Sunday, February 10, 2008

Mark Russinovich to the Rescue

My wife's laptop has been acting flakey lately. It gets where it won't print to the shared printer or save to our shared folder. To "fix" this, she has to right click on the Wi-Fi icon in the system tray and select "Repair." In a few seconds, all will be well. Well, almost.

She is also complaining about it being slow. I went and looked over her shoulder the other night. No wonder it was slow. The CPU was 100%. Hmmm.

Firing up Task Manager showed that the system was mostly in System Idle Process but the CPU in the status bar was hovering around 100%. What was using the rest of the CPU? Cooties? My paranoia led me to imagine all kinds of terrible things.

I remembered Sysinternals' RootkitRevealer. Microsoft bought Sysinternals in July, 2006 but hasn't spoiled them.

RootkitRevealer ran in a few minutes but didn't show anything. Back to square one.

Back to Sysinternals to pickup Process Explorer. Bingo. Look at this screen.

Now what hardware was causing those interrupts?

I had a hunch given the network problems so I popped out the Wi-Fi card. That was it. The CPU dropped to the single digits.

I moved it to the other PCMCIA slot with the same results. Guess I'll have to try another Wi-Fi card.

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