System process in Vista running at 100%

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I’ve had a very strange problem for months now that was intermittent enough to not be overly concerned about, but happening enough to be bothersome.

Basically, every other time I rebooted my system, the “System” process (as listed in TaskMan) would get pegged at max utilization (in my case, on a dual core system, it would hover around 45-50%, but on a single core system, it’d run at near 100%).

This would drag things to almost a standstill. The cursor would move haltingly, apps would take forever to load, and shutting down was interminable.

It happened again this morning, so when I got some time, I started researching it.

Turns out the solution is relatively straightforward, at least in my case.

Vista has a feature called Offline Files. It allows files stored on network drives to be automatically synchronized down to your local system, for access when you are, yes, offline.

However, this feature appears to have some really nasty timeout handling issues, so when network devices actually are offline, it can end up bringing your entire system to it’s knees.

For virtually everyone out there, I’m guessing this feature isn’t actually something you even care about. I certainly don’t. And fortunately, turning it off is easy.

Open the Control Panel, and click Offline Files.


Then, if the first button listed says “Disable Offline Files”, click it. That will disable the offline files features, and, at least so far, through several reboots, has resulted in my system not getting dragged down in the slightest.

And just when I was starting to like Vista<g>

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