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Windows 7 100% Highest Active Time


New Member
Jul 31, 2013
I've recently been having an issue with my Dell Inspiron N5110 running Windows 7 Home. It has been running very hot lately (I've been concentrating on keeping the intake and exhaust vents clear while using it and shutting it down when not in use). Yesterday, a few minutes after clicking on a notification to update MBAM, i got a BSOD and the system would not recover from the dump, I had to shut down manually. Ever since the issue, the system runs extremely slow and is incapable of doing much of anything.

When I first start it up, I'm able to open the start menu and even get into the resource monitor, which spikes initially, then calms down. As soon as I open Chrome, it jumps to 100% Highest Active Usage and won't load any pages. It hangs when I try to type in the address bar, and even switching between active windows is slow. It remains at 100% for several minutes after closing Chrome, then settles back down to zero. The problem also occurs in safe mode.

I attempted an MBAM scan, but it took over 6 hours and didn't complete, and never found any malicious objects. Initial google searching led me to suspect an HD issue, but an attempted disk check reported the following error: Disk Check cannot function do to a recent software package installation. Run System Restore to a point before the software installation.

I checked system restore, but the most recent restore point was 7/2, and the only items were AVG, Firefox, and Chrome updates. I tried to restore to that point, but system restore failed and the system rebooted normally, with the same issues. When I reopened system restore, all of my restore points were gone.

Is there a way to determine if the HD is bad or if I clicked on a bogus MBAM update? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
As for the heat issue, have you blown out all your vent/exhaust/intake ports with some compressed air? Usually when a laptop/notebook gets hot from overheating it's from dust/lent build up inside the unit. I all ways recommend using a laptop chillpad/chillmat for extra added cooling.

For your possible malware issue. Start your laptop in safemode and then run your AV and spyware/malware software.
Thanks for the quick reply. I haven't cleared the vents yet, I was going to open up the case and try to clean it out, just haven't had the time. The MBAM scan that I ran yesterday was done in safe mode. It took over 6 hours and the scan didn't even complete. I started an AVG scan after i killed the MBAM scan, and it was moving just as slowly.
In safe mode you could run chkdsk c: /R to check the HD, it will take a long time though to scan the disk for errors.
I'll check that next. I just took it all apart and cleaned out the fan. It wasn't too bad, but some dust did come out when i sprayed it.
Just tried to run the check disk. It gave me the same "the disk is in use, do you want to schedule the check for the next time the system is restarted?". I restarted, and it gave me the same "the disk cannot be checked due to a recently installed software package" nonsense. Maybe I need to dump MBAM and reinstall it?
No dice. Removed MBAM, still cannot run check disk. I'm trying to run an AVG scan in safe mode now
AVG is known to cause such issues. As an experiment, try uninstalling AVG and then install MSE (Microsoft Security Essentials) and see what that will do for you.
I you want to check your system without worrying about the Windows install, but a Linux DVD and use the "Try without installing" option. You would at least know if you system was having problems not related to the OS. If it has been running hot, some component may have been diminished. If you wanted to get a new hard drive and install to that, it would probably be just as helpful.

If you think some software is causing the problem, use Task Manager or Resource Monitor to see what might be running the CPU. If that software does not pin down a problem utility or process, there is another one that might.