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    DH67CL high CPU utilization by System process




        I just got a new DH67CL motherboard and paired it with a Core i72600K.  Since getting Windows 7 installed I've had a problem.  The system will function normally for some time, and then after a while (could be as much as a half hour) the "System" process will suddenly start consuming 100% of a CPU thread.  All the other threads will still show very low utilization, but this one thread will run at 100% continually.  When this happens, the system will become non-responsive to certain user inputs; for example, clicking on the Start Menu will prompt an hourglass.  Sometimes the menu will open after a few minutes, other times it does not.  Sometimes clicking on an icon in the task bar will cause a message to pop up saying "Windows Explorer is not responding" and ask if I want to wait, close, etc.


        Most of the components in the system are carrier over from a previous system with a Core 2 Quad.  The new components are:


      8GB DDR3

      A 2TB Samsung HDD (not the boot drive)

      A PCIe to PATA/SATA expansion card (hosts my old optical drives)


      The old components are:


      Bluray drive (SATA)

      DVD burner (PATA)

      2 PCI TV tuners

      Intel 160GB SSD (boot drive)

      2 1GB Samsung HDDs (RAID 1 for archives)

      Multiple USB devices (keyboard, mouse, remote control, microphone, webcam, VCR video capture device, etc)

      ATI 5750 PCIe graphics card

      Connected to an LG LCD monitor and a Panasonic plasma TV, through an AV amp


        At this point all the drivers have been successfully installed and device manager does not show any unrecognized hardware.  The old Core 2 Quad system was also running Windows 7 and never had this problem.


        I should add that when I initially power on the board, the BIOS was EXTREMELY slow.  Took several minutes to get into the BIOS configuration menu.  Eventually I flashed a recovery BIOS, and after that the system would boot much more normally.  Yesterday I flashed the BIOS again to update for the latest release on intel.com.


        Anyone have any suggestions?  I'd greatly appreciate any help.




        • 1. Re: DH67CL high CPU utilization by System process

          Check in the device manager and see if you have any of those little yellow triangles. you may have a driver conflict with all those devices hooked up ?

          • 2. Re: DH67CL high CPU utilization by System process

            Thanks for the reply. I checked Device Manager and don't see any of the yellow triangles indicating a missing driver.  So I think the problem must be elsewhere. . .

            • 3. Re: DH67CL high CPU utilization by System process

              In task manager you can see what services and process are utilizing the most CPU resources. Look at that . Maybe that can help narrow it down.

              • 4. Re: DH67CL high CPU utilization by System process

                Yes, it's the "System" process.  What I can't figure out is why it is consuming so much CPU.

                • 5. Re: DH67CL high CPU utilization by System process

                  One new piece of information.  I downloaded Process Explorer and saw that the thread within the "System" process that is consuming all the CPU has a "Start Address" of "iaStor.sys+0x213d4".  Anybody know how to debug that further?




                  • 6. Re: DH67CL high CPU utilization by System process

                    I have the same issue as Adam Wight reports but on completely different hardware. I suppose it could be an issue with the Intel driver?


                    The issue occurs randomly while using the computer, minutes to several hours after booting the system will freeze, leaving only the mouse cursor working until that too freezes after a few more seconds. Sometimes it will become responsive again after a minute or so only to hang again shortly thereafter.


                    Looking in Process Explorer during a freeze the System process (PID 4) is using 25% CPU (this being a quad-core system) and the thread with start address "iaStor.sys+0x213d4" is using all of it.


                    No error messages in event log that I can recognize as being relevant to the issue. My RAID (I have six disks connected to the ICH9R controller) appears to be working fine (I have done both extensive reading and writing over the last few days with no issues.) No warnings or errors in device manager.


                    As this problem did not occur for me previously it may well be related to the new version of the Intel RST driver that I recently installed ( I could try and revert to a previous version to see if that helps.


                    My setup:


                    CPU: Intel Core2 Quad Q9650

                    Motherboard: Asus P5E64 WS Evolution (Intel X48 chipset)

                    Memory: Corsair XMS3 DHX DDR-1066 (4 x 2 GB)

                    Graphics: ATI Radeon HD4870X2

                    Sound: Creative SoundBlaster X-Fi Fatal1ty

                    Disks (on Intel ICH9R): 2x WD3000-HLFS-01G6U0 (RAID1), 4x Seagate ST3320620AS (RAID5)

                    Other (on Marvell controller): Samsung DVD-ROM reader, NEC ND-1300A writer, external WD WD10EADS-00L5B1


                    As you can tell, a setup quite different from Adam's, so I doubt that this is something as simple as a hardware conflict. Otherwise I would have seen the issue sooner! I have not made any hardware changes in a year, yet this issue has been happening only recently!


                    Thanks for any assistance you might offer!


                    Best regards,

                    Wilhelm Svenselius

                    • 7. Re: DH67CL high CPU utilization by System process

                      There, now I've registered as well.


                      Adam, it would help if you could verify that you are also using the driver. It seems to be quite a recent release (12/15/2010) so if the driver is indeed faulty then if would only be affecting those of us with recent builds, or who regularly check for driver updates.


                      Before I had this issue I was using the older Matrix Storage Manager driver (version 8.9?) which did not exhibit this issue. I will try, hopefully this evening, to downgrade to an earlier Rapid Storage Technology driver - I believe the next previous release is - to see if that resolves the issue.

                      • 8. Re: DH67CL high CPU utilization by System process

                        Hi Wilhelm,


                          Yes, I can confirm that my system has  Sounds like your system is behaving very similarly to mine.




                        • 9. Re: DH67CL high CPU utilization by System process

                          Hi Adam,


                          since I suspect this to be a driver bug I filed an issue with Intel support. I got a reply suggesting I downgrade to 9.6:


                          I understand your computer is randomly freezing after installing new Intel® Rapid Storage Technology.


                          Unfortunately, this department does not have reports about this issue. At this point I would recommend uninstalling the latest Intel® Rapid Storage Technology and installing an earlier version 9.6. and if possible provide feedback


                          This software is available here:



                          I will try this tonight and I would suggest you try the same, if this ends up resolving both our problems then it is almost certainly a driver issue.


                          Best regards,

                          Wilhelm Svenselius

                          • 10. Re: DH67CL high CPU utilization by System process

                            Okay, I downgraded the driver. Have been using the computer for about 3h30m now with no issues, a bit early to be waving the flag but based on previous experience I should have seen at least one freeze by now.


                            This is what I did:


                            1. Checked the version of the Intel storage driver - confirmed to be (2010-11-06)
                            2. Using Programs and Features, uninstalled Intel Rapid Storage Technology
                            3. Rebooted
                            4. Installed iata96enu.exe (downloaded from link in previous msg)
                            5. Rebooted
                            6. Checked the version of the Intel storage driver again - now is (2010-03-03)


                            On installing iata96enu.exe there is a warning about overwriting a newer driver. Just accept it. Also, uninstallning Intel RST from Programs and Features does NOT remove the driver, just the application and services. This is of course exactly what I wanted as I wouldn't be able to boot without the driver...


                            Adam, it would be interesting if you could try this as well and report your results.


                            Best regards,

                            Wilhelm Svenselius

                            • 11. Re: DH67CL high CPU utilization by System process

                              Hi Wilhelm,


                                I haven't downgraded the driver yet, but I did find a different solution that seems to be working.  I had a RAID 1 array from my old system that I moved over into the DH67CL.  Only one of the drives was found (I attributed the "missing" drive to a power or SATA cable not being plugged in all the way).  Since I was going to be moving the contents of that array over to a larger array anyway, I didn't worry about it.  I've had degraded RAID 1 arrays in the past that never impacted system stability.  But after figuring out that it was the storage driver hanging the system process, I decided to go in and have RST delete the old array (I'd already moved all the contents to the new RAID 1).


                                Anyway, after deleting the old RAID array so that RST no longer sees a degraded array, I haven't had any more system hangs.  Still seems like something must be broken in the driver (since a degraded array should NOT cause the system to hang), but as my system is now functional, I'm going to go with the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" principle until a new problem pops up.




                              • 12. Re: DH67CL high CPU utilization by System process



                                Where do you report bugs in the Intel driver software?




                                • 13. Re: DH67CL high CPU utilization by System process

                                  Adam, great that you were able to find a solution! If you ever experience the same issue again you know what to try next


                                  Martin, I don't know if there's a channel to directly report bugs. I raised the issue using the Contact Support option on the Intel website.


                                  Best regards,
                                  Wilhelm Svenselius

                                  • 14. Re: DH67CL high CPU utilization by System process

                                    Intel has a Live support Chat Line , where you can report problem , and at least get it on the books that there is a problem.

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