System 13% cpu usage - constant-

Pc intel  4 core , win-xp-pro , all patched to  date .

Normally , the pc , with  no  applications open,  when  checking the
cpu  usage , sits round 0 % , with  memory  for the  'system'  244 K,
none of the  4  cores showing any  usage or  history (apart  from the
odd flicker)

Lately , after the  pc has been  on for  half a  day or so, and in the
evening, it  develops , a odd  problem, in that  applications  tend to
hang and  judder  , and the  system cpu  load shows a  constant  13% ,
1 of the  4  cores  showing  100% usage  , same memory usage .
closing  all  app's  , still  leaves this  13%  constant load ..

malwaerbytes, trend house micro , avast , spybot  all  show  nothing ,
the  windows on-line tune/up reports a  trojan , but  dose  not offer
to  remove it ..

nothing extra  shows in the  applications  or  process

The  pc runs  fine until this  system-13% cpu usage  starts .. but
what is causing  it ?

G..
0
Graham
9/12/2010 8:37:26 PM
windowsxp.general 3897 articles. 1 followers. Follow

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Per Graham:
>nothing extra  shows in the  applications  or  process
>

This is from somebody who knows almost nothing - but had a
vaguely similar problem recently.

Do not trust Task Manager.  It hides some things in System Idle
Process.  In my case it was IRQs from a bad disc whose access
method Windows had demoted to PIO.

Instead of Task Manger, I suggest downloading and using the
freebie utility "Process Explorer".   It might shed some more
light on the CPU situation.
-- 
PeteCresswell
0
PeteCresswell
9/12/2010 8:50:16 PM
Graham wrote:
> Pc intel  4 core , win-xp-pro , all patched to  date .
> 
> Normally , the pc , with  no  applications open,  when  checking the
> cpu  usage , sits round 0 % , with  memory  for the  'system'  244 K,
> none of the  4  cores showing any  usage or  history (apart  from the
> odd flicker)
> 
> Lately , after the  pc has been  on for  half a  day or so, and in the
> evening, it  develops , a odd  problem, in that  applications  tend to
> hang and  judder  , and the  system cpu  load shows a  constant  13% ,
> 1 of the  4  cores  showing  100% usage  , same memory usage .
> closing  all  app's  , still  leaves this  13%  constant load ..
> 
> malwaerbytes, trend house micro , avast , spybot  all  show  nothing ,
> the  windows on-line tune/up reports a  trojan , but  dose  not offer
> to  remove it ..
> 
> nothing extra  shows in the  applications  or  process
> 
> The  pc runs  fine until this  system-13% cpu usage  starts .. but
> what is causing  it ?
> 
> G..

Use Process Explorer, which gives additional information fields such
as Interrupt activity or DPCs. Deferred Procedure Calls are normally
associated with interrupt servicing, and run at user level, rather than
at the higher priority interrupt level. You should see some proportionality
between Interrupts and DPCs.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-ca/sysinternals/bb896653.aspx

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deferred_Procedure_Call

In the Linux world, you can dump /proc/interrupts, and get interrupt
information with respect to each IRQ value. I still haven't discovered
a way to do this in Windows. Just knowing you're suffering from an
"interrupt storm", does nothing to resolve the problem. At least
if you knew which IRQ was doing it, you could work on fault isolation.
Disabling devices one at a time, sucks as a way to fault isolate, and
any help would be appreciated, that cuts down on the work. And in the
event of an actual hardware failure, the hardware can ignore the
attempt to disable it.

http://www.linuxtopia.org/online_books/centos5/centos5_administration_guide/centos5_s1-proc-topfiles.html

*******

Also note, that there are relatively "silent" ways for a computer
to lose performance. For example, if your Task Manager suddenly seems
to be "exaggerating" the amount of load for normal computing tasks,
it can be the clock rate of the processor that has dropped. Dell
decided it would be cool, if they used throttling of the processor,
to such an extent that the equivalent clock rate was about 100MHz
or so. On the affected Dell systems, this was referred to as "ThrottleGate".
Dell eventually released a fix, but I'm not sure what portion of
the throttling that cured.

On my system, it is "normal" for the processor speed to vary between
2GHz (6*333MHz) and 3GHz (9*333MHz). The multiplier change from
6 to 9 is controlled by EIST, otherwise known as Intel SpeedStep.
But as soon as I do anything demanding on the computer, the
9 multiplier is used within microseconds, so this isn't a big issue.
The multiplier shift is being done to save power when the CPU is not busy.

In some cases, the constant changing of multipliers can cause
a lack of smoothness in some multimedia situations (movie playback),
and you can experiment with turning such features on and off, to
see if it is responsible.

I think in the Dell case, they also were modifying the "333Mhz" part,
which made the effect more pronounced. And they weren't cranking the
clock back up immediately, as their throttling was reputed to be triggered
by thermal issues. So they weren't in any hurry to turn it back up, which
caused issues for their customers.

The initial technical analysis of Throttlegate, is here. It's a 25MB
download, and I wouldn't bother unless you're more interested in
the history. At least it shows some tools and ways, for doing
the analysis.

http://www.sigmirror.com/files/44490_iweoz/throttlegate.pdf

    Paul
0
Paul
9/12/2010 10:15:19 PM
I ran into this problem recently, as did a lot of other people. In my case 
and many others', it turned out to be a problem with Automatic Updates. I 
had posted to the microsoft.public.security newsgroup, thinking it was 
malware.

MowGreen responded on August 18: "There is *definitely* a Hard Drive I/O 
Read bytes issue with XP systems that have been opted into Microsoft 
Update(MU). Temporarily opting the system out of MU is the *only* way to 
resolve it for now. It's not a CPU cycle issue, it's stemming from I/O Read 
bytes to the Hard Drive."

I had Automatic Updates set to just inform me of updates, not to download 
them--but that wasn't enough. The only way to stop the CPU usage was to opt 
out completely. I subscribe to the Microsoft Security Response Center 
through Google Reader:

http://blogs.technet.com/b/msrc/

so I'll know when to check the Microsoft Update webpage for updates--at 
least until this issue is resolved. It seems to have the worst effect on 
older computers with not much RAM.

Jo-Anne

"(PeteCresswell)" <x@y.Invalid> wrote in message 
news:u2fq861f0a1a9tp7qftqrc3tiuafinnl4s@4ax.com...
> Per Graham:
>>nothing extra  shows in the  applications  or  process
>>
>
> This is from somebody who knows almost nothing - but had a
> vaguely similar problem recently.
>
> Do not trust Task Manager.  It hides some things in System Idle
> Process.  In my case it was IRQs from a bad disc whose access
> method Windows had demoted to PIO.
>
> Instead of Task Manger, I suggest downloading and using the
> freebie utility "Process Explorer".   It might shed some more
> light on the CPU situation.
> -- 
> PeteCresswell 


0
Jo
9/12/2010 10:49:40 PM
Reply:

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