The reason for 100% CPU usage by SVCHOST on first boot of the day

Discussion in 'Windows Update' started by Chris, Sep 13, 2006.

  1. Chris

    Chris Guest

    Calling all MVP and or Microsofties

    I have had this 100% cpu usage problem now for roughly 2 months i.e. since
    sometime around July or early August 2006 UK time.

    I see many people asking for help on this and also some MVP's saying they
    have no idea whats causing it because it doesn't happen to them.


    If you run a manual Windows Update using IExplorer.exe ( I am using IE7 RC1
    ) but I hope, and doubt this is specific to that version, you will see the
    CPU usage problem in action. If you have TaskManager or Sysinternals
    ProcessExplorer running before attempting this you can monitor one of your
    SVCHOST processes using 90-100% of CPU. This I believe is what is causing the
    problem at FIRST boot time.

    1. Start Task Manager or Sysinternals "Process Explorer" or whatever you use
    to look at whats going on.
    2. Launch IE as an Admin User. (I have IE7 RC1) doubt this is not relevant
    to the problem.
    3. Run a "Windows Update" from the tools menu.

    Observe: wuauclt.exe starts in the SVCHost process you need to watch.
    IExplorer gets busy and eventually loads the Welcome screen.
    Processor usage goes to 0%

    4. Press the "Custom" button and watch CPU Usage.

    Observe: wmiprvse.exe start in a different svchost (does not use much cpu
    for long)
    The original svchost start to burn up 95-100% of the CPU for a
    number of minutes.
    Mine ran for about 7 mins 13th Sept 2006.
    On this day there were 7 High priority updates to download,
    Windows = 5, Office = 2.

    This is exactly what happened when I started the machine that day i.e. I
    could not use the PC for about 7 minutes while something used all the CPU.

    I have a AMD Athlon 1.41Ghz with 1.25GB of Ram.
    Running XP SP2 all priority updates applied (prior to 13th Sept)

    I think this means I have the new update process installed that checks for
    Windows and Office update all in one go, but I dont know how to proove that?
    I say this because it may be relevant to that update code rather that the old
    windoes only update code.

    Therefore I think we can assume that the windows update processing is doing
    something that is exceptionally CPU hungry that was not that way some month

    Could a real Microsofty from that Development group have a look at this and
    see if they agree with my diagnosis.

    If they do agree, would it be possible to change the code to make this a
    background process rather than what appears to be, to all intence and
    purpose, a realtime process, which should make it a little less greedy with
    our processors, at least while we are trying to use them. After all the
    update are important but not more important than everything else in the

    Chris Rigg-Milner
    Chris, Sep 13, 2006
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  2. Chris

    Alias~- Guest

    You want to be doing other things with your computer while WU is
    installing updates? Are you daft? Also, try disabling your AV auto scan
    before going to WU and see if isn't quicker.

    Alias~-, Sep 13, 2006
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  3. Chris

    Jeff Wells Guest

    This is a known ISSUE LOOOONG ago - start reading the threads!
    Jeff Wells, Sep 13, 2006
  4. Chris

    Chris Guest

    Dont post for the sake of flapping your fingers!!!!!!

    Of course I dont want to do other thing while updates are actually being
    installed. But if you read and attempt to understand what was said in my
    original post, what I and many many others would like to do is use my PC
    while windows update checks for updates every morning (first boot of day) and
    invariably finds nothing to do (after some 2/3/4/5/6/7 minutes) of using 95+%
    of my processor for what should be a background process.

    No regards
    Chris, Sep 13, 2006
  5. Chris

    Chris Guest

    I have just spent 3 hours looking at threads on this subject and have yet to
    find anything that admits to this being a KNOWN problem.
    I do see lots of people complaining about it but nobody, yourself included,
    has bothered to actually post a message saying anything like "yes we admit
    this is a problem and it will be fixed (whenever)" or "here is a workaround"
    or "Woops we screwed-up."

    I appreciate the problem of multiple posts on the same subject well after it
    has been recognised as a real problem can be annoying, but I believe I made
    ever sensible effort to find this thread that "Admits this is a problem".

    Please point me to the thread in question.
    Chris, Sep 13, 2006
  6. Chris

    Alias~- Guest

    Just trying to help. I'm sorry you can't see the forest for the trees.
    So, turn off Auto Updates until you're ready to do the Update Dance.

    Alias~-, Sep 13, 2006
  7. Chris

    Alias~- Guest

    You seem to be under the erroneous impression that posts here are read
    and replied to by MS staff. The people here are volunteers who offer
    their time to try and help people.

    Disable Auto Update until you want to do updates. There is no reason to
    have it on all the time. Updates come out every second Tuesday so you
    know when you should turn them back on every month.

    Alias~-, Sep 13, 2006
  8. Chris

    Chris Guest


    I had worked that out for myself, but at least it is an attempt at a
    usefull/helpfull solution/workaround to the problem.

    I realise that posters here are not Microsofties but I would hope some MSies
    from relevant departments would scan these forums now and again? I also hoped
    that if it gained the attention of an MVP, they may have a contact with a
    real MS employee, and might pass on the issue for there review.

    Also the idea of these threads is to leave a "USEFUL" trail from problem to
    solution (hopefully) for others to review against there own problems. To
    that end would it not be a good idea to post a thread with a title like
    "SVCHOST 100% CPU usage : MS ADMITS ISSUE will be fixed ?sometime" so that
    people like myself actually know that it is a KNOWN problem.

    PS. As MVP's are not MS Employees how does somebody gain that rating?
    Chris, Sep 13, 2006
  9. Chris

    Alias~- Guest

    I don't know. I have no desire to be an MVP.

    Alias~-, Sep 13, 2006
  10. Chris

    shani Guest

    TO MS: It is really terrible slow with the updates last couple of months, Are
    you obscuring so much ? that the normal processors are not enough powerfull ?
    PLEASE , measure the customer processor power and do less "nothing doing" in
    that case, PLEASE !
    shani, Sep 13, 2006
  11. Chris

    antioch Guest

    You want to do updates every morning - for most us Black Tuesday once a
    month is enough.
    After doing the Tuesday update each moth you wont get anymore until next
    month - so you are waiting your time looking for them.
    There have been at least five svchost matters mentioned in the threads since
    12 Sept with the 100% cpu usage.
    Now weather they are all talking about this latest Black Tuesday it is
    difficult to say as most OP are not saying which month or quoting the KB
    number/s - which does not help.
    August Black Tuesday - there must have been hundreds reporting the svchost
    matter together with a few that had loads of dump.exe.
    However I believe you are using that ancient web interface to post and it is
    very difficult to search/find etc within the threads.
    That is why newsgroups is such a better method.
    Apart from the above, so far the main probs seem to be much the same as the
    previous three or four months - cant get in WU Home page - download
    stalls/freezes - wont install after download - get one or two KBs that keep
    asking to be installed when the have already, despite countless re-installs.
    Its Business as usual :-(
    Also the last couple of months, there have been a large number of SP2
    updaters adding to the scramble to get into the updates.
    Some suggested it was causing congestion on MS sites.
    You didn't mention if you Googled or not(sorry Google - you don't like the
    verb usage do you)
    Try this one - it has increased somewhat in the last month.

    That's as far as my help can go :-(
    antioch, Sep 13, 2006
  12. Susan Bradley, CPA aka Ebitz - SBS Rocks [MVP], Sep 14, 2006
  13. However I was searching with the informaion I had to hand. Cpu usage was
    never 100% ( between 90% and 98% for svchost) so my search for "svchost +cpu
    +usage +high" or variants thereof which when GOOGLED do not return anything
    as specific. My fault for acuracy over exageration and not using the word
    "update" which is the word that makes your search better than mine. Try
    without the word update and see what you get, lots of general guff from
    years back on high cpu usage by svchost which appears to be a very common
    occurance for a miriad of reasons.

    Chris Rigg-Milner, Sep 14, 2006
  14. Chris

    Antioch Guest

    Good news then - the scvhost problem was associated with the monthly updates
    and thus gave you your high Cpu usage.
    Re update settings, the prefered way is have Auto on but notify you to pick
    a time to download. You donot count the days - it tells you when they are
    there to collect.
    Leaving the updates to do it when it wants to, leaves one open to getting
    spyware like that WGA/WGAN installed. Anyhow, I do not trust MS that much.
    Using 'Googled' was addressed to Google, not yourself - they did a press
    release recently saying they were not happy with their TM being used as an
    everyday word and added to English dictionaries - they fear it will become
    like the TM 'Hoover' used commonly for a vacuum cleaner.
    Doing a 'Google' is hit and miss - as you point out - change a word - add a
    I used updates because it was a bug resulting from the updates. I tend to
    start with two words then add on others. In this case, I had a slight
    advantage as I knew it was somewhere from searching last month :)
    Antioch, Sep 14, 2006
  15. Chris

    Chris Guest

    Chris, Sep 14, 2006
  16. Chris

    mark Guest

    Microsoft should be monitoring this forum. They'd be foolish not to.
    mark, Sep 14, 2006
  17. Chris

    Chris Guest



    Short , Sweet and more importantly TO THE POINT.

    How refreshing.
    Chris, Sep 14, 2006
  18. Microsoft occasionally comes to these peer to peer newsgroups but it is on
    their own time and there is no requirement and there should be no

    If direct contact with Microsoft is desired, you must contact Microsoft
    support directly through appropriate channels.
    Some have a cost.
    Jupiter Jones [MVP], Sep 14, 2006
  19. Chris

    wharfish Guest

  20. Chris

    ChrisRM Guest

    Please catch up

    For your reference a better link would be

    It actually shows MS know about it. It also shows they are not doing much
    about it but you cant have everything. Time to buy shares in Dell and hope
    everybody upgrades.

    I was actually berated for not searching the world before I wrote the
    starter for this thread. If Jeff Wells sees you dont even read the whole
    thread before posting he will have a go at you too.

    Sorry for the facetious comments but this thread is just getting ridiculous
    ChrisRM, Sep 14, 2006
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