I have a Windows 10 workstation on which the CPU usage suddenly has risen drastically without cause. The base CPU usage is much higher than it should be when technically idle and spikes happen at random intervals causing the CPU to go to 100% where it comes inoperable. Safe mode does not show any of this behavior. Reinstalling the OS has not been the solution. The event log is being spammed with hardware error warnings by the corresponding service (does not happen in safe mode). The machine was working fine before and fine for a few minutes after reinstalling Windows. Adding up the percentages in Task Manager/Resource Monitor does not yield the same amount as being shown as the total.

Any ideas what the cause could be?

  • 1
    Are you looking at all user processes in task manager? What are the hardware errors. We need a lot more information than just "CPU goes to 100%" – EBGreen Mar 28 '18 at 12:22
  • Also have you tried using perfmon to find the culprit? – EBGreen Mar 28 '18 at 12:23
  • Are the System / Interrupts showing some significantly non zero values? – Strangelovian Mar 28 '18 at 13:10
  • which process has high CPU usage? If kernel/system, use WPT to trace it – magicandre1981 Mar 28 '18 at 14:48
  1. Press alt-ctrl-delete and open Task Manager.
  2. Click "More details" at the bottom. Here you can see all the programs and services using your CPU.
  3. Click on the "CPU" column to arrange all programs from lowest to highest CPU usage. This will allow you to identify the problematic program if it spikes as it will flash all the way to the top of the list.
  4. Close/uninstall/alter the program causing all the CPU usage. If the program is something random google it or tell us the name of the program.

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