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System process freezing CPU

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Old 05-29-2008, 08:54 PM   #1
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I’m not sure if this thread is dead or not, but if someone can help me I would greatly appreciate it. I am having the same symptoms and problems with my cpu spiking in a “cyclic” pattern. This problem has been plaguing me for a while and I have taken a lot of advice from several bulletin boards and this thread particularly trying to figure out what exactly is happening to my processor.

The more programs running the higher the spikes get with each additional program, until I eventually I have so much lag nothing works properly.

This problem only occurs when I am using Windows Live Messenger Video Call. I have re-installed my sound driver (Sigma Tel C-Major Audio), I have updated windows to XP Pro SP 3, I have reinstalled Windows Live Messenger ver. 2008 (build 8.5.1302.1018), and still the spikes remain. It doesn’t matter whether video is going or not, as soon as the sound starts the spikes start.

Process Explorer helped me to discover what exactly is causing my cpu to spike. It is something called:

0 ntoskrnl.exe!ExReleaseResourceLite+0x206
1 kmixer.sys+0x22ca
2 ntoskrnl.exe!PsCreateSystemThread+0x70
3 ntoskrnl.exe!KelnitializeTimer+0x107

OR

0 ntoskrnl.exe!ExReleaseResourceLite+0x206
1 NDIS.sys+0x6bbd
2 ntoskrnl.exe!PsCreateSystemThread+0x70
3 ntoskrnl.exe!KelnitializeTimer+0x107

If I suspend the thread in the process explorer program, sound ends and so does the spikes. And when I resume the thread, sound resumes and so do the spikes.

I'm not sure how to post the snapshot I took of the process explorer graph, but it looks just like the spike pattern of MattRM above, (only my spikes are upwards to 29% - 33% each spike) every 2 seconds, just like above. ( However, I did add the picture as an attachment if that works). These spikes are really annoying and basically stall my computer when I run video with the sound connection. And if I am running any other program that requires additional cpu usage (especially games), my computer lags so bad nothing works. Not even the video call.

If anyone can tell me what is doing this and how to correct and stop this process from eating up so much cpu usage, it will be greatly appreciative. Thank you in advance.
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Old 05-30-2008, 09:46 PM   #2
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My post listed above was based on a thread that was apparently closed. The link to the thread I refer to in this post is:

http://www.techsupportforum.com/f10/...tml#post708953

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Old 05-30-2008, 10:19 PM   #3
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So I would expect that you will see spikes here from that driver when sound is playing - that makes sense.

Can you elaborate on what "freezing" means to you? What are the exact symptoms?

Have you downloaded the latest version of the driver from the vendor? What is the basic spec on this machine?
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Old 05-30-2008, 11:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdesmondMVP View Post
So I would expect that you will see spikes here from that driver when sound is playing - that makes sense.

Can you elaborate on what "freezing" means to you? What are the exact symptoms?

Have you downloaded the latest version of the driver from the vendor? What is the basic spec on this machine?
Lets start backwards:

Yes, I have updated all the drivers listed in my device manager tree under sound, video and game controllers.

What I mean by freezing, is basic lag. My cpu will spike out at 100% and nothing moves until the spike is done. I dont even need to have any other programs running. After being in a video call about 45 min. to and hour my spikes are so bad that even when I am only running Windows Live Messenger Video Call my cpu eventually reaches 100% usage. The graph I attached shows my spikes reaching in the lower 30% range about every 2 seconds (this was a video call with no video - just sound). When I attach the camera and actually do the video call with the camera the spikes are much higher and will "build" over time until they reach 100% plus and then everything stops working until the spike subsides. As a result then, everything is basically very choppy.

I can't imagine that running Windows Live Messenger Video Call only would cause my CPU to spike up to 100%, but it does because of the "cyclic" spikes I have even when the camera is not connected. And the process explorer program tells me it the same thing doing it everytime. I listed the information above.

So spikes are normal with my driver? I don't recall having this much issue with them before. If I did, they were never to this extreme that I ever noticed lag / or freezing up my cpu.

Comp specs.: Dell Inspiron 1150 Laptop computer, Mobile Intel Pentium 4 Processor, CPU 2.80GHz, 512MB RAM, OS Windows XP Professional SP 3
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Old 05-31-2008, 10:52 PM   #5
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OK this is good info.

In process explorer, you can double click the System process and goto the threads tab. Sort on the CPU column - (2nd column by default). What's consuming the CPU time here?
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Old 06-01-2008, 07:24 PM   #6
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I just ran it again and I got the same thing as before:

The only additional thing I can tell you is what it says before I click on it and open the second window:

TID: 2720
CPU: 28.04
CSwitch Delta: 107
Start Address: kmixer.sys+0x21f0

When I click on it and open the small window, it gives me this:

0 ntoskrnl.exe!ExReleaseResourceLite+0x206
1 kmixer.sys+0x22ca
2 ntoskrnl.exe!PsCreateSystemThread+0x70
3 ntoskrnl.exe!KelnitializeTimer+0x107

OR

0 ntoskrnl.exe!ExReleaseResourceLite+0x206
1 NDIS.sys+0x6bbd
2 ntoskrnl.exe!PsCreateSystemThread+0x70
3 ntoskrnl.exe!KelnitializeTimer+0x107

If I suspend the thread in the process explorer program, sound ends and so do the spikes. And when I resume the thread, sound resumes and so do the spikes.
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Old 06-29-2008, 06:28 PM   #7
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Can anyone help me with this? I am getting really frustrated. I cannot do video call without my msn video become so choppy and the sound being so broken up. I was hoping to get some answers here.
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Old 09-22-2008, 12:15 AM   #8
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i reckon i have a similar story to yours.

my machine runs a dual core processor. when i access some NOT all flash content i note that the kernel usage by system process (PID 4) on CPU 0 goes to 100% while the overall CPU usage of system (PID4) is 50%. when i investigated further ifound that kmixer.sys+0x21f0 is the culprit i cannot end the thread. i tried replacing the sys file with one i had taken from a working machine however the same result occured. my cpu does not repeatedly spike as yours does however it remains at 100% in a big block. if i switch affinity from CPU0 to only CPU1 then the block migrates to CPU1.

from what i have found kmixer.sys is a kernel audio driver related to sigmatel
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/23...o-laptop-usage

anyway please find out a solution as this is also causing me grief as to whether it is solely software related or it is a more worrying hardware malfunction
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Old 09-22-2008, 12:49 AM   #9
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here are the photos
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Old 12-21-2008, 05:17 PM   #10
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Well...here is what transpired with my issue. I ended up having some hardware troubles next. The technician replaced my processor, fan, and motherboard in my laptop; and now the freezing stopped. The cpu spikes are gone and I am not having problems anymore. I didnt change anything software wise so it must have been strictly a hardware issue all along.

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