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  • ‘System’ reports high CPU

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      • #2348150
        John
        AskWoody Plus

        Noticed this today:

        System fan running so I checked Task Manager ‘Process’ tab and ‘system’ was using 13 – 15%.

        I checked the ‘Details’ tab and it showed ‘system’ using 6 – 9%.

        Unusual for me and not noticed before today. No changed software for several days.

        I’ve looked in the ‘Details’ tab and total indicated CPU usage is9 – 14% which is not unusual for the mix of applications I have running.

        Any ideas on what could be causing this? Or where to look?

         

        [‘CPU’ tab shows 30 – 34% usage.]

         

        Dell Inspiron 7580 i7 16GB Win 10 pro 20H2

        • This topic was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by John. Reason: Add CPU tab reference
      • #2348195
        Microfix
        AskWoody MVP

        Do you have outdated intel DSA (Driver & Software Assistant) software running?

        DSAService is included with Intel’s software update tool for Windows 10 and it reportedly runs in the background frequently, which causes high CPU usage for some people.

        source: windowslatest
        The article is from December 2020 but may be worth checking out.
        Might be an idea to keep the ‘resource monitor’ open at all times to monitor whilst using the device to track down the culprit.

      • #2348199
        anonymous
        Guest

        A driver problem waiting for an input/output to complete, excessive interrupts, hardware fault, and maybe more…

        Revealing the cause for software induced spikes can be traced using the Windows Performance Toolkit.

        https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/test/wpt/

        You will need install WPT by getting the Windows 10 System Development Kit (SDK).

        Resource Monitor may help you.

        Also you can check out your hardware connections.

        And maybe this System process problem could resolve itself.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2348221
        John
        AskWoody Plus

        Thanks to @microfix and Anonymous.

        Used Resource Monitor to track what PID 4 System was actually running and found an enty for DBUtil_2_3.sys running from C:\Windows\Temp.

        Seems to be a Dell file. Anyway I renamed it and rebooted and the cpu usage seems to have returned to normal.

        Created date was 2nd March  so not sure what / where it came from.

        Any ideas?

        Dell Inspiron 7580 i7 16GB Win 10 pro 20H2

        • #2348232
          Bob99
          AskWoody Plus

          Used Resource Monitor to track what PID 4 System was actually running and found an enty for DBUtil_2_3.sys running from C:\Windows\Temp.

          Seems to be a Dell file. Anyway I renamed it and rebooted and the cpu usage seems to have returned to normal.

          Go to Task Scheduler to see if Dell put a task in there that is set to run occasionally, such as an update checker of sorts. Since they made your system, it stands to reason that they may have the capability to slip some updating software onto it in order to help you stay updated with Dell’s latest version of drivers for your computer that they may have released, or perhaps the latest version of some of their software that you may have currently or may have had in the past but have since deleted or uninstalled.

          If you do find an entry from Dell, take a close look to see just what it says for what the task is supposed to be for. If the task’s name is similar to the file you renamed, then feel free to set the task’s status to Disabled. That should prevent it from running again and slowing things down.

          IF this is something from Dell that sounds like it would ordinarily be useful to you, poke around Dell’s support site for your computer to see if there’s a way to download a fresh copy of the software that triggers the event which launches the driver that you renamed. It could be that the file is corrupted and an uninstall and subsequent reinstall of the software the driver’s for will cure what ails it.

          In digging around the internet with a search based upon the file name you mentioned above, there were some references to malware that was alleged to disguise itself with the same name as the driver you renamed. Because of this, if you haven’t run a full anti-crapware scan with your choice of scanner, I would suggest doing so to see if the file you renamed was a bit of crapware. Scan your entire computer, not just the Windows files. If you have a drive with Windows and another drive for your data, scan both drives, not just the one with Windows.

          I hope this helps!

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2348290
            John
            AskWoody Plus

            Thanks @Bob99, turned out to be a bit of a red herring.

            The cpu usage started again – noticed this morning.

            I then spotted an unwanted update slipped in by ccleaner!!!! This included a browser and seemingly an update to core ccleaner functionality.

            Two uninstalls later and the untraceable increase in ‘system’ cpu usage sems to have gone.

            Phew!

            I still don’t know why Dell should place an active driver into c:\windows\temp? No grumbles from the system about it so far.

            Dell Inspiron 7580 i7 16GB Win 10 pro 20H2

            • This reply was modified 1 month ago by John. Reason: Speeling mistooks
      • #2348355
        John
        AskWoody Plus

        Sorry, I was wrong, it hadn’t gone and later reappeared.

        I’m trying to track how long after rebooting the problem starts, and if it is only associated with my main login. (I have 2 other seldom used logins on my laptop.)

        So, logging off and on as another  user, nothing was apparent after 15 minutes.

        I heve now logged back in to my main user to send this and so far, after 10-15 minutes, nothing. I wait and see.

        Dell Inspiron 7580 i7 16GB Win 10 pro 20H2

        • #2348363
          Bob99
          AskWoody Plus

          C:\Windows\temp is a really strange place for any driver file. That and the hits about crapware on the internet when I did a search for the driver file’s name are why I suggested above doing a scan of your entire computer with the anti-crapware suite of your choice. Have you managed to do that yet?

          Also, since you say that the increase in CPU usage comes and goes, look for any scheduled tasks in Task Scheduler to see if one of them involves any process with a name similar to the driver file you dumped from your temp folder.

          BTW, come folks here have taken a dim view of Ccleaner lately, especially since it came bundled with crapware in the basic installer a couple of years ago by now. If some crapware has found its way back into the program, that’s another reason to run a full scan of your computer with the anti-crapware suite or scanner of your choice.

          • This reply was modified 1 month ago by Bob99. Reason: I still have to learn how to spell! :-(
          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2348372
        John
        AskWoody Plus

        Thanks @Bob99, yes I have run a full Kaspersky scan – nothing found. I’m going to do an alternative scan too.

        Tomorrow, I will restart my PC and see if I get the cpu problem. ( on a previous laptop an AV program caused high cpu, but if I signed out and then in it stopped so another thing to check.)

        My initial scan of Task SCheduler drew a blank but you have given me some good ideas to follow up on.

        Dell Inspiron 7580 i7 16GB Win 10 pro 20H2

      • #2348481
        John
        AskWoody Plus

        OK, ran a Defender scan last night and it complained of one thing:

        PUA:Win32/MaxSecure

        I allowed defender to process it, and now there is no reference in Windows Security of having found it – Low risk and the link to microsoft’s own page gives zilch. Helpful eh?

        I restarted the PC this morning, and no sign of excess cpu usage (I suppose I should say yet).

        I checked the files that Kaspersky has processed and could find nothing untoward.

        Dell Inspiron 7580 i7 16GB Win 10 pro 20H2

        • #2348498
          anonymous
          Guest

          Ok, how you doing now, 2 hours later?

          R/

          Bob99

          • #2348504
            anonymous
            Guest

            Another possibility that occurred to me after doing some more digging into the result you posted from Windows Defender, is that Defender may have found a left-over installation of a competing security software suite called MaxSecure, which could have been placed by Dell on your machine at the factory, but never activated due to being some sort of demo installation or trial offer perhaps. Or, as I mentioned above, it could either have been downloaded by your having visited a web site and getting a drive-by download unknowingly, or installed as part of another software package that you knowingly installed and MaxSecure “came along for the ride”.

            MaxSecure could have been activated by some sort of trigger to try to become partially enabled, rendering the results you saw with higher-than-normal CPU usage.

            BTW, it’s never a good idea to have two active anti-malware suites on a computer at the same time…they’re constantly fighting for resources or fighting each other in some cases.

            Two anti-malware programs competing for resources brings most computers to a crawl.

            Seems kinda strange how Kaspersky didn’t catch it, though, but things like this do happen.

            R/

            Bob99

            • #2348579
              John
              AskWoody Plus

              @Bob99, in fact I did scan for AV programs and found remnants of Avast Bitdefender and McAfee. So I removed them too!

              Looking forward to some ‘fan’less browsing now.

              John

              Dell Inspiron 7580 i7 16GB Win 10 pro 20H2

          • #2348578
            John
            AskWoody Plus

            Still going strong. No problems @Bob99, thanks.

            Dell Inspiron 7580 i7 16GB Win 10 pro 20H2

      • #2349003
        John
        AskWoody Plus

        I was so disgusted – within 10 minutes of sending that last message, it happened again!

        Need to be able to find out what process under ‘system’ is using cpu?

        In Task Manager, Processes tab shows 20-25% against ‘system’ but ‘Details’ tab only shows 7-9%.  How does that work? The System Idle Process in ‘Details’ cpu figure reflects the other ‘Details’ readings.

         

        Puzzled!

        Dell Inspiron 7580 i7 16GB Win 10 pro 20H2

        • This reply was modified 1 month ago by John. Reason: Spelling
      • #2349008
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        Have you tried MS Process Explorer?

        cheers, Paul

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2349014
        John
        AskWoody Plus

        Thanks @Paul_T, briefly, but I will explore it further on the next occurrence.

        I have tried it and there is a lot of good detail – I’m hopeful.

        Dell Inspiron 7580 i7 16GB Win 10 pro 20H2

        • This reply was modified 1 month ago by John. Reason: Added info
      • #2349086
        John
        AskWoody Plus

        This is a sampe of the high cpu in action!

        Sample-Procexp-view

        Not sure where to look as I cannot see what may be causing it.

        Can anyone suggest how to use procexp to narrow down the range of choices, or suggest what to exaine in more depth, and how?

        Dell Inspiron 7580 i7 16GB Win 10 pro 20H2

        Attachments:
        • #2349109
          satrow
          AskWoody MVP

          Ignore the System Idle Process.

          Set Process Explorer to show the lower pane and .dlls (scan those for any that shouldn’t be installed or running). Highlight any high-CPU Process and select Properties to drill deeper into what’s using CPU in a fresh window.

          Check how much Kernel CPU activity there is in Taskman’s Performance/CPU graph – right-click inside the graph to enable Kernel times. These should be very low, otherwise the high kernel priority will overload most everything else, ~5% might feel laggy/dragging/sluggish, ~15% will kill almost all responsiveness.

          SystemPrperties

          Attachments:
          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2351302
        John
        AskWoody Plus

        @satrow, I am not seeing a repeat of the high cpu.

        I don’t think I did anything to stop it but it’s frustrating!!

        I’ll keep on looking.

        Dell Inspiron 7580 i7 16GB Win 10 pro 20H2

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