My computer seems to be running very slow. When I do control-alt-delete, there are 36 processes running with 32% CPU useage, is this normal or should I stop some of these. Any other ideas on what to do? I have XP and IE explorer.
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Be happy with only 36 process's running ... it's healthy.
If this 36% continues for more than 2 minutes it might suggest an issue.
1: Scan system with updated antivirus
2: Install malwarebytes > update > scan ... nuke anything it finds > reboot
Check again and run a scan using hijackthis and post log for assessment
Also check for services such as indexing ... Ive seen these types of services thrashing client systems from startup.
Your computer should be at zero percent CPU usage when idle. With an occasional bump to 1 or 2 percent when Windows does some of its background housekeeping. Use Task Manager to see what program(s) is eating CPU.
I had this problem a month ago. I did everything suggested to fix the problem and nothing worked so I grabbed my XP disc to do a repair. Everytime I rebooted the PC, the boot from CD drive prompt would never show up so I opened the case and replaced the cable to my DVD drive. I had the PC apart a few days earlier, reseating the CPU heatsink, cutting holes in the case, installing more fans and tidying up the cables. Seems I must've messed the cable up in the tidying up process.
I decided to recheck Windows Task Manager before doing the repair and my usage was back to zero. I can only assume that the faulty cable was the cause of my CPU usage since changing the cable fixed the problem.
There are a number of things that could be doing stuff in the background:-
XP and Vista will both defrag your hard drive when windows *thinks* your PC is idle.
If you have any of the desktop search programs from MS or Google etc. they can virtually cripple a system while they're indexing/re-indexing the files on your hard drive(s). (Vista has one built-in and turned on by default)
Picasa can chunta for days while it's indexing your pics.
If you've downloaded any updates for Microsoft's .NET framework then you can see background CPU activity (again when Windows *thinks* your PC is idle) for up to several days while various routines are recompiled.
If your MS Office thinks it needs to be re-activated for whatever reason (corrupted file, re-install, repair install, etc.) then I've seen that cause the CPU to work in the background with no on-screen notification that it wanted to be re-activated until one of the Office progs was run. As soon as Office was reactivated, cpu usage dropped to normal.
Then you've got all the anti-virus/spyware/malware/etc. scans (AVG in particular when Windows boots with an older CPU even if you don't have any scans scheduled or missed.)
Having said that, 36 processes is very good (guessing you're not using Vista!) but it's always good to be suspicious when things start acting differently.
Then you've got loose cables - as you had - especially those straight SATA plugs, and memory sticks and PC cards that get unseated in their slots for various reasons... Oh well, if it wasn't for all these fun little challenges, I might have to find something to actually do with my computer!