Invisible process killing the CPU

Chuck Swiger cswiger at
Fri Feb 16 19:20:46 UTC 2007

On Feb 16, 2007, at 10:54 AM, Nagy László Zsolt wrote:
>> Possible hardware problem perhaps? Are you able to run a "burn-in"  
>> test on the machine?
> What is that? How can I perform that? (Tomorrow the machine will be  
> free, I can play with it.)
> I can imagine that the processor is overheated and so the frequency  
> was reduced by the BIOS. But that does not explain why I cannot see  
> the process using the CPU. An invisible process eating up CPU time  
> cannot be a hardware problem, can it?

One possibility is that your CPU fan has failed, in which case newer  
machines would downclock itself extremely in order to avoid burning  
out-- that might be an explanation for why your performance has  
decreased so much.  Otherwise, try using "ps auxw" to show all of the  
processes which are running and see whether there are surprising  
things, or perhaps try "top -o time" to sort by accumulated CPU time  
and look at what's consuming the most...


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