windows vista CPU usage overload and processor overheating

I am using a laptop with windows vista ultimate 32 bit edition installed , with my computer spec:
AMD turion 64 x2 2.10 Ghz
512kb + 512kb L2 Cache
320GB harddisk Drive (5400 rpm)
and what causes my computer cpu meter usage (as shown at the sidebar gadgets) is 54% to 100% ? it also causes my laptop overheating. what can i do to reduce the CPU usage and cool down my laptop ?


Use this as a troubleshooter to try to determine what is causing the issue. There are many hardware, driver, and
even heat related possible causes. Also suspect antivirus and security programs even those not running or even
uninstalled without their specific removal tools as they leave remnants which can cause strange issues.

Be careful as a lot of these programs and services actually need to run and often removing a few
does little to speed the machine while making the machine less friendly to use.

Optimizing Microsoft Windows Vista Performance

How to troubleshoot performance issues in Windows Vista

How to troubleshoot a problem by performing a clean boot in Windows Vista

To see all that is loading bootup - wait a few minutes without doing anything - then Right Click TaskBar -
Task Manager - take a look at Appplications - Processes - Services - this is a quick reference (if you have
a little box on Lower Left - Show for All Users then check that).

How to Check and Change the Startup Programs in Vista

A quick check to see which are loading is Method 2 there - using MSCONFIG then post a list of those here.

Method 1 using Windows Defender will tell you more specific information about each program.


This is a little more complex though you might have a few services running you can do without.

Also some programs add services which might not really need to be starting automatically.

To see these compare those in Start - type in Search box -> Services   find at top Right Click on it RUN AS ADMIN to those in the default of Vista as listed here by BlackViper. Ignore and that are on Disabled (which do not run) or Manual (which run only on demand) - for any Automatic or Automatic Delated Start you can post those in here if you need help deciding if you need to run them. A few of those could be set to Stop and
Manual so the calling program can run them as needed.

BlackViper also makes some tweaks to the default windows services however I would not do those unless you
really understand the total significance of changing a default service. So use it as a tool to compare.

Windows Services - Default list.

WhatInStartup - Free - Disable/enable/delete programs at Windows startup


These are some tools which will help in the future as you gain experience though the above methods will do what
you need done for now.

Window Watcher - Free - Do you know what's running on your computer? Maybe not. The Window Watcher tells all, reporting every window created by every running program, whether the window is visible or not.

Many excellent free tools and an excellent newsletter at Karenware

Process Explorer - Free - Find out what files, registry keys and other objects processes have open, which DLLs
they have loaded, and more. This uniquely powerful utility will even show you who owns each process.

Autoruns - Free - See what programs are configured to startup automatically when your system boots and you
login. Autoruns also shows you the full list of Registry and file locations where applications can configure auto-
start settings.

Process Monitor - Free - Monitor file system, Registry, process, thread and DLL activity in real-time.

There are many excellent free tools at Sysinternals

WhatsInStartUP - Free - This utility displays the list of all applications that are loaded automatically when Windows
starts up. For each application, the following information is displayed: Startup Type (Registry/Startup Folder),
Command -Line String, Product Name, File Version, Company Name, Location in the Registry or file system,
and more. It allows you to easily disable or delete unwanted programs that runs in your Windows startup.

There are many excellent free tools at NirSoft

Hope these help.

Rob - Bicycle - Mark Twain said it right.
Rob Brown - past Microsoft MVP - Windows Insider MVP 2016 - 2021
Microsoft MVP Windows and Devices for IT 2009 - 2020

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Question Info

Last updated October 31, 2020 Views 4,686 Applies to: