What's new

Do ALL SP2s suffer from hi CPU utilization when idle due to faulty audio drivers?

maks

New Member
I bought my Surface Pro 2 just 3 or 4 days ago, and having spent the last couple of days installing all the updates (including the latest firmware one) and the odd bit of software, noticed that the battery life certainly wasn't living up to what it was claimed to be. Checking the Task Manager when the device was essentially idle showed a fairly consistent 22% CPU utilisation, so I started searching online for reports of this problem.

Having found this thread, I can confirm that the microSD problem works for me, with removing that immediately dropping the CPU usage down to a much more healthy 0 to 1%. However, before I tried that, my search resulted in me stumbling by chance upon an entirely different solution.

One of the bits of software I had installed over the past day or two was the Google Search app from the Microsoft Store, and I used that to look for reports into this problem. I then returned to Task Manager without terminating Google Search - and discovered that the cpu utilisation had dropped to around 1%. I didn't connect the two straight away, but after I did make the connection and tried shutting down and restarting Google Search a considerable number of times, I found that the effect was consistently reproducible - shut down Google Search and the CPU climbed to 22%, start it again and the CPU instantly dropped to almost zero, without fail.

Can anyone else confirm or otherwise that they get the same effect here? And can anyone else explain why this should be happening? Ok, it's a relatively convenient work-around to keep GS running in the background (much more so than doing without my microSD card), and the memory overhead isn't very much, but it's still hardly satisfactory as a permanent solution.
 

jrapdx

Member
I bought my Surface Pro 2 just 3 or 4 days ago, and having spent the last couple of days installing all the updates (including the latest firmware one) and the odd bit of software, noticed that the battery life certainly wasn't living up to what it was claimed to be. Checking the Task Manager when the device was essentially idle showed a fairly consistent 22% CPU utilisation, so I started searching online for reports of this problem.

Having found this thread, I can confirm that the microSD problem works for me, with removing that immediately dropping the CPU usage down to a much more healthy 0 to 1%. However, before I tried that, my search resulted in me stumbling by chance upon an entirely different solution.

One of the bits of software I had installed over the past day or two was the Google Search app from the Microsoft Store, and I used that to look for reports into this problem. I then returned to Task Manager without terminating Google Search - and discovered that the cpu utilisation had dropped to around 1%. I didn't connect the two straight away, but after I did make the connection and tried shutting down and restarting Google Search a considerable number of times, I found that the effect was consistently reproducible - shut down Google Search and the CPU climbed to 22%, start it again and the CPU instantly dropped to almost zero, without fail.

Can anyone else confirm or otherwise that they get the same effect here? And can anyone else explain why this should be happening? Ok, it's a relatively convenient work-around to keep GS running in the background (much more so than doing without my microSD card), and the memory overhead isn't very much, but it's still hardly satisfactory as a permanent solution.

Yes, there have been many reports of apparent--and unexplainable--driver-driver and driver-hardware interactions. I've experienced a form similar to your description. Cold booting with mSD in slot and sound driver enabled produces the high CPU load you had seen (around 25 to 33%). The "cause" of this anomalous behavior is a mystery, certainly no one at MS has stepped up to offer any insights. I'm sure there are other driver interactions lurking in SP2-land.

What to do when it happens? I've found that putting the SP2 in sleep state, then waking it up, even right away, the CPU utilization will almost always drop to the normal 1% or so. You might give it a try. I'd be curious about the result you get.
 
Weird, now even after sleeping and waking I've noticed that my CPU use continues to hover at 20%...serious impact on battery life.
 

jrapdx

Member
Weird, now even after sleeping and waking I've noticed that my CPU use continues to hover at 20%...serious impact on battery life.

I sure don't understand it either. And worse, one of my favorite SP2 tricks failed to work. Not good at all. :(

So, cold boot with the mSD card removed and no apps running gives a normal 1-2% CPU load? Does disabling the Realtek Audio driver (and mSD inserted) make a difference? The previous reports were that both factors were implicated: enabled sound driver and mSD in slot. High CPU load was not noticed when zero or one of these conditions was true.

Your SP2 may have a different problem as a result of another set of contributing elements, but not clear whether that's the case. If a different combination is associated with anomalously high CPU utilization, it's not only interesting, but a chance your SP2's misbehavior could offer a clue to someone at MS who can figure out how to fix this mess.
 
I gave up using the microSD card. Pulled it out, had to reboot to get System Interrupts to go to 0. Now my SP2 finally blanks the screen and sleeps on timer properly. Besides the audio driver and microSD conflict, I wonder if it is also related to File History as I had turned it on using my microSD card.
 

jrapdx

Member
I gave up using the microSD card. Pulled it out, had to reboot to get System Interrupts to go to 0. Now my SP2 finally blanks the screen and sleeps on timer properly. Besides the audio driver and microSD conflict, I wonder if it is also related to File History as I had turned it on using my microSD card.

You are right. They really should fix this thing. Like so many others here, I was counting on the mSD for the additional file storage, but when there are so many bad driver/hardware/software interactions, it becomes very difficult to use the SP2 "as advertised". Rather a shame...
 
OP
S

SteveBorough

Member
You are right. They really should fix this thing. Like so many others here, I was counting on the mSD for the additional file storage, but when there are so many bad driver/hardware/software interactions, it becomes very difficult to use the SP2 "as advertised". Rather a shame...

Just tested this 5 times but.... wait for it....Windows 8.1 update seems to have fixed this!!!! Happy days.

yikes false alarm, after a reboot im still getting the high utilization. for some reason it didn't happen until my first reboot after the last KB was installed
 
Last edited:

be77solo

Active Member
Well, very disappointed to report, Microsoft has still not addressed or fixed the Micro-SD card high CPU usage after the March round of updates... still get ~30% CPU utilization with System and System Interrupt processes when a card is inserted into the SP2.

Sure would be nice if Microsoft would even tell us they are aware and working on the problem. Totally renders extra mSD card storage useless.

Mine is directly linked to using a card. Without a card installed, I never get the extra CPU usage, install a card and it happens randomly, not every bootup but eventually it always happens. Very frustrating, as I've got a Samsung Extreme 64GB and a SanDisk Extreme Pro 64GB that are both useless.
 
Last edited:

jrapdx

Member
Well, very disappointed to report, Microsoft has still not addressed or fixed the Micro-SD card high CPU usage after the March round of updates... still get ~30% CPU utilization with System and System Interrupt processes when a card is inserted into the SP2.

Sure would be nice if Microsoft would even tell us they are aware and working on the problem. Totally renders extra mSD card storage useless.

Mine is directly linked to using a card. Without a card installed, I never get the extra CPU usage, install a card and it happens randomly, not every bootup but eventually it always happens. Very frustrating, as I've got a Samsung Extreme 64GB and a SanDisk Extreme Pro 64GB that are both useless.

Curiously, for a few weeks I hadn't seen the high CPU utilization occurring. However in the last week or so I see this happening starting up from cold boot. Not sure what changed, in either direction, but it is annoying to say the least.

My traditional trick, putting SP2 into sleep and waking up a second later, still works, the CPU rate falls 30% -> 1% immediately. I agree MS really needs to fix this chronic problem.
 

TedT

New Member
My Surface, which I purchased in December, was fine until I ran the last update about March 2. I have had an SD card for a while. Frankly, this is pretty bad performance and I hope Microsoft reads these forums!
 

Members online

Top