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Discussion Starter #1
when i click on the task manager on my windows xp operating system....my cpu usage is often at 100% what does this mean?? how do i fix it...

these are my specs..

550 mhz amd 3d processor
15 g hard drive
176 mgs of ram
 

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When it is at 100%, what are you doing with the PC? Is it just sitting there, monitoring? Or are you trying to run programs?

Your 100% CPU utilization can be a function of your trying to run XP with what in the age of XP is considered a slow processor (0.55GHz) and too little memory(0.17GB). Or it can be because too many excess things are running that you don't need. Or it can be an actual problem.

CPU Utilization works sort of like this. Let's use round numbers and say that it takes 3 billion instructions to open some file you want to open.
  • Take a 3.0GHz processor and it will complete the action in only about 1 second.
  • Now take your 550MHz processor. With nothing else to do, your PC will be 100% busy for 5-1/2 seconds to finish that open. Worse, during those 5 seconds your CPU will probably get interrupted 10 or 12 times to run other Windows XP "housekeeping" services. So the file-open will wind up taking maybe 7 to 8 seconds. In fact it will take so long that you start checking your CPU utilization percentage! ;)
You need to be aware Windows XP is a hog, truly the most bloated Microsoft O/S yet. Your 550 would kick some serious booty on W98 or NT4, but on XP there are now more CPU instructions between you and what you need to get done, than ever before. So activities that might be mere "blips" on a processor 6 times your speed, will bog yours down for a much longer time.


Now let's see what your PC is busy doing. You already know it's seeing 100% so you must know how to get to the Task Manager by CTRL+ALT+DELETE. Go into your Task Manager. Click on the Processes tab. Now click on the CPU column. This will sort the processes by decreasing CPU usage. It will probably change a little every second. At the top will be the System Idle Process. Watch it for a couple of minutes.

??Can you tell us (a)what the top 5 or 6 process names are, (b)about what percent they are typically using, and (c)about how often each seems to be running?

If after telling us this data it turns out things sound pretty normal, you might be able to tune your system by turning off some services and making a few other key tweaks. In that case I will be referring you to http://www.blackviper.com for instructions.

If it turns out you have a virus or a worm that's chewing up your CPU, that's an entirely different and solvable problem.

Hope this helps,
and let us know about those processes,

-clintfan
 

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im not trying to suck up, but clintfan, you sure give good answers.


if only i knew more, liked to type more, and was more helpful, then i would maybe answer things like that.



(and im not trying to be sarchastic either)

~BoB~
 

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Discussion Starter #4
oh my clintfan i dunno who u are but you're a genious..oh my..

anyways i did what you told me to do

top 5 processes while computer is just on and no applications are being used.

System idle process from 80 to 96 %
Taskmgr.exe 4-8%
explorer.exe 2-6%
svchost.exe 2-6%
iexplore.exe 2-8%


p.s just wondering will an upgrade in my cpu and or ram help this problem ???
 

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System idle process from 80 to 96 %
Taskmgr.exe 4-8%
explorer.exe 2-6%
svchost.exe 2-6%
iexplore.exe 2-8%
Great! Good job and good info. You must've left Internet Explorer running, and it's painting some advertisements. You could reduce the svchost a little by tuning the PC, as I mentioned earlier.

But overall, this all looks normal. I was looking for worms, etc. but they're evidently not running here. Your CPU is idle most of the time, as it should be. But the fact that the basic act of running Taskmgr consumes up to 8%, still makes me think your problem is simply trying to run XP a platform that isn't quite up to that job.

will an upgrade in my cpu and or ram help this problem ???
IMO not much. You didn't say what mobo you have, and I don't really know AMD, so I cannot tell what your upper limit of CPU upgrade would be, typically it's not very high, maybe +10-25%. My first PC for example, was a Pentium I running 90MHz, but the highest CPU upgrade I could add was, I think 100MHz: not worth the cost of the chip for +11%.

Yes more memory would help some --XP is a memory hog-- but the bigger problem is probably going to be throughput limitations of the mobo itself. Mobo's of an age where 550MHz CPU was king, are probably using a FSB (Front Side Bus) some 4 to 6 times slower than what's in use today. If you happen to have more memory of the correct type, go ahead and add it. But it you need to buy more memory it could be a waste of money, because if you step up to a newer mobo, the memory you bought to upgrade this one, might be too slow to be supported on the new one.

I could be missing something, but the overall slow architecture of the platform (for running WinXP) is what I think I see here. Again, it would be a relative screamer on several older O/S's.

-clintfan
 
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