of some kind. This happens maybe half a dozen times a day. Any thoughts? Is there an app I could be looking for?

Hello there,recently in my laptop become slugish.it always stcuk at 100%.I open the task manager and exeploer.exe taking maximum usage.Power plan:balanced.Notebook compaq persio c700.please kindly anyone help me.Will reinstall will help me?

System performance is abysmal.

"Resource and Performance Monitor" says:
Busy 100 % High CPU load. Investigate Top Processes.
Resource Monitor says:

Image PID Description Status Threads CPU Average CPU
System Interrupts - Deferred Procedure Calls and Interrupt Svce... Running - 63 52.80%
System 4 NT Kernel & System Running 106 26 28.33%

the various other images are

System specs:
Athlon XP 2100 (1.7 Ghz)
Radeon 9000 (Powercolor)
built in 100 LAN, AC97

Installing Vista took about an hour. I'm seriously!
Booting into the desktop is painfully slow. Task Manager shows the CPU spiked to 100%, but on closer inspection, no process in the list of "All Users" shows what's taking up the resource.

All other desktop tasks are a SLIDE SHOW: opening windows, right clicking items, My Computer, Start menu, etc. I won't even bother commenting on the administrative popups and how long they take to appear and disappear.

My first instinct was to search for 'cpu 100% max' and found other posts scattered throughout:
* disable the SSPD service. -- made no difference for me.
* disable the DNS Client service. -- made no difference for me.

Then I tried disabling all manner of new services (whole bunch of compatibility services, ReadyBoost(sic?), etc.) - but stopping those services didn't help.

My next target is the crappy video card. The Vista Experience monitor gives that particular video card an Experience Score of 1.0 - ouch! It's without a doubt a budget, entry level card from 5 years ago. But even with a crappy video card and Aero turned off, shouldn't be pegging the CPU at max.

Booting into Safe Mode gives my system great performance - as I would expect.

Does anyone have these kind of problems or heard of any other problems with the CPU maxed out?

I'm using an ASUS X5DC laptop with a 250gb hard drive and 4gb RAM. My CPU usage is constantly staying at 100% unless the system is idle which even at that it only goes down to 86%. Could anyone help me try and fix this?

I have a AMD 800 Mhz CPU with 384Meg Ram, running under WinXP Pro.

After running with no problems for about 4-6 hours then for no reason I slow to a halt, or near halt and sometimes am forced to reboot.

I have been monitoring Processes and Performance in Task Manager and have found that the Image Named "SYSTEM" will go from a normal of zero CPU usage to all available free CPU usage. The CPU usage for "SYSTEM" will change depending on CPU usage of other applications open. So between any applications I have open (using about 1-50% CPU) and "SYSTEM" (using the remaining 50-99%), I stay at or close to 100% CPU.

Sometimes I can open the Task Manager to check things out and sometimes even though I can still move the mouse around I can't open Task Manager.

I have noticed a few people mentioning similar problem in newsgroups but I haven't seen any response.

Anyone have a idea what's going wrong?


I have a 1.5GHz CPU pinned at 100% while printing (spooler to printer) color to an HP DeskJet 1220c under Windows XP SP1 (otherwise current in critical patches). I cannot figure out why.

I am using the most recent HP drivers for Win XP. The printer is connected through an ECP parallel port with DMA disabled. There are gobs of disk and 768MB RAM. Perfmon shows the CPU utilization pinned, no paging, and little disk activity. Task Manager shows SYSTEM running at 90+% CPU, SPOOLSV.exe sometimes hitting 2 digits, and nothing else contributing much. This is definitely when the spooler is pumping the data out to the printer, I queued up the file before setting the instrumentation. When it is printing 3 pages of text/photo from Acrobat, the CPU is flat at 100% except during form feeds. When it is printing 2 pages of B/W text from MS Word, the CPU sawtooths between 90% and 100% except for the form feed.

This is not a suddenly appearing symptom that I can associate with some event. It is more that the user printed more and more and finally got annoyed enough to complain.

I am guessing that the spooler is unhappy about something, but I cannot figure out what. I have heard of HP's software gobbling up CPU, but I would have thought that some of the hpXXXXXX tasks would be showing more CPU it that were happening.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated?

Joe M

I h ave been travelling internationally for a month. When I started my office computer it responds very slowly to all commands, and frequently both Eudora and Netscape stop responding.

In the Task Manager I see that Process "Udserve.exe" is showing CPU ranging between 95 and 99% all the time. The other elements for that process are PID 944, CPU Time - follows a few seconds behind the time the computer has been operating, and Mem Usage 1,748K.

No other process is taking more than a tiny amount of CPU.

The CPU graph in the performance page just shows a steep rise to 100% when the computer starts and a straight line at 100% thereafter.

The computer is a Pentium 700Mh with 512 Mb RAM and two hard drives, one 10Gb and the other 36 Gb, both partitioned into three NTFS partitions, running Win2000 Pro.

Would someone please tell me how to reduce the CPU usage of this one process so the rest of the computer can run normally?

Any advice will be most welcome.


Hi, I realise there are a million of these threads on here about CPU usage but I have checked several and they don't seem to fix my issue.

Basically my CPU usage hits 100% a lot. Usually I am not doing much. Listening to Itunes and using firefox or vlc player. All of a sudden the sound becomes all distorted and sometimes even slows down. Check my processes and the CPU is at 100%. The processes nowhere near add up to 100%. They barely hit 30%. Firefox will be using the most but rarely does it go higher than 20%. The rest of the processes are doing nothing. Memory is also fine.

I have degfragged and stopped indexing. I don't have many superfluous processes/services running (apart from whatever nonsense Itunes runs as it moans when I turn it off). All drivers are up to date. I am waiting for it to happen now so I can screenshot it but obviously it won't now.

I have a Toshiba L350D laptop
Windows 7 32bit
AMB Athlon Dual-Core 2.10ghz
3gig ram

Thanks for any help

I've just upgraded the OS on a workstation, from Vista ult 64 to win 7 pro 64. It has all the latest updates installed.

I also used the opportunity to install Autodesk 3ds Max Design 2011. The latest hotfix is installed.

My problem is that windows 7 goes to sleep after the specified period even though Max is rendering at 100% usage. How can I stop this from happening whilst keeping the sleep function enabled.

Currently this is the only workstation using win 7. All others are on xp or vista and don't suffer from this problem, ie. they go to sleep after the rendering has completed.

I would like to keep the sleep function enabled as I am under pressure from my employer to save as much energy as possible, which is difficult when you have dual quads (several workstations - if i can sort this problem) running when not required.

Hopefully it is as simple as a check box somewhere in windows telling it that max isn't a background process and not to sleep when its active, or a setting in max?

Otherwise I suppose I could disable sleep and somehow configure max to shutdown the pc after rendering?

I'm just annoyed as this function worked well in other version of windows and max!

Any ideas?

Hi all....just had my "C" drive wiped, XP Proff 2003 installed and speed much improved for a few days till.... now intermittently dead slow again so opened Windows Task Manager and despite having no files open the CPU usage registered 100% activity. No wonder I could not even open a file on the desktop. Since getting the computer back I have also began to get numerous weird messages which I have never seen before. Apart from suggesting I take it back to the shop are there any suggestions before I have no other option? Thanks. Dave. [attachment=83369:Why_100_.png] [attachment=83371:Runtime_error.png]

Something has happened to my PC today which is causing the SYSTEM process to peg the CPU utilization at 100% and keep it there. This occurs even before the Desktop appears. I've tried Safe Mode and Normal Mode with all Startup items disabled, and the same thing happens. Did a Google search on 100% CPU utilization, but none of the entries I found dealt with a runaway SYSTEM process. Ad-Aware and Spybot aren't finding anything. I started Norton AV on a full scan of my hard drive (a fairly new Seagate 160 MB SATA) and after 4 hours it hadn't even made it through 50,000 files. Help!

I have this issue with one laptop and one desktop PC, both Win XP SP3.

The laptop is an early Asus machine that the system fan quit working and I can't find a replacement. I'm not even sure I have booted that system in over a year.

The desktop PC is a Pentium D 820 PC that I built myself.

The symptoms are, I am either using the PC or waking it up from a period of no user input.

Everything crawls to a refresh, Process Explorer shows the top resource hog to be:
Interrupts 75.92% Hardware Interrupts and DPCs
(It varies from like 62% to 95% -- it isn't locked on the 76% number.)

On the desktop PC the fans all spin, I have upgraded to a new 750W power supply.

I don't see any capicators with their tops blown off on the motherboard or any of the PCI add-on cards.

I am usually using Internet Explorer 8, but I don't leave it up when I leave the machine.

If I reboot, either a "soft" restart or a power interruption, the problem goes away for the rest of the day and the system works wonderfully. If I leave it up, the problem will resurface in the next day or two.

One thought is that Norton Antivirus is scanning the files on an attached USB drive, but none of the Norton process are even in the top 5 when this slow-down happens. The interrups continue to happen at the same rate if I unplug the USB hard drive, and it will go into the same state in a couple of days if I boot the PC without the USB hard drive attached.

Any clue as to what causes the Interrupts?

Periodically my pc stops accepting input for a while (eg mouse or keyboard input) or stops processing data (eg .mp3 music). System monitor indicated that at these times kernel usage was at 100% and could suddenly jump there from a prior usage figure of under 10% with no other applications started. What I want to find out is what is causing this, any recommendations greatly appreciated.

I have used PCs for many years, but never looked into system usage. Due to some software we set up for a client, I now need to.
They checked the task manager CPU and memory usage and asked us to look into their findings as they were not happy with the result.

On a twin 2.4ghz processor, 4GB Ram machine (I think win 2K server is on it but im not 100% sure), running terminal server with 7 users using a 30mb database,
each users database took 50mb memory and the processor was always at 100%.

I started with a few preliminary tests and noticed that a database using forms or reports takes up its approximate size in memory, then increases slightly when more forms etc are opened, so can I assume this is normal?
If so, does that make Access databases very unsuitable for terminal servers or would the PC manage the resources ok?

I had a look at the CPU usage as well. When doing ANYTHING on an Access form, there is 100% usage even on a regular PC (not Terminal server), so with 7 users there's a chance someone will always be doing something. Would it be fair to say that this is an incorrect view of system resources?

Can anyone suggest a good way to prove to our client that it is not specifically our database that makes the pretty graphs show 100% usage all of the time?

Any help would be much appreciated.


I have a single document that for some reason will not display at 100% as a single page. If I go to View and select 100% (or Zoom and select 100%), the document appears as 2 pages. If I select “One Page”, the Zoom changes to 78%. As close as I can get for a single page display is 101% zoom. This is the only document that behaves this way, and it started this behavior recently.

What am I missing?

Windows 7
Word 2010

Hello all,
Over the past few ( beers and time period) I have decided to try to resurrect XP Pro SP-3, and install it to a new AMD Quad core PC (ASUS 990FX) Not going into the "legal aspects" of this.... not my issue here. (whether you have a Full OS install disk , an OEM, or Upgrade).. Macrium Reflect Pro and Acronis True Image with "Plus Pack" have this ability to do a "bare metal install" ( one PC OS, to another PC) You have to work out the "Activation " bit on your own....Here goes....( couldn't get Acronis to work ..so will only be discussing Macrium)

1. The major problem with this type of "old to new" install is that you have to have the "Drivers" for your old OS to go along with the new PC.. ASUS 990FX Motherboard comes with a disk with some of the XP drivers that are needed.. otherwise you will have to provide them on your own. "Google for em"

2. The second problem is that you have to choose the correct "HAL layer" to enable your new CPU to talk to everyone...there are several choices ... See the definitions provided by Macrium Support (with their permission, and knowledge) See end of my "Blah Blah"

3. Using Macriums "Redeploy" function you can choose the HAL setting and then "Slipstream" the drivers into the installation process.

4. My install was using an Image from my old PC ... this was only partially successful .. Could only get XP on the new PC to recognize one of my CPU cores... CPU meter was almost always at 100 % ....Very slow performance ... Still can't get that one figured out yet..

5. The next try Using an XP Pro SP-3 Disk ... First problem is that i could only load the OS using IDE mode ... Well i installed, XP after setting BIOS to IDE ( AHCI is my normal BIOS ) After Booting in IDE using "Device Manager" i disabled all IDE Drivers ,shut down and booted into BIOS and set it back to AHCI.

6. Now using Macriums Redeploy function i then "slipstreamed" the AHCI drivers from the ASUS disk, and chose the correct HAL setting.. "ACPI Multi Processor" ... What do Ya know? New life for an old OS !

7. Well the reason for this post is that i was not aware (or understood ) HAL and how these type of programs can work for you .... Hope this is some help Regards Fred

PS: here is Macrium's response....

Unfortunately, the choice of HAL is a complex one and the explanation needed to determine which HAL to use is a bit difficult to squeeze into the limited space we have on the dialog.

HAL stands for Hardware Abstraction Layer. The idea is fairly simple - internally Windows abstracts away all of the differences between hardware into a common way of working, if you like. This means that most of Windows only needs to be able to use this common way of working and asking hardware, and needs not know the underlying hardware details.

Microsoft have reduced these hardware differences to a small number of different abstraction layers, which handle things slightly differently for different families of hardware.

You can read more about the overall concept here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hardwa...rating_Systems

We provide all of the HAL types Windows Supports. There are three types of power/interface PC types, these are:

Standard - mostly applies to legacy hardware.

ACPI - this stands for Advanced Configuration and Power Interface, which you can read about here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanc...ower_Interface and http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/...interface.html

Essentially, ACPI looks after power states of peripherals, for example powering down hard disks when idle.

MPS - this stands for Multiprocessor Specification, a system from Intel (see http://www.intel.com/design/pentium/...s/24201606.pdf )

Chances are quite high that if your system is a modern one, it uses ACPI. Windows XP and earlier may be unable to boot if it cannot correctly determine which of the schemes your current hardware uses, as it will not be able to speak to the hardware.

The next sub-case is the multiprocessor/uniprocessor differentiation. This is reasonably straightforward - multiprocessor is used for platforms with multiple processors and uniprocessor for one processor.

So, for a modern system I would imagine "ACPI Multiprocessor" would be the recommended option. However, this is not always the case.

The way to determine which to use is to read your hardware's manuals to determine if the motherboard on the target PC supports ACPI. If it is an older system, it may not, in which case you should check whether it supports MPS or not. If not, Standard PC should work for you. Then, select the sub option based on whether you have a single core or multi-core processor.

7b is the bluescreen you receive when the system cannot boot due to an incorrect device, possibly HAL, but this can also be caused by incorrect drivers for storage controllers and hard disks. ReDeploy enables you to insert the correct drivers for your system.

A "Bad Pool Header" error message is caused by memory corruption. This could be a bug in a driver and may be worth investigating if you see if again.

Hopefully this helps explain your choices!

Kind Regards,

Macrium Support