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Higher than normal CPU svchost.exe BUT READ


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#1 bizman123

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Posted 19 September 2016 - 07:46 PM

I have researched lots of stuff on-line already but not seeing an answer. 

 

I have a windows vista 64 machine with I7 processor and 6gb of ram.  Norton, no viruses I know of.  Normally machine (lightly used) runs with 49 processes, and 31% of ram <1% of cpu unless I am doing something. 

 

For last few days it has been running 13% of ram, and 47% of ram with 1.2mb being svchost.exe.  Normally, this is a background update, but I have literally left computer on for 36 hours straight, turning off a couple times to see if it would clear, but at least 18 hours straight.  When I restart, it starts out low.  I see trusted install come on for a few minutes at about 22,000, then memory starts climbing, and fan comes up and stays on.  I might not notice this except for fan. 

 

If it was a legit install, I would think it would eventually stop which usually results in a flag on shut down that says "shuts down computer and installs updates" but it just doesn't do that. 

 

Norton is up to date and has run full scans while this is all going on.  Is it simply a huge update?  It was last updated in mid July.  When I simply click on "check for updates" from control panel the dialogue box closes but never see anything.  If I click it again, it says "update is already running".  If I shut down, and restart, I can go through all of the above including this last item.  I can click check for updates once, and it seems to initiate something that doesn't show.  If I click it again, it says "already running".  I was hoping I could force a high CPU full memory update.  Heck, a whole install wouldn't take this long, which is what I might do.  I am just not sure if it should be win7, win10 or what.  I use my PC and large high resolution monitor for photo editing.  That's about it.  I surf with a laptop. 

 

Kevin



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#2 lmacri

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 08:44 AM

Hi bizman123:

 

Do you have Windows Update set to automatically check for updates, and if so what was the date of your last successful update at Control Panel | Programs and Features | View installed updates (note: Windows Update | View update history might be less accurate)?  If your dozen or so September 2016 Patch Tuesday updates were not installed on or around 13-Sep-2016, disable automatic Windows Updates [Windows Update | Change settings | Important updates | Never check for updates (not recommended)] and re-boot to see if your CPU consumption returns back to normal.

 

Many Vista SP2 users are currently affected by slow Windows updates, and when this happens the Windows Update service (wuauserv), running under the host svchost.exe process, completely saturates one core of the the user's CPU (e.g., 50% CPU consumption with a dual core CPU) while the Windows Update Agent wuaueng.dll attempts to search for available updates.  When this happens users see the initial "Checking for updates...." phase of Windows Update hang for several hours instead of running to completion in a few minutes.  See post # 6 in Kayla77's thread Processes in Task Manager During Updates in the VistaForums for instructions on how to use Microsoft Sysinternal's Process Manager to determine if Windows Update is the cause of your high CPU consumption.

 

Attached File  WU PE svchost wuauserv 14 Apr 2016.png   60KB   0 downloads

 

If you think you are affected by these slow Windows Updates, there are step-by-step instructions posted 16-Jun-2016 in m#l's thread Updates not working, it has been searching for updates for hours in the MS Answers forum that should help you install your missing updates and solve your high CPU consumption - at least until Microsoft releases their next batch of Patch Tuesday updates on 11-Oct-2016.
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32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Firefox v48.0.2 * NIS v22.7.1.32 * MBAM Premium v2.2.1


Edited by lmacri, 20 September 2016 - 09:02 AM.


#3 bizman123

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Posted 23 September 2016 - 06:58 PM

Imacri,

 

To answer your questions, yes, I see the 12 updates that were installed on SEP 18th.   Actually at that time, the computer was working fine.  I think I had used it since then at least 1 time as well without issue.   I only use it to edit photos.  This started when I booted it up last weekend. 

 

I just unchecked the box for autoupdates and rebooted.  CPU is normal now, <1%, and memory (6gb) back to normal 23% idle.  I can now look to the solution you point to, but I read through it before posting and didn't think it really fit, as I don't get 100% CPU usage nor a message that sticks on "checking for updates".  It's just random use of all 8 cores kind of like a background install, but after 12+ hours, its still the same.  As stated in original post it starts after running a few minutes immediately following "trusted install" showing up on process list. 

 

If you point me back to the post above, that's what I will do. 



#4 bizman123

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Posted 23 September 2016 - 08:20 PM

I can check for update KB3145739.

Will that fix it?

Kevin

#5 lmacri

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Posted 23 September 2016 - 08:27 PM

To answer your questions, yes, I see the 12 updates that were installed on SEP 18th...

 

..I just unchecked the box for autoupdates and rebooted.  CPU is normal now, <1%, and memory (6gb) back to normal 23% idle.  I can now look to the solution you point to, but I read through it before posting and didn't think it really fit, as I don't get 100% CPU usage nor a message that sticks on "checking for updates".  It's just random use of all 8 cores kind of like a background install, but after 12+ hours, its still the same.  As stated in original post it starts after running a few minutes immediately following "trusted install" showing up on process list.

 

Hi bizman123:

Microsoft always releases a new batch of security updates for Vista on Patch Tuesdays on the second Tuesday of the month, and the September 2016 Patch Tuesday updates were released 13-Sep-2016.  Your original post of 19-Sep-2016 said "it was last updated in mid July", but if your installed updates show that 12 updates were installed on 18-Sep-2016 then you likely received your September 2016 Patch Tuesday updates and are already fully patched.  If you aren't sure here's a screenshot showing the KB numbers for the September 2016 Patch Tuesday updates I received for my 32-bit machine Vista machine, which includes KB3185319 (Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer 9: September 13, 2016).  I was fully patched last month so I only had to pre-install this month's Windows kernel-mode driver (Win32K.sys) update KB3185911 from Dalai's list at http://wu.krelay.de/en/ to speed up Windows Update.

 

Attached File  September 2016 PT Updates Windows History.png   34.52KB   0 downloads

Note that many users affected by these slow Windows Updates find that their Windows Updates will eventually run to completion after several hours, and that sounds like what happened on your computer this month.  The step-by-step instructions posted 16-Jun-2016 in m#l's thread Updates not working, it has been searching for updates for hours in the MS Answers forum will simply speed up Windows Update so that the search for available updates during the initial "Checking for updates..." phase runs to completion in minutes, and not hours, on Patch Tuesday.  If you're fully patched there's no need to run through these instructions this month.

When Windows Update gets stuck at "Checking for updates..." the host process svchost.exe normally saturates only one core of your CPU, so an i7 processor with four cores would see a constant 25% consumption of total CPU.  You said your i7 processor has 8 cores so it would max out at 12.5% CPU consumption.  If an automatic (scheduled) Windows Update was running in the background on your machine you might notice the increased CPU but you wouldn't actually see a message saying "Checking for updates...".  You only see "Checking for updates..." next to the progress bar if you open the Windows Update interface and start a new update session.

 

Attached File  WU Checking for Updates.png   39.8KB   0 downloads

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32-bit Vista Home Premium SP2 * Firefox v49.0 * NIS v22.7.1.32 * MBAM Premium v2.2.1


Edited by lmacri, 23 September 2016 - 09:01 PM.


#6 bizman123

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Posted 23 September 2016 - 09:11 PM

Thanks Imacri,

Let me back up. I made a mistake, but I sincerely appreciate your help.

The last update was 12 updates on July 18th, not Sep. the last "check for updates" was 8/3.

So sounds like I need to follow that protocol? but I am struggling just a bit to follow it, but if it's a 1 time thing, I probably can manage.

Kevin

#7 lmacri

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Posted 23 September 2016 - 10:06 PM

The last update was 12 updates on July 18th, not Sep. the last "check for updates" was 8/3...

...So sounds like I need to follow that protocol? but I am struggling just a bit to follow it, but if it's a 1 time thing, I probably can manage.

 

Hi bizman123:

 

Then yes, I'd suggest you run through all the steps in the step-by-step instructions posted 16-Jun-2016 in m#l's thread Updates not working, it has been searching for updates for hours in the MS Answers at least once so you can confirm which Windows kernel-mode driver (Win32K.sys) updates on Dalai's webpage at http://wu.krelay.de/en/ are missing from your computer.

 

As of 13-Sep-2016 the full list of Win32K.sys updates on Dalai's webpage is: KB3078601 (rel. 18-Aug-2015); KB3109094 (rel. 07-Dec-2015); KB3145739 (rel. 12-Apr-2016); KB3164033 (rel. 14-Jun-2016); KB3168965 (rel. 12-Jul-2016); KB3185911 (rel. 13-Sep-2016).  The good news is that you only have to manually install the Win32K.sys updates that are currently missing from your system, so if KB3168965 was installed with your other July 2016 updates you should only be missing the latest KB3185911 (rel. 13-Sep-2016).

 

Post back if you run into any problems. Once your Vista OS is fully patched the process will be much simpler going forward because once you ensure that KB3078601, KB3109094, KB3145739, KB3164033, KB3168965 and KB3185911 are installed on your system you will never have to check for those updates again.  Dalai will post the KB number for a new Win32K.sys update on his webpage on 11-Oct-2016 when the October 2016 Patch Tuesday updates are released and that new Win32K.sys update will be the only update you have to manually install next month to "trick" Windows Update into installing your remaining dozen or so October 2016 Patch Tuesday updates.

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Edited by lmacri, 23 September 2016 - 10:10 PM.


#8 bizman123

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Posted 23 September 2016 - 10:14 PM

Okay, so this will be a perpetual problem requiring a monthly work around?

Maybe I will just install a new OS.

#9 lmacri

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Posted 23 September 2016 - 10:39 PM

Okay, so this will be a perpetual problem requiring a monthly work around?  Maybe I will just install a new OS.

 

Hi bizman123:

 

From Dalai's webpage at http://wu.krelay.de/en/:

 

"This HowTo is valid for Win7 SP1 and Vista SP2, which have been newly installed or haven't been updated for some time. It should also help on systems that were up-to-date last month - just install the missing updates from the list below in this case...

 

...The term "solution" might be a little bit exaggerated, since the following HowTo only tries to make sure that the Update Agent doesn't need to check all updates, so the check for new updates is done faster. Futhermore, it's only a temporary solution; most likely the issue will appear again with the next Patchday."

 

So yes, these slow Windows Updates can affect both both Vista SP2 and Win 7 SP1 machines, and it's likely a perpetual problem for Vista users.  Win 7 users are currently testing a new patch for the Win 7 Windows Update Agent v7.6.7601.23453 that might permanently fix the problem for that OS, but there is no analogous patch for the Vista Windows Update Agent (wuaueng.dll) v7.6.7600.256 that was last updated in June 2012.  See Woody Leonhard's WoodyOnWindows 14-Sep-2016 blog entry KB 3185911 speeds up the Windows 7 scan for updates.

 

I don't expect Microsoft to release a permanent fix for Vista before extended support for Vista SP2 finally ends on 11-Apr-2017, so Dalai's workaround is the only viable option for Vista users for now.

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Edited by lmacri, 23 September 2016 - 10:45 PM.


#10 bizman123

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Posted 24 September 2016 - 03:32 PM

Okay, I will read all this stuff again.  Little confused as to why wupdater can't be reverted back to something that worked, but sure it has to do with security or something. 

 

Shifting gears, I have a copy of Win 7 here at the house.  I just didn't feel like reloading all my photo software and such.  But I assume the best path to Win10 is to load win 7, then do an upgrade using the "upgrade for assistive technology" route for free upgrade?  or would it be better to stay with win7?

 

Kevin



#11 bizman123

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Posted 24 September 2016 - 03:43 PM

One more question, how do you install the updates without using Windows updater.  Is this download link on Dalai's self installing?  If not the page doesn't explain how to install it in the right spot like WU would. 

 

Sorry, not much of an IT person obviously. 



#12 lmacri

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Posted 24 September 2016 - 06:10 PM

Okay, I will read all this stuff again.  Little confused as to why wupdater can't be reverted back to something that worked, but sure it has to do with security or something. 

 

Shifting gears, I have a copy of Win 7 here at the house.  I just didn't feel like reloading all my photo software and such.  But I assume the best path to Win10 is to load win 7, then do an upgrade using the "upgrade for assistive technology" route for free upgrade?  or would it be better to stay with win7?

 

Hi bizman123:

 

For most Vista users the only option is Win 7 because their hardware is too old to run Win 10, but if you have an i7 processor and 6 GB of RAM that probably won't be an issue for you.  The choice of Win 7 vs Win 10 is highly personal, and as long as all your computer hardware and software is compatible with Win 10 there will be several factors for you to consider.  That discussion is probably beyond the scope of this thread, so I'd suggest that you start a new topic in this forum and ask for some guidance.

 

If you're interested in why so many Vista users are currently affected by these slow Windows Updates, I posted a summary in post # 16 in uberbleeper's thread What actually causes wuauserv high CPU use updating Windows.  Until Microsoft gets off their collective backsides and releases an updated Windows Update Agent (wuaueng.dll) for Vista or starts expiring some older updates in the supersedence chains for their software there isn't any fix-it tool out there that's going to solve this problem.

 

One more question, how do you install the updates without using Windows updater.  Is this download link on Dalai's self installing?  If not the page doesn't explain how to install it in the right spot like WU would.

 

The links on Dalai's webpage will re-direct you to the correct download pages for the standalone update packages (.msu) files on the official Microsoft Download Center, and they are self-installing - just save them to your desktop and double-click to run.  From my step-by-step instructions posted 16-Jun-2016 in m#1's thread Updates not working, it has been searching for updates for hours :

 

"These .msu files are associated with the Windows Update Standalone Installer (C:\Windows\System32\wusu.exe) and can be installed on computers without an internet connection."

 

The instructions in m#1's thread are based on Dalai's workaround and will guide you through the process of finding and installing any Windows kernel-mode driver (Win32K.sys) updates listed on Dalia's webpage at http://wu.krelay.de/en/ that are currently missing from your computer.  Please follow those step-by-step instructions if you want to try Dalai's workaround.

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Edited by lmacri, 24 September 2016 - 06:24 PM.


#13 lmacri

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Posted 24 September 2016 - 06:41 PM

One more question, how do you install the updates without using Windows updater.  Is this download link on Dalai's self installing?  If not the page doesn't explain how to install it in the right spot like WU would.

 

Hi bizman123:

 

I just read the details you provided when you cross-posted about this in your thread Installing KB3185911.

 

If you were using Internet Explorer 9 your browser is likely the problem.  If you don't have another browser installed on your Vista PC like Firefox or Chrome then you will have to use another computer with a different browser to download the .msu installer(s) to a USB stick and then transfer the file(s) to your Vista desktop.  If neither of those options is available to you see my post today (24-Sep-2016) in slipfoot's thread Windows Update just spins and spins, seemingly without end.

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Edited by lmacri, 24 September 2016 - 06:43 PM.


#14 bizman123

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Posted 26 September 2016 - 05:26 PM

I have FF installed on it.  I will try that, or putting it on a stick. 

 

Kevin



#15 bizman123

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Posted 01 October 2016 - 10:38 AM

Now I know why they call this site "bleeping computer"

 

I used FF and was able to get the KB3185911 link to work (offer me a choice of install or save)

 

When I click on install, it had a popup that said searching for update, then another popped up and said "this update does not apply to your system".  ????

 

Any ideas on this one?   

 

I do have a copy of Win7 from another dead computer, I can upgrade to this but was reading that Win7 has some of the same issues.  Although the laptop I am using right now has had no issues whatsoever.  It's up to date with latest updates. 

 

Another strange issue I noted is that when I had "installed updates" open last week, the files all showed details such as date installed.  This time it just showed the list all together.  I was in there looking just to see if the file above was there since it gave me the error it did. 






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