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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    I am in the process of trying to solve a hot-running problem on a laptop (HP dv2535ea), to the point the PC shuts down protectively. While the fan and the disk are possible culprits, I have noticed the CPU will run at 65 – 100% for considerable periods without any applications running. It may then revert to about 10-15% usage for a while, before starting up at 55+% again. This behaviour is continuous, with the heavy running going for a good half of the time. Since that puts the chip frequency up to max, it could very well be the cause of my problem.

    Running Resource Monitor, I can see the processes that are active, but they give no indication of the culprit. The CPU users are svchost (the main one – but I cannot see which dll is calling it), wmiprvse, lsass (all windows components) and Forcefield (Zonealarm, presumably caused by the original activity) – all of which leaves me no real clues as to the ultimate cause of the activity.

    I know it is something to do with my set-up, since when started in safe mode CPU usage is minimal. I am running Vista SP2, fully patched, with Zonealarm Internet Security. I have done a full virus scan which came up clean, and there is no internet activity and only minimal disk activity when the CPU is churning.

    Before I start the laborious process of shutting off processes in msconfig (there are about 85 in total, vs 24 in safe mode), does anyone know a way of finding out which dll is calling svchost, or is anyone aware of a known “criminal” in terms of massive cpu usage?

    Chris

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    I would suggest disabling Zone Alarm all together and see what effect this has. Many have stated that Zone Alarm tends to utilize lots of system resources. I can not speak from personal experience.
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  3. #3
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    Ted

    I should have said - yes I tried that, as another obvious possibility, and it did not help. In fact, ZA is running in safe mode where I have minimal CPU activity and on another PC, running XP and the same build of ZA, I see 5% CPU activity when other applications are quiet.

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    svchost using lots of CPU is an old problem for which nobody seems to have a solution. Sometimes installing the latest service pack fixes it, sometimes it settles after half an hour, sometimes it is self resolving. I'd search for a solution and see what others have tried.

    The PC shutting down due to overheating is a major problem. You should be able to run the CPU at 100% all day long and never have a problem.
    1. Check the CPU fan is not covered in dust. Same for the heatsink.
    2. Make sure the CPU fan runs at full speed when the CPU is working hard.
    3. Check that the CPU heatsink clips are secure - don't take the heatsink off unless you have some thermal compound and know how to re-fit the HS properly.
    4. Load SpeedFan to monitor the temperatures and fan speeds.

    cheers, Paul

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    Quote Originally Posted by chris b View Post
    I should have said - yes I tried that, as another obvious possibility, and it did not help. In fact, ZA is running in safe mode where I have minimal CPU activity and on another PC, running XP and the same build of ZA, I see 5% CPU activity when other applications are quiet.
    Check out Process Explorer to see what svchost.exe is hosting.

    Joe
    Joe

  6. #6
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    Paul

    I am fully patched, and normally am. I have been fighting the problem for some weeks, so it is showing no sign of settling down by iteslf. On the other points:
    1 Everything has been cleaned out with a vacuum and with compressed air - no dust clouds. As a laptop, the CPU is not easily accessible.
    2 Fan seems to be running OK when hot
    3 Not accessible
    4 I will have a look for Speedfan

    Chris

  7. #7
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    Joe

    Thanks - that is probably the tool I was looking for,

    Chris

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    I have used PE to troubleshoot this issue without success. Please let us know how you go?

    cheers, Paul

  9. #9
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    Joe/P T

    Now I am just as confused. The process that is starting all the cpu churning is audiodg.exe, which is described on Process Library as:

    "udiodg.exe is a Windows Audio Device Graph Isolation\r from Microsoft Corporation\r belonging to Microsoft® Windows® Operating System\r . It is part of Windows and ensures that the content and plug-ins are not modified by another application such as spyware."

    That means closing down items in msconfig would not be expected to help, but on the other hand the problem goes away in safe mode....

    Perhaps I should explore fan speeds as Paul suggests, and then move to Windows 7.

    Chris

  10. #10
    5 Star Lounger
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    I found this

    http://forums.techarena.in/windows-v...ce/1012315.htm

    and this

    http://technicallyeasy.net/2009/03/f...igh-cpu-usage/

    Try updating your audio drivers.

    PT is right though. If that is overheating to the point of shutdown, you have some sort of hardware\cooling issue. I would not spend the $ to move to 7 on this hardware unless you can find what is causing the overheating....

  11. #11
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    Mercyh - I'll check out the links. However, I also get the message that I am getting distracted with the cpu cycles and need to spend a bit more time on the possible/probable hardware faults.

    Thanks for your help,everyone.

    Chris

  12. #12
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    Just to close the loop on this one, the overheating problem was nothing to do with the cpu usage. This laptop is one of those affected by the nVidia gpu defect problem (Windows Secrets Michael Lasky 9 April 2009). The overheating (and probably the disk errors) was caused by the GF8400M gpu quietly cooking away prior to catastrophic failure on 27 Oct 2010. More detail on the problem and claim procedure is at http://www.nvidiadefect.com/ and http://www.hplies.com/ .

    Interestingly, I reported the overheating to HP in August. Despite the fact that they were well aware of the problem at the time they just replied that I was out of warranty. Another unreliable brand from the service point of view.

    Chris

  13. #13
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    Too bad about the catastrophic failure. But at least you know the cause. Good luck with the claim. Thanks for posting back.

    Joe
    Joe

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