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Process 'SYSTEM' Run By 'SYSTEM' Using 100% CPU

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  • User profile image
    anthq11

    There is a process called SYSTEM, started by SYSTEM, which I cannot end that uses from 92-100 CPU (in task manager).

    What is this - has anyone else gotten it?

    How can I fix it

    XPPSP2

  • User profile image
    DoomBringer

    Is this "System Idle Process"?
    System process is a standard Windows process, AFAIK.  Why yours would be pegged is a bit beyond me ATM.

  • User profile image
    Cannot​Resolve​Symbol

    These two processes should be the only processes with image names containing "System" that show up in Task Manager on Windows XP:

    Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

    If you're seeing anything else there (i.e. System is using a ton of memory, the image name is uppercase, or there's two processes named System), I'd suspect you have some kind of malware on your computer.

  • User profile image
    anthq11

    Earlier, 'System Idle Process' was using about 78 mb of ram, but his one that I'm talking about was imply in all caps, 'SYSTEM'.  I could not end it either.

    I went into safe mode, fired up my Spybot and Adaware (safe mode w/ networking to update), and all they found was tacking cookies.

    Any Suggestions? - p.s. I havent tried Windows defender yet...

  • User profile image
    Cannot​Resolve​Symbol

    Can I see what exactly is running?  Run:

    tasklist /fi "USERNAME eq SYSTEM" /fi "IMAGENAME eq SYSTEM*" /v /fo list

    at the command prompt and post the results.  You could also run HijackThis and post the results here if you wanted to.

    Of course, it's possible that you're fine, too.  It is unusual for System to take up a lot of processor time, though--  especially when idle.

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    CannotResolveSymbol wrote:
    Can I see what exactly is running?  Run:

    tasklist /fi "USERNAME eq SYSTEM" /fi "IMAGENAME eq SYSTEM*" /v /fo list

    at the command prompt and post the results.  You could also run HijackThis and post the results here if you wanted to.

    Of course, it's possible that you're fine, too.  It is unusual for System to take up a lot of processor time, though--  especially when idle.


    tasklist and taskkill are only found on XP Pro (and derivatives) and not XP Home.

  • User profile image
    anthq11

    W3bbo - I am XP Pro - hence the XPPSP2..

    OK..

    Im not talking idle either - I'm running IE7 and Word and Fireworks such - everything is all freezing REALY easily too...

    Taskmanager took literally 5-10 minutes to open, explorer keeps freezing, word and IE7 takes forever to type...even start menu took 1 min to open!

    After clicking an item in the start menu, it hangs for about 10-30 sec...
    The system was clean like yesterday morning/afternoon!

    Now its lowercase, but here it is - http://www.q-kid.net/process-system.png

  • User profile image
    anthq11

    I'm going to create a backup of everything thats important outside of MyDocs, an System restore to befor i patched uxtheme.dll.

  • User profile image
    anthq11

    Scratch that.

    I was compressing everything, until I realized it was 24.9 GB to back up, and decided to just wait.  I come back 15 min later, and only System Idle Process is there using 98, but CPU Usage shows 2%-26%!

    That is REALLY weird.

    Anyone have a fix so it dosnt happen again?

  • User profile image
    Sven Groot

    The System Idle Process simply shows the amount of CPU that's not being used (hence, idle). It being a high number is perfectly normal.

    System (not System Idle Process) using a lot of CPU for any extended periods of time is not normal though.

  • User profile image
    anthq11

    Sven Groot wrote:
    The System Idle Process simply shows the amount of CPU that's not being used (hence, idle). It being a high number is perfectly normal.

    System (not System Idle Process) using a lot of CPU for any extended periods of time is not normal though.


    Is there any causes of System (not System Idle Process) running at 90-100 for extended periods of time?

  • User profile image
    msemack

    anthq11 wrote:
    Is there any causes of System (not System Idle Process) running at 90-100 for extended periods of time?


    Most likely it's a buggy driver.  USB devices are particularly notorious for having drivers with a high CPU load.

    I suggest that you shut off or remove devices one at a time until you find the culprit.  Start with USB devices.

  • User profile image
    cheong

    msemack wrote:

    Most likely it's a buggy driver.  USB devices are particularly notorious for having drivers with a high CPU load.

    I suggest that you shut off or remove devices one at a time until you find the culprit.  Start with USB devices.

    Agreed. SYSTEM is the host of all kind of drivers.

    And also, I'll suggest to download sysinternals' "Process explorer" to see what it is hosting. (Right click lower panel's title -> select column -> DLL -> "Mapped size" to show how much memory is allocated to the device driver) Pay special attention to those "non-microsoft" drivers.

    Recent Achievement unlocked: Code Avenger Tier 4/6: You see dead program. A lot!
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  • User profile image
    KevinB

    anthq11 wrote:

    Is there any causes of System (not System Idle Process) running at 90-100 for extended periods of time?


    I find that if I hibernate my machine and come back up from hibernation this tends to happen. System uses around 40% all the time, pretty annoying as it is a laptop and the fan can get noisy when it gets that hot.

    I would guess it is a buggy driver in both my and your case.

    Kevin

  • User profile image
    koolminx

    I have the same problem this guy above had...  My dang SYSTEM is at 99 and 100% and my whole system took over 45 minutes to startup today,
    I even rebooted to a diffrent restore date etc... etc...

    How do I go about shutting off the remote devices in order to find which one is the culprit?  I already uninstalled everything that started this mess for me yesterday.

    I have some geek squad type folks coming tomorrow noon if I can't get this repaired and that's going to suck for my already depleted bank...

    koolminx

  • User profile image
    Cannot​Resolve​Symbol

    koolminx wrote:
    

    I have the same problem this guy above had...  My dang SYSTEM is at 99 and 100% and my whole system took over 45 minutes to startup today,
    I even rebooted to a diffrent restore date etc... etc...

    How do I go about shutting off the remote devices in order to find which one is the culprit?  I already uninstalled everything that started this mess for me yesterday.

    I have some geek squad type folks coming tomorrow noon if I can't get this repaired and that's going to suck for my already depleted bank...

    koolminx



    Turn off your computer, unplug everything (except monitor, keyboard, mouse, and power, obviously), and reboot.  If that solves the problem, plug things back in one at a time until the problem reappears.

    If the problem doesn't reappear, you've fixed it. Tongue Out

    But what "started this mess" for you yesterday?

  • User profile image
    itreeye

    Thank you cheong for your advice. Smiley I have been able to download process explorer, check the 'mapped size' option and (I think) enable the DLL view. Yet I cannot see where a view is of how much memory is allocated to the device driver, nor how or what do to do about it. Could I ask for some quick advice on this?
    Thank you again for any thoughts!

  • User profile image
    LukeHan

    I had the same problem and it was driving me crazy.  By chance I figured it out and found the solution, which was unlikely because there is NO information out there about this, it seems.

     

    The reason was because my CPU was overheating, but I didn't know.  There's a program you can use to see your CPU temp easily for free: http://www.techpowerup.com/downloads/SysInfo/Real_Temp/

     

    I'm on a laptop and it was always fine until it hit 100degrees C, at which point SYSTEM would kick in and take up all my CPU.  So I got a Zalman Notebook Cooler, and it has halved the temperature of the CPU and fixed the problem, thank the sweet lord.

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