Ok, I know that software is never infallible, but this particular problem has been bugging me all week.

I've started seeing my Vista Laptop maxing out the CPU (pegged at 100%) immediately after booting up. Doing a quick bit of investigating using the superb tools from SysInternals (now part of Microsoft ...), I find that ndis.sys is chomping it all. All of it. The lot. Good god.

Ok, so that indicates a network driver having lots and lots of fun.

Next stop, Google.

I find a couple of interesting things:

http://forum.sysinternals.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=11945&PN=1

http://www.jepzilla.com/2007/12/17/why-is-vista-hogging-my-cpu/

Well, for the first one, I too have MNM 3.1 installed and Cisco VPN client. I've since removed MNM, which is annoying, but I certainly can't live without the VPN client - and thinking about it, the first time I saw the problem was after I installed MNM ... hmmm.

Thanks Microsoft - for possibly having a nice bug in MNM, but also for writing a DPC system that allows a CPU deadlock situation to occur that you can't even get out of by requesting a reboot.