CPU Working at 100%

cpuIs your computer’s CPU working at 100% all the time? Is the PC slow or non-responsive? There is a good chance that one of your computer’s hardware components is faulty, but if you have no reason to suspect the hardware, it’s more likely that this is a software problem. I’ve seen cases where the CPU or the fan was at fault, but I’ll discuss that in a minute.

First, you should make sure that you check the following:

1. Registry – Problems in the registry could cause the CPU to work overtime. There are many reasons why this happens, but I won’t get into that – you need a solution. So, to fix the registry, use a registry diagnostic and repair program, such as CCleaner, Registry Mechanic or any of the programs I recommended in my top 10 list.

2. Viruses and Spyware – If your PC is infected with malware, this could also cause your CPU usage to be at 100%. Make sure you have a good virus and spyware cleaning program and scan your hard drive. If you don’t want to pay for software, use Avast, AVG or AntiVir (See Resources for links).

3. A program using too many resources – This is the most likely reason: some program is using too much CPU power. I witnessed this in a friend’s PC the other day. In his case, Kaspersky Internet Security was the culprit. A simple uninstall confirmed this, because as soon as it was removed, the CPU usage went down to under 20%. You could also open the Task Manager (with the CTRL+ALT+DEL key combination), click on the Processes tab and in the CPU column, see which program is using the most CPU time. The highest digit is the one that uses the most power.

Tip: Start the computer in Safe Mode (press and hold F8 after rebooting the PC) and see if the CPU still works at 100%. If yes, maybe it is a hardware problem after all. If you tried all software related solutions and the CPU is still hogging, it’s time to check out the hardware.

4. Hardware – you should check all the connections in the PC case, especially the CPU and the heatsink that sits above the CPU. Make sure the heatsink sits correctly and there is enough thermal compund between the CPU and the heatsink. Thermal compound is the ‘creme’ that assists the heatsink draw heat away from the CPU. Also, make sure the CPU fan is getting power and is able to cool the processor.

If nothing helps, you may have to get professional help.

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