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XP Hangs when CPU Idles

By alfredthe4th ·
My home computer hangs after about one or two minutes of doing light tasks or no tasks. meaning that if "System Idle Process" is has the highest CPU percentage it with lock shortly. But it will not crash if its doing something. So I have been using "MemTest" to scan 1MB of RAM to keep it from locking. I have run SFC, several antivirus and spyware scans, and harddisk scans and found nothing wrong. Also no new hardware or software has been installed. I tried a system rollback and nothing changed. I have XP SP2 and autoupdates set to on. The System is a P4 2.4GHz 768MB RAM and ATI Radeon 9600 All-in-Wonder. This is one of the stranger thing that I have seen. Thanks.

P.S. Is running a CPU at 100% constantly harmful to it.

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CPU at 100% is not harmful

by stress junkie In reply to XP Hangs when CPU Idles

As long as the CPU temerature remains within operating specifications then running the CPU at 100% does no harm. In fact I run a program that does calculations for Stanford University ( that keeps my CPU running at 100% for weeks at a time. CPU temperature is your only concern. If you have a good CPU cooler then you will not have any problems.

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Hang-ups XP has when Idle

by Nacromancer In reply to XP Hangs when CPU Idles

I found that same issue on mine as well and went round and round until one day I found that what was happening is that there is a corrupted screensaver I was using that was trying to activate while system was idle. Once I uninstalled the screen saver or set the option to (NONE) the problem disappeared. Simply I later found that the screen saver that was installed had a little known capability of accessing the internet in the background looking for updates and would lock up because the Firewall and AV I use would go nuts trying to stop it's repetitive attempts to do so. Screensavers that are freeware are set to log onto and coneect via the net automatically as a means to let the creators know who is using their software and when. Not quite a keylooger type method, but more like a web site counter would do but incorporated within the program itself. They are boarderline trojan horses completely legal unabtrusive attempts the developers of the screensavers do to see who is popularizing their products. Where they cross the line is when they lace that capability with the collection of MRU data from off of your computer in the background and sell that information to spammers, advertizers and hackers. So unless yuo know for sure and or pay for a screensaver download from somewhere safe I recommend getting rid of any free ware, period. Sometimes System builders include freeware with their software bundles in order to sell their products. I tell people buying brand new off the shelf units to back up their Program files and drivers they want to keep then reformat their HDD immediately for this very same reason, even before physically connecting to, or accessing the internet.

So like I said turn off your screensaver and see if the problem still exists, if not then see what screensaver is being used and has been downloaded so you can remove it. If there was a corruption in the Windows screensaver files then go into Windows Components /Accessories files and disable the WallPaper, and Themes.

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Same problem

by chaten In reply to XP Hangs when CPU Idles


I have the same problem, my computer locks up anywhere between booting up and 1 hour of usage. Not the the hard drive as it works fine on another PC. Hard drive has been formatted, i have experimented with the RAM but still nothing seems to trigger the problem. I noticed that it has locked up a couple of times at %100 CPU usage but not all the time. Any ideas, i have been on this for a week.

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