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Microsoft Windows OS (XP/NT/Vista/Windows 7/8/9/10) Forum

Win2K showing strange CPU usage stats
I may have a hardware problem, but it's showing up in CPU usage

 12:47 pm on Feb 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

My computer is behaving very strangely. If I shut it down properly, then restart, it won't. It doesn't beep or anything, just hangs with blank screen. If I detach the power cord for 10 seconds, it starts OK, but after loading the OS, it shows very high CPU usage figures (around 100%), but System Idle Process shows about 50%, and either WINLOGON.EXE or svchost process are taking up the rest. Sometimes idle is zero, and the others may shoot up to 100% for a few seconds.

Obviously there's some hardware issue, but I don't know where to begin to look. I can live with the need to ground the MB before restart, but why is the cpu usage so wrong?

Any help appreciated. I'm new to this forum, so if there's a better place to post, please tell me.



 1:10 pm on Feb 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hey, rampisad. Welcome to WebmasterWorld. You've posted in the right place, but it may take a bit more information to figure out what's going on here.

Are you saying your system won't do a proper restart without powering down manually? I had that with an old Win2K system within the last year and I cleared it out by doing a Repair Install of Windows. However, the state of your system could be due to a number of software and hardware factors, so what worked for me may not necessarily be the best for you. (A Repair Install of Windows generally doesn't hurt anything {just make sure you have everything backed up.})

With WINLOGON.EXE or svchost taking up a lot of cycles the first place to look is AdWare, MalWare or viruses. Is this something that came about suddenly? Have you added any software or hardware recently? Do you have image backups you can roll back to?


 1:10 pm on Feb 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

This sounds like a software issue not a hardware problem. What security software is installed (antivirus, firewall, anti-spy, registry monitors, etc.)?

Most likely, one of these has been updated automatically and is causing a problem.

The reboot problem is probably caused by a failure to shutdown correctly. Pressing the reset button (if you have one) should have the same effect as unplugging, however, in rare cases, an issue with a daughter board (such as a graphics card) may require the computer to be switched off rather than reset.



 1:38 pm on Feb 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the posts.

The hardware issue is quite specific. If I shut down the computer (like at end-of-day), next time I try to start, the thing is dead - there's no beeps from the MB, screen stays blank etc. Only if I disconnect from the power, then reconnect, will it start up. Then, on first start-up, I get these strange CPU usage stats. Usually, if I retry the whole process (shut-down, disconnect, reconnect, startup) it will come back with good CPU, but not always, and it requires two reboots to get here.

I have good anti-virus software running, and the pattern doesn't look like anything to do with virus - I can run for days without any problem, but as soon as I shut down, the next restart will be problematic.


 6:05 pm on Feb 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

The failure to start may still be caused by an incorrect shutdown. Try this...

Press the power button for 10 seconds and release (5 seconds is usually enough). If nothing appears to happen repeat once.

The first time will cause the computer to power down completely (if not already powered-down properly). The second time should cause it to restart (1 second should be enough).

Your antivirus, is it Computer Associates by any chance? If not, what is it? It's no good asking support questions if you're not prepared to provide potentially vital information.



 7:47 pm on Feb 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

My anti-virus is AVG v7.5.

I'm trying to explain - shut-down switches my computer off (as it should). It then will not start up again - no matter how many times I press the power-on button. It does nothing - simply will not go through the boot-strap sequence. But if I disconnect the power socket, it does something to "ground" the MB, and it then starts, but with CPU overload.

I am positive this is not a virus issue. I have both Win2K and XP on this machine. Exactly the same thing happens if I select XP on start-up. There's NO chance I have exactly the same virus infecting both OS.


 9:04 pm on Feb 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

Do you have a spare power supply you can try?


 11:39 pm on Feb 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

no matter how many times I press the power-on button.

It's not how often but how long that counts - ten seconds first, then one or two seconds. However, if the same thing happens after shutting down both both XP and 2000, I must agree that a faulty power supply (or motherboard) is a possibility. You should not, however, discount the possibility of a common software fault, for instance, you have presumably installed AVG on both boot options and many other installed items will be identical.

For a fault like this, just to be certain and since you have a dual boot machine anyway, create a third, clean, install of XP or 2K and see if the problem exists with that too. If it does, then you have pretty much proven the fault is hardware-related. However, if the fault does not appear in the clean install (disconnected from the internet) then you can gradually install your usual software starting with ZoneAlarm (or whatever) then AVG, etc.


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