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svchost.exe uses high amounts of processing time

Problem Description:

While your computer is sitting idle, or during normal use svchost.exe will unexpectantly be using 50% or more of the CPU time. In some cases svchost.exe may be using 100% of the cpu time.

This behavior can cause the system to seem like it is freezing, and generally be un-responsive.

Cause of the Problem:

Usually this is caused by an issue with Windows update, or more specifically that we have seen MIcrosoft Update.

It seems to usually occur with Microsoft Office 2002 or 2003 is installed on the system, and Microsoft update is enabled.

We have also seen this issue occur due to corrupt a corrupt windows update download.

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To save time and cover all the bases, we recommend following all these steps in order:

  1. Download and install Microsoft Hotfix KB927891 from .
  2. Reboot the computer
  3. Download and install Windows Update Agent 3.0 from
  4. Reboot the computer if the installation goes through (some systems it will say it was not needed)
  5. Right click on the My Computer icon and select Manage
  6. Expand the Services and Applications section on the left side
  7. Click on the services section
  8. On the right look for "Automatic Updates" and right click on it
  9. Select "Stop" from the list of actions
  10. Open up Windows Explorer and go to your windows installation directory (Normally C:\Windows)
  11. Rename the software distribution folder (may be hidden) to Software Distribution_Old
  12. Go back to the Computer Management console, and find the "Automatic Updates" service again, right click on it and select the "Start" action.
  13. Close computer management, and open Internet explorer
  14. From the tools menu select "Windows Update"
  15. When given the choice select "Microsoft Update" if you are not given the choice then you are already using it.
  16. Let windows update scan your computer for updates.
  17. Install any critical updates that are available, specifically Service Pack 3.
  18. Reboot the computer when done.

This should take care of the Windows update issues, Microsoft knows this to be an issue and claims it effects a small percentage of users. We have seen this issue dozens of times.

Related Programs and Devices:
Windows XP , Windows Update , Automatic Updates , Microsoft Update , Office 2002 , Office 2003

Last Updated: 01/12/2009 12:27 PM

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