Sudden CPU Slowdown

IamInsaneInane

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Mar 14, 2015
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My computer seems to have had some interesting performance issues as of recent. Normally it runs quite smoothly on Windows 8.1.

Just yesterday, there was a minor amount of lag, but only with online games and a few videos.
But, with no known change to processes, programs, the computer seems to have had a great amount of lag today. I've scanned for viruses and restarted the computer, to no avail. The computer doesn't seem to be overheating at all.

I turned on Task Manager, and it appears that "Intel (R) Technology Access Service" is taking up far more data than anything else. Trying to end that process just led to it being re-booted due to its necessity. Turning down it's priority slightly doesn't change much (I don't want to lower it any more so I don't end up breaking something).
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Scanning for "viruses" is unlikely to be very successful these days. "Virus" scanners don't detect malware, and malware scanners don't detect "viruses". They are entirely different types of infections, as are Rootkit infections that neither virus scanners or malware scanners are likely to detect. A separate rootkit scan is necessary to find those. Furthermore, a "second opinion" scanner like Hitman Pro may be necessary to find any infections. There is a free version of Hitman Pro you can download and run if you google it.

I'd follow the steps listed at the following link in their entirety to ensure there are no infections before going further with troubleshooting. I'd also change back any priorities you've made changes to regarding services or processes, they are unlikely to be related.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/8263-63-simple-free-guide-removing-malware


If after doing ALL of the suggested footwork you can still find no issue, we can move forward with more traditional troubleshooting methods like testing the hard drives and memory.

You can run Seatools for windows on all connected drives to check for issues there (Drive brand doesn't matter.):

http://www.seagate.com/support/downloads/item/seatools-win-master/


And you can run Memtest to check the memory for faults. Test each module separately by removing all but that module for testing then after the test is complete, swap them out for the next module and repeat the process. It's doubtful that it's memory related but I list this since you never know:

http://www.memtest.org/
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Scanning for "viruses" is unlikely to be very successful these days. "Virus" scanners don't detect malware, and malware scanners don't detect "viruses". They are entirely different types of infections, as are Rootkit infections that neither virus scanners or malware scanners are likely to detect. A separate rootkit scan is necessary to find those. Furthermore, a "second opinion" scanner like Hitman Pro may be necessary to find any infections. There is a free version of Hitman Pro you can download and run if you google it.

I'd follow the steps listed at the following link in their entirety to ensure there are no infections before going further with troubleshooting. I'd also change back any priorities you've made changes to regarding services or processes, they are unlikely to be related.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/8263-63-simple-free-guide-removing-malware


If after doing ALL of the suggested footwork you can still find no issue, we can move forward with more traditional troubleshooting methods like testing the hard drives and memory.

You can run Seatools for windows on all connected drives to check for issues there (Drive brand doesn't matter.):

http://www.seagate.com/support/downloads/item/seatools-win-master/


And you can run Memtest to check the memory for faults. Test each module separately by removing all but that module for testing then after the test is complete, swap them out for the next module and repeat the process. It's doubtful that it's memory related but I list this since you never know:

http://www.memtest.org/
 

CodeZombie62

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My laptop appears to be having the same problem. Mouse response also seems to be affected. I noticed the Intel Technology Access Service is behaving the same as you described. Microsoft installed a bunch of updates today (31 of them I think). I'm wondering if that could have anything to do with it.
 

IamInsaneInane

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Mar 14, 2015
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I'm not sure what happened, but on the whim of a computer restart, my computer stopped having the problem to the excessive extent it did. All other restarts didn't fix anything, but this one just happened to do so.

Regardless, I held another MalwareBytes scan (I was relying on MalwareBytes to run scans) in Safe Networking Mode, with no threats detected. Since Avast wouldn't run in Safe Networking Mode, I ran a scan in Normal Mode with no threats detected, but there were some areas that couldn't be scanned. Avast reported that these files were offline and unavailable, a few of which were related to Soluto (I had some suspicions that Soluto was causing some problems, but due to fluctuations (unlike Intel's problems) I overlooked it).

ComboFix failed to run, reporting that it couldn't run on "Windows 2000." With CCleaner run, all it did was remove stuff from my browsers and online connections, with minimal influence.

Overall, things are not quite back to normal, as the computer has reverted back to the minor lag I had at the start of these problems, with no indication of the immense lag that I had noted.

I've yet to test the two "traditional" options you've mentioned, and I'm not too sure how to go about said options.

--Edit--
The computer lag has stopped with a system restore that sent my computer back 4 days. Currently waiting to see if anything happens like a rebound.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Probably related to some windows updates then. I'd recommend going to the manufacturers page for your motherboard model and installing all of the most recent listed drivers for your hardware including chipset drivers, storage drivers, network and sound drivers and if you're using integrated graphics at all, maybe those as well.

Or, just refrain from allowing whichever of the updates would seem to be the issue. You can probably google any listed updates that show up in windows update now that you've restored to an earlier image and see if other users have had similar issues, and just don't install that particular update. Sometimes MS gets it wrong and sticks updates out there that have problems with some hardware.
 

IamInsaneInane

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Mar 14, 2015
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I probably should have thought about that before, lol. The problems did only start a few days ago, and Windows did have a recent "critical update." I'm still reading up on the update, and I'm not yet willing to do anything to remove it considering the exploits it fixes.

Opening up Task Manager again today, I've noted that perhaps everything was fluctuating in CPU, Memory, and Disk usage, especially since sometimes Task Manager got up to 42% CPU usage without provocation, and back down to 1% later. Sometimes the lag even persists when nothing shows unusual behavior.

Also, I'd like to mention that apparently I've been notified that "You've plugged an audio device into the audio jack" and "You've unplugged an audio device from the audio jack" a few times, even though it's been empty this whole time. I doubt that's a significant factor, but that hasn't happened before these problems.

 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
If you did a system restore to an image from 4 days back, you probably ALREADY removed the update by running system restore. If you run windows update again manually to check for updates, you'll probably find it pops up in there again as an uninstalled but available update.

The "plugged in" and "unplugged" issue sounds like a short on the motherboard or soundcard, depending on whether you're using onboard sound or an add in card. It could also be related to a bad HDMI cable if the "audio" in question is HDMI audio. If there is a short somewhere or a hardware component that's failing, it could certainly be related.

I'd be sure to run the Seatools utility to make sure there isn't a drive issue. This is the MOST common source of sudden poor performance. I'd also run Memtest to make sure there is no issues with the RAM. It hurts nothing to run those tests and at least eliminate those items as any likely source of the issue. You might also want to run an SFC/Scannow to verify there are not operating system errors.

http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/3047-sfc-scannow-command-run-windows-8-a.html
 

CodeZombie62

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Mar 14, 2015
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I think my machine is back to normal now. Last night I stopped the Intel Technology Access Service then restarted it after a while (don't ask what "a while" means - I had to take a dose of Nyquil last night so who knows). It's working like it should now. It doesn't make any sense.
 

Di-Yang Ho

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Mar 16, 2015
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I have the same issue as you. My computer was running fine yesterday and now my computer lags/jerks today.

I started closing app services one by one to find the cause. My lag stopped after I exit "Intel Technology Access Services". Then I went to check the "Programs and Features", apparently my latest installed program was "Intel(R) Update Manager" and "Intel(R) Technology Access" which was yesterday. Probably an auto update cause the massive lag.
 

IamInsaneInane

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Mar 14, 2015
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Seatools checked out, the drives passed the tests. Memtest wasn't available for Windows 8, so I used Memory Diagnostic Tools, which also read as good to go.

SFC/Scannow read some problems that it could not automatically repair, but DISM did all it could to repair store component corruption. Even with DISM's work, SFC/Scannow still reads a few corrupt files.

Attempting the scan at boot, it failed do to an alleged "system repair" pending, requiring a restart. After restarting, I got the same message, preventing the scan at boot.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Memtest works on ANY system, because it run on a separate boot loader prior to any operating system loading. I believe it's a DOS environment, maybe Linux, and runs from disk or USB.

It's sounds as though there is an OS corruption though. Something is clearly going on with software. I think at this point I'd try doing a system repair in the following manner, and if that doesn't work, back up all your necessary files to another location and do a clean install.

Windows 8 repair:

http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/26095-repair-install-windows-8-a.html



Windows 8 CLEAN install (CLEAN being the emphasis here. This means deleting ALL partitions on the target drive until there is only unallocated space left and then installing to the unallocated space. Windows will automatically create the necessary partitions and format as needed. This eliminates any hidden or corrupted boot partitions that may not be addressed during a normal install.):

http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/2299-clean-install-windows-8-a.html
 

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