What does a flashing or blinking hourglass next to the cursor mean?


M

micky

What does a flashing or blinking hourglass next to the cursor mean?

It appears and disappears, every half second or so, but at an
inconsistent interval. It appears in a lot of programs, iirc at times
when the whole computer is running slowly. .
 
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J

jim

micky said:
What does a flashing or blinking hourglass next to the cursor mean?

It appears and disappears, every half second or so, but at an
inconsistent interval. It appears in a lot of programs, iirc at times
when the whole computer is running slowly. .

Antivirus working ?
 
B

Ben Myers

micky said:
What does a flashing or blinking hourglass next to the cursor mean?

It appears and disappears, every half second or so, but at an
inconsistent interval. It appears in a lot of programs, iirc at times
when the whole computer is running slowly. .

Possibly "Automatic Updates" running in the background.

Ben
 
P

Paul in Houston TX

micky said:
What does a flashing or blinking hourglass next to the cursor mean?

It appears and disappears, every half second or so, but at an
inconsistent interval. It appears in a lot of programs, iirc at times
when the whole computer is running slowly. .

It means that the computer is busy.
Use task manager to find out what.
You can probably kill many of the processes without the
computer shutting down.
 
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P

Paul

Paul said:
It means that the computer is busy.
Use task manager to find out what.
You can probably kill many of the processes without the
computer shutting down.

You can add to that "Process Explorer", which has an "Interrupts"
entry near the top. That gives you one more counter to work with.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653

It's also possible, in the case of a couple Dell computers,
for thermal throttling to make the CPU so slow, that any tiny
task makes the system "busy". But that would also show when
running an application, which would be dog slow. And that
doesn't show in Task Manager or Process Monitor. It has to be
inferred from the behavior. Or use CPU-Z and maybe you can
catch the actual CPU frequency that way. Throttling happens
on a lot of computers, but not the "Dell way", which was
overkill by about a factor of ten, and involved some
cleverness in design on Dells part. If the symptoms don't make
sense, throttling is a remote possibility.

If you see a svchost railing one core (staying in a loop),
there was a bug in Windows Update, caused by the depth of
recorded info about Internet Explorer patches. That seemed
to get fixed, but how it was fixed isn't clear. To stop
the symptoms (assuming you had a religious aversion to
completing all your Windows Updates), is to make sure the
"last Cumulative Update" for Internet Explorer browser is
installed. You don't have to be using Internet Explorer. Just
keep it patched, so the service in question doesn't go nuts.

Paul
 

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