FIX : XP svhost.exe / wuauclt.exe causing 100% CPU

They’ve finally manged to roll-out the fix for the bug that has been causing the windows update issues.


Even though XP is shortly to be relegated to Microsoft’s end of product support trash heap,  we still support a number of clients who either haven’t,  or due to legacy programs/hardware cannot update some of their systems.   We’ve recently starting have spurious calls of ‘my machine is very slow’ etc.,  and our techs login to find that the CPU is pegged at 100% (or 50% for those with hyper-threading enabled).   The culprit is the familiar svhost.exe slamming the CPU.  Not uncommon on an infected or problematic machine as this wrapper is responsible for a multitude of services, but no infection was found on most of the machines.

These recent cases have all quickly been tracked back to wuauclt.exe (Windows Automatic Update Client),  disabling auto update and killing the active processes of course fixes the problem,  right up until somebody decides to re-enable it,  or attempt to run updates manually — then it’s back with a vengeance.   Then there is the obvious — even though it’s slated to stop receiving updates in a little more than four months, disabling updates is a poor if not stupid solution.

We’ve finally found the fix that is working for nearly every system with this affliction:
For the majority,  those with XP 32bit SP3 up to date with IE8 – the direct link hotfix is here

The real question is why Microsoft hasn’t fixed this issue during the last several ‘Patch Tuesdays’ (several have come and gone while this issue has been occurring,  and even since they released this bulletin).   One might conclude they think there might be an advantage to having customers get frustrated with their aging,  about to be deprecated (for updates) systems,  especially at the end-of-the year and holiday buying season. Surely not J   No matter what,  for those with legacy software and hardware (especially in manufacturing) whom will need their XP systems to operate for a long time to come,  the above fix should help bring some life back to your system.

Brady Tucker

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