NT Kernel & System - High CPU

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Support' started by DIDDL, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. DIDDL


    Jan 15, 2009

    Out of a sudden my CPU is loaded to 100 %. Everything was fine until two days ago. I did not install anything, no viruses. I have installed VISTA and anything is fine. I reinstalled Windows 7 and the CPU is locked by 100 % due to the following process:

    The Image Name is SYSTEM; the User Name is SYSTEM and the description is NT Kernel & System.

    I have no clue what is causing this issue especially after installing Vista and than reinstalling Windows 7 again.

    Does anybody know something about the issue.

    Every lead is welcome.


    DIDDL, Jun 16, 2009
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  2. Ian

    Ian Administrator

    Oct 17, 2008
    Once you've done the clean install did you install anything else at all, including any 3rd party drivers? Also, which build and bit type are you using?

    It could just be some maintenance tasks that Windows 7 is running in the background that may take a little while to clear. If it tries to build the search index the CPU usage can rocket for a while in some cases.
    Ian, Jun 16, 2009
    DIDDL likes this.
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  3. DIDDL


    Jan 15, 2009
    Ian, Thank you very much for the reply. I am using the RC.

    It was no background process. I disabled my ethernet network card and now the PC is running as stable and fast as before. However, I have never changed anything. I think an automatic update had caused the issues, but I am not sure.

    Thank you very much.

    I am looking forward for the real version of W7. I am happy with this new operating system.

    DIDDL, Jun 16, 2009
  4. dirtyvu


    Aug 29, 2009
    hi, did you ever find a solution?

    i have the same problem. i noticed my computer running really hard. so i checked all processes and there was the NT kernel system running at very high levels and the CPU running at 100%.

    Windows 7 RC1 x64 version (64-bit). I have an AMD X2 6000+ with ATI 4670 graphics card. 8 GB of RAM. motherboard is Nvidia nVIDIA nForce 520LE single chip (ECS NFORCE6M-A (V2.0)).

    I thought it was a virus or malware so I ran scans to no avail. I decided to wipe the system to an older image that was clean of software. But I still had the problem after some updates. So I believe it's some update from Microsoft that's causing it but I'm not sure. I tried disabling various hardware devices.

    I even did a completely fresh installation from a legitimate Windows 7 RC1 ISO I d/led from Microsoft. and i still have the problem.

    So if anyone gets an answer, can you share it with the rest of us? Thanks.
    dirtyvu, Aug 29, 2009
  5. DC240V


    Sep 23, 2009
    I also have the high CPU (100%) problem the NT Kernel will always use whatever is left to equal 100%. If the OS is using 6% the NT Kernel will use 94%. I did a clean install 4 days ago and it was fine. Left it on and running and now the NT Kernel is jamming everything up, it never clears. Reboot the machine and it go to 100% and stays there. Any ideas?
    DC240V, Sep 23, 2009
  6. Veedaz

    Veedaz ~ VIP Member

    Sep 1, 2009
    Hi dc240v

    ( Be a good idea to ask Admin if you can change your user name as you will no doubt get spammed M8)

    NT Kernel is a bit vague as Kernel mode in Windows NT has full access to the hardware and system resources of the computer, consider using Process Explorer from Microsoft TechNet (its free) and should / may be able to pinpoint your problem, Process Explorer can be downloaded or run from the Sysinternals site. Post back your findings and someone here may be able to help.

    Link > http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653.aspx
    Veedaz, Sep 23, 2009
    quimeraec likes this.
  7. snvern


    Feb 17, 2010
    Hello everyone

    Not sure if anyone has found a solution to this yet or even knows what the problem is but i thought i'd just add something else to the situation. Since installing windows 7 ultimate i have lost 2 hard drives (one about 4 yrs old the other just over a year old) i was running 2 drives at the same time and so put it down to heat damage. After researching on the internet i found that a number of data recovery services found a large increase in hdd failures following the installation of win 7.

    Now back to the point...

    For the past 4 days i've been running hdd temperature 4 and monitoring everything in an effort not to lose my new hdd. Then about an hour ago i noticed my hdd going beserk for no apparent reason. I opened up task manager then resource monitor and there was the 'NT Kernal & System' accessing CPU and Disk resources. Important to note is that durring this time my HDD temp rose from 38 degrees to 45.

    There is some suggestion on other forums that the NT Kernal & System process is in fact the task scheduler going about its daily business.

    anyway that's what i've put together so far but im not even close to being an expert so would love to hear from someone who is, if only to put my mind at rest that im not gonna lose another hdd
    snvern, Feb 17, 2010
  8. catilley1092

    catilley1092 Win 7/Linux Mint Lover VIP Member

    Nov 13, 2009
    North Carolina, USA
    I've installed Windows 7 on two used laptops, with no adverse effects or heat issues. One of them was 8 years old at the time of install. Although I didn't run the RC of Windows 7, and can't vouch for that period of time, I can say now that Windows 7 runs without issue on my used laptop.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2010
    catilley1092, Feb 18, 2010
  9. askaar


    Feb 18, 2010
    Similar issue

    Your trouble seems to be exact the same as mine.
    My laptop gets very sluggish from time to time, and looking at the process explorer things just doesn't add up. It seems that my system is using CPU cycles on tasks that isn't in process explorer. The percentages jut don't add up.

    The system enters this state after 2 to 60 minutes og CPU/GPU intensive tasks like gaming. If I restart the system it's fine again as long as I don't start up the game again.

    My system is a HP 8710w with 4GB Ram, 128 GB Corsair SSD Drive and Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit.
    I have attached a screenshot of process explorer while the PC is experiencing the issues. Note that the peak in CPU usage you see in the graph is from starting Snipping Tool :p

    I really hope someone can help me with these issues, as I'm really stuck.

    Attached Files:

    askaar, Feb 18, 2010
  10. Wulff1e


    Apr 14, 2010
    NT Kernel & System

    This process was slowing my PC and dragging 60% of CPU in Task Manager.

    I am using Window 7 Pro 64 on an Athlon Phenom black Quad core

    My fix:- Open control Panel, System, Hardware delete all network adaptors,

    Refresh hardware

    Adaptor found and reinstalled

    No more problem I assume some update or stray program did something to screw up adaptor setting

    Hope this works for you
    Wulff1e, Apr 14, 2010
  11. Trogdor


    Oct 4, 2010
    Here's how you fix this

    Press F10 while restarting the computer to enter Setup Utility
    Under Advanced tab select "Processors"
    Make sure Hyper-Threading is set to "Enable"

    You'll have to re-start the computer, but once you do all processors should be activated (check in Task Manager) and CPU usage will be distributed across all processors.

    Hope this helps
    Trogdor, Oct 4, 2010
  12. Nibiru2012

    Nibiru2012 Quick Scotty, beam me up! Moderator

    Oct 27, 2009
    Planet X
    Hi Trogdor! Welcome to the Windows 7 Forums website!

    Congratulations... you just revived a thread that is nearly 6 months old!

    However, I am sure your tip will help someone out and it's appreciated.
    Nibiru2012, Oct 4, 2010
  13. v456


    Nov 18, 2010
    Same problem

    Sorry for reviving this thread again, but I had the same problem on windows 7 x64 Retail with all available updates on my pc. I lost my hardrive a few days after I noticed my proccesor running at a constant 100%. Now I got myself a laptop with windows 7 x86 with no updates, and now I have the same story all over again, the install isnt even two days old. Proccesor usage is not adding up in the task manager, and the hungriest process is "System NT Kernel...." . Is there a solution or should I move to old reliable xp.
    v456, Nov 18, 2010
  14. hmdy


    Feb 8, 2011
    I've got the same problem for about 25min then it went back to the normal state

    I didn't do anything.
    hmdy, Feb 8, 2011
  15. bennyboy


    Feb 10, 2011
    Still an issue and one that MS may be ingoring

    Hi, I've got a similar problem. I did some digging and here's what I've got:

    1. For no reason that can currently be explained the "System" process (NT Kernel) takes up 100% of 1 CPU for a long period of time. For me, this does not go away until I restart the computer.
    2. This will not show up in task manager unless you show processes from all users.
    3. SysInternals Process Explorer gives additional details when showing the properties of the "System" process (under the Threads tab):

    It shows that the ntoskrnl.exe thread, KdPollBreakIn at address 0x1a0 is using approx. 50% of the CPU (I have 2, so that's one whole CPU).

    4. Because this is a kernel thread and the system process, I cannot get any additional info about it.
    5. There are some discussions I've been able to find by Googling for KdPollBreakIn, but none have led to a solution to my particular problem. Here are some examples:



    No good solutions thus far. I'm not sure if sleeping the computer or hibernation are related, but I do know that KdPollBreakIn is related to some debugging functions. I'm not sure what exactly.
    bennyboy, Feb 10, 2011
  16. bennyboy


    Feb 10, 2011
    Problem Solved

    All, I found the solution to my problem. I had to perform an xperf trace on Windows 7 64-bit to get to the bottom of it (as suggested here: http://social.answers.microsoft.com/...e-0f2733c5f789). There are some programs you'll need to install to assist you and it can be a bit technical. The tutorial on installing and running xperf is here:


    There are a few pre-reqs you need to install, so read it carefully. For 64-bit win7 you need to modify a registry value as well to get a full trace.

    Ultimately, the problem was with my bluetooth connection. I had my Blackberry Pearl 8220 smart phone paired with my PC (a Lenovo T61 laptop).

    The xperf trace identified the btwavdt.sys driver as the hog. Disconnecting my phone from the PC resolved the matter. My CPU usage is back to normal. Many thanks to Andre.Zeigler over at MS Answers for the xperf info.

    Hope this helps someone else out there!
    bennyboy, Feb 15, 2011
  17. Docc288


    Aug 19, 2011
    I found one solution after looking into Wulff1e answer, I simply went to realteks update auto install and my CPU usage dropped from 158,000 down to 477. I hope this helps.
    Docc288, Aug 19, 2011
  18. Mig


    Nov 20, 2011
    I had the same issues following a blue screen crash dump, after my system started to use 51% of CPU resourse, my whole system slowed to the point of immobility until I was forced to manually shut down the computer.
    Here are some basic things that I did, that helped my system recover
    1. Enable hyper threading in setup
    2. Disconnected an external USB DVD drive
    3. Removed and swapped the RAM around.

    While I am no technical person this helped me with my issue, hope it helps someone else out there :)
    Mig, Nov 20, 2011
  19. quimeraec


    Apr 23, 2012
    Using Veedaz's advice, I find the process behind high CPU consumption.

    1) You must run Sysinternals Process Explorer (download from http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653)
    2) In the left panel, select "System" (or the process name with high CPU consumption)
    3) Right click on the process name and select Properties
    4) Select Threads tab. Explore inside or order by CPU consumption and select process
    5) Now, press Module. You can try other options like Stack, Kill, Suspend or Permissions, but maybe unavailable.

    In my case, the problem was caused by Ricoh driver (risdsne64.sys). This driver controls Memory Stick hardware.
    quimeraec, Apr 23, 2012
  20. mircea


    Apr 24, 2012
    The solution

    Looks like this is the solution. Look at my CPU usage after reinstalling network devices.(I'm using an Asus N53S)


    Attached Files:

    mircea, Apr 24, 2012
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