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High cpu usage

  1. Mar 15, 2006 #1
    my computer is wicked freaking slow and it crashes a lot too. i've run virus scans and defragmented and i did a disk clean up. lately i'm getting pretty familiar with task manager cause i'm always closing programs i don't need because other programs are slow. i'm always having really high cpu usages. AIM, MSN messenger, Yahoo messenger, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Music Match Jukebox tend to take the most, and the amount they use varies a ton. my computer struggles to run any two of those programs at once. Any one of them can use up to 80% cpu at a time, and then 10 minutes later only 20-30%. its a huge time pain and i dunno what i can do.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 15, 2006 #2
    Has your computer always been this slow? You could look into a RAM upgrade.
  4. Mar 15, 2006 #3


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    Staff Emeritus

    Reinstalling Windows is sometimes the best solution.
  5. Mar 15, 2006 #4
    its a laptop i just got last year. last spring i was having some problem where my computer screen would just go black, and i couldn't turn it back on, and i had to just hold the power key till it worked again. i sent it back to Dell and its been slow ever since. i have no idea what happened. i've never reformatted a computer or installed windows myself or anything. i wouldn't know how to go about it.
  6. Mar 16, 2006 #5
    If it's only been slow since Dell sent it back, you might want to send it back again and make a case out of this. Reinstalling Windows isn't hard at all; just insert the XP CD and follow the wizard. It can take around 30-45 mins to reinstall but if you do it right you'll still have all your data. If you're interested, search Google for a step-by-step guide-- it's not as hard at all.
  7. Mar 21, 2006 #6


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    Science Advisor

    A lot will depend on CPU speed (1 GHz vs 3-4 GHz), RAM, cache, Front Side Bus (FSB) speed, and what other apps are running. Also, you might check for spy/add ware, some of which tries to access internet to send information about one's browsing habits. In this case, one should clean out Adware/Spyware cookies daily (better yet, block them in the first place), and perhaps search the registry file for insidious and evil apps. :grumpy:

    Also, what is the OS XP? and if XP SP1 or SP2? If it was SP1, which has been upgraded to SP2, chances are the PC is hosed.

    Reinstalling Windows seems extreme, especially if the registry file is rewritten to the configuration before the other apps were installed. I am just about at that point with a PC, but first I have to salvage some files.

    Edit: Just learned about the " C:\WINDOWS\Prefetch " directory where some spyware programs may be lurking. They get activated at startup and can slow down a Windows machine.

    Found this a techexams.net - http://www.techexams.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=13052
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2006
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