WIN XP SP3, MS update and computer stuck at svchost at 100 % CPU

Discussion in 'other security issues & news' started by Fly, Sep 13, 2013.

  1. Fly
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    Fly Registered Member

    The title sums it up nicely.

    On this particular machine, updates worked fine till July or August.
    Maybe some svchost issues, but not that bad anyway.

    My attempts to install the latest MS updates on the WIN XP Home machine have failed. Thus far. And I grow weary of trying.

    MS updates set at notify and waiting for it to do its thing and running MS update have both resulted in failure. Svchost stuck at 100 % and nothing happens. Last month I got it working by trying several times, using both methods (?), even disabling svchost, rebooting, trying again, waiting etc !
    Nothing yet thus far and I don't even want to bother anymore.

    My suspicion is that for whatever reason the 512 MB RAM limit is the culprit. Even though there is plenty of free RAM left.

    Thoughts ? Any solutions ? I'm not inclined to try a MS 'fix' from 2007 or 2008 !

    This may have been discussed in a prior thread, but I'm not sure where.
  2. Kerodo
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    Kerodo Registered Member

    You could just stop doing updates now, a bit ahead of schedule. You probably don't need 'em anyway, if your setup is good. I know.. some people will insist you need them, but there are many who don't buy into the accepted routine.
  3. Fly
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    Fly Registered Member

    I agree I don't need them, but it's an annoyance not being able to get them !
  4. Kerodo
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    Kerodo Registered Member

    I know... that kind of stuff drives me crazy too...
  5. SweX
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    SweX Registered Member

    I also had this issue, as you I have them set to "notify" and they did notify me, and this far I have always visited the Winupdate website to download the updates instead of clicking on the yellow shield, but the 99% CPU usage svchost.exe appeard so I closed the browser the svchost problem went away, then I clicked on the Yellow shield in the tray and let it download the updates on the desktop and it worked just fine and svchost.exe was behaving normally. :doubt:
  6. Fly
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    Fly Registered Member

    I even have the svchost issue if I don't access the MS update site :(

    SweX, how much RAM do you have ?
  7. SweX
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    SweX Registered Member

    Same as you 512 :D
    But I doubt the amount is an issue in this case, it's something else that's causing an svchost.exe process to misbehave :doubt:

    I am currently working with ESET as I suspect my svchost problem might be connected to the ESS V7 BETA.
    So I am about to send a full mem dump for ESET to analyze. We'll see how it goes :)
  8. Fly
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    Fly Registered Member

    I'm not so sure it's Eset.

    It seems I can't get a clean image to update. That image has never had any security software installed.
  9. SweX
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    SweX Registered Member

    Yes, I am now sure it is NOT related to ESET. (it was more since I used a BETA that I tought about the possibility it could be)

    FYI, I got an answer from ESET and they said that the svchost.exe CPU problem with Win updates on XP was a known issue. And that sounds about right.

    But I can let you know that since the day I were able to get the updates down by clicking on the yellow shield in the tray 3 days ago, I have not had the svchost problem ever since, so everything is back to normal here for now. But it may return for the next months updates, but I hope not. :D
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2013
  10. tgell
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    tgell Registered Member

    Same issue here on two different XP computers, one with a GB of ram, and it looks like a common problem. Always have to stop the process in Task Manager. It seems to be worse if you ask update to download updates automatically and then install. Just asking it to notify seems the better option to me or just disable the Automatic Update service. I am wondering if this is happening because Microsoft is winding down the update service for XP because updates will no longer be available after April 2014.
  11. SweX
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    SweX Registered Member

    Last edited: Sep 23, 2013
  12. tgell
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    tgell Registered Member

    Thanks for the link. I have IE7 so I will try updating to IE8 as posted in the link and see if that helps.
  13. SweX
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    SweX Registered Member

    You're welcome, please report back and say how it goes, since I may need to re-install IE8 if this issue returns when it's time for next month updates....but I hope not :)
  14. tgell
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    tgell Registered Member

    I can't confirm the svchost issue yet but after installing IE8 I am now able to do a manual update. Before the IE upgrade, I would go to the Windows update page and select Custom install and the computer would hang forever without giving a response. Now after a bit, it comes right up and tells me if I need important or optional updates. In fact after checking today, Windows Update said I had one important update that was not installed. I will be crossing my fingers when the next update comes. Thanks again for that link.
  15. SweX
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    SweX Registered Member

    So, so far so good, that's nice to hear. Thanks for the report :thumb:
  16. tgell
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    tgell Registered Member

    Well, the svchost problem came back today using 100% CPU. Started when logged in a LUA. So, it obviously is something that affects XP only during the update period on the second Tuesday of the month but what? Maybe a way for Microsoft to kick people off XP. ;) I guess I will turn auto-updates off, disable the service, and then update manually. Only about 6 months left anyways before XP is no longer supported with security updates. I am going to install Ubuntu after April or sooner and I have another computer with Windows 7 so I am good to go.
  17. Fly
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    Fly Registered Member

    The problem persists.

    I still get the 100 % CPU issue. Since I don't think I really need them it's not that much of an issue, but it is annoying.

    A long time ago I tried IE 8 but I prefer IE 7. Supposedly, one of the newer updates would fix this very issue ? I would have to be able to use MS update for that !
  18. J_L
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    J_L Registered Member

    Just had it on clean XP virtual machine. Tried clearing out SoftwareDistribution folder, waiting hours on Windows Update and Automatic Updates, WSUS Offline Update, but all failed due to reliance on the faulty svchost.exe service.

    Forced to manually download and install updates from Microsoft Security Bulletin Summary for October 2013.
  19. MisterB
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    MisterB Registered Member

    I bought a laptop with a fresh Xp install that had this issue a few weeks ago. It came with a bad wifi card and I first installed one I had on hand and it would do this. The card I had was not a very good one and I ordered the card the laptop originally came with--Atheros ABG--and installed it with its driver and the problem disappeared.

    Based on this experience, I would recommend trying an alternate internet connection either wired ethernet or another wifi card with different drivers.
  20. SweX
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    SweX Registered Member

    Haha I am starting to think that too :p

    Yes I disabled the updates all together, they were set to "notify" but now they're totally disabled.
    Hopefully it will work better next month. :doubt:
  21. J_L
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    J_L Registered Member

    After manually installing the updates, the shield is back and installed the new version of Malicious Software Removal Tool.
  22. Fly
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    Fly Registered Member

    Manually installing updates did indeed work.

    Weird.
  23. bandaid
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    bandaid Registered Member

    I am having this same problem. Where can I download the manual updates? I never had any problem with the automatic updates until last month. Thanks for any advice.
  24. J_L
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    J_L Registered Member

  25. bandaid
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    bandaid Registered Member