Question Every 60 Seconds, Windows 10 Freezes / CPU usage rises for 2 seconds (then resumes)

Oct 14, 2021
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Every 60 seconds, exactly on the minute (second hand on 12), almost all pop-up windows flicker and the computer freezes for about 2 seconds or less. If I'm typing a word in MSWord, for example, the word can't be finished until these few seconds pass.

To troubleshoot, I opened Task Manager and began removing problems that were using the highest CPU % at the time of the incidents. After ending several processes, I came to ...

Windows Explorer = CAUSE OF PROBLEM

After ending this task, the problem disappeared. To be certain, I did it again, and the problem went away.

What's my next step? Can Windows Explorer's components be examined to see if a setting can be changed or possible malware removed? (I've done a lot of work on viruses, and no detection was found, but perhaps this process is mimicking a standard feature of Windows 10).
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
Also Use Resource Monitor to observe what happens with the flickers and freezes occur.

(Just do not use Task Manager at the same time.)

My thought is buggy or corrupted files.

Take a look in Reliability History. Reliability History may be capturing some related error code, warning, or recording an informational note of some sort.

Should be very visible with the problem occurring every 60 seconds.

= = = =

Try running "sfc /scannow" and "dism".

Reference:

https://www.lifewire.com/how-to-use-sfc-scannow-to-repair-windows-system-files-2626161

Fix Windows Update errors via DISM or System Update Readiness tool - Windows Server | Microsoft Doc
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
maybe check windows out:

right click start button

choose powershell (admin)

type SFC /scannow and press enter

once its completed, copy/paste this command into same window:

Repair-WindowsImage -Online -RestoreHealth and press enter

SFC fixes system files, second command cleans image files, re run SFC if it failed to fix all files and restart PC

Try a clean boot and see if it changes anything - make sure to read instructions and make sure NOT to disable any microsoft services or windows won't load right - https://support.microsoft.com/en-au/help/929135/how-to-perform-a-clean-boot-in-windows

if clean boot fixes it, it shows its likely a startup program. You should, over a number of startups. restart the programs you stopped to isolate the one that is to blame.
 
Oct 14, 2021
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if clean boot fixes it, it shows its likely a startup program. You should, over a number of startups. restart the programs you stopped to isolate the one that is to blame.
Thank you. I ran both. No change. If you read my post, the "one to blame" is Windows Explorer. I was hoping someone could tell me how to break down W.Exp. into separate components so I can troubleshoot one part at a time.
 
Oct 14, 2021
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10
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Take a look in Reliability History. Reliability History may be capturing some related error code, warning, or recording an informational note of some sort.

Should be very visible with the problem occurring every 60 seconds.

= = = =
I searched for "Reliability History", but no results. Can you provide more details on how to find it, please?

I had already tried your other suggestions - remember... I told everyone what the problem is >> "Windows Explorer" disabled. problem goes away.. Of course that's too general , so I need to break down what I did. Don't assume I know what Explorer does... perhaps you know that your instructions took that into account, but I need to know why Explorer is causing the problem in detail from someone who has had popups flicker and CPU increase like this every 60 seconds.

Let me know about R. History. Thanks again.
 

Bob.B

Respectable
I searched for "Reliability History", but no results. Can you provide more details on how to find it, please?

I had already tried your other suggestions - remember... I told everyone what the problem is >> "Windows Explorer" disabled. problem goes away.. Of course that's too general , so I need to break down what I did. Don't assume I know what Explorer does... perhaps you know that your instructions took that into account, but I need to know why Explorer is causing the problem in detail from someone who has had popups flicker and CPU increase like this every 60 seconds.

Let me know about R. History. Thanks again.
Type reliability into the search box.
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
Try using Process Explorer (free from Microsoft).

Reference:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/downloads/process-explorer

Very good change that you will be able to spot whatever is happening based on that 60 second cycle.

Watch first without MS Word running, then running but not open, then open as if you were typing a document.

Could be some automatic save process, maybe some indexing, or something else that keeps trying and failing.
 
Oct 14, 2021
5
0
10
0
Try using Process Explorer (free from Microsoft).

Reference:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/downloads/process-explorer

Very good change that you will be able to spot whatever is happening based on that 60 second cycle.

Watch first without MS Word running, then running but not open, then open as if you were typing a document.

Could be some automatic save process, maybe some indexing, or something else that keeps trying and failing.
Thank you. I'm running it now as I type, and thanks to you, I'm getting somewhere because of the details provided by PROCESS EXPLORER.

Regarding your thoughts about MS Word, to reiterate - again, MSWord is only one of ALL apps, because everything is affected (with a few exceptions - for example, full screen video is not affected) including Process Explorer itself. In other words, this problem (as I typed before) seems to be related to "Windows Explorer" (still TBD) and it begins on ALL programs once my PC boots up after about 2-3 minutes.

So, another example is that I'm about to roll back my GPU driver, based on early findings (see below), and the NVIDIA Installer window is also flickering every 60 seconds. If that doesn't work, I'll close out all open apps and begin carefully examining the list of processes (currently to 'busy' to tell what's what).

GPU?? Looking at the graphs, to start, I can see that the CPU and the GPU spike exactly every minute, while I/O, RAM & virtual memory usage are all stable.

'Will install latest driver and post here after completion. Then, if needed, continue troubleshooting.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
RESOLVED

UPDATE
(Post-video-driver-install - MSI CARD - NVIDIA GeForce 1050 Ti)

Immediately after installing the latest driver [ October 2021] the flickering stopped (no reboot needed) and the GPU usage spikes as viewed on the Process Explorer graph completely disappeared.

So, some part of Windows 10 did not like the older(perhaps corrupted) driver. (No problems with Linux driver - duel-boot machine)

Thank you for your help.
 
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