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High CPU utilization by "System" process

    Question

  • One of my managers brought to me his netbook for maintenance, because according to him it is rather slow recently. Process Explorer shows constant high CPU utilization by the "System" process.

    These troubleshooting steps were taken:

    • Disabling the antivirus does not solve the problem.
    • Process Explorer shows multiple ntkrnlpa.exe!KeInsertQueueDPC+0x265 threads using massive amounts of CPU time.
    • After disabling the Atheros LAN network card the CPU usage immediately drops to normal level.
    • Stack walking using Windows Performance Toolkit shows L1C62x86.sys being at the end of the tree, however upgrading/downgrading the driver does not solve the problem!

    Has anyone got a suggestion what should be the next step from here?

    Could somebody with more experience and understandig about analyzing performance traces please take a look on this trace file? Maybe the solution is obvious from the trace for an expert. Here it is.

    Thanks in advance!


    molni

    Tuesday, May 01, 2012 2:59 AM

Answers

All replies

  • Hi,

    The System process is a kernel mode process which runs system threads (the kernel and loaded device drivers) taking care of network i/o and/or disk i/o, et al.

    There are several reason can cause this issue:

    1.  3rd party applications such as:

    A. Antivirus on the remote machines keeps on scanning the server.

    B. Firewall programs.

    2. Issues with network interface card (NIC) drivers/firmware. 

    3. Scripts and batch files that place excessive load on the server, possibly run from the remote machines.

    4. Windows Security Auditing configured aggressively as to Audit, in particular audits on success.

    I suggest to remove all unnecessary hardware, then logon with Safe Mode to see if the same issue occurs.

    Furthermore, update BIOS and Chipset for test.

    This article may helpful to you:

    http://blogs.technet.com/b/yongrhee/archive/2009/08/07/how-to-troubleshoot-high-cpu-in-the-system-process.aspx

    Hope that helps.

    Regards,

    Leo   Huang

    TechNet Subscriber Support

    If you are TechNet Subscription user and have any feedback on our support quality, please send your feedback here.


    Leo Huang

    TechNet Community Support

    Wednesday, May 02, 2012 5:43 AM
  • Hi,

    Any update? Please feel free to let me know if it works.

    Thanks.

    Regards,

    Leo   Huang

    TechNet Subscriber Support

    If you are TechNet Subscription user and have any feedback on our support quality, please send your feedback here.


    Leo Huang

    TechNet Community Support

    Friday, May 04, 2012 8:12 AM
  • Hi,

     

    As this thread has been quiet for a while, we assume that the issue has been resolved. At this time, we will mark it as ‘Answered’ as the previous steps should be helpful for many similar scenarios. If the issue still persists, please feel free to  reply this post directly so we will be notified to follow it up. You can also choose to unmark the answer as you wish.

    BTW,  we’d love to hear your feedback about the solution. By sharing your experience you can help other community members facing similar problems. Thanks for your understanding and efforts.

     

    Regards,

    Leo   Huang

    TechNet Subscriber Support

    If you are TechNet Subscription user and have any feedback on our support quality, please send your feedback here.


    Leo Huang

    TechNet Community Support

    Friday, May 11, 2012 1:43 AM
  • Hi,

    Sorry for keep you watiting - the netbook was out of the office for a while -, and thanks for trying to help me!

    Unfortunately the problem persist after trying out all troubleshooting steps you advised. Could you (or one of your colleagues) please take a look on the trace file I made before? Here it is.

    Thank you in advance!


    molni

    Monday, May 14, 2012 5:06 PM
  • Hi,

    I suggest to use Process Explorer and KernRate to troubleshoot the high usage of CPU.

    Detail steps you can refer this blog:

    http://blogs.technet.com/b/markrussinovich/archive/2008/04/07/3031251.aspx

    It could help you to determine which device or driver cause the issue.

    Regards,

    Leo   Huang

    TechNet Subscriber Support

    If you are TechNet Subscription user and have any feedback on our support quality, please send your feedback here.


    Leo Huang

    TechNet Community Support

    • Marked as answer by molnaarp Thursday, May 17, 2012 11:34 PM
    Tuesday, May 15, 2012 4:06 AM
  • As it turned out the program called web'n'walk Manager was the culprit. It is a network operator branded connection software for Option Globetrotter Icon 225 3G modem. The factory version (GlobeTrotter® Connect 3.1 ( iCON® 225 )) caused the same artifact, even though it comes with newer drivers.

    Fortunately there's a third kind of sw for this hardware called uCAN® Connect Standard 2.2.3.230, and it works just fine!

    Thank you very much for your help!


    molni

    Thursday, May 17, 2012 11:45 PM