When asking the computer to do more than one task the CPU usage jumps up to 100% & slows down everything. This is particularly annoying when playing music or a video in Winamp or Media Player & then, for example, connecting to the net or even opening a 1KB document, because everything freezes up for 30 seconds until the "new" task has finally opened. I've got a program that shows about 80% "Hardware Interrupts" going on while the new application is opening. I've been trying to fix it for 2 months with no success. There are no baddies on the computer for definite. The task manager shows as 100% CPU usage until the new application, (whatever it may be), opens. There are no conflicts with any drivers & everything is working fine on the computer & is really fast at everything, until i ask it to do more than one thing at the same time. Using Windows XP with Athlon AMD computer. :eek: Please help, coz it's doing my head in.

Recommended Answers

All 44 Replies


A Hardware Interrupt is a "message" that the hardware will give the CPU saying that attention is needed somewhere else. For example, if your CPU is adding some numbers together, and something comes in on the serial port (such as a modem connection), the port will send an interrupt to the CPU, and ask it to read the data sitting in the buffer. Keyboards, mice, even the video cards have interrupts.

I think that you have an OS issue, as it is happening globally, and you are losing the battle with it. Because you mention that your computer is quite fast running one program, I am going to believe your hardware and RAM are alright.

If I were you, I would save off my data, and re-install from ground zero. As complex as windows is, you could spend the better part of another month trying to find it. Start clean.


Thanks K.C. for that. I've uninstalled just about everything from the computer, loads & loads of software & all external hardware, to try and isolate & detect the cause. It's still the same! I'm not an expert with computers & can get "stuck" on what would be a simple thing for a person "in the know". I'm going to try two more things before i wipe the thing clean & start from scratch & hope you can advise me. 1. I tried to uninstall Outlook Express yesterday & with all the warnings it gave me, i declined. Would it be ok. to uninstall Outlook Express? 2. I have the Motherboard Utilities CD with a service pack for all the drivers & other things i don't understand. How do i go about uninstalling drivers, then reinstalling them from the disk? Do i delete ALL DRIVERS from Device Manager then put in the disk, do i have to boot from the disk or just bang it in? There have been trojans, dialers, viruses, worms, adware & spyware detected & completely removed a couple of months ago & the puter is completely cured from "baddies", but just wondering if this has resulted in damage or corrupt drivers or whatever? One more clue........the "sound manager" icon on the task-bar appears & disappears at will, the "start-up" sound is scratchy too. When asking the puter to do 2 things at once its as slow as a pack horse, but then if i close both things then do them again, then everythings normal & low CPU usage. Then, for example, if i then open 2 entirely different programs then it takes 1 minute for the 2nd program to open with hardware interrupts & 100% CPU usage. Yet, close these programs & then open them again (& it doesn't have to be EXACTLY the same things, just similar, within the same applications), then evrything is lightening fast & about 7% CPU usage. Then, if i went back to the original 2 programs it now seems as though the puter has forgotten how to open 2 programs it opened 2 mins earlier, & it's so slow at responding (the 1st time) that i get the "send error" report, this program is not responding etc. Thanks again K.C.

Hope this gives some clues to a good Samaritan.

Logfile of HijackThis v1.97.7
Scan saved at 18:33:36, on 22/06/2004
Platform: Windows XP SP1 (WinNT 5.01.2600)
MSIE: Internet Explorer v6.00 SP1 (6.00.2800.1106)

Running processes:
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Symantec Shared\ccSetMgr.exe
C:\Program Files\Norton Personal Firewall\NISUM.EXE
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Symantec Shared\ccEvtMgr.exe
C:\Program Files\Norton Personal Firewall\ccPxySvc.exe
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\VS7DEBUG\MDM.EXE
C:\Program Files\Norton AntiVirus\navapsvc.exe
C:\Program Files\Norton AntiVirus\SAVScan.exe
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Symantec Shared\CCPD-LC\symlcsvc.exe
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Real\Update_OB\realsched.exe
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Symantec Shared\ccApp.exe
C:\Program Files\Common files\updmgr\updmgr.exe
C:\Program Files\Common Files\CMEII\CMESys.exe
C:\Program Files\Lexmark X74-X75\lxbbbmgr.exe
C:\Program Files\Lexmark X74-X75\lxbbbmon.exe
C:\WINDOWS\System32\P2P Networking\P2P Networking.exe
C:\Program Files\Common Files\GMT\GMT.exe
C:\Documents and Settings\Steve\Desktop\VIRUS PROGRAMS\HijackThis.exe

R1 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Search Bar = about:blank
R0 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Start Page = http://www.yahoo.com/
R0 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Search,SearchAssistant = about:blank
R1 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings,ProxyOverride =
R0 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Local Page =
R0 - HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Local Page =
R1 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Connection Wizard,Shellnext = http://www.btbroadbandstart.com/
R3 - URLSearchHook: PerfectNavBHO Class - {00D6A7E7-4A97-456f-848A-3B75BF7554D7} - C:\PROGRA~1\PERFEC~1\BHO\PERFEC~1.DLL
O1 - Hosts: search.netscape.com12.129.205.209 sitefinder.verisign.com
O2 - BHO: NavErrRedir Class - {00D6A7E7-4A97-456f-848A-3B75BF7554D7} - C:\PROGRA~1\PERFEC~1\BHO\PERFEC~1.DLL
O2 - BHO: (no name) - {02478D38-C3F9-4efb-9B51-7695ECA05670} - C:\Program Files\Yahoo!\Messenger\ycomp.dll
O2 - BHO: (no name) - {0494D0D1-F8E0-41ad-92A3-14154ECE70AC} - C:\Program Files\MyWay\myBar\1.bin\MYBAR.DLL
O2 - BHO: (no name) - {06849E9F-C8D7-4D59-B87D-784B7D6BE0B3} - C:\Program Files\Adobe\Acrobat 6.0\Reader\ActiveX\AcroIEHelper.dll
O2 - BHO: (no name) - {53707962-6F74-2D53-2644-206D7942484F} - (no file)
O2 - BHO: (no name) - {AA58ED58-01DD-4d91-8333-CF10577473F7} - c:\program files\google\googletoolbar1.dll
O2 - BHO: NAV Helper - {BDF3E430-B101-42AD-A544-FADC6B084872} - C:\Program Files\Norton AntiVirus\NavShExt.dll
O3 - Toolbar: Norton AntiVirus - {42CDD1BF-3FFB-4238-8AD1-7859DF00B1D6} - C:\Program Files\Norton AntiVirus\NavShExt.dll
O3 - Toolbar: &Radio - {8E718888-423F-11D2-876E-00A0C9082467} - C:\WINDOWS\System32\msdxm.ocx
O3 - Toolbar: &Google - {2318C2B1-4965-11d4-9B18-009027A5CD4F} - c:\program files\google\googletoolbar1.dll
O3 - Toolbar: MSN Toolbar - {BDAD1DAD-C946-4A17-ADC1-64B5B4FF55D0} - C:\Program Files\MSN Toolbar\01.01.1629.0\en-gb\msntb.dll
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [TkBellExe] "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Real\Update_OB\realsched.exe" -osboot
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [ccApp] "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Symantec Shared\ccApp.exe"
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [updmgr] C:\Program Files\Common files\updmgr\updmgr.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [CMESys] "C:\Program Files\Common Files\CMEII\CMESys.exe"
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [URLLSTCK.exe] C:\Program Files\Norton Internet Security\UrlLstCk.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [Lexmark X74-X75] "C:\Program Files\Lexmark X74-X75\lxbbbmgr.exe"
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [VTTimer] VTTimer.exe
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [SoundMan] SOUNDMAN.EXE
O4 - HKLM\..\Run: [P2P Networking] C:\WINDOWS\System32\P2P Networking\P2P Networking.exe /AUTOSTART
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [ctfmon.exe] C:\WINDOWS\System32\ctfmon.exe
O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [MessengerPlus2] "C:\Program Files\Messenger Plus! 2\MsgPlus.exe" /WinStart
O4 - Global Startup: GStartup.lnk = C:\Program Files\Common Files\GMT\GMT.exe
O8 - Extra context menu item: &Google Search - res://C:\Program Files\Google\googletoolbar.dll/cmsearch.html
O8 - Extra context menu item: Backward &Links - res://C:\Program Files\Google\googletoolbar.dll/cmbacklinks.html
O8 - Extra context menu item: Cac&hed Snapshot of Page - res://C:\Program Files\Google\googletoolbar.dll/cmcache.html
O8 - Extra context menu item: E&xport to Microsoft Excel - res://C:\PROGRA~1\MICROS~2\OFFICE11\EXCEL.EXE/3000
O8 - Extra context menu item: Si&milar Pages - res://C:\Program Files\Google\googletoolbar.dll/cmsimilar.html
O8 - Extra context menu item: Translate into English - res://C:\Program Files\Google\googletoolbar.dll/cmtrans.html
O9 - Extra button: Research (HKLM)
O9 - Extra button: Yahoo! Messenger (HKLM)
O9 - Extra 'Tools' menuitem: Yahoo! Messenger (HKLM)
O9 - Extra button: Messenger (HKLM)
O9 - Extra 'Tools' menuitem: Messenger (HKLM)
O16 - DPF: {14B87622-7E19-4EA8-93B3-97215F77A6BC} (MessengerStatsClient Class) - http://messenger.zone.msn.com/binary/MessengerStatsPAClient.cab27571.cab
O16 - DPF: {166B1BCA-3F9C-11CF-8075-444553540000} (Shockwave ActiveX Control) - http://active.macromedia.com/director/cabs/sw.cab
O16 - DPF: {1D6711C8-7154-40BB-8380-3DEA45B69CBF} (Web P2P Installer) -
O16 - DPF: {2BC66F54-93A8-11D3-BEB6-00105AA9B6AE} (Symantec AntiVirus scanner) - http://security.symantec.com/sscv6/SharedContent/vc/bin/AvSniff.cab
O16 - DPF: {30528230-99F7-4BB4-88D8-FA1D4F56A2AB} (YInstStarter Class) - http://download.yahoo.com/dl/installs/yinst0309.cab
O16 - DPF: {4E888414-DB8F-11D1-9CD9-00C04F98436A} (Microsoft.WinRep) - https://webresponse.one.microsoft.com/oas/ActiveX/winrep.cab
O16 - DPF: {8714912E-380D-11D5-B8AA-00D0B78F3D48} (Yahoo! Webcam Upload Wrapper) - http://chat.yahoo.com/cab/yuplapp.cab
O16 - DPF: {8E0D4DE5-3180-4024-A327-4DFAD1796A8D} (MessengerStatsClient Class) - http://messenger.zone.msn.com/binary/MessengerStatsClient.cab
O16 - DPF: {B8BE5E93-A60C-4D26-A2DC-220313175592} (ZoneIntro Class) - http://messenger.zone.msn.com/binary/ZIntro.cab27571.cab
O16 - DPF: {C2FCEF52-ACE9-11D3-BEBD-00105AA9B6AE} (Symantec RuFSI Registry Information Class) - http://security.symantec.com/sscv6/SharedContent/common/bin/cabsa.cab
O16 - DPF: {CE28D5D2-60CF-4C7D-9FE8-0F47A3308078} (ActiveDataInfo Class) - https://www-secure.symantec.com/techsupp/activedata/SymAData.cab
O16 - DPF: {D27CDB6E-AE6D-11CF-96B8-444553540000} (Shockwave Flash Object) - http://fpdownload.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab
O16 - DPF: {E504EE6E-47C6-11D5-B8AB-00D0B78F3D48} (Yahoo! Webcam Viewer Wrapper) - http://chat.yahoo.com/cab/yvwrctl.cab
O16 - DPF: {E77C0D62-882A-456F-AD8F-7C6C9569B8C7} (ActiveDataObj Class) - https://www-secure.symantec.com/techsupp/activedata/ActiveData.cab

Anybody there?

Here are some entries that worry me.

C:\Program Files\Common Files\CMEII\CMESys.exe
C:\WINDOWS\System32\P2P Networking\P2P Networking.exe
R3 - URLSearchHook: PerfectNavBHO Class - {00D6A7E7-4A97-456f-848A-3B75BF7554D7} - C:\PROGRA~1\PERFEC~1\BHO\PERFEC~1.DLL
O2 - BHO: NavErrRedir Class - {00D6A7E7-4A97-456f-848A-3B75BF7554D7} - C:\PROGRA~1\PERFEC~1\BHO\PERFEC~1.DLL
O2 - BHO: (no name) - {0494D0D1-F8E0-41ad-92A3-14154ECE70AC} - C:\Program Files\MyWay\myBar\1.bin\MYBAR.DLL

I noticed that you have Norton, which is a good start, but I suggest you also get Spybot S&D ( http://www.safer-networking.org )

Hello Megahertz, i already got rid of all of the above & just about everything else last month, & the problem still remained. It's gonna be a simple solution this one.

Just to re-iterate what's happening. If i open up ANYTHING, everything's OK. It's when the puter then opens ANYTHING else, ie, with the 1st program still opened, that the putergoes to 100% & all this hardware interrupts business & things take forever to open. Yet, if i close both programs, then open them up again (even if i do this 2 hours later), then everythings lightening fast & back to normal. But, then if i open 2 entirely different applications or one of the two above, with a new thing, then its back to square one! Once i've run loads & loads of programs in lots of different "combinations", then the puter is fine. It seems to "remember" where it's been & is OK then. Yet, ask it to do something it aint done yet on a particular session & it sort of works it out as if its in shock the 1st time.

I've just reinstalled windows by accident! When the puter started it flashed up this........"press any key to boot from disk", so i pressed a key. One hour later i have a fresh installation of windows PLUS the old one with everything still intact. All i wanted to do was chose a REPAIR option that someone told me about. Can anyone tell me how to get to the repair option on the windows installation disk?

After i did the above, on boot-up i noticed there were 2 options to chose how windows is gonna boot up. These were 2 choices of Windows XP Home Edition. The top choice brought me to the new installation & welcome/tour screen & the bottom choice took me to the original. When i went to the original settings & desktop etc, i noticed that some song tracks had changed their symbol to that of a file & would not play...(unrecognised file format). Most of them played OK in Winamp & Media Player, then suddenly, Media Player would not work at all. All i got when clicking on a song was an error "PING", but with no error message. The same happened if trying to open Media Player itself. I thought, "ney, i'm not having this", so did a SYSTEM RESTORE to the previous day & everything was OK again, (apart from the usual problem at start of this thread). So now, when starting the puter, i no longer get a choice of booting up to the new Windows installation, (probably due to the fact i've done System Restore). Shame really, because i was going to go to that & copy a folder called SOUND MANAGER from there & put it into our usual working "setup" because the folder (Sound Manager) is EMPTY.
Can anyone please tell me how to find this folder from the installation disk, without having to reinstall the whole lot.
So because i did system restore i would have thought that the new installation of windows would have now disappeared, well it's disappeared from the start up options for sure. Thing is, looking at the amount of space used up on the hard drive, it's stayed on EXACTLY the same mark as it was after doing the fresh installation of Windows yesterday, i'm 100% sure of this. How can this be possible?

I've now got "2" puters___________________with one "hidden"


You will probably need to do a proper windows update for your newly installed XP Home. The slow startup of applications sounds like a problem prior to SP1 installation.

Also you'll need to clean up those spywares on your system.

C:\Program Files\Common Files\CMEII\CMESys.exe
C:\Program Files\Common Files\GMT\GMT.exe

Go to :-

Download it, update it and do a scan on your system.

If you need to remove some persistent ones on your system, try tapping on F8 when your XP starts and select Safe Mode from the options.

Once in safe mode, run regedit (Start, Run, type regedit in box) and remove suspicious entries from :

1. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
2. HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run

Then restart and do a spyware scan again.

Can be quite a pain to remove these spywares but after that, you system will run faster and less random problems.

Also patch up your Internet Explorer. Alot of automatic installation of spywares are due to a unpatched IE. Or just use Firefox at mozilla.org.

Thanks Techahbeng. I'm going to look into these things you suggested apart from removing the spyware as these are reliant on other programs that we enjoy a lot & if the spyware is removed, the programs shut down or don't work correctly.

Last month i removed all traces of spy & adware & their related software, got everything up to date & scanned for everything bad. The puter was clean but the problem remained. So i've put all the brill things back on again.

The fav is going to be driver problems, conflicts, or the processor.

I installed an up-to-date soundcard driver yesterday & got all the features back that we used to have. Trouble is, the sound was terrible & the mp3 vids hardly played at all & the puter was as slow as it has ever been. (there is 61% of the hard drive still free). The updated driver was definitely the righjt one. I just put the damaged old driver back on & we are now back to as it was at the beginning of this thread.

I'm going to do a system restore point & install ALL drivers & update them too. There is a basic thing that i don't know! That is, i install all drivers into c:\temp THEN do i just install the new drivers over the existing ones? OR uninstall all the existing ones first?
I've been reading up & it says that some of the drivers are to be used ONLY with Direct X, 4.0, or Direct X 8.0, & this, that & the other. Recently i downloaded Direct X 9.0 (only because everywhere i went on the net, it said that we should)!

The manufacturers driver disk i have seems to be already obsolete & it's only 6 months old & the puter itself.

Could you please tell me the best way to install all the drivers. Finding them & installing them into temp (before unzipping) is not a problem at all. It's just what to do with the existing ones 1st. If i uninstall the existing drivers 1st then i won't be able to roll them back, is that right?

If you do not remove the spywares like Gator/GAIN with its updmanager that keeps polling their server, you will never get a stable system.

You will also need SP1 at least for your XP other 100% CPU usage, task bar hidden and not reappearing are just some of the issues prior to SP1. If you're using Devil's own version of XP, you will not be able to update to SP1.

Doesn't sound like a driver issue but more like poorly written spywares that are lurking in your system and generating errors randomly.

Also if you have a network card on your system and you don't need it, remove it to see if the situation improves.

I've removed the network card & removed all traces of spyware & every other conceivable baddie from the computer. I've then started windows with only the essentials needed to make it work & still, the problem remains. I've removed also all applications & programs that have been put on since new & the problem still remains. We have Kazaa, itunes, various shareware programs etc, the sort of things i hear are bad. Once in a while we do get some stubborn spyware which slows the sysyem down & i do a purge on it all & then everythings fine again. This time the problem is not related to spyware at all because i removed everything before & the problem still remains.
If i open one program then its OK, but, then if i leave that program opened THEN open ANYTHING ELSE, it takes an age to open the 2nd thing, I am not getting any error messages but everything is affected, sound, vision, 100%CPU usage & hardware interrupts, (until the 2nd program has finally opened). Then,if both of the programs are then closed they take ages to close too!
Then for instance, if i open the same 2 programs again, evrything is completely normal & fast, 6% CPU usage, going down less than that in a flash, when the 2 programs have opened really quickly. Even if i then open 2 similar programs everything is completely normal. For example; lets say the 2 programs were a) a word doc & an MP3 vid played in Winamp & the problem is always there. Then if i open say, ANY OTHER office doc such as excell or access then play a song in Windows Media Player, then everything is still OK & very fast.

BUT, then if i knock them both off & open an entirely different type of application for example: start printing something, then it's ok, But then for example if i connect to the internet WHILST the printing is in progress, then the printing will pause, as if the power supply has been sucked away, the internet will also take about 1 minute to connect. BUT if i knock them both off, THEN start printing another doc & connect to the internet, the internet connects in 2 SECONDS & the printing goes about it's job & does not pause at all.

If the puter has been on for a long time & we've been around the houses doing lots of different things, then it's up & running completely OK, i can mix & match programs & even have 20 different programs opened at the same time, print, movie maker, music. vids, writing in word, chatting on msn, sending Emails .....you name it, & everything is fine & quite impressive too! So if it's spyware, like you think, well the spyware must go to sleep once i've run each application ONCE!

Switch the puter off ................& it's back to square 1.!!!!!!

Try to repair your Windows XP installation with your XP CD.

techahbeng i re-installed Widows & updated everything a couple of weeks ago & it's still the same. Can you think of a few obvious things that could be causing it? I could have a go at doing a "clean sweep" but ain't tried that before so will probably leave it as it is for a few months until i get some simple instructions for formating the hard drive & reinstalling the operating system. The trouble is, there seems to be so many ways of doing this (even for the same tackle). I know to choose NTFS instead of FAT but that's about it! I made 3 floppy boot disks a few weeks ago & followed the instructions properly but i've also got the original windows disk & mainboard utilities & everything else required for a fresh start. Do i use these floppys or/and the Windows disk?

I've always paid someone to do all that type of stuff in the past, but since reading up on it, it doesn't seem that difficult! ...just so many ways! The chap who usually sorts it all out is a bit of a Wizard but doesn't have a check list, he just works from memory & cocks it up sometimes, by choosing FAT format by accident & getting Blaster Worms as soon as connecting to the net etc & having to start all over again.

Sorry for waffling on but i'm going to stop trying to fix this thing but if i find out what it is i'm gonna post it out in a lot of forums.

Have you got an A-Z of reformatting a 40G hard drive & reinstalling Windows XP? + what to do before connecting to net to avoid onslaughts? + what the main things to do after it's all up & running? In simple terms & just one method. Not with these "ghost partitions" etc, just a simple way?

Will post a solution if i come across it. Promise

cozzy, if you want a guide to format and reinstall, then the link in my sig leads to a couple of articles I wrote recently for people such as yourself, covering the tasks of preparing for and performing the format and install in a comprehensive manner.


You're making this way too hard on yourself. XP IS a simple install. You will never get anywhere fooling around trying to keep what you have and fix it. It's way too far gone for that. When you boot to the XP disk and say install at the prompt there is a screen that allows you to delete the existing partitions. Do this, Delete each and every one of them. Then let the installer create a new one, and only one. Let it install windows there. Accept all the defaults and you're done. If you have a Windows98 boot floppy you can boot to that and use fdisk to delete all the partitions also. When windows is installing READ the screens. Nothing happens by accident. I don't know if anyone has asked you, but do you have a real WindowsXP disk from Microsoft or do you have an OEM abortion from Gateway or somesuch? If you don't have the Microsoft disk, then the instructions for reinstalling or doing a repair install can be vastly different. You need to read THEIR way to do it. Usually XP has enough of the right drivers in it, to do a decent install. Except for maybe the video drivers. That should get you far enough to see if the problem is really your windows installation or not. Don't connect it to the Internet until you've checked it out. After that you can install your driver disk and see what happens.

Thanks a million Catweazle.
Will do a fresh installation probably in about 3 months, using that link of yours. The puter, how we've got it at the moment is the best it's ever been. We don't have another one to transfer files & settings, (although we have all major things backed up). I'm going to post the solution to this if i come across it in the meantime. Shame really, because i know the solution is going to be very simple, so simple that folk would laugh. I'm competent at most of computer applications but, like a lot of folk, shy away when it comes to hardware & opening the box etc. I'm not going to pay a man to install the operating system ever again because 2 or 3 months after he has gone, it needs doing again. In this case it does not need doing again. If Catweazle was here now he would fix it in 3 minutes.

This mesage is in the wrong place. Cannot do anything about it. See you in October.

Won't post to the correct thread

Tried a few times to conclude this thread. Trying to reply to Catweazle but this post ends up in a strange place. Goodbye & thank you much.

Yes i have a real, original, bought, Windows XP disk that came with the computer from new. The man who usually comes & sorts all of this out tells us "you can go seriously wrong if you don't know what you are doing from a format & fresh instalation" When i ask, & look up advice on this same subject it always warns......."do it several times 1st with an expert present, because you WILL make mistakes". OK, see you in October. Clocking off now & thank you very much. Sorry Catweazle this post was meant for someone else. The site or something has gone mad.

Thanks a million Catweazle.
Will do a fresh installation probably in about 3 months, using that link of yours. The puter, how we've got it at the moment is the best it's ever been. We don't have another one to transfer files & settings, (although we have all major things backed up). I'm going to post the solution to this if i come across it in the meantime. Shame really, because i know the solution is going to be very simple, so simple that folk would laugh. I'm competent at most of computer applications but, like a lot of folk, shy away when it comes to hardware & opening the box etc. I'm not going to pay a man to install the operating system ever again because 2 or 3 months after he has gone, it needs doing again. In this case it does not need doing again. If Catweazle was here now he would fix it in 3 minutes.

See you in October. :?:

heh heh.......

cozzy, maybe you should do that Format and install now. I think your machine might have gone mad!

The site's working just fine for me :lol:


Why don't you just go and get a new hard disk, quite cheap nowsaday especially with the lower capacity type. Plug out the old drive and plug in the new drive in the same method as how you unplug.

If anything goes wrong with the installation, just retry using a different method. eg. if the XP CD just won't boot from the CDROM Drive or terminates with an error halfway, just get a Win98 boot disk (floppy) and then do a fdisk on the hard drive, format the copy the XP installation over, then setup from there. Or download the free downloadable disk preparation utility from the relevant manufacturer.

Setting up XP is not difficult and you hardly have to worry about drivers since most of it is built-in in the operating system other than those from the less popular manufacturers.

You fixed disk the hard disk as FAT32, format c: then copy the I386 folder to your new hard drive and then run WINNT setup file from there. After completion, then do a convert from FAT32 to NTFS. (Start, type cmd, type convert c: /fs:ntfs)

Once your drive is up, the migrate your old data from the previous drive back to the new one. Or use some utilities like Ghost to clone the drive back. I use MaxblastII (because it is free) for cloning the drives. If you need a copy of it, let me know and I will email it to you since it is not available for download anymore.

One completed, XP will claim that it needs to check the drive integrity, that is because of the difference in size between the two drive, so it is alright. Once pass that, you're done.

Enable your firewall via the network settings, then do a complete windows update. When completed, remember to disable Install On Demand on your Internet Options, under Advanced settings for both IE and Others. Disable also Third Party Browser extensions if you don't use google toolbar.

Hi there…
I think here is a “better suggestion before reformatting everything (which of course CAN be the “only remedy in YOUR case…)..
…but here is “my suggestion (I have posted this topic on other forums before – and I hope nobody feels annoyed about this…):
So I had very similar problems with this excessive an alternating CPU usage.
And I was searching the net...but nothing really fixes "my" problem.
But while searching I received several hints, and I could finally bring it to a good end.

I also use the recommended "process explorer" (download procexp.exe from the net) that supports the vague displays of the task manager.
And I had this problem with the "Hardware Interrupts" using large amounts of CPU power (sometimes about 100% CPU usage) in alternating cycles which causes a severe slowdown of the system performance.
Although there are several suggestions to fix this point looking at installed software - I can realistically only see a hardware problem behind this.
So I closed down everything in the "autostart"/"startup". I also used the "old" msconfig.exe (from the net) to shut down autostarted tasks/programs that are not shown by "autostart"/"startup".
I also stepped to the control panel and there to the administrative tools.
There I looked at the services and set most of them to “manual by editing.
Of course I looked at the device manager – but there was no conflict shown !!

But the problem WAS in the device manager !!

I am located in Germany with a DSL (Telekom / T-Com) connection and a 3-PC-home network (with router).

So – what I did was:
I left the programs installed – no changes here.
I tried to work in the “safe mode – everything’s fine.
Then I brought all “extra devices like printers, network adapters, infrared devices, imaging devices and modems to “disable and started in normal mode again.
Everything was fine again.

Now I put the devices one after another back “to life.
To make it short:
In my case the “modem was the problem.
There is no modem in use.
And there is no other “similar device (e.g. ISDN-card) installed.

So now I have everything back in use – with the modem “disabled and the long time stability in “normal CPU usage values.

What was the reason for the appearance of “my problem ?
I had installed an extra software for my online banking account. This program package uses another internet account, which I normally do not use – only for the few seconds of banking. But this package recognizes my DSL-line and installs also the “virtual modem. And this seems to “collide with my (also “virtual) ISDN/modem line from “PPP over Ethernet…

However: My conclusion for all the others who have this awful problem with the alternating and excessive CPU usage occurring after a “while – not really depending on any kind of PC-activity – is as follows:
If there are no shown conflicts in the device manager and cleaning up the autostarted programs and many of the services does not fix the problem…

1. Ask yourself what kind of change you have done before the problem occurred.
Is it fixable to only one specific change ?
Then try to bring your system back to the “old good state.
If you have made several changes before you have been faced with the problem or if the first suggest does not fix it…
2. Disable your devices (do not uninstall – only switch to “disabled). If necessary go as “deep as possible – but be careful and keep the machine’s least devices (floppy, at least one CD-ROM etc.) “at life.
If this has no “good effect…
3. Uninstall firewalls and antivirus programs. Look for software you’ve thought to be uninstalled but still has “fragments on your harddisk – move it to a temporary folder or better delete it.
Still unsolved ?
4. Look at your BIOS settings. Is there “something in use, that should better be off ? (I use an extra sound card – but also have audio on board – so I switched it off in the BIOS !!). Typical devices that could be in “double use (because you have “forgotten the on-board-devices of your motherboard) are network adapter, modem, graphics card, sound… (of course – such a double installation CAN work – but also can be the origin for the troubles…)
Not better … ??
5. Demount hardware now. I would suggest – everything that is not really necessary. In my case this would have been the soundcard, TV-FM-card. And if you have an extra graphics-card…pull it out, if there still is an “on-board-solution. Bring your system to a “raw but runnable state.
Satisfied now with the stability ?
6. If not - run registry optimizers / -cleaners – and, if necessary work “manually with regedit(32).exe and look for the above mentioned “fragments again and clean manually if necessary (I have often found pogram names or company names etc. from software which I had removed by normal uninstall routine. I could delete those lines without bad effects… but plz be very carefull with all kind of registry changes !!! And if you search for company name – be sure you do not run another NEEDED software from this company…;-))).
Still in the “old trouble…ooops…
7. Now I would say it’s time to save my data and install a fresh OS (really fresh – complete format – new partitions ?? so there should be no trace of old data !!…). Then bring in your devices step by step (think of the “raw but runnable state) – always let enough time for stability check. Look at these alternating CPU usage values – growing again ???
I think, this step needs your patience if you want to be successful.
Here you should fix it finally… if not…try a prayer…perhaps you can try the warranty suggest ??? I don’t have any further suggestions.

But if you had been lucky in an earlier state…
8. Bring your disabled devices back to “enable again – one by one…and be patient with the “stability check here, too. If you have demounted devices before also install the hardware “one by one – leave everything not in use still in “disabled mode.
In my case there was no need for the modem (because there is none). So it is still “installed – but disabled in the device manager – and my PC works fine…
So you should do either with all the devices you are not using (e.g. imaging devices or infrared devices).
9. Re-install software and / or services, and bring your wanted startups back to life.

I know, that was lots of stuff. But I’m quite sure that this will help in most cases, before a complete fresh OS installation is necessary.

Now folks – good luck !


Wow! Runningbernie, thanks. Bet your ink has run out!
I'm going to leave it now for a couple of months & put up with the problem because we have everything sorted out real good at the moment & it seems a shame to wipe everything off. Gonna enjoy it for a bit longer, then "attempt" to format & start again!

Funny thing you should mention about the modem. I could be clutching at straws here but we have 4 users on this puter but what happens JUST on MY settings is that i get an internet connection box appearing sometimes, just before things have settled down after starting up. This box is an old dial-up box from when we used to have BTopenworld (before we upgraded to broadband). If i click on it, then it connects to the internet, but, if i knock it off (because i don't want to go on net) well it disappears & never appears again until i start the puter the next time. But, because i knocked the box off & THEN connect later to the internet with the usual broadband box, well it connects & tells me it's now connected & the home page comes up but it's always set to WORKING OFFLINE ! I've done a search for BTopenworld in case there is something there that shouldn't be, but it comes up with no results. mmmmm!

Wow! Runningbernie...

Hi cozzy,
it seems you still have a couple of problems...
In your case I would try the suggested "good old" msconfig.exe.
If you do not have it (e.g. from Windows 98), try to get it from several spots in the www.
Although it's not "made" for further use in W2k or XP - it DOES work (which is my experience).
This is, of course, not the only way - but a simple way to get to see, what kind of jobs are done by your machine without your notice...
And I can only repeat my suggestion with this "switching off" everything in the Startup/autostart and as much as possible services.
Normally you should be able to start your computer, although you have switched those "things" off.
And then you bring things back "to life" one after another and look, what happens.

We both know - one thing IS shure: The computer only gets active if there IS a command for executing it. And in my understanding of computer things this normally is not done only by being written in the registry...

Another good hint is looking at the icons in the lower right screen corner. Whatever you find there, you can eliminate through the suggested "actions".

In your case I also would have a look at your network connections. Is there an icon for the connection you mentioned ? Are there several connections still shown, although you only use ONE single special connection. To be honest: Normally it should not be of interest, wheter you have one or more connections "prepared" for use.
But many installed programs (Microsofts programs will belong to "them") - and of course spyware - want to have access to the net - even if you have not started any program at that time.
What about the connections implemented to your browser. Sometimes the "favourite" connection there is not the same you have chosen for your desktop start for internet access...

And one last suggestion: If you have the possibility to work with Zonelabs ZoneAlarm (I have not searched for the "older" posts to your "problem" if ZoneAlarm was mentioned...) - there you have the decision between "deny", "interned" and "trusted" access for connections and programs.
So, if a program tries to go online (for whatever reason...) - ZoneAlarm will ask you for "allow" or "deny". That also happens with the internet connections.
While installing ZoneAlarm it will recognize your internet connection and make a "pre" set. It is then up to you to accept it as "????" up to "trusted". In the first case you always will be asked. In the last case you will never be asked - it just does it...

In my opinion your "problems" seem to be "solvable" - but it may take your patience...

Good luck again!!


Dear runningberni, i have Procexp & have disabled everything apart from the bare essentials & still the problem remains. Zone alarm actually GAVE us problems so i got rid of that. We have more than enough gismo's for antivirus & firewalls etc anyway, & the problem does not lie with any baddies at all. There are no conflicts with any drivers yet, when i do update the correct sound/video (realtekAC97) the situation is a lot worse. I then have to roll back the driver to get the puter back functioining as it is at the moment. (lousy). Still not brave enough for wiping everything off yet. Don't undertand about partitioning & do i type "fdisk" in command prompt to wipe it clean? Or do i simply insert the WindowsXP recovery disk ..re-boot with CD option & follow instructions from there? I do not wish to simply re-install or repair Windows (i've done that twice alraedy), i am going to wipe everything off.
I have some software that will format the hard drive up to 27 times (so to eliminate everything properly) but if i use this option will i be then stuck with a DEAD computer? Or can i then continue, ie ...switch off with windows xp recovery disk in the drawer & continue from there? (after wiping the hard drive say, 12 times?

Hi cozzy,
to be honest, I would not like to be in your shoes with that problem.
If it were December, I would stay away from bridges...
But being serious again:
It looks as if you had done nearly "everything" to fix your problem.

On the other hand I still cannot believe "your" situation. I mean, I DO believe your words, but I suppose that there still is "something" that has not been recognized yet, but IS very important...

Coming to your fdisk suggestion: Looking at my experience I can only say, that there should be no fear for having a "dead" computer as long as you have a bootable CD with an operating system of your choice.
And I do NOT see any sense in formatting and re-installing a fresh system that often…

And to make this point clear: Have I understood right, that you had this interrupts problem even directly after having installed a clean system ?

So there is no reason for going further. Nothing coming "later" could fix your problem.

Did you have this problem also with a fresh and clean system even at a point you have not connected your computer to any kind of network - so only working as a stand-alone system – no connector in – even no printer or USB connector in ?

In that case I can only see a severe hardware problem being your "opponent".
And that can be time consuming as well as killing even your last nerves...

If you don’t mind I want to “tell about computer problems I could experience some time ago (...and if you mind…I’ll say bye-bye at this point to be friendly…):
A friend of mine told me about problems with his VGA monitor after moving his computer to another room. The screen now was only working in monochrome mode.
He was just about to buy a new monitor. But after our jogging tour I asked him to have a short look at his PC system.
First thing I always do is bringing dust out of technical devices as good as possible. And I do not hesitate to open even monitors as long as there is no warranty problem involved.
So I work with computers as a simple user - I'm no computer specialist, although I have "serviced" lots of computers in the past years. But my "experience" is mostly based on private "cases".

But back to my "stories":
Bringing dust out of electronic devices has helped in several situations. And I have seen even "young" computers being "filled" with fluffy dust.
To make it short: Dust had not been the reason in my friend's case.
But when it came to reconnecting everything I could find a single pin being crimped in the VGA connector. Fortunately I could relocate that pin without braking it (could have easily happened depending on the "wrong" treatment before – silly thing about that: The connector had been fixed even with the screws – and there was nothing “wrong to be seen at once…and if it would have been another pin – maybe there would have been a blank screen – my friend would have thrown away the monitor without notice…) - and now everything is fine again.

What I want to tell you with that (real !) story is:
We normally expect things being (completely) "out of work" or being ok. But if we have a situation that something IS working, but with bad performance or with an alternating problem or something else you cannot bring to simple "Yes" or "No" - then we are facing big problems in finding the origins for the error(s). And there we have it – even if we find one problem, there still can be a second or third…

So I don’t want to waste your time with computer stories. But I think my other “cases I have experienced in my job may help you to get new hints for your further brainstorming on your interrupts problem:
In my office we had a problem with the colour of a computer monitor. We had been “lucky because it had been within the warranty conditions – so others had to fix the problem. The symptom was a vanishing of one or two basic colours after having the monitor “on duty for a while. The reason could be fixed. And there had to be a complete replacement. The origin of that problem could be located in a special coating on one of the electronic devices in that monitor. From time to time there was a slight evaporation of that coating. But the internal “airflow brought those coating particles to another electronic device being responsible for the colours…
This problem could not be fixed by “normal troubleshooting. Even the specialists could only find this problem after putting the monitor to a fully equipped lab – you could not simply “see the “new layer of coating.

Another problem I could follow from the symptom to the solution was this one:
I was responsible for selling and installing lab equipment in an analytical chemical laboratory several years ago. Computers made their first steps into those labs – also as integrated devices for data sampling and calculating. I was also selling and installing A/D-board equipped computers. And I also did the instructions for the lab staff.
With one of the many machines we had sold we had a “silly problem. To protect the boards from misuse there had been a simple serial number reading sequence in the software. The serial number itself had been “put to an “electronic device on the board. And one of the boards seemed to have “forgotten its number – the customer could only use his board as a “remote station – without any further access to real time data sampling.
But this problem occurred after several weeks of normal error free use. And the problem could not be fixed to a special situation. It vanished as well as it had come. But the problem got worse – and the customer angry…
The fix took lots of time (no customer paid for that…) and nerves of one of my specialist colleagues (and he was very sophisticated !).
You can imagine that the constructing company for this A/D board was not really willing to tell us the “secrets about the serial number “implementation which had been in a “black-box device on the board – because the black box was only “perfectly hiding 4 simple wires connecting 8 soldering points…
But even after being allowed to open the “device my colleague was not able to fix the problem immediately.
After applying temperature “stress (fan or spray) to the connections he could focus the problem to a single soldering point (simple measurements didn’t give the answer !).
So I could have made this story shorter for you, too. Because I guess you also know the problem in that case as “cold soldering points (I don’t know whether it is the right explanation in English…however…).
But I didn’t – not because of loving to read my own words on an internet page, but because of putting some “sensibility to readers of those topics for the difficulty of successful troubleshooting.
In times we are used to have “everything “just in time it has become worse with patience and logically planned troubleshooting even with professionals.

And of course – looking at prices for spare parts – even completely new machines – in comparison to the price to be paid for one hour of servicing – we have to understand this habit of replacing and throwing away everything even in case of “simple problems.
And if one has the opportunity of being within the conditions of a running warranty – there should not be too much effort on solving a problem…
It is no shame being told to have had a “simple thing – afterwards. Who cares…?

But if someone HAS to solve a computer problem on his own (or is willing to do so…) – if the logic is not helping out – try to imagine even the “silly ways.

I have found lots of “strange parts inside a computer or other electronic devices. Those “strange parts, of course, didn’t belong there. Sometimes I really had difficulties to imagine how those parts could get there…but “they DID ! I would have expected a complete crash – but in most cases there was not a single problem… But a simple move…and there they are – the problems…or the final crash !
What about fans, cables, clamps to fix cables and so on…
Sometimes the fans are blowing – no “strange sounds – no severe temperature problem – you “see and “hear “nothing – but you have a performance problem, because the fan is not working properly.
Or coolers – everything can LOOK fine, but isn’t…
What about the small pin bridges you will find on motherboards and other devices. If you are unlucky one of the bridges has not been “seated correctly, causing a late – and wrong – response…after a while of error free service.

I have had another case in my job. One of the electronically driven lab equipments made problems in the lab of a customer. It worked like driven by ghost’s hands.
I found that there must have been a leakage which led to salty solution running into the machine and onto the electronic board. Over night the solution could crystallize – and there was not the (I would have expected) total crash – but this “ghost hand problem.
You are still interested in my “solution ?
Here it is (I’m still “proud of it – even after several years…):
I faced the customer with the quite expensive complete replacement (at least ) of the board. And looking at the salt “crust on the board the customer agreed.
But I asked for a simple try – which of course could also destroy the board now completely – but throwing away would have been the “normal way for that board, anyway.
So I “washed this board with quite hot tap water, flushing it with distilled water after that. And I dried the board in a circulation oven at moderate temperature for one hour (I could try to fix new contracts during the time of waiting…).

To be honest, I would not hesitate to act the same way with computer motherboards in comparable situations ! – But please do not wash your computer boards, unless you have significant reasons for doing so as a last remedy…
And I think, it must not be mentioned, that washing is no good idea for all kinds of electric/electronic devices, where water can find at least micro-holes.
So please don’t take a bath or a shower with your harddisk, floppy, CD/DVD or tuner cards…
And, of course, never try any of the “washing suggestions with any of the devices still being connected to power… (don’t even think about that instead of the bridge guess…)

So there are so many possibilities for being a reason for upcoming problems in modern electric/electronic devices – even without direct influence of a user – and logical troubleshooting will lead to a successful end – but it mustn’t…

Only looking at my own experience and my own exchange of opinions and knowledge I would ALWAYS look at “human origin for detected problems FIRST. And before I try to find “external “human reasons I would ALWAYS try to check ME as the origin for the problems first.

I do not know statistics about this point. But I am sure that the big majority for technical problems, especially with computers, are user driven.
In general the simple rule is working: A system that passed its way to the shop runs successfully – also with long time stability, able to stand also rough treatment by the user. Erroneous systems show their deficiency quite early or quit to run at once.

I started with my first “computer in the early 1980’s. And I had not a single system making problems in my private use where I could “blame the constructor (…of course, the monitor colour problem based on the evaporating coating could have been in my private use – but it wasn’t…).

Let’s come back to you, cozzy, as long as you are still with me at that point…
I know, my last statement will not really help you with your interrupts problem.
But it should keep your mind open for a further investigation on your own influence on your computer…

I’m still fixed to a hardware error as the reason for your problem (of course this is MY opinion…which may be wrong…), because you have updated and cleaned “everything. Therefore I cannot believe i.e. in a remaining virus-problem…
As you may guess now, there will be no further suggestion from here.
In your case I would try my hardware suggestion I have posted earlier.
If you have the opportunity of replacing actual devices with other/older ones still in “stock – try that.

But if there is no chance of having a clean, fresh and I would like to say “virgin system running at expectable performance – replace your board / computer before December comes or you want to take a “frustrated bath/shower…


Runningbernie i hope you didn't type that last post from scratch, you have made me feel rather guilty!
No, i have not done a format yet & i'm certain the system will be running as new again when i finally get round to doing it. We can put up with the thing for a while as everything works ok apart from being slow & interrupting when doing 2 things at the same time. I'll give you an example: If i put 2 tiny programs on, then the puter goes to 100% usage & have got to wait ages for the 2nd one to open. Then if i close the 2nd program too hastily i will get a "not responding error". Yet, it's completely fine & really fast at doing just ONE THING AT A TIME. So we will put up with it until i have the courage to wipe everything off & start from scratch. I installed windows over the old one about a month ago & it went completely bonkers so ain't doing that again.
I've no idea how to close this thread coz there is no point trying to fix it any more. An expert would find the problem straight away & it would be such a laughable solution, but i ain't getting an expert in for the 6th time in 6months just for him to wipe everything off again without even diagnosing anything 1st.
There are no "nasties" on the puter so i ain't going down that road again.

The ONLY thing that is quite ODD is that "sometimes", yes, sometimes after switching on, i get what looks like an old dial-up connection box popping up asking if iwant to connect to the internet. This sometimes happens without touching a thing from a boot-up, & sometimes it will pop up when clicking on a doc or anything. So what do i do? Well, if i want to connect to the internet then i click on "connect". Guess what happens next? It connects & opens the home page then it tells me i'm WORKING OFFLINE!

So if i ignore the "old box" & knock the bloody thing off then when i later connect to the internet the normal way then it is still WORKING OFFLINE.
Sometimes the old box does not appear at all, if this is the case well then i just connect the normal way (with the current connection box for broadband) & it connects as usual in about 2 seconds & it opens working ONLINE.
Hve done a search for B.T. & can't seem to find anything at all to do with the old dial-up connection we used to have, but yet, it is still there & appearing willy-nilly when it feels like it. Maybe this is the problem but i'm at a loss what to do with this lark.
This old box should not be there at all. Could it be a modem problem? What if i got rid of the modem? Would that stop the broadband from working? Shows how much i know here! Mind you.......any questions on databases & i'll help you 4 sure. LOL

That 'old box', I'm afraid, is one of those 'nasties' ya reckon ain't on that 'pooter, so ya just might have to go down that road agin or simply just give up!

Either that, or it's a piece of software, loadingat startup, that's trying to 'phone home' and look for an update ;)

Be a part of the DaniWeb community

We're a friendly, industry-focused community of developers, IT pros, digital marketers, and technology enthusiasts meeting, learning, and sharing knowledge.