High CPU utilisation, no specific process RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi

    I work for a small company as a Support Analyst. Last year sometime, we had a strange issue where one of our director's notebooks (Windows 7 64bit, SP1), had an issue where the CPU utilisation would sit at a constant 100%. Initial troubleshooting included:

    * Malware scans from FEP 2010, MalwareBytes - nothing came up

    * Task manager will report high CPU utilisation, yet if one looked at the CPU Usage under Perfomance in Task Manager, the utilisation was low. After enabling View > Show Kernel Times, one would see another line added to the CPU Usage chart which was sitting at 100%

    * Used ProcessXP to try and identify a problematic high-usage process - found none. The more programs and processes I killed, the less the CPU utilisation would drop

    * Re-installed the OS (more than once) and ensured to update all drivers/firmware to the latest versions

    * Ran hardware diagnostics - came up clean

    * Logged him in as himself on another notebook to see if it's not his user profile

    This issue would start at random times, whether the notebook is connected to our network or not. The issue would disappear for days/weeks/months, then appear at random intervals.

    About 2-3 weeks ago or so, the issue returned after months of absence. This time around, the CPU Usage chart sat at 100%, but the Show Kernel Times line on the chart was normal (exact opposite of last time). Again, I could not tie down the usage to a specific process. AV scans came up clean etc.

    A day or two later, another person's notebook, which is a different model, running Windows 7 32bit (SP1), had a similar issue of high CPU utilisation. The machine has been replaced since as we were in any case planning on replacing it. Since then she has not reported any issues, though I am not convinced the notebook was the cause of the issue.

    Today, a 3rd user complained about high CPU usage. There were a couple of processes with moderate CPU usage and after fiddling and killing processes, the machine returned to normal CPU usage. I am convinced though, that the issue will return soon and may be a different process as the cause or no specific processes at all as per how our director's notebook behaves.

    Other than that, I have not had any other complaints (that I know of) regarding this. I do however suspect that we may be sitting with with an issue which may not be isolated to one user/computer.

    Any ideas please? I am really past the point of sanity regarding this.

    Many thanks.


    Tuesday, May 22, 2012 12:58 PM

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