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Windows XP eats a lot of CPU even when idle


I’ve read a lot about Windows taking up a CPU resources even when it’s idle but I never really got to experience it first hand or never bothered looking into it. I’ve been using my new Compaq Presario notebook installed with Ubuntu for several weeks now. After installing Ubuntu I suddenly realized that I still need the Nokia PC suite and it runs only on Windows (Nokia will you please port the Nokia PC Suite to Linux, thank you.)

So, what did I do? I had to install my Windows XP on a VirtualBox machine under Linux. After installing Sun’s VirtualBox virtualization software, I configured a virtual machine with enough resources (1GB of memory …) for my Windows XP. The installation went fine and I was able to install Nokia’s PC Suite successfully too.

After some figuring out (more on this on my next post) on how to sync my Nokia phone to the Nokia PC Suite on the virtual machine, I was able to now sync my phone.

I’ve been using it for several days now and I noticed that my notebooks’ speed will always throttle to it’s maximum speed whenever I run Windows XP and it will stay there even when I wasn’t doing anything on Wnidows. I was concerned because if it will always do that, my battery will discharge faster whenever I use Windows on my notebook.

I decided to check if it was caused by VirtualBox or Windows. What I did was without any other virtual machines running, I ran a virtual machine with a copy of Ubuntu installed. And wow! After booting and leaving it in one side, Ubuntu/VirtualBox just sleeps and keeps both CPU running at minimum.

I exited Ubuntu on the VirtualBox and run my Windows XP again. Darn Windows is a CPU hog, both my processors are at maximum again and stayed that way even when I let Windows alone.

Now, I only run Windows ONLY when I need it rather than having it running whenever I am logged in. Hmmm, maybe I should measure battery discharge time whenever Windows is running.

How about you? Do you have the same experience with Windows?

Gerry Ilagan

Gerry Ilagan is into mobile apps and WordPress development at @speeqs. He loves to write about electronics, the Internet of Things, mobile phones, and #crazyideas.



This sounds like a good idea to run some old windows apps and games…I think I’ll give it a go and let you know Gerry. Right now, I’m checking out the download of the Virtual Box.


Gerry did you install using apt-get or synaptic…or downloaded from website? Let me know.


If I remember it right, I downloaded it directly from the Sun web site to use the newest version. I think the one from the repository is an older version.

Andy Hoffman

I will still stick to the old tried and true.
so as I tip my glass of WINE to your virtual BOX
I still have to say there is nothing like the real thing.
BOX that is!!!!!

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