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Thread: Windows Explorer uses 98% of my cpu




  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    Hello,

    A couple of day ago my PC started feeling unusually slow sometimes. Then I noticed that everytime I open the Windows Explorer, after a few minutes the explorer.exe process uses 98% of my cpu. After I kill this process cpu usage goes back to 3%. Every other thing runs fine, Windows Explorer seems to be the only thing with this problem.

    I don't think it's a virus or spyware problem, because I have Norton Antivirus 2002 and Ad-aware 6, both with the latest updates, and they don't find anything wrong with my system.

    What's going on?

    My system specs are:
    Asus A7V333
    AMD Athlon XP 2100+ (Palomino)
    512 MB RAM (Corsair CAS 2.5)
    64 MB ATI Radeon 8500
    LSI Logic U160 SCSI Controller
    36GB Seagate Cheetah 15K.3 (system disk)
    2 x 80GB Maxtor D740X (RAID 0 on onboard Promise controller)
    120 GB Western Digital SE
    250 GB Western Digital SE
    Windows XP Professional, SP1 and all the latest updates from the Microsoft webpage.
    It's not important to know all the answers, as long as you know how to contact someone who does.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
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    3,141

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    Well I've seen this problem on a a few Win XP machines, both Amd & Intel and i have no idea what's causing it.

    Hovewer after an install of Service Pack 1 this problem never occured again.. :)

    But as ya seem to have it installed already I can't figure it out.. :confused:

    :cheers:

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
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    Canberra, Australia
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    The best I can do is refer you to this page of my 2nd XP Guide for tips on repairing IE.

    Also, if you have any anti-popup software installed that can affect IE CPU usage.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    Thanks for your replies.

    However, the problem is with the Windows Explorer (the file management application), not with the Internet Explorer.
    It's not important to know all the answers, as long as you know how to contact someone who does.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
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    Dammit my fault for not reading your post properly :)

    Advice is similar though (but with a different link). First make sure you have no 3rd party toolbars installed in Windows Explorer. Programs like Nortons, Download Accelerator Plus etc. install their own toolbars in the Explorer, so right-click on the top and untick them.

    Also, check out pages 5 and 6 of my 2nd XP Guide.

    Remember the Explorer.exe process in Task Manager also relates to the desktop, so check if you have an active desktop or something else on your desktop which sucks up CPU time.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    I had already read and applied all the tips found in the TweakTown guides, so all the tweaks you mentioned were already applied in my PC. I have no third party toolbars in my Windows Explorer. All the services I don't need are stopped, and the only non-windows processes running are:

    Norton Anti-virus
    Asus PC Probe
    Paragon Software CD-Emulator
    Microsoft Internet Keyboard

    I tried disabling them one by one and after restarting my PC the problem persisted. I ended up enabling all of the again because I find all of them useful.

    I think the problem is definitely related to the desktop, becuase when it happens, I kill the explorer.exe process and the taskbar disappears, and when I open the Windows Explorer again it reappears.
    It's not important to know all the answers, as long as you know how to contact someone who does.

  7. #7
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    I highly recommend you don't run Nortons in the background. I personally run Norton AV 2003 and I only run a full scan every week. Letting it run in the background can hog resources.

    Unless something strange is going on, I would suggest that either Nortons or the CD Emulator are taking up the CPU cycles by doing something in the background.

    Also you can't just close Explorer.exe. As I explained it is the process which relates to your desktop, registry etc. Closing it will effectively disable Windows, so the process itself HAS TO run.

    Anyway other than the background programs I have no other ideas.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    I just solved the problem, thanks to the replies to another thread.

    I had this video file which I couldn't delete, ever since the Windows Media Player crashed playing this file. I had tried to delete it from the DOS command prompt, tried booting as Administrator to delete it, but couldn't. I hadn't given much importance to the problem, since I didn't really want to erase the file, I just wanted to move it to another disk, but couldn't, so I just left it where it was and ignored the problem.

    Then my Windows Explorer began to take up all my cpu, but for some reason I hadn't figured that both problems were related. I followed The_tweaker's advice on the other post to delete this file, deleted the file, and the problem I had reported in this thread also disappeared.

    Thanks!!!
    It's not important to know all the answers, as long as you know how to contact someone who does.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
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    Quote Originally Posted by PersianImmortal
    I highly recommend you don't run Nortons in the background. I personally run Norton AV 2003 and I only run a full scan every week. Letting it run in the background can hog resources.
    hmm I highly recommend the opposite, always run your virus protection as "auto detect" in the background to protect yourself from viruses, also be sure to keep it up do date. One scan per week isn't enough because then damage can be done.. And the hog people are talking about isn't that big, at least not to P3's or faster machines.. But this depends on how safe you want to keep your computing and how valuable your data is to ya..

    Anyway I'm glad to hear you solved the prob..


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