Why Is My CPU Usage At 100%

by on January 4, 2008

An Into Tomorrow listener submitted the following question!

Q: I am having a problem with my CPU usage at being 100% all the time. I have run three different programs: Regcure, Stopzilla, and Spydoctor. All of them have found problems and fixed them. The problem gets better for a while then it seems the checks seem not to work anymore. Can you please help? Also I am a Sprint customer and love the Treo 700.

A: Thank you for your question. As I have mentioned in previous answers here at AskAGeek.com, there is a little-known secret about computer viruses/spyware/malware. They often tamper with files and settings in your Windows-based computer. Deleting the viruses/spyware/malware themselves does not remove the malicious modifications that were made to your computer. These changes often result in your computer being more vulnerable to future attacks. This explains why your computer seems to be fixed for a while, and then is suddenly reinfected. Consider that even with his top software experts assisting him, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was recently unable to re-secure a Windows-based computer after it had been infected with malware. If the creators of Windows cannot fix an infected computer, how can people like you and me hope to do so? The answer is, we can’t! The best solution is to totally reinstall Windows. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Create backups all of your important files using CDs, DVDs, or an external drive. Be careful to avoid creating backups of any infected files!
  2. Use an uninfected computer to download and make a CD of the free GWSCAN utility. GWSCAN will allow you to “write zeros” to your computer’s hard drive. Writing zeros to your computer’s hard drive does a better job of erasing files — including viruses — than just reinstallation alone.
  3. Now it is time for you to reinstall Windows. There are a couple of good ways to accomplish this. The best is to use the operating system disk that may have come with your computer. The more likely of the good methods is using your computer’s system restore disks. Do not use any system restore utility that is built into your computer. Doing so could allow your computer to be reinfected. Sometimes for free, but often for a small fee, the manufacturer of your computer can send you the appropriate disk(s).
  4. It is important that you apply all security updates and install antivirus/spyware/malware and firewall software. Scan your backups before transferring them back to your computer. This will help you to prevent reinfection. I personally like Avast! 4 Home Edition (antivirus) and ZoneAlarm Free Firewall. I have tested these programs, both of which rival expensive security software in functionality and ease of use. These programs are free for most users.
  5. It is worth mentioning here that operating systems such as Mac OS X and Linux are currently immune to viruses and most other security threats.

You state your love for the Treo 700; the Treo 700w is Windows-based and the Treo 700p uses the Palm OS. Either way, you might want to consider security software for your Treo 700. Since it offers protection for both Windows and Palm OS, Avast! 4 PDA Edition seems promising. You can also visit a reputable website, like softpedia.com, to search for more security software that will work with your Treo 700.

Good Luck!