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I have a serious issue on my Windexs XP machine.

When I start it up it takes ages to login, then when I bring up task manager I find that its running at 100% CPU However, the process taking the CU are random (and there are usualy about 4 of them). They change a bit, but the CPU never drops below 100% at all.

I have to hit the reset button and try boot again to resolve the issue, usually it takes two or three times to get a login without the problem, and then I just put the machine in standby mode when I'm not using it.

I can't remember when this started happening, but its deffo more than a year ago.

I know its not a virus ... What could it be ? Driver issue ?

Any suggested paths for resolution would be appreciated.

Cheers, Ro

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Sounds like this should head over to superuser. –  Dan Feb 24 '10 at 13:17
    
Posted question over to superuser.com .... I had thought this was the more appropriate forum. –  Ro. Feb 24 '10 at 13:24
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In the future you don't need to crosspost, it will get moved automatically. –  Dan Feb 24 '10 at 13:46
    
Sending to SU so you can merge the answers with his duplicate. –  Kara Marfia Feb 24 '10 at 15:17
    
Exact duplicate (100%, word for word): superuser.com/questions/112849. A merge would be in order. –  Peter Mortensen Feb 24 '10 at 17:17
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migrated from serverfault.com Feb 24 '10 at 15:17

This question came from our site for professional system and network administrators.

4 Answers

http://blogs.technet.com/markrussinovich/archive/2010/01/13/3305263.aspx

The case of the slow logons.. fascinating article btw.

Basically, he logs the entire boot with process monitor and checks for large gaps.

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Hard to say without knowing more about the offending processes. Find out the names of the processes and then search the system for their location (directory). Where they are located will often tell you which application they belong to (were installed by).

If they aren't windows system or services related you may wish to disable them from starting automatically on startup/login. Check the startup folder within the users subdirectory as well as msconfig and the registry startup listings.

Lastly, this isn't a serverfault.com related Q. ;)

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Its not just services though ... Things like NetMeter or TaskbarShuffle take up the CPU ... Then whenever I kill the processes, the CU doesn't drop below 100% for a second and some other random process takes the CPU. –  Ro. Feb 24 '10 at 12:57
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Why are you sure it is not virus? Check you application and system event logs. Also check your system with autoruns program by sysinternals. It can be some weird dll, which tries to attach to all your processes.

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Sounds to me (from your mention of NetMeter or TaskbarShuffle) that you might have a lot of add-ons, toolbars or other evil little whatnots installed that are playing tango for your CPU following a startup. Use something like SysInternals Autoruns to identify what's happening when you start up, and selectively disable until things return to normal.

This may also be AV software at work. I've seen recent versions of AVG, for example, consuming 100% CPU for about 5 minutes following a cold startup. And speaking of AV, you definitely shouldn't discount a virus.

And yeah, this is really more appropriate for SU.

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