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Thread: infected system idle process?

  1. #1

    infected system idle process?

    I have been notiving recently, not only on my computer but a friends also that have an odd problem. Sometimes, while doing something normal on the computer (writing something with word or surfing the web with internet explorer), it will slow down and random times. If I bring up the Windows Task Manager, the system idle process will be using close to 99% percent of the CPU. I almost never download anything, and I was jsut hoping somebody could help me understand these periodic slowdowns becaus3e of th lack of CPU. Also, I cant shut it down.

  2. #2
    Senior Member DeadAddict's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Do you have other things running in the background such as listening to a mp3 Etc while surfing the web. and how much memory do you have installed ,the speed of your processor and when was the last time you ran disk cleanup or defraged the drive?

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    That is normal. With windows nt based systems the kernel makes sure that something is always using the cpu. It just the way windows works, the usuage will always add up to 100%. When you run otehr programs then the cpu idle service will lessen in %. Do not worry it is normal and if you want to kno more jsut prety much google your "problem"

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    You should give us some system specs. Like processor speed, RAM, and maybe even harddrives. My first guess is that your computer is doing something called swaping or virtural memory, and has to write stuff to your hard disk while using memory intensive programs. Check the HDD LED on your PC Case to see if that is the case during the slow downs. If so, simply don't run as many programs, or put more RAM into your PC. Defragmenting your Hard Drive might also help so it can do faster sequental writes during this process instead of random writes.

    The idle process isn't really a program, it is simply showing that the CPU is inactive. It is calculated by adding up all of the processes in the process list and subtracting them from 100%. Its priority is idle, that is if something can be done instead of it it will be done. If you are trying to do something on your computer and it is 99% idle and everything is sluggish, I highly suggest you ensure your computer isn't running stuff it isn't supposed to. I don't know for sure, but some stuff is rumored to hide from the Task List, and thus their usage would fall under idle.

    Basic Check (Gets desperate towards the end):
    1) Check the Startup folder in your Start->Programs menu from the start bar. Find programs that don't fit in there. Double click it to open it in a folder, and show all hidden files.
    2) Check the system services, in Control Panel->Administrative Tools->Services. Usually unless you know something is out of place in here, you might not know what you're looking for.
    3) Update and run a full virus scan. Sadly this may be useless advice since in some cases a virus can disable your antivirus.
    4) Run a program to find spyware. Adware or Spybot Search & Destory might work. I don't think that spyware is quite this malicious and obvious to slow down your PC, so these might not detect them.
    5) Create a new user account and use it. Sometimes a user might have some weird luggage following it so a new user *might* fix that problem. You may have to reconfigure some software.
    6) Boot into Safe Mode (Press F8 right after BIOS I think), and see if the problem exists there. Safe Mode only starts what is completely necessary, so if the problem still exists here then the problem is probably too deep to fix. Maybe run some tests (HDD benchmarks since I think it would be an important hardware suspect, such as to see if your hardware is running as it should. If benchmarks show your computer to be fairly quick, then consider backing up important data to a CD-R, and after everything of value is backed up try a restore with the WinNT/2K install CD. If that doesn't work, you might have to dump everything and go for a full reinstall, and if the problem still exists it is something with the hardware...

    Hopefully the issue is something simple. Don't go for the very last few ideas until you are completely sure you want to. And definately keep us up to date. It sounds like a weird/interesting case, and you should get more people's opinions you before you seriously consider a reinstall.

    PS: Hardware specs would help. RAM, CPU, HDD, etc... And how long ago this developed, and what you two remember doing similar in that time frame...

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Well, in my personal experience and expertise I would say that the problem is probably electircal related. If you're having intermitten errors where you system is totally inert and unresponsive it's probably a problem with your motherboard or powersupply. Your DC converter may not be putting out enough power causing brown-outs on your system. Another issue may be that your motherboard's circutry has been damaged from power surges and the transistors are no longer properly conducting. I recommend you run anti-virus and anti-spyware apps as suggested, but generally unless you have a process (other than system idle) taking up all the CPU usage then it's probably hardware related. Cheers.
    \"Greatness only comes at great risk.\" ~ Personal/Generic

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Tim_axe had some really good ideas. Here are a few more you might think of trying before refomatting/recovering:

    1) Download HijackThis from ]Snapfiles/WebAttack[/URL] and post it here or here to be reviewed.

    2) In addittion to checking startups for anything unusual, shut down uneccessary startups. Check what you have on your list vs the list found here.

    3) Again, in addition to turning off anything odd running under services, turn off all the extraneous junk that Windows has turned on. Look here for more information on what you absolutely need running and what you don't.

    Good luck!

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