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This issue started about two weeks after replacing the broken motherboard on this computer. The new motherboard is an MSI. When it happens, things like Skype calls, Netflix and Minecraft seem to provoke it (Not all running at once), then when force closing the app taking all the CPU, something else seems to take it, almost as if there's suddenly not enough CPU time to go around. The system has a Intel Celeron D processor running at 3.0 Ghz, 4 GB of DDR3 memory, a 128 MB nVidia Video Card and is running Windows 7 Ultimate.

My attempts to fix this issue have involved the following:

  • Re-Install Skype
  • Re-Install drivers related to the issue (Audio, video, networking drivers)
  • Adding more thermal compound to the CPU (I thought it was maybe overheating, it wasn't)
  • Inspecting the processes taking all the CPU with it showing nothing odd.
  • Running Malwarebytes, HiJack This and Avast antivirus, removing any infections found.

A restart of the computer fixes it temporarily, but it starts again after running those apps for awhile.

The only thing I have not tried is re-installing Windows, which I would like to avoid as this is my girlfriends computer and she is currently not near by for me to get access to the computer. The best I have is TeamViewer.

Any ideas on how to fix this issue?

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You do not have a particularly fast processor to be running all of these at once. You may want to look at upgrading at some point. Your graphics may also be struggling a lot with the system alone (Aero, if it even works), as well as Minecraft will kill it –  Simon Sheehan Aug 17 '12 at 17:43
    
They are not being ran all at once, any of these apps cause it to happen. I'll clarify that in the original message. –  Erickj92 Aug 17 '12 at 17:44
    
@SimonSheehan True celeron is at the bottom and minecraft needs more than 1 core. Upgrade –  FiKo Aug 17 '12 at 17:45
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@Erickj92: Okay, so the listed applications themselves take up the CPU time. And if you exit the application that takes 100% CPU time, another application will take 100% CPU time. Is that correct? –  Oliver Salzburg Aug 17 '12 at 17:53
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@Erickj92: Please have a look at superuser.com/questions/462969/… Examine the threads of the processes that cause the high CPU load. Be sure to configure symbols. Then, get a stack trace of one of the threads that is causing high CPU usage (just click the Stack button in the process properties). –  Oliver Salzburg Aug 17 '12 at 18:18

3 Answers 3

I had similar issues but not as severe as you have.

  1. What is your Firewall/AV?
  2. When was the hard drive defragmented (try MyDefrag: http://www.filehippo.com/download_mydefrag/)
  3. Does your PC makes whirring sound?

Clues:

  • A misconfigured, or corrupt firewall can basically make your system grind to a halt by restricting CPU bandwidth.
  • Even a 10% fragmented hard drive can slow you down significantly. What MyDefrag does is it allocates the sector proximity depending on file size and recency of the file. The first defragmentation will take almost 2 hours, but can last 6-8 hours (on very large drives). Run this program from SAFE BOOT.
  • If your girlfriend's PC makes sound just after a cold boot, it means that you need to re-apply the CPU Thermal Compound to reduce heating of CPU, especially with Celeron processor which does not handle data very effectively (e.g. graphics and games)
  • Try removing the CMOS battery, and using the JUMPER PINS, reset the CMOS Password, and clear the CMOS Setting.
  • Update the BIOS for MSI motherboard.

If you can provide more insight as to PC configuration (use Speccy: http://www.filehippo.com/download_speccy/), it can be helpful. A Speccy and HiJackThis log would be very helpful.

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Thanks for the advice. I have Windows Firewall and Avast! Free antivirus on it. Both didn't give issues before replacing the motherboard. The computer does not make a whirring sound. I already re-applied thermal compound to the CPU in hopes that would help. I put on a generous amount of Arctic Silver. –  Erickj92 Aug 17 '12 at 18:05
    
So far so OK. Then uninstall Avast! Free Antivirus using uninstall utility. (files.avast.com/files/eng/aswclear.exe) BUT, before uninstall, you can download the Avast (or AVG) and store on USB drive (which you will need later on to re-install AV/FW). Since you do not have paid Avast!, you do not get full protection from outbound connections (that is, once a trojan/virus/malware inside you PC {playing games}, it initiates outbound contact. If you install ZoneAlarm Free, it would allow two-way firewall protection --IN/OUT. Finally, the graphic card (128MB) is limiting factor. –  C2940680 Aug 17 '12 at 18:15
    
I'd agree that the graphics card is a limiting factor if it wasn't for this issue only just starting (The graphics card has been sufficient for over a year). –  Erickj92 Aug 17 '12 at 18:16
    
Ideally Temp should never be above 45C. But I may have to check for Celeron CPUs. TRY to uninstall/reinstall Avast. Also if you could provide the HijackThis Log (which enumerates the System32 folder files). And, one more thing, Download and install RegAlyzer(safer-networking.org/dl/products/regalyzer). With RegAlyzer you can trace down every bit of registry entry from the Windows Registry, and then delete most, if not all, of them.[BE CAREFUL WITH THE PROGRAM AND REGISTRY EDITING, THOUGH] –  C2940680 Aug 17 '12 at 18:21
    
Before even uninstalling AVAST, do one thing: DISABLE THE SYSTEM PROTECTION. sevenforums.com/tutorials/330-system-protection-turn-off.html Reboot the PC, and see if your troubles are still persisting. If you had virus/trojan infection, they hide in the SystemRestored version, continually re-infecting the PC that you may have cleansed earlier. –  C2940680 Aug 17 '12 at 18:24

My gut reaction would be that either your antivirus cocktail is tripping over itself, or the box is overheating. Make sure all the vents are clear/have airflow/fans are functioning and try again. Then disable some antiviruses and try again.

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There's only one antivirus installed, Avast! Free. Malwarebytes doesn't run unless I want to specifically do a scan. It shouldn't be a heating issue, as all temps read in acceptable ranges (Around 50-60 C). –  Erickj92 Aug 17 '12 at 18:06
    
@Erickj92 Avast is known for sluggishness. I recommend MSE. –  kinokijuf Sep 15 '12 at 14:32

Erickj92

Have you fixed the your computer? Looking back at issues, and hoping you tried some of the options I mentioned, if you still have problem with PC, then best thing is to re-install Windows. Because you have removed the CPU heating up issue by plastering more thermal compound, I would say antivirus/firewall is a major cause for the symptoms that your PC manifests. After you uninstall all antivirus, can you observe if PC is stable -- and it does not shutdown on you? If you can, then updating PC (behind a router) and then adding antivirus makes sense.

But, the gut feeling is that Windows needs to be re-installed. I have noticed that even windows installation gets corrupted by faulty AV (e.g. ZASS).

You can configure non-essential services according to this site: http://www.blackviper.com/ Go down mid-page and select Windows 7 if it applies in your case.

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