Hi there. Every so often i will be running a few programs and at some point, not every time, but quite often the both of my CPUS will max out and my fan will get loud most likely to try and cool down my comp. When this happens i close everything but the usage remains maxed out. why is this happening and how can i find out what processes are causing this?

- run task manager
- select the processes tab
- order by CPU usage

Determining what's utilizing the CPU
Each process that is running in Windows and the CPU usage it is using can be determined by opening the Windows Task Manager and clicking on the processes tab as shown in the image below.
Once this tab is open click the CPU button above the list of programs twice to organize the programs CPU usage from highest to lowest.

Note: If you do not see the processes tab your running an older version of Windows that does not have this feature.

As can be seen in the above example we have two processes running that are each taking up 50% of the CPU. The Image names "FahCore_81.exe" and "System Idle Process". It's perfectly normal for a Windows computer to have a high "System Idle Process" as can be found on here: Windows System Idle Process is high

However, in this case the other process "FahCore_81.exe" is using up a lot of CPU usage that may be concerning. In this situation we know that this Image name is associated with Folding@Home a distributed systems project. However, if you're not familiar with what the process is doing a search will often return the results of what the file is associated with.

If you need to regain CPU resources temporarily you can highlight processes utilizing high percentages and click the End Process button. However, often after rebooting the computer these processes will reappear.

Permanently keeping the TSR disabled
If you've End Tasked the program following the steps above to temporarily remove the program from starting up but it returns each time you start the computer you'll need to disable that program from starting each time Windows loads.

If you are unable to navigate in normal Windows or performing the above steps does not decrease your system resources back to a normal value try restarting Windows in Safe Mode.

Computer Trojan, Virus, Worm, Spyware or other malicious program
Computer Trojan's, Viruses, Worm's, Spyware, and other malicious programs designed to destroy or modify data on your computer or other computers attached to your computer or designed to attack other computers can utilize your system resources.

Make sure your virus scanner is up-to-date.

For More Information and help related to windows 7 or vista issues http://windows7.iyogi.net

Many times i have tried that but my system still runs at 100% CPU usage.

There are a number of processes that can cause high % that are in fact normzal processes. eg if your disk has not been defragmented the saving nd loading of files willl using the normal process cause the processor count to go high.

There are also background normal processes that some manufacturers use to 'help' people use computers. these use norml processes but push the count up.

Have you slimmed down ALL the start up processes as some progs like Anti virus can push up the count although they should show in the task manager processes etc.
final thought ... have you cleaned out the fans particularly on the processor itself and also any cooling fins. if the processor heats up it has to work harder, the count goes up so does the fan rate and it may not be a process problem but rather an overheatng one!

It seems that this happed whenever my computer was running at a high temperature. I have been using a fan to circulate the air under my laptop and i have not had an issue of maxed out processor usage since.