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Need Help with PC Rebooting and CPU Usage at 100%

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by rlsoultz, Jul 16, 2007.

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  1. rlsoultz

    rlsoultz Thread Starter

    Nov 3, 2004
    My desktop PC is running WinXP SP2 with all of the latest updates, and started having a problem a couple of days ago.

    I noticed that the computer was running slow, almost lunging, so I pressed CTRL-ALT-DEL to look at the CPU usage. It kept spiking to 100% then returning to normal approx. every 10 seconds. I looked at which process was causing the spike and it is Services.Exe.

    I downloaded Process Explorer to get a closer look and it shows in the General Tab that Event Logger and Plug N Play are the services. I turned off Event Logging, but the problem still exists.

    I downloaded SuperAntiSpyware and every time it would scan the computer would reboot during the 'File' scan portion. I rebooted and starte in Safe Mode, then ran SAS again and it found 0 Memory, 0 Registry and 8 File items (cookies). I had it to fix (delete) the file items listed.

    I then restarted in Normal mode and ran SAS again. This time it came up clean.
    The CPU Usage still peaked at 100% every 10 seconds.

    I tried to look at the event logs, but get an error message.
    When I tried to manually open a log, the computer rebooted.

    I ran msconfig.exe to try to renable the event logger, but this caused the computer to reboot.

    When I look at the properties for the Services.Exe in Process Explorer, the TCP/IP tab shows numerous addresses that I dont' recognise, and many that would pop into, then out of the list.

    My DSL router is a 2Wire 1000HW and since this problem began, the icon for the 2Wire Home Portal has been gray. When I click it, it shows that the Network is down, even though it is not.

    I called 2Wire tech support and they told me to disable the Tray Icon from starting and to just use the dedicated IP address for accessing my settings. I did this to make sure that the Firewall was still enabled, it was.

    Then I just left the computer running and a message box popped up that stated that Microsoft Windows had encountered an error and could not continue. I selected for it to send the report to Microsoft, which it did. Then I was redirected to a Microsoft Help screen that stated that the reported error indicated that there was a problem with either a Hardware or Software service that was being loaded. It suggested that I restart in safe mode and utilize devmgmt.msc to begin a process of excluding half of the drivers to see if I could locate the problem hardware driver. It further recommended to do the same thing with services in msconfig if the hardware driver location procedure didn't locate the offensive service.

    When I attempt to run the devmgmt.msc on this computer, the device list is blank. If I access the device list thru control panel/system/hardware manager, it shows my hardware devices.

    At this point I don't know if I am looking at a hardware or software problem. I have run anti-virus and spyware programs and they come up clean.

    Every time I attempt to open File Explorer, It opens without listing any drives in the left pane, then a flashlight appears in the right pane and after approx. 1 minute the drives are listed. I right clicked on my system drive and the driver details are blank. I installed this IDE drive approx. 4-5 months ago and it has been working great.

    Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

  2. tecknomage


    Jun 21, 2007
    Using Process Explorer, excellent. Best tool not written by Microsoft :rolleyes:

    Turning off Event Logger, BIG mistake. This is the service that logs system events for your Event Viewer which you really, really need.

    Did you check your Event Viewer to see what's being logged?
    1. Right-click My Computer
    2. Select Manage option
    3. Expand [+] Event Viewer
    4. Double-click each log on the left pain to view contents looking for problems

    Did you check Process Explorer for all running tasks to see what else is running when you're slow?

    Note, if you have an AntiVirus installed, it may be running a quick-scan just after you boot.

    Also, do you have any automatic updates enabled to automatically install and you are online?

    Windows Updates may take a very long time and slow your system. This is why I have Windows Automatic Updates set to notify only. Then I can decide when I want to update and have all other apps shut down.

    The only updates I set to automatically install are my Symantec AntiVirus.

    By the way, suggestion, in Process Explorer:
    1. Set Options - Hide when minimized, Allow one instance, CPU History in Tray Icon, and (of course) Confirm Kills
    2. In your [Start] menu, Programs, Startup folder create a shortcut to Process Explorer
    3. In the shortcut Properties, set to open Minimized
    With this, your system will boot with Process Explorer running and available with just a click on the Taskbar Tray icon. And the icon will be showing CPU activity all the time.
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