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  1.    30 Sep 2016 #11
    Join Date : Sep 2016
    Posts : 7
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter

    Progress!

    To: Ten Seconds; simrick; RoadBlaster

    Thank you all again. I'm making Progress now! I didn't want you guys to think I'd abandoned and discarded all the work you've done on my problem. Here's where I am and some questions. I should have more info in another day.

    simrick: thanks especially for your link to a "clean boot" write-up in the Forum . I'm now working on what I believe is the right step in this write-up, step 11.

    The progress is that my clean boot was OK, with only 1% CPU usage at idle. So I feel a lot better I' can fix my 40% CPU usage at idle by the process of elimination of good services and good startup programs, so I find the bad ones.

    But I'm still working to find out if there are problems in my screen shots of the list of all non-Microsoft services. I'm suspicious because I see a many exact duplicate service names, plus an believable number of these services running.

    Could someone answer these 3) questions?:

    1) Am I correct that stopping any of the remaining (non-Microsoft) services will Not shut down my PC during clean boot reboots (since all the Microsoft services are running)? But, for example, are things like Chron Service (by Fork, Ltd.) or Intel(R) Capability Licensing Service (by Intel(R) Corporation) exceptions that I need to leave alone?

    2) So would posting a list of all non-Microsoft services running help me pick ones to test first (and/or help me to more quickly find the problem service(s) running than just using the write-up's half-group process of elimination?)?

    3) Should I expect that only 1 of these services will show the 30% jump in CPU usage at idle of my PC vs the 10% CPU usage at idle of our normal PCs? (My PC CPU usage at idle is 40% MINUS our normal PCs CPU usage at idle of 10% EQUALS 30% jump) Or could it be multiple services I need to gauge?

    Thanks once more. I'll post again this weekend.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    01 Oct 2016 #12
    Join Date : May 2016
    Posts : 11
    Windows 10 Home, Windows 7 Ultimate

    Quote Originally Posted by FuturePerfect View Post
    Progress!

    To: Ten Seconds; simrick; RoadBlaster

    Thank you all again. I'm making Progress now! I didn't want you guys to think I'd abandoned and discarded all the work you've done on my problem. Here's where I am and some questions. I should have more info in another day.
    No problems, I'm very glad we were able to assist you. I understand that computers can be very frustrating to deal with when they are not working like they should, but I greatly appreciate your patience.
    But I'm still working to find out if there are problems in my screen shots of the list of all non-Microsoft services. I'm suspicious because I see a many exact duplicate service names, plus an believable number of these services running.
    Some services may contain multiple processes, for example, Google Chrome. It can list multiple processes in Task Manager when the user has more than one tab open. Chrome creates a separate process for each tab, increasing stability and speed for the program overall, and is also why Chrome comes with it's own Task Manager built into itself. And that's just Chrome. Many other programs mimic the same behavior for the same reasons. Unless the process looks exceptionally sketchy and/or obviously malicious, I wouldn't worry too much if a single program has multiple services running.
    1) Am I correct that stopping any of the remaining (non-Microsoft) services will Not shut down my PC during clean boot reboots (since all the Microsoft services are running)? But, for example, are things like Chron Service (by Fork, Ltd.) or Intel(R) Capability Licensing Service (by Intel(R) Corporation) exceptions that I need to leave alone?
    For the most part, you are correct. Anything non-Microsoft can be stopped. The trick here is that some of those non-Microsoft services, like the Intel one you listed, should probably be left alone. After you uninstalled any Dell bloatware, the remainder of Dell and/or Intel processes most likely contribute to your computer's functions. Many Intel ones help regulate CPU clock speed, Dell processes (not the bloatware ones) may provide CD/DVD-ROM drive function, Wi-Fi card, ethernet ports, sound card processor, other external interfaces, etc.

    For example, this link is from Should I Block It? and describes the Chron Service. As it appears, that particular process is responsible for executing an anti-theft service in the event the device is stolen. Anyway, that website is pretty good as it allows you to lookup various processes and it will give you detailed information regarding them.
    2) So would posting a list of all non-Microsoft services running help me pick ones to test first (and/or help me to more quickly find the problem service(s) running than just using the write-up's half-group process of elimination?)?
    Yes, that might help. We could review the services and see if any of them were known to be problematic. It's worth a shot, I say.
    3) Should I expect that only 1 of these services will show the 30% jump in CPU usage at idle of my PC vs the 10% CPU usage at idle of our normal PCs? (My PC CPU usage at idle is 40% MINUS our normal PCs CPU usage at idle of 10% EQUALS 30% jump) Or could it be multiple services I need to gauge?
    That depends. Since both computers experiencing the problem are near identical, and you said you haven't installed any obvious programs, it could be either or.

    It could be a single process that came deployed on that particular model that is responsible for the disruptions.

    Or, it could be multiple processes that, again, came deployed on those machines.

    However, given that both computers idle at roughly the same exact speed, with very little fluctuation between them, I'd wager it's likely a singular program/process/service that the XPS 12s have that is the problem. If it were multiple processes, I think you'd notice the CPU speeds on both computers having a lot more variance.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  3.    01 Oct 2016 #13
    Join Date : Apr 2015
    Posts : 12,588
    W10Prox64

    Ten Seconds
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    02 Oct 2016 #14
    Join Date : Sep 2016
    Posts : 7
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter

    Current Services & Startup Programs to Possibly Disable

    To: RoadBlaster: Thanks for the Program Deactivator idea. But I'd already started on simrick's clean boot link first.

    To: Ten Seconds & simrick: Thanks for your added comments. As a result, I've attached the screen shots below.

    I hope you have time to answer my 2) questions below; please refer to my original-post screen shot of the Task Manager's Details tab (and also of the Process tab) in the CPU column.

    Consider this proposed rule idea: In the Details tab CPU column, the %-of-CPU on the "System Idle Process" line PLUS all other lines showing non-zero %-of-CPU should TOTAL 100%.

    Consider these agreeing & Not-agreeing cases:
    -For our 2 PCs with 10%-CPU-usage-at-idle, an agreeing case:
    --the TOTAL adds up to 100% (no screen shot here, but true)
    --ALSO, the Details tab CPU column on the "System" line is 1% CPU, and the Processes tab CPU column on the "System" line is 1.1% CPU (i.e. they are equal, as rounded).
    -For my PC with 40%-CPU-usage-at-idle, a Not-agreeing case:
    --the TOTAL adds up to only 73%.
    --ALSO, the Details tab CPU column on the "System" line is 1% CPU, but the Processes tab CPU column on the "System" line is 11.8% CPU (i.e. they're far from equal, as rounded).

    1) Because my PC's TOTAL does not follow the rule & add up to 100%, but instead adds up to 73%, & ALSO there is a mis-match, with "System" being 1% CPU on the Details tab, but being 11.8% CPU on the Processes tab, does this help point me to Services & Startup Programs to disable first?

    I've attached these lists of my current Non-Microsoft Services, and my Startup Programs, since there was some agreement that you guys would look to see if any line items jumped out as the first ones I should be disabling (or Not disabling). Hopefully this will speed up locating the bad Service or Startup causing my high CPU usage at idle. I'll use the half-group process of elimination from simrick's clean boot link as needed; read Service descriptions online.

    -On the Non-Microsoft Services screen shot, in addition to Services you think I should first disable, I'm also very interested in any services I should Not disable.

    -On the Startup Programs screen shot (those items below the light blue horizontal bar), I would be surprised if I need to disable loading these Programs since I use all of them every day with no problem, Except I don't know if I need HD Audio Background Process or Realtek HD Audio Manager.

    2) New question that just popped up: Using the services.msc program, is it OK if I later possibly change the status of some intensive working Services from Disabled to Manual? (example: Secunia PSI agent which I only use once a month.)

    Thanks.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Non-Microsoft Services that have been loading.png   Startup Programs that have been loading--see below light blue bar .png  
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  5.    02 Oct 2016 #15
    Join Date : Apr 2015
    Posts : 12,588
    W10Prox64

    Quote Originally Posted by FuturePerfect View Post
    ...snip...
    1) Because my PC's TOTAL does not follow the rule & add up to 100%, but instead adds up to 73%, & ALSO there is a mis-match, with "System" being 1% CPU on the Details tab, but being 11.8% CPU on the Processes tab, does this help point me to Services & Startup Programs to disable first?
    You're right - something is wrong with that; what, I am not exactly sure.

    Quote Originally Posted by FuturePerfect View Post
    I've attached these lists of my current Non-Microsoft Services, and my Startup Programs, since there was some agreement that you guys would look to see if any line items jumped out as the first ones I should be disabling (or Not disabling). Hopefully this will speed up locating the bad Service or Startup causing my high CPU usage at idle. I'll use the half-group process of elimination from simrick's clean boot link as needed; read Service descriptions online.

    -On the Non-Microsoft Services screen shot, in addition to Services you think I should first disable, I'm also very interested in any services I should Not disable.
    In my opinion, for the non-MS list, I would leave everything disabled except your BT/Wireless, as that may have an effect on your wireless internet connection. I would also update Teamviewer, as it's on v11. I also see Wyse PocketCloud and Remote Assist in there - I would uninstall that stuff when you get back into the regular boot.

    Quote Originally Posted by FuturePerfect View Post
    -On the Startup Programs screen shot (those items below the light blue horizontal bar), I would be surprised if I need to disable loading these Programs since I use all of them every day with no problem, Except I don't know if I need HD Audio Background Process or Realtek HD Audio Manager.
    In my opinion, again, I would disable everything I see enabled, and I would uninstall TrueCrypt, as it is no longer supported, and therefore a security risk.

    Understand that, these "startup" functions simply load the program in the background at boot, so that when you open it, it starts up fast. By having a program disabled from startup, it will simply take longer to load the first time you open it on a fresh boot.

    Quote Originally Posted by FuturePerfect View Post
    2) New question that just popped up: Using the services.msc program, is it OK if I later possibly change the status of some intensive working Services from Disabled to Manual? (example: Secunia PSI agent which I only use once a month.)

    Thanks.
    I'm not sure on changing services in general, but you should be okay to change Secunia (although I'm not sure why you'd want to change default settings?).

    I would make sure to have Fast Startup turned off, and give the system a few clean shutdowns/startups (not restarts) before starting the process of re-enabling things.

    I would also make sure all my programs are up-to-date, as well as drivers/BIOS/chipset.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  6.    02 Oct 2016 #16
    Join Date : Sep 2016
    Posts : 7
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter

    PROBLEM SOLVED!!!

    To simrick: thanks for answering my questions! I was hoping to post the below results first to save you work, but you were too fast. Great responsiveness and information:
    -thanks for noting Teamviewer needs update--on my list
    -ditto for TrueCrypt--planning to use VeraCrypt
    -will uninstall Wyse & Remote Assist
    -thanks for your many other suggestions I'll use
    -using your your "clean boot" link and the half-group process elimination there, I solved the problem!

    There was 1 service causing all my problems (as you predicted Ten Seconds!). When I disabled this service, my CPU usage at idle dropped from what had been 40% CPU usage at idle to 10% CPU usage at idle. And it stays there.

    [Also note that loading all my current Startup Programs did not reduce my CPU usage below 10%, So I've left them as is.]

    The service causing all my problems was the Cron Service by Fork Ltd. This service is used by Prey, a computer locating service (website preyproject.com) on 3 of our PC laptops.

    Just yesterday, Prey sent me emails saying that 2 of our PC laptops with Prey [and this 40-CPU-usage-at-idle problem] had the status of "Not seen for more than one month."

    One other comment in that email now strikes me: "Itís also possible that the device was formatted and the OS reinstalled, in which case the Prey agent needs to be reinstalled so that tracking is restored."

    These 2 Dell XPS 12 9Q33 models (differing by CPU, memory, and storage) had the Windows 10 Anniversary Update installed about 1 month ago (which is when the my 40%-CPU-usage-at-idle problem started). Because the Anniversary Update was such a major install, maybe Prey saw that install as an OS reinstall on these 2 PCs, leaving Prey unable to track and causing the Cron service to freak out and spin up the CPU.

    But my 3rd copy of Prey (on a different model Dell laptop) still has Cron running fine for Prey, even though this PC was also upgraded to Windows 10 Anniversary Update. Is that because this laptop was originally a Windows 7 laptop before being upgraded to Window 10 and then Windows 10 Anniversary Edition? (Whereas our 2 Dell XPS 12 9Q33 laptops with Prey were originally Windows 8.1 laptops before being upgraded to Windows 10 and then Windows 10 Anniversary Edition). Or was it because of some software/hardware difference? Who knows.

    For now I've just Disabled the Cron Service. I can download the latest Prey version from their website or I can uninstall Prey (detailed in a topic in their Help section).

    Anyway, I wanted to give complete information on what caused this problem and how to fix it. That is the least I can do to pay back all the help I have received.. Thanks again!
    Last edited by FuturePerfect; 02 Oct 2016 at 20:58.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  7.    03 Oct 2016 #17
    Join Date : Apr 2015
    Posts : 12,588
    W10Prox64

    Excellent news! Thanks for detailing that out. As you say, it's surprising that only 2 of the 3 systems with Prey installed had a problem. Not sure why that would happen, but very glad you got it sorted! Hopefully your solution will help others in the future. Cheers!
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 
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