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Fix for Windows XP SP3 svchost.exe 100 CPU usage issue

by on Jul.25, 2013, under Techie

I have hunted for a long time and surfed through a LOT of posts without luck. This issue is hit and miss and will disappear or be there forever on an OS. Today was my lucky day and I found the following information from http://shoemakerbrian.wordpress.com/tag/windows-xp-sp3-svchost-exe-100-cpu-usage/. I just used this on a freshly reloaded Windows XP SP3 machine that had this issue and the problem went away allowing me to finish patching the machine.

Reset the Automatic Updates System – Windows XP SP3

Open a command prompt: Start | Run | cmd /Enter

net stop “Automatic Updates” – ENTER

del /f /s /q %windir%\SoftwareDistribution\*.* – ENTER

net start “Automatic Updates” – ENTER

wuauclt.exe /detectnow – ENTER

What this does is: Stops the Automatic Update service then flushes the content of the folder “SoftwareDistrubution”; it then starts the Automatic Update service and then forces an update cycle to start.

Reasons to run this is: The svchost.exe file running at 100% CPU usage or slightly less but crippling the computer system never the less.

Diagnoses: Open command prompt type: “tasklist /svc” this will list all running tasks. Open Task Manager and view which PID/svchost.exe is running at 100% or slightly less.

If you do not see PID in Task Manager window: open the View menu inside Task Manager and select “Select Columns…” option and place a check mark in the “PID (Process Identifier)”


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