CPU 100% when disk access
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Joined: 24 Jul 2006
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I have a WindowsXP SP2 in Semprom 2800+ , 200GB SATA II, 1 GB RAM.

All MB drivers installed.


When copy large files (100MB or more) from one partition to other the CPU usage up to 100% and the operating system freezed until finish the copy process.

may be a bios problem?

I formatted the hard disk with XP SP1 previously (137MB max recognize), one partition of 40MB and the second partition with SP2 (160 MB), this could affect?

Thanks for your help.

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Status: Assistant
Joined: 04 Oct 2003
Posts: 594
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You know, it's hard to say.

I assume you formatted all your partitions with NTFS and not Fat32.

I did a quick test using kanotix linux, debian based, transferred a 700 mB file from one disk / partition to another one, watched cpu useage, and it also went up to about 100%. Of course, since linux systems are radically more stable and robust than Windows, the cpu useage at 100% or so really doesn't affect the overall performance of the system.

The same, sadly, cannot be said for windows, which tends to run really badly at 100% cpu useage. That's actually one of the reasons I left windows behind, I got sick of it's bad performance.

The transfer, on a reasonably modern box, took about 20 seconds, cpu useage went to around 100%, then dropped instantly back to the normal 2-3% or so. So for you, with a 100mB file, it should take no longer than about 5 seconds at the most, unless you have a really old system.

Assuming a reasonably modern 7200 rpm SATA or UDMA 6 hard disk, if there is disk damage windows will groan and complain massively, so you might want to check the hard disk for damage.

So it depends on various things:

1. cpu speed
2. hard disk speed, sata is faster than ide
3. mobo speed

what type of system are you using, how long to transfer a 700 mB file, if you have one available? Most linux isos are 700 mB or so.

You have to establish a baseline to see if there is an actual problem, or if this is just windows being lame, like it often is.
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