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I have a problem with one of the device drivers - it constantly uses resources in a very strange way - one second nothing, the other one full 100%. It creates a saw-tooth pattern in the resource monitor:

enter image description here

It is quite a problem, because the machine is a notebook and this processor usage decreases battery life. The last time the problem went away by reinstalling Windows, but now it is back and I am not sure what caused the problem. I don't recall installing any new drivers lately, but that doesn't mean I didn't.

Maybe it is not a driver, but definetly something running under System (PID 4), such as antivirus, indexer, or something else. How can I display what is actually causing this behaviour within the System process?

I am Win7 64

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When you open Task Manager, and you set it to the Processes Tab, click twice on the top of the CPU column (right on CPU). The first click will sort the list from least usage to most usage, and the second click will reverse this. Then just sit and watch... and see if you can spot the process that keeps on going up and down. – Bon Gart May 9 '12 at 0:54
@Bon I know which process is causing this - the System process. But I would like to know which one in the umpteen number of sub-processes System has is actually causing the problem. – Jakub Zaverka May 9 '12 at 1:10
Try the more detailed Process Explorer among other things, it does not list the generic "System", but rather details everything quite a bit more. – Bon Gart May 9 '12 at 1:28
@Bon thanks, it helped. If you create your own answer, I'll upvote & accept. – Jakub Zaverka May 9 '12 at 1:38
Thanks, and done :) – Bon Gart May 9 '12 at 1:40
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Download and use Process Explorer as it provides much more detail as to what is running on your machine. For one, instead of just providing the general "system" process in Task Manager, it will detail what is grouped under this process.

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OK, the Process explorer helped. The problem is caused by srpst64.sys, a part of Norton Internet Security. Let's contact their support and see what they have to say about that.

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