View Full Version : High CPU Utilization in XP SP1?

10-20-02, 04:15 PM
Hi all,

A few nights ago I decided to wipe my drive clean and start over with a fresh install of Win XP with SP1. I formatted the drive via the utility on my xp install disk and proceeded to install windows, my drivers and then connect to the internet and update windows without a hitch, or so I thought.

During the course of my installation I noticed I was getting funny mouse pauses. They were happening the most when I was installing drivers/programs or downloading.

Upon closer examination I realized this was taking place -only- when my hard drive was being accessed. I installed HDTach 2.61 and started the test. I was surprised to find that the CPU utilization was at 59%!! Prior to the install with all the same hardware (no changes whatsoever for the install) I was only getting CPU utilizations between 4-7%.

Anyone have any ideas why windows is using so much CPU time to do disk I/O? I've searched forums, google, MS knowledgebase, everything I can think of, but been unable to figure out if there is a setting I can change to fix this problem. Any ideas would be much appreciated. I may just end up reinstalling and forgoing SP1 if that's my problem.

Thanks in advance

Abit KT7A-raid with latest bios and 4.43 4-in-1's
AMD T-bird 1.33 at default clock
512mb PC133 SDRAm CAS2
Gainward GeForce3 Ti-200 225/555 clocks, 30.82 drivers
Promise Ultra100 controller drivers dated 9/30/02
2x Maxtor 20GB ata100 drives
1x Maxtor 10GB ata66 drive
SB Audigy with Compaq install and latest creative drivers
Windows XP Pro with SP1 installed

The Baron
10-20-02, 04:30 PM
Go ahead and remove both of your drive controllers (Primary and Secondary) under IDE/ATAPI Controllers in the Device Manager.

I think something got set funkily and DMA was disabled...

10-20-02, 05:18 PM
Hiyas Baron,

Thank you for the suggestion.

I went ahead and uninstalled both the IDE controller as well as the promise controller in device manager and rebooted. When XP came back up it automatically installed drivers for those devices again, but there is still no change in the drive performance. A quick run of the test on any drives yields a 57-59% cpu utilization.

Out of curiosity I went ahead and installed the latest version of TweakXP as I know it has a "enable dma66" option in it. I set it and rebooted once again, but that also made no change.

Still looking for ideas :-/


10-20-02, 07:12 PM
The only things I can think of are;
programs running in the background? (ill attach a pic of my cpu ultization and background programs)
scan for viruses
dl and use ad-adware dl ad-aware here (http://www.lavasoftusa.com/)
also check that windows isnt doing a defrag, as it will at times do so by itself.

10-20-02, 08:15 PM

Thanks for all the ideas. There had literally been nothing installed on the system other than windows the sp1 service pack, drivers and HDTach. So no spyware installed on the system, and no defrag taking place in the background.

I went ahead and did another clean install and tested the installation before I updated SP1 or even updated drivers(just XP default drivers). Before SP1 installed I was getting 4-7% CPU utilization. After SP1 installed it jumped to 56-59% utilization.

I suppose I've answered my own question here, hehe. I rolled the system back and now am back to 4-7% utilization. The primary reason I wanted SP1 was so I could have DirectX 8.1b, which was recommended for AC2 and another game I'm testing. Guess I'll just hold off until DX9 is released.

Thanks for your help everyone... Now that I'm familiar with these forums, hopefully you'll see me around a bit helping with ideas and such.

10-21-02, 11:05 PM
I have 256 ddr ram and i have sp1 installed, it doesnt seem to be using heaps of computer utilization on mine, i currently have winamp, msn and a few pages open and the most i got was 14%

i wonder why it went so high on urs :)

also i get the long pauses to, when i click on the start button everynow and then, it will pause and 2 secs later the start button will open, same with closing something, if i close a window, it might take 2 secs to close, but after that it will close without a hitch.... it just randomly happens :(

10-22-02, 03:13 AM
something must be realy wrong with your drivers i have 0 to 3 % usage when listening to winamp and reading forum , also did big file copy and got max 30% usage and not constant it jumped from 15 to 30 or so , but then again i have Iwill ali chipset with ATA 133 :rolleyes: :p

10-22-02, 04:41 AM
ill tell ya what prob i do happen to have...when im printing, my computer chunks like ****house. my cpu useage went to 100% then to 68% then to 72% then back to 100%, my computer is vertually useless to do anything on when im printing!
anyone else have this prob
i have 256DDR! lmao
that should be more then enough to handle printing lol. i use a hp deskjet 610c

10-22-02, 07:54 AM
I have a Deskjet 950C connected using the USB port. I get similar results (not quite that bad, but enough to notice when my daughter prints something over the network while I'm playing UT2003.. :p).