I am running Windows 7 with Microsoft Security Essentials for virus protection.
Recently, the computer goes out to lunch for a couple seconds at a time, during which keyboard events and mouse clicks are gathered up and then after the processing resumes played back with a delay.
I checked the task manager and find that CPU is very low utilization, with system idle running between 30% and 70% of the dual CPUs that are each hyper-threaded.
Actual CPU usage is reported between 15% and 70%, there are 82 processes and memory usage is around half of the 3 GB of memory. The biggest consumer is Firefox taking around 1 GB followed by windows explorer with 341 MB and Adobe Bridge with 325 MB.
What might be going wrong? How can I figure this out and resolve it?