If I have any flash object in a browser for more than about 30-45 minutes my processor use jumps from about 30% on both cores to 100%. Even I close Firefox, Chrome, IE, or the Hulu desktop app when they start getting choppy or laggy the processor still maxes out. It is consistent across all sources of flash media, www.hulu.com, www.armorgames.com, www.youtube.com, as well as flash based ad banners. Even if I am viewing short clips after about an hour of total playing this issue occurs. As a stop gap, I installed Flashblock in Firefox (my primary browser) to avoid flash ad banners from crashing may machine.

I would restart my machine but when it came back it was still laggy and the cpu was bouncing around 45% (+/- 15% every second). Originally I had Microsoft Security Essentials installed but when the machine would reboot it would crash and after login the alert window would slowly (1-2 frames per second) rise from the taskbar notify stating that it wasn't running. I originally thought that Security Essentials was being a little paranoid and somehow deep inspecting Flash, and then when I restarted interrupted it somehow. So I un-installed Security Essentials and installed McAfee and am still having the problem.

Another another few wrinkles are, when I try and restart I get the warning that If I do I will interrupt a background process. But there are no processes listed. Also when I open a resource monitoring tool like task manager or Resource Monitor, the monitoring tool is reported to be consuming anywhere from 35 to 50+% CPU.

Also. When I have closed out of a browser after this lag starts occurring, I also close out of any other applications using the network. Instead of the network dropping to it's idle or rarely used state, it starts spiking at about 1 to 5 kbit every second or so. It seems to be rhythmic, also it seems to correspond with spiking cpu usage. After I boot and before I have opened a browser for the first time I do not see this spiking of the network or cpu.

I am running on a:

  • Dell Latitude E6400
  • Intel Core 2 Duo T9550, 2X 2.66Ghz
  • 4 Gb ram
  • Win 7 Professional x64
  • Flash Player
  • McAfee VirusScan Enterprise + AntiSpyware Enterprise 8.7.0i

This is a fairly clean install only about a month old. I have gone through and cleaned out pretty much all the run on boot processes and unnecessary services.

  • In addition to my answer below - for my own research, can you write yes or no to the following... 1) Do you have Adobe Flash CS3 Installed, 2) Do you have Adobe Flash CS4 installed, 3) Do you have any other Flash creation tools installed, 4) Do you have the debug version of Flash player installed? – William Hilsum Nov 9 '09 at 18:23
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    "Adobe Flash eating processor" everywhere, certainly not limited to windows 7 :) – Molly7244 Nov 9 '09 at 18:25
  • NO flash creation tools or debug software. Just the active x plugin and the general plugin, both of 10.32.18. – tvanover Nov 9 '09 at 18:53
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    and i'm getting the distinct feeling, Adobe grabbed Macromedia only to hold the IT world in a stranglehold with yet another format they own rather than improving the bloody thing, not to mention the fact that there still is no flash x64, their "Rhet Butler" mentality is quite annoying. – Molly7244 Nov 10 '09 at 2:17
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    I was scrolling fast and saw this question out of the corner of my eye. I'm glad it didn't turn out to be what I thought it was...a "Flesh eating processor." – rob Nov 10 '09 at 2:29

This is known issue with the E6400, check this out: http://en.community.dell.com/forums/t/19247293.aspx?PageIndex=3

I got the same problem of GPU overheating



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  • Wow, thanks. this is some of the best info I have come across yet. I was about to go down the rabbit hole of possible corrupted sound subsystem, but the temperature issue does seem more promising. – tvanover Dec 8 '09 at 23:31

Just wanted to add my 2 cents. I got this problem when I stupidly updated my computer to the "latest" version of Flash last week.

I've been researching for several hours and it's everywhere. It doesn't matter what your computer specs are. It's the Flash plugin itself that's hosed. Some idiots try to blame "bad source code", others make fun of people with slower CPU's. MAC, PC, Linux, doesn't matter. Browser you use, doesn't matter. If you are browsing the internet with Flash enabled, one or more of your CPU's will go to almost 100% if the flash thing you're looking at was optimized for frame rate... usually the advertising.

Adobe has known about this since before April '09 and they just don't give a squat, according to their own tech support forums. The only solution available for now: disable flash.

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This is normal and a bug in Flash that most people know about but they do not seem to acknowledge or fix.

Pretty much everywhere I have seen it is on x64 systems, but I am sure it is not limited to it.

I have, and I guess no one as I have said it numerous times here and on other sites, has any idea on what the cause is - I have got some complete flash websites where the CPU does not break a sweat where as a tiny square advert on Hotmail (and I mean tiny) without any special looking features makes the CPU max out.

I installed Ad Block Plus on Firefox (some people report success with FlashBlock). I have only had a couple of times where it blocks something wrong by accident and it is easy to unblock. I would highly recommend it for getting over this problem.

That being said, I have never seen this outside of the browser. You may want to use something like Process Explorer From Microsoft / Sysinternals to see in more detail what is eating your CPU. However, in my experience, anything that uses Flash can be to blame - I have seen it with MSN Messenger (The advert space at the bottom).

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  • It is weird, because on my other win7 x64 machine I don't have this problem. – tvanover Nov 9 '09 at 18:26
  • I would have to say it is just luck - I have seen it on so many systems that I use (and it is so annoying!) – William Hilsum Nov 9 '09 at 19:06

This seems to be a well-known problem of Flash on x64 systems, but Adobe hasn't yet come up neither with a solution nor with an x64 version.

I wonder if you're using Flash in an x64 browser, therefore mixing x64 and x86.
Maybe you should try using a 32-bits browser. For example, IE32 is started like that:

%Systemroot%\SysWOW64\explorer.exe /separate

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  • Well I know firefox is not a 64 bit browser, and neither is chrome, where this problem is occuring. Also I think the Hulu Desktop is also 32 bit. – tvanover Nov 9 '09 at 18:45
  • When you get the message about the background process, try to locate it. Maybe use Process Explorer from technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653.aspx. – harrymc Nov 9 '09 at 20:01
  • But that is just the thing, it is not flash or the browser that seems to be claiming the lion share of my processors. When I open up task manager or resource monitor it claims that the monitoring software is taking up the lion share of the processing. – tvanover Nov 10 '09 at 2:09
  • Which monitoring software? – harrymc Nov 10 '09 at 6:54

In my experience, adobe eats processor on any system, any browser, any time you run it. but in the latest firefox theres a bug with overheating, and adobe take full advantage of it.

Also dells are not known to be the most efficient of machines.

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