Windows Update, SVCHOST, and 99% CPU usage... help please...

Discussion in 'Windows Update' started by buRford, Mar 2, 2006.

  1. buRford

    buRford Guest

    Hi - - Over the past month, I've noticed some strange behavior after my first bootup of
    the day... about 30 secs - a minute after bootup, wuauclt.exe starts, then shortly after
    wmiprvse.exe starts.
    My CPU spikes to 99%, and everything hangs. One entry of svchost spikes to
    99% CPU usage. Then after 30 seconds or so, all goes back to normal. This is the only
    time it happens. If I bootup later in the day, all's cool... only happens first bootup of
    the day.
    If I disable WU, all is cool.

    The only connections that open are to windows update, during this lag.
    As far as I can tell, I've scanned with my AV (NOD32), Outpost Firewall anti-spyware
    plug-in, Spybot, Adaware, Spycop, and Unhackme... my system is clean.

    I don't know if this has any relevance: In my wmiprov.log I'll get an entry "WDM call
    returned error: 4200."
    In wbemess.log, I get five entries of "NT Event Log Consumer: could not retrieve sid,

    Nothing abnormal shows up in the System or Application entries of EVENT VIEWER.
    No other abnormal behavior or errors ever... if I wait a minute or two after bootup, and
    do nothing, then I have no problems.

    I'm running XP sp2, on an AMD Athlon XP 1800, with 768MB RAM.
    Right now, I have WU disabled, but I'd prefer to be notified when

    Anyone have any idea what might be going on, or where I can look on my system to
    troubleshoot this? Anywhere I can find out what is using SVCHOST?
    Any help is appreciated... thanks!
    buRford, Mar 2, 2006
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  2. buRford

    buRford Guest

    Thing is, for me, this just started in the past month.
    I used to be able to start working, as soon as the boot completed.
    Now, I basically have to wait for 3-5 minutes.

    As for an MVP coming along... over the past few days, I posted a similar question in
    another NG... no responses. Strange, because you'd think they'd know something about
    The strange thing, is that it doesn't happen on every boot. Only when wmiprvse opens.
    If I kill wmiprvse, it still hangs. The only thing that works is just disabling WU.

    So, for now, I've just disabled WU. I just have to remember, every few days, to go to MS
    Update... a bit of a pain, but hey...
    buRford, Mar 2, 2006
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  3. buRford

    McDoogie Guest

    For two weeks I have been experiencing the same CPU overload that Tiny Tim
    and buFord have related to, it just dawned on me that it started when I
    downloaded the "Microsoft Update" feature in lieu of 'Windows Update' site !
    After all systems were booted up and stable [NAV, Zone Alarm, etc.] I have
    had to wait as long as 4 minutes while SVCHost.exe robbed the CPU running at
    70 to 75% usage all the while no other access was possible as total CPU Usage
    was always 100% while SCVHost was running. Disabled the Microsoft/Windows
    Update feature alltogether and success, I now have my PC back running the way
    it used to ! ...NOW, is somebody going to wake up on the west coast out there
    and fix this problem, or, shall we all just run our systems without knowing
    if we are up todate with the latest patches, etc. ?? .........cheers;
    McDoogie, Jun 10, 2006
  4. buRford

    McDoogie Guest

    Evening Folks:..Just noticed something of interest in the 'MIcrosoft Update'
    site, one can now go in and "Change Settings", which allows one to just scan
    and get updates for Windows [the old way !] and forget about updates for all
    the other Microsoft Software programs, which require updates much less
    frequently, this will free up a pile of CPU usage at Boot as each and every
    time one' boot's up', you'll only be checking for Windows patches not the
    whole shooting match....Have to check off the change however if one wants to
    go this way !! McDoogie

    McDoogie, Jun 13, 2006
  5. buRford

    kirk.mccann Guest

    But here's the thing, an MVP has not come along and explained this. So
    my thoughts would conclude that the great evil empire is doing
    something behind our backs. Hum maybe like forcing windows genuine
    advantage on us?

    The further we go the more I think that computers as we know them are
    doomed. MS is mostly crap. And most linuxes are following in their
    footsteps. Yea for MAC...

    BTW. I am a hardcore windows admin.
    kirk.mccann, Jul 10, 2006
  6. buRford

    kirk.mccann Guest

    Also my reasoning for posting here is I have about 10 machines that
    started doing this 2 weeks ago.

    kirk.mccann, Jul 10, 2006
  7. buRford

    QXER Guest

    u r not alone in this cpu hogging problem! I've got cleanly installed xp sp
    2 machines with this issue--- bad performance since!

    QXER, Jul 10, 2006
  8. buRford

    air_bolin Guest

    air_bolin, Jul 11, 2006
  9. buRford

    McDoogie Guest

    Well it doesn't look like the July 11 patches/security blankets did much to
    fix our problem ! In fact the reverse is true. Before the patches were
    installed, with Auto. Update turned on, my PC took 3 1/2 min's. after bootup
    [that is, after everything else had loaded] to go thru the SVCHost @ 100% CPU
    running thingme !! Now it takes 7 1/2 min's. to go thru the SCVHost 100% CPU
    usage tribulation. Progress eh ? Guess I'll go read the paper as I can't
    use the machine until all this other stuff quit's cluttering up my machine.

    McDoogie, Jul 12, 2006
  10. Mainly because we don't have any idea what the problem is. None of the PCs
    in my care exhibit any such problem, so I cannot investigate any further.
    Robin Walker [MVP], Jul 12, 2006
  11. buRford

    Gurra Guest

    Same problem. Fresh XPSP2 install on an IBM T22 (900MHz P3, 384M RAM).
    SVCHOST/WUAUCLT run at 99% for a long period of time, explorer hangs during
    that time. Disabling automatic updates fixes the issue but if windowsupdate
    is run SVCHOST/WUAUCLT restart and cause the same issue.
    I get the impression that the problem varies in severity between boots (i.e.
    a reboot can make it worse or better) but cannot quantify this.
    I don't come across this often but have seen it on other machines.
    I know of no permanent fix for any machine that suffers from this.

    Gurra, Aug 30, 2006
  12. buRford

    stech Guest

    Robin, your answer is a major cop out, this brings untold amounts of anger
    and frustration to MS customers, the CPU usage thing, is basicly
    UNACCEPTABLE, this indignation grates MS customers in a very BAD way.
    Personally, I prefer to look in a multitude of sources ( usually find MS
    solutions OUTSIDE of MS, thus life continues normally DESPITE MS and it's
    self rightous indignation(S) !!
    stech, Aug 31, 2006
  13. buRford

    PGG Guest

    Had this very problem on two low-spec PCs in the office this morning -
    the one used by the receptionist and a low end one used mainly for
    cutting CDs. Both unusable for minutes after the reboot, and both
    fairly old machines - the fastest being a 1GHz PIII.

    Has there been any progress on this since?
    PGG, Sep 13, 2006
  14. buRford

    mark Guest

    I just installed XP Professional SP2 on a Pentium 3 667 Dell Optiplex.

    This is a clean install, on a freshly formatted disk, with the disk
    manufacturer's utility, no less.

    As soon as I go into Windows Update from Internet Explorer and search for
    updates, svchost locks up the CPU at 99% and nothing else can run. (Automatic
    Updates is not on at the moment, because I want to get the Windows Update
    activex controls installed in the browser first without competing with automatic

    Microsoft, it's time to address the problem of svchost taking up 99% of the CPU.

    I've seen this problem on multiple PC's. Don't tell me it's a virus or spyware
    or anything else. This is a clean install. There's nothing on this machine but
    mark, Sep 13, 2006
  15. buRford

    Gary Flynn Guest

    I had this problem a few weeks ago on a Dell Optiplex GX270 computer
    running Windows XP with all offered patches ( including root
    certificate ) with a 3.2 Ghz Intel processor and 1GM of RAM. Culprit
    was Windows Defender. Had to uninstall it. Otherwise processor
    utilization never went down making computer unusable.
    Gary Flynn, Sep 15, 2006
  16. buRford

    Dan Guest

    I notice this problem with XP Professional when it has trouble reading
    something from say a DVD or a CD then the system resources used will
    jump to 90% plus of the CPU like that is going to make a difference in
    reading the CD or DVD. I did not notice this at all in 98SE which I
    prefer but because of current reality I must dual-boot with both in
    order to enjoy software that is XP only. (Actually, I am now
    tri-booting because I have Windows Vista Ultimate RC1 installed) I used
    Boot It NG as my partition program and have been satisfied with its
    performance so far.
    Dan, Sep 18, 2006
  17. buRford

    CSCO Guest

    Had the same problem on a clean install low-end system. The cause of the
    problem turned out to be "Microsoft Update" (i.e., the successor to "Windows

    I used 3 steps to permanently solve the problem.

    First, I disabled Automatic Updates on the computer. This solved the
    problem of the 100% cpu so I could continue to work on the system without any

    The second step was to go online to and choose "Change
    Settings" and then select "To stop using Microsoft Update" at the bottom of
    the page and check the box "Disable Microsoft Update software and let me use
    Windows Update only".

    After completing that procedure, I was able to re-enable Automatic Updates
    (step 3) and no longer had any problem with svchost.exe or wuauclt.exe maxing
    out the system's cpu resources.

    Hope this post is helpful to others experiencing this very frustrating issue.

    (Intel Product Dealer & Microsoft OEM System Builder)
    CSCO, Sep 19, 2006
  18. buRford

    Tim CHEN Guest


    I have tried a few motherboards here, using either VIA C3 CPU or PIII-600,
    and had experienced exactly the same problem.

    Before I got this workaround, the only way to keep my XP alive is to turn
    off the AU (Automatic Update).

    I have applied this cure and everything looks ok.

    I can turn AU back on, and I can carry out the regular update work again.

    Thanks for the share.

    Very nice, and it helps indeed.

    Tim CHEN
    International Sales Rep.
    Cadmus Electronic CO., LTD.
    Phone: +886-2-2226-9055
    Fax: +886-2-2226-5198
    Address: 4F-3, No.872, JhonhJheng Rd., JhonhHe City, Taipei County 235,
    Tim CHEN, Sep 21, 2006
  19. buRford

    Dan Guest

    The 100% CPU problem is a problem that has been confirmed by Microsoft
    in its XP operating system. Fortunately, Windows 98 Second Edition does
    not suffer from this flaw. Hopefully, Microsoft will provide a patch
    for this problem soon. It also affects users when the operating system
    has trouble reading cds and dvds and even trying to read a file that it
    cannot read. The os thinks it can jump the CPU up to 100% to solve the
    problem but this in fact will only cause the CPU to wear out quicker.
    Unfortunately, AFAIK, there is no solution but to use another operating
    system besides XP.
    Dan, Sep 22, 2006
  20. buRford

    Dan Guest

    XP general has a fairly recent post about this problem and many more XP
    users are continuing to experience this problem. Hopefully it will soon
    be patched by Microsoft.
    Dan, Sep 26, 2006
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