System Process takes up suspiciously high cpu when idle

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I have noticed that whenever my computer is idle, i have no programs running whatsoever, the cpu usage is still at least at 10%. When I go to the task manager, it shows that the System process is taking up 9-11% of the cpu, but whenever I disable my LAN connection, my cpu usage goes back to normal. What about my LAN connection could be making it take up more cpu than it has to? or is it necessary? I used to be connected to the internet through my university's T1 connection, but now i connect through another computer in the apartment through a switch. I am currently running Windows XP. Could somebody please enlighten me as to what could be going on here? Let me know if you need any additional information . . .
It sounds to me as though the device your connecting to is just checking the connection to your PC to make sure it is still alive.
If you think you have a Trojan or something, get a trojan scanner ( and scan your PC.

Also, what OS are you using? It could have alot to do with it, also; your personal settings could be playing a roll. It just depends on how you have your PC configured and the components running.
do you know what settings could cause this sort of behavior though? I asked a few of my friends and they said that it sounds as if Windows is trying too hard to keep a connection. I have pretty much default settings for internet connection. My LAN card is a CNet PRO200 PCI Fast Ethernet Adapter and i have it hooked up to a switch that is hooked up to the computer that uses the wireless adapter, though even when that computer isn't online, and i just have my computer hooked up to the other computers through the switch, the system takes up more cpu than it seems to have to. does it have something to do with my switch?
This is funny ... I have EXACTLY the same problem.

My "System" process keeps stepping from 0% to 13% CPU or from 16% to 33% CPU usage with every second ...

I tried disabling the "Local Area Connection" (im on DSL with a Router) and it (System) immediately stopped using CPU power !

I've tried using BlackViper's "optimizing" tips on Windows XP, and still didnt help ... only thing that does help, is if I stop using the Internet :(

Note! That I have the following installed and I have used them:
Norton Antivirus 2003
AD-Aware 6.0

And they both come up empty. Im no computer illiterate, but I sure am baffled at this current problem I'm having

I have also tried updating all possible drivers ... even my CNet PRO200WL network card drivers!
The RED LINE marks the spot where i disable my Local Area Connection :(

Yeah i know ... thats just it ... im not moving my mouse ... im not doing anything ... I've disabled everything there is to disable ... antivirus and such. (referring to the screenshot)

I know that the CPU will ALWAY be in use (how else would we even be able to have a desktop showing eh?)

But taking up to 16% - 33% just because i have my "Local Area Connection" enabled? I mean pffffft ... no way!

The reason I even found you guys is that is HAS become a problem for me, which it wasnt about 2-3 months ago.

Definition of problem: "Computer acts slow at times, even 'locks up' for a short period of time. When playing multiplayer games over the internet, the game stops responding, and the same sound is repeated over a short period of time (usually 2-10 times), after which it resumes normal action. This mainly occurs at start of new level. Ingame I have an FPS meter running, and I can see a system slow down of about 20% to what im used to (besides the freak lockups)' - this "in short" is my problem which i refer to later as just "the problem"

I've had my current specs for about a year now, and i did not have this problem at all to start with.

I did install some filters on my PSU fan and CPU fan intakes about 4 months ago, to prevent too much dust buildup inside. I did not have the slowdowns until a bit later, and I suspected it was because of the CPU overheating. The problem did not go away, and I reinstalled WinXP from scratch (fdisk etc.) ... problem still did not go away, and I updated all drivers to absolute latest (even went back to 40.72 on the nVidia driver since it is the latest WHQL certified driver) ...

Problem is still there ...

Sound card drivers have been updated to latest, but I've tried earlier versions too.

Mouse driver has been updated, but this is just a simple mouse with no fancy extras.

I installed a Firewire card, but I have disabled this in the system, since I dont use it at the moment.

I've tried Dell's Community forum, but without success.

System specs (Dell Dimension 8200):
Dell (Intel 850E) motherboard bios rev: A09
Intel Pentium 4 @ 2.4Ghz
512mb Kingston RDRAM @ 400Mhz FSB
Turtle Beach Santa Cruz - THX Certified sound card
"Dell" GeForce4 Ti 4600 (unknown manufacturor)
Dell M991 19" Monitor @ 1600 x 1200 72Hz
Windows XP - Home (build 2600) SP-1 + postfixes
NEC DVD drive / Lite-on CD/CD-RW drive / 80Gb HDD
"It sounds to me as though the device your connecting to is just checking the connection to your PC to make sure it is still alive."

I completely agree, because whenever I shut off the LAN connection, the system stops taking up 13-16% cpu and goes to 0%. But is it normal for checking the connection to take so much cpu? I'm running windows XP, but i have never noticed system taking up so much cpu just to check the connection. i'm pretty sure that it's not a trojan because i have monitored my bandwidth and there is no suspicious acitivity there. i'm really curious what settings could be causing this. i have tried to update drivers for my NIC, etc but that hasn't stopped anything.

"At idle (assuming your setting there looking at it and not touching anything) the normal CPU useage is between 0%-4%. If you move your will jump to 10%-26%. "
I don't know but whenever I move my mouse a lot in windows XP my cpu usage never changes more than a few percent. i've never seen it jump more than 5% due to my mouse movements...
Finally came the day where I got my system reinstalled....

And the problem is gone ! (for now)

Making notes of what im installing, and so far no problems!
Is it just me but doesn't the CPU idle down when not used and use less power, then uses power (moved mouse) and gets info of whats going on?
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