I have seen numerous threads on this subject, my situation is a bit unique from the other threads ESET 5.0.95, defs 6988 Win XP SP 3 At random beginning last week, ekrn.exe will completely take over my computer, consuming 50% of the CPU and increasing its memory size to over 300Mb (when I am even able to get task manager opened up to take a look). The last time it happened, the only app I had open was IE 8. I could not do anything else on the computer, including attempting to run Process Monitor. After about 5-10 minutes, things free up, the CPU usage drops back to normal, but the memory size stays at over 300Mb. There is a USB drive attached, but I have attached and detached it without any lockups, as others unfortunately have had.