I am not sure if this is the right place for this post because I don't know what the problem is. I am running a Dell Inspirion 9400 Laptop with Windows XP and have all the latest service packs installed. I have a gig of RAM and about a 200G HD. I run Spyware Doctor, Avast, Regpro, and Wise Registry cleaner as well as a couple of other attack dogs I cannot think of just now. My computer is about three years old. I have had no major problems with it besides the usual Dell powersupply failures.
About four days ago I noticed the fan began to hum loudly and the computer slowed way down to a fraction of its normal speed and stayed that way until I reset. Upon resetting, the fan shuts off and speed returns to normal for a few minutes... then the fan comes back on and the computer slows down again. I have researched online for possible solutions. I have tried the following:
I ran evey spyware, anti-virus, and registry cleaner I have. They ran very slowly, but did seem to work. This made very little difference.
I ran msconfig.exe and disabled every application under "services" and "startup" that I could leaving only my wireless adapter, the microsoft services, and avast entries. This helped a little. The processor usage dropped from 100% to around 60% when the fan is on.
I did a CHKDSK on reboot and a defrag. No errors and no difference.
I took the computer apart and cleaned out the fan and intake for the cooling device that is attached to the heat sink for the processor. I found a significant dust bunny there, but no place else. When I started up again, the computer ran faster than it has run in a year. But the next day the problem re-appeared worse than before. I took the computer apart again and found no further problems inside.
Following another suggestion for dealing with a similar problem, I went to the event manager and cleared the logs for the first three entries... this made no noticable difference.
I have noticed these things while watching the task manager:
Services.exe seems to be related to the problem. Before the fan comes on, it shows little CPU usage. After it comes on it jumps around erratically from 10% to 30%. Listed under Services are ten instances of svchost.exe. Of these, one consistently bounces around from 0% to 15% in a predictable rythym. When I temporarily disable this application, Windows Explorer will not run. When I re-enable it, explorer will run. I also notice that spoolsv.exe bounces around from 0% to 20%, even though there are no print jobs queued. I do not think this is the virus version since it is identified in task manager as a SYSTEM application.
There do not appear to be any other processes that can account for this behavior.
I am completely stumped. I am also out of ideas. The computer fan comes on now about two minutes after reboot with no applications at all running. Before I tried all of these "fixes" the problem would not arise until I was watching videos for 10 minutes or doing something else that required processing power. It seems I have succeeded only in making the problem worse. Any ideas you might have would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance.