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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    W2K System Idle Process

    Can anyone give me a better idea of what system idle process does than what I found in MS KB:

    System Idle Process - You cannot end this process from Task Manager.
    This process is a single thread running on each processor, which has the sole task of accounting for processor time when the system isn't processing other threads. In Task Manager, expect this process to account for the majority of processor time.

    Yeah, right. One of my W2K machines installed some security updates from windowsupdate.com in 10 minutes--newer, faster machine also W2K took 2 hours with nothing in task mgr showing any activity except system idle process. <img src=/S/confused.gif border=0 alt=confused width=15 height=20>

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: W2K System Idle Process

    Basically, the System Idle Process indicates how much of its time the processor in your PC is twiddling its thumbs. Say that you are typing a new document in Word, and you have no other applications open. Even if you're a proficient typist, the processor will have almost nothing to do - with hundreds of millions of even billions of clock cycles per second, typing doesn't really matter.

    The time it takes to install updates from internet doesn't have much to do with processor speed. The speed of your internet connection matters, but even more, how busy Microsoft's servers are. After an update, hotfix or patch has been released, millions of computers all over the world will receive notification. Downloading even a relatively small patch can take hours then. Windows and the processor have to wait until the download is complete before the actual installation can begin.

  3. #3
    New Lounger
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    Re: W2K System Idle Process

    Thanks Hans--that gives me more insight. I kept trying to bump up the priority of what appeared to be the update process thinking that System Idle was interferring! <img src=/S/blush.gif border=0 alt=blush width=15 height=15>

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