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Windows 7: Need help finding out what's consuming CPU cycles


28 Oct 2011   #1

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 
Need help finding out what's consuming CPU cycles

Hi all,

I've got a Dell Precision M6400 laptop running 64 bit Windows 7 SP1. Hardware wise, it has a Intel Core 2 Quad CPU Q9100 running a 2.26 Mhz, 6 gB RAM, 350 gB main drive and a 500 gB secondary drive.

Rounding out the goodies is a Nvidia Quadro FX 2700 M graphics card. I've updated the video driver last week to the latest available on Nvidia's site.

This machine was bought primarily as a semi-portable SolidWorks workstation. Until recently it has done a great job at that.

In the last couple of weeks (hard to pinpoint exactly when this started) at a regular time of day (approximately 7:30 p.m.) this machine slows to a crawl. Pulling up task manager indicates all four processors at 80%-90% utilization. Even simple tasks, like typing text into a web text box lags incredibly. Trying to use SolidWorks is futile. Make a click, wait 20-30 seconds, make a click wait 20-30 seconds.

I'd accrued a lot of crap on the machine so I went on a binge and uninstalled (using Revo Uninstaller) everything that wasn't absolutely necessary and that I had installed in the last month or two.

Running the performance tool from Control Panel-> Performance Information and Tools yields a 6+ score when whatever isn't running and a 1.3 when it is running.

Spelunking through the processes tab on task manager indicates nothing hogging significant cycles, but the graphs show all being heavily utilized. I downloaded process hacker and ran that and tells me pretty much what Task Manager does as well.

I've run Crap Cleaner several times, AntiMalwarebytes a couple of times, done a complete virus scan (I use MSE) all coming up negative. I opened a command window and ran the system file checker (sfc /scannow) and it found nothing.

I think there is a zombie running because if I disconnect my Ethernet cord the and run the performance thing, the cpu scores return to normal.

Any hints on finding out what's stealing cpu cycles? At this point I'm thinking a scorched earth solution with a drive format and Windows reinistall, but that is not a trivial process and I would like to exhaust all other.

Thanks in advance.

chris

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

28 Oct 2011   #2

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 

Another oddity, the WEI for Aero Graphics is consistently 2.9. It used to score much higher than that.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Oct 2011   #3
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Run Resource Monitor by typing it in the start field.
You can also download "Process Explorer" from Sysinternals which is a bit more capable.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


29 Oct 2011   #4

Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit
 
 

I noticed on a particularly slow machine that windows update itself would hog resources. could be your computer auto-updating?

When it happens, look in task manager for processes taking lots of power. if fact, check it now. make sure all processes from all users is selected, like this:
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My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Oct 2011   #5

Win 8 Release candidate 8400
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by cdubea View Post
Another oddity, the WEI for Aero Graphics is consistently 2.9. It used to score much higher than that.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
Might be directX. Download Details - Microsoft Download Center - DirectX End-User Runtime
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Nov 2011   #6

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 

Ack. Finally discovered the problem. CPU/GPU throttling due to heat buildup. Flashed to the latest BIOS available for this machine (which allegedly resolves the problem) and have had 4 "critical temperature shutdown" events.

Not good.

I will look around to see if there is a solution.

thanks to all who helped.

chris
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Nov 2011   #7
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

You can monitor your CPU temps with
Core Temp
Real Temp - This will also let you load up the CPU in a controlled way to monitor temps. It will also give GPU temps.

SIW - Will also give you data on your CPU, GPU

A dust cleanout of cooling vents and a cooling pad may help the laptop.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Nov 2011   #8

Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit
 
 

you might also consider re-applying the thermal paste to the cpu/cpufan, and potentially upgrading your cooling system (ie adding more fans and/or getting better fans)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Need help finding out what's consuming CPU cycles




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