Automan_Empire - 12:46 am on May 26, 2005 (gmt 0)
Open your task manager and see which processes are using the time, by percentage. This can point you to the culprit, which may be a desireable program or spyware or worse. Beware of arbitrarily ending processes, though, unless you know what they are. Do a google search for any you don't recognize.
I know my system has problems with a proprietary invoicing program that makes poor use of MSAccess... I find Access using near 100% while that program is idle; sometimes restoring the program brings he time down. This lame program crashes Access several times a day, usually when cashing out a customer. Lesson learned: Demoing a POS system with a small test data set doesn't uncover problems that arise when you have committed to massive data entry.
Another problem is Acrobat got corrupted at some point, and if I click on an unlabeled PDF link, I have to close it in task manager or it uses 100% processor cycles without opening.
More common is spyware or other malware. Best to run a good spyware and virus program while you are at it.