What is Nt Kernel & System and why is it running?(4 posts)
The kernel is the most basic instruction set in the computer. In a nutshell, it handles all of the communication between all of the software and hardware in your system. It will always be running and will be higher when background processes are running (indexing, defrags, virus scans etc), but if it is always running that high, then it could be anything from a bad driver to a bad program. Your best bet is to think of when the slowdown began and think of anything you changed in your system (driver update, new software, new games, trial programs etc). Keep an eye on what other process are running.
Thanks for the information. After reading your post I realized that Kernel runs high for about 2-3 mins after booting, and then for some time it slows down to 0-1 %. However, I am in an environment where we are constantly sharing files through LAN and that is probably what makes Kernel run so high. Also, I have set my Anti Virus and Windows Defender for daily scanning so these are also probably making it run slightly high. So, I don't think there is any problem as such.
I am also seeing this process running on my computer with suspicious behaviour. I run a bandwidth monitor program so that I can watch how much ISP bandwidth is being used since my ISP degrades my bandwidth rate if I exceed a certain monthly limit. A number of times I have seen the bandwidth monitor showing large transfers in progress when the computer should be idle. On Windows Vista I then run perfmon (which comes with Vista) which will show the system cpu, disk, network, etc. utilization, and which will show the processes using the network utilization and the addresses they are transferring to. The NT Kernel & System process is always the one doing the transfer, and it has connections to addresses outside my local subnet, and it also has connections to other computers in my house and is actively transfering data between the computers. I don't have any programs running which should be transfering data between my computers that I know about. This seems very much like a virus and/or spyware spreading itself.
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