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Windows 7: Having CPU usage problems? Read...

30 Apr 2010   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
Having CPU usage problems? Read...

I recently had a problem with my laptop distorting sounds and causing a decrease in performance at the same time. Only the sound issue stood out at first, but after looking into it, and fixing it, I instantly noticed the performance boost.

Process Explorer -- An advanced "task manager" from a trusted source.
Process Explorer

If you had already figured out your computer is running at a high cpu usage, and you are still having problems, I am going to assume you had tried to kill the process with either no luck, or only to have it return or dissipate else where. With Process Explorer I will teach you the basics of using it. I've only recently discovered Process Explorer, about two hours ago to be honest, so I may be missing some detail. However, I am so baffled about the use of this program I feel I should share my success which will hopefully help others.(and especially thanks to those that tried to help me with my sound problem)

Isolating and Solving The Cause:
Step 1: Run Process Explorer, I ran mine as administrator, may not be necessary.

Step 2: Scroll through your process list until you encounter the culprit that is using the majority of your CPU. There may be several results, and some may only be briefly; so be sure to watch it for a moment to assure it is steadily hogging resources.

Step 3: After you isolate the problem (which in my case was svchost), right click the process and select Properties. This should open another windows labeled as _process_you_chose_ (theadID) Properties. It should also preselect the tab Threads for you.
Note that svchost is a process in which a lot of functions utilize, so while svchost may contain a high CPU usage it is likely not the problem itself.

Step 4: Each thread is gathered in such a manner, and in list formation: TID, CPU, Cycles Delta(name for this may vary), Service(may not be included for some processes), Start Address. The thread using the most CPU should be located at the top of the list by default. If you can confirm this thread is using an abnormal amount of CPU, take note of the Service, or Start Address.

Step 5: Research your gathered results, more specifically the .Dll or .Exe your results are tied to. With a search engine of your choice, you should be able to locate information on this service/result, and determine the importance of it. More than likely it will be bad drivers, or an unnecessary Windows service.

Step 6: How you go about fixing the problem is entirely at your discretion. You can try to reinstall the files required, should it be a video driver for example. Or if a service you could disable. RESEARCH RESEARCH RESEARCH FIRST!

This may not solve your problem, but I can see the countless incidents this could eliminate. I searched for other threads in relation to Process Explorer and did not manage to find any guides; so I am sorry if I accidentally made a redundant topic. As I said I am relatively new to this program myself, but if you have any questions feel free to ask, I will definitely try to help you out.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 May 2010   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 (Retail)

Another useful application for watching and controlling processes is "Process Lasso." It's free for personal use.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Having CPU usage problems? Read...

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