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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Fixed! Windows XP SVCHOST.EXE 100% CPU High Utilization

I got bit by the Microsoft bug! The last couple weeks, I had been complaining that my computer has been a little slow. Then last night, it was completely out of control. I booted up after being out of town for a few days and the performance of the SVCHOST.EXE service was awful.

So awful in fact, that no joke -- I watched for 20 minutes as the SVCHOST.EXE service ate up high amounts of the CPU on my Dell Dimension 2400. The processor was pegged at 100% during the entire time. Where before it had just been a minor nuisance, this had to stop -- performance was unacceptable!

Whenever you have a problem like this, everyone's first reaction is that you must have a virus, spyware, or something nefarious like that. That was not the case here. Microsoft and their wonderful Automatic Update service is completely at fault. After a little searching around, I came across some discussion forums that described a number of the problems and stitched together a few solutions.

If you are experiencing this problem, then I would recommend that you take the following steps. Once I took these steps, my entire problem was resolved!

1. Visit the Microsoft site and download the patch for KB927891. Both x86 and x64 versions of the knowledge base patch are available.

2. Visit the Microsoft site and download the Windows Update Agent version 3.0 for your computer. Both versions for x86 and x64 are available. (WindowsUpdateAgent30-x86.exe or WindowsUpdateAgent30-x64.exe)

3. Apply the patch for the KB927891 to your machine.

4. Reboot.

5. Install the Windows Update Agent version 3.0.

6. Reboot.

7. Your problems should be resolved and your computer will perform normally!

Microsoft still suggests that this is a rare problem that very few machines are experiencing with SVCHOST service performance. Whether it is a problem with the BITS (Background Intelligent Transfer Service) or the Automatic Updates service is unknown. I can tell you from personal experience that both the computers in our family were hit with this issue. Best of luck and hopefully this will resolve your issue!

Did this solution work for you? Please let me know with a comment!

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Anonymous said...

Hi and thanks for your problem fix. Works fine.
Had 3 computers with this problem (2 IBM Notebooks and one PC).
I thing the problem will arise if a windows update failed to install

greatings from Germany

Anonymous said...

Fixed the problem; thanks!

Anonymous said...

briliant man, same problem + proper solution. My sound device didnt even work. Maybe someth. from Microsoft to catch unlizensed windows versions.


Anonymous said...

Here is the Microsoft article

Diana said...

has anyone tried the "regcure" downlaod that is advertised on this page. I couldnt find the update agent 3.0 on MS site so im thinking i might just do this downlaod first to see what it finds.

thanks for sharing this info!

Nick said...

Many thanks to you! I was despairing today - why was this happening? What had I done? Ran anti-spam did a 2 hour Mcafee anti-virus scan - no good. Why does it take some of us so long before just googling....Sorted now down to you.

Thanks again!

caperjack said...

worked for me actually starting do windows updates when i restarted after the second reboot,thanks

Anonymous said...

thanks so much! finally my computer is back to normal. from 99 down to 00!! wow! THANKS! :)

Duckster said...

Excellent fix, has been annoying me me for quite a while! Works on both my systems. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I to say thanks fixed 100% cpu usage that just started happening on customers computer .thanks

Micah said...

Same issues, lost my sound, cpu up to 100% after a few minutes.
figured out which svchost file was locking up. It has about 20+ services that use that host file. Narrowed it down to one of the Lanmanworkstation one "workstation" which had 5 services dependent on it..

one of which is NEtlogin "net login"

long story short, for some reason if I go to services.msc and disable netlogin and restart ...

everything works great!

Ken Hanscom said...

Micah, thanks for letting us know how your problem was solved. That helps us all when the common techniques do not work!

Anonymous said...

i've tried installing the kb and the wu client and even disabling netlogon like the poster above's still not fixed. i can literally disable auto updates and be fine, but as soon as i enable it, CPU spikes to 100%...this is sooooo annoying.....

anyone else have any other ideas? winxp pro sp2.

Alex from FL said...

Thanks!!! Fixed my problem with 100% CPU! Took like 5 mins to get my computer back to normal=)

Anonymous said...

You have just saved me from a very frustrating 24 hrs. My newly acquired IBM Thinkpad X31 reduced to crawling pace then froze. Since I was in the middle of installing MS Office that's where I focused my attention but it turned out to be this MS inflicted bug. Key symptom was svchost.exe taking 99% of CPU resource.
Many many thanks

Anonymous said...

I will be restarting shortly to try the patches, but I found some other information in the mean time that was useful.

I noticed the problem when I switched from windows update to microsoft update. By going to the windows update site after the fact and changing the settings so that microsoft update is disabled, everything seems ok.

That doesn't help people who are trying to get updates for office and similar programs, but it should make normal windows updates work as they should.

Anonymous said...

I've since applied both patches and tried using microsoft update once again.

Everything works as normal. HUGE THANKS, this did the trick!

Anonymous said...

Instaled both patches and still have 100% cpu usage in svchost. I did not install the patches in the order that was described. Here's what happened

When I turned on my machine this morning there was a Windows update waiting for me to install. So I ran it. Then I found your site. I downloaded KB927891 patch and installed it. I then downloaded the WindowsUpdateAgent30-x86.exe andwhen i ran said that it was already this mornings Update must have been the WindowsUpdateAgent30 patch.

With not installing in your order prevent having this problem fixed correctly?

Anonymous said...

great post, this has been making PC unbearably slow, i downloaded and installed both Microsoft updates, and after the update agent update my cpu usage fell from 99% to 1%.

thanks for the solution

Haroon, UK

Anonymous said...

Found this information a few weeks ago. It has been the fix for a few machines but not all.

1. Go to command prompt.
2. net stop wuauserv
3. Rename Windows\SoftwareDistribution folder to SoftwareDistribution.old
4. net start wuauserv
5. Reboot

The system rebuilds the SoftwareDistribution folder.

Anonymous said...

thank you very,very much!!!!

Eric said...

This solution worked for me! Thank you all very much for your comments, too. I had inadvertently installed the second update first, then rebooted. I then installed the first update and rebooted. I tested, the updates didn't seem to work... but then I reinstalled the second update and rebooted. Success! svchost.exe now shares the processor with other processes, even when running Microsoft Update. Thank you all very much!

Anonymous said...

I had to update several machines so I created this VB script to tell me the vesion of Windows Update Agent. Ver. 3.0 has a date of 4-16-2007.

Dim fso, f, s, msgtext
Set fso = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
Set f = fso.GetFile("c:\windows\system32\wuaueng.dll")
msgtext = "Windows Update Agent file date: " & f.DateLastModified
msgbox msgtext
set fso = nothing
set f = nothing

Anonymous said...

Dangit! ! !
Didn't work. I applied the patches like you instructed with a reboot between each. As soon as I go to the page, svchost is at 99-100%. But it isn't locking the PC up as bad. Is this a case where the cure is as bad as the disease?

Anonymous said...

These steps didnt end up working for me. However, after some googling I tried this and it seemed to work:

Anonymous said...

It worked ... not completely for me

I did as you write on tour page and everithing was fine.

I launched microsoft update and IE sayed I had to right click on the active-x bar.

But there was no bar to click onto.

Thank you
(from Italy)

Anonymous said...

I tried everyting I can find on the web and no results. I have been struggling for several weeks now. I can kill the svchost.exe that causes the problem and I am back to normal speed but it also kills other items that are needed. Microsoft this a ploy to get people to upgrade to vista?

Ken Hanscom said...

Check out this link -- Microsoft has identified the problem and published some additional patches for this problem. Hopefully it will solve your troubles!

ahmed said...

umm where can i find this windows update agent???

Anonymous said...

Great solution after months of frustration and my corpoprate IT failing to fix!

Kevin Mork said...

Thank you so much for posting this. I had been dealing with issues for a week and it was driving me crazy having to reboot all the time. My own tech department kept telling me it was my virus definitions file. Did it on my own with your simple directions. Thanks.

Kevin said...

thank you it worked

Anonymous said...

Great solution! My frustrations are gone! Whoopee!

Anonymous said...

here is something really interesting, i think. most of you say that your cpu is up to 100%, but according to the program "security task manager," this particular program is using about 90%, max is 95%, and it has never reached to 100%.

so i try to use windows update, i don't know if this problem is related or not, but this bill gates is being ridiculous to me. it asks me to use IE to use the windows update! but right now, whenever i open this ie, it won't start properly. i can only use firefox or Opera browsers. isn't that something?! bill gates, why are you such an idiot? how can i update if your program won't even open?

anyway, i think that i will try to use the safe mode to see if it will work or not

Anonymous said...

here is something really interesting, i think. most of you say that your cpu is up to 100%, but according to the program "security task manager," this particular program is using about 90%, max is 95%, and it has never reached to 100%.

so i try to use windows update, i don't know if this problem is related or not, but this bill gates is being ridiculous to me. it asks me to use IE to use the windows update! but right now, whenever i open this ie, it won't start properly. i can only use firefox or Opera browsers. isn't that something?! bill gates, why are you such an idiot? how can i update if your program won't even open?

anyway, i think that i will try to use the safe mode to see if it will work or not

Anonymous said...

I had a simliar problem on both a Dell Inspiron Laptop and also an Intel Desktop. The desktop would get 100% CPU utilization in an svchost.exe process. Once I ended the process the desktop was fine. If I didn't kill it, the process would eventually consume all of the CPU's bandwidth, and the computer would become totally useless. On the laptop the problem manifested itself by not allowing the computer to shut down. Here the laptop was using a wireless card, and when shutdown was started the wireless card would reset, and then the shutdown would terminate. After this you had to disconnect power to get the laptop to turn off.
Turns out that both problems were related to a HP OfficeJet 7500 software driver. The driver wants to go out and check the status of the printer all the time, thus on the desktop this consumes all the CPU bandwidth. On the laptop, when the shutdown was initiated, the process would reset the wireless card, and kill the shutdown. Both the laptop and desktop were fixed by using the Run : msconfig, click on the Services tab, and disabling the HP Network Devices Support service.
The OfficeJet 7500 printer hardware is actually quite nice, but the software is terrible. Once you disable the HP Network Devices Support process, the printer and faxing work fine, but the software doesn't support all of the features which I never use anyway.
Hope this helps someone, I spent two days on this.

Anonymous said...

12/2/07 Anonymous.......The HP Office Jet 7500 "fix" listed above worked for me. It has been driving me crazy as I have installed/uninstalled HP software as the problem all seemed to occur around installing this software on both desk and laptop.

Thanks very much for posting the fix on this item!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I had issue with svchost.exe taking 100% and here is how you can find out what takes your CPU cycles.
1. CTR-ALT-DEL then kill the svchost.exe so you can use your system. If you are able to use your system, then do not kill the svchost.exe ( Also no need to reboot - so skip step 3)
2. Download process Explorer from Microsot site ( It is a single executable.
3. Reboot your system (only if you had to kill svchost.exe) so that original problem comes to life.
4. When computer comes up, CTR-ALT-DEL to see the cpu usage
5. start the Process Explorer that you downloaded from Microsoft
6. Sort the process by CPU usage
7. Double click on the one that eats your CPU
8. under the "Image" tab in the "Command Line" you will see something like "C:\WINDOWS\system32\svchost.exe -k HPService"
9. In Windows "Start->run" and then type "services.msc"
10. When services window comes up, look under the name something that contains, in our case "HPService".
11. In our case it will be "HP Network Device Support"
12. In Services, double click on the HP Network Device Support and under "General" tab check the "Path to executable". If you have a match, you found the problem.
13. Under "Startup Type" change it to "Disables" and hit Apply. Under "Service Status" hit STOP button. You will see your CPU % go down.
- NO need to reboot.
Hope that this Helps.

Anonymous said...

I already did this but the prob still occurs from time to time.

Molodoj33 said...

Thanks, man, worked fine for me. Since i had Windows Update Agent 3.0 already installed on my computer, (probably it was installed during automatic updates, which i never cancel) i only needed to install the Patch KB927891 and reboot. The problem disappeared.

Iouri Chadour said...


Actually it did't work for me so I have posted another fix for this problem.

Thanks for posting this here

XinoMoreno said...

It worked For Me. I only installed the Patch KB927891 and reboot.

XinoMoreno said...

It worked for me..Only installed the patch and reboot , The update agent was already installed.

Frosty said...

it didnt work, i installed the patch KB927891 and rebooted but svchost still utilizes CPU at 100%, the problem is, it kicks in when i try to do somethinhg, and there are no viruses/spyware on my machine

Frosty said...

btw when i tried installing the agent it said that its already installed, did i miss something?

serverchief said...

Install Service Pack 3. It will fix lots of issues. Needless to say, make a back up of your system, though you could probably use check points and go back (thats is if they don't fail).

Ken Hanscom said...

Thanks, I appreciate the comment and I agree that generally installing Service Pack 3 really helps.

My only concern here is that I have yet to see with any certainty a case where Service Pack 3 fixed this particular issue.

So while Service Pack 3 for XP is important, you mileage migh vary (YMMV) in terms of actually fixing the issue mentioned in this post.


Anonymous said...

For me this problem appeared when I installed SP3.

Any solution?

Ken Hanscom said...

I have not seen it occur when installing Microsoft Windows XP SP3 yet. Perhaps try the fixes above to see if they help post service pack application?


Brad said...

I have multiple PC's in the same state. XPPRO/SP3, no Spyware, just high CPU utilization on SVCHOSTS.
I therfore have 3 lines that work;
from the command line...

net stop wuauserv
rmdir c:\windows\softwaredistribution /s
net start wuauserv

Ken Hanscom said...


Thanks for the comment. We should warn users that removing directories while fixing the problem you experienced can cause severe or unexpected issues. This of course, depends your specific PCs configuration.


Anonymous said...

I continue to have this SVChost problem. As it's linked to the process that sound system needs, it's a HUGE inconvenience to say the least, sometimes locking up the computer for 5 minutes or more at a time.

Is this a Microsoft wheeze to stop us all using mp3s ?

I haven't found any solution that works yet with Win XP SP3

Latest is that it also locks up Firefox 3 with 100% CPU usage.

Anonymous said...

Open notepad

Type net stop wuauserv

save as all files fixsvc.bat on C:\ drive

when your computer starts 'performing' hold windows key press R key

type c:\fixsvc.bat at command.prompt, press enter

Usually PROBLEM SOLVED !!!!!!

Frosty said...

in response to the latest post by anonymous, i have found that this is a ploy to get Everyone to use Windows Vista

Anonymous said...


type net stop wuauserv

at command prompt press Enter

works because of OS system trying to access windows update service at intervals, whether it's enabled or not.

so you need this fix EACH time Win XP plays up!!!!

HOPE THIS HELPS!!!!! It's got my computer back into normal use.....

Anonymous said...

add the fixsvc.bat file (content net stop wuauserv) to your common user startup group

as well as running whenever your computer seems to be running slow

result ZERO svchost 100% CPU problem

Anonymous said...

As I suggest the same one of cour customer and let us wait and see that it works or not...however thanks. once it is resoved, i will post another comment.

Anonymous said...


I've had the same problem occuring for about a month nowl. I tried the above remedy ( same fix also posted on various other places on the net too ), and it doesn't seem to work on my ibm thinkpad a22m. I read somewhere about windows installer live, and uninstalled windows live ( and the updates associated with its uninstall )... and guess what? It works! The svchost never pushes the cpu at all, runs as it normally does. So far no faultering or cpu surging, I also am ignoring the reminder to update windows live and the associated updates... hmm?

Question: What can one run on a computer that is safe from intrusion and also safe from Microsoft's security updating battle with the world's hackers?


Anonymous said...

I too have been having this problem and have been on to Microsoft,they referred me to Dell who suggest I go to their software office,on a premium phone number.I have tried to d/l the patch but get the message that service pack 3 contains this patch and i don't need it.I keep getting a powerpoint update and have had it 7 times already.I just don't know what to do next.I disabled automatic updates but then got an alert to start it again.I give up!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much. Both of my laptops had this issue and it was driving me nuts. At first I thought my daughter was visiting sites on the web . . . and somehow got a virus or something.

Thank you again for the solution!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks! I had no idea there was an Update Agent version that was different or newer than what was provided by Microsoft.

I thought if you just keep up to date through Windows Update or Microsoft Update I would be good, but guess not.

Even with Windows XP SP3 patch I was experiencing this svchost issue on my notebook, even after a fresh install. Hasn't happened on my desktop though. Weird.

Anyways, THANKS!!!!

Tiago said...

worked fine for me. cheers

Jack_B said...

I seem to have a similar problem, though with two SVCHOSTs, each taking up 50% of my CPU. I'm assuming that's because I have an Intel Core 2 Duo Processor, and basically each host is taking up 100% of each processor core.

I'm wondering, will this fix work for my problem too? Are there any side effects that might possibly occur?


Stephanie said...

Thank you so much, issue has been resolved. I was to the point where I was ready to reformat my Dell Inspiron 6000. I've been having this problem for about a year now and have so many times wanted to toss my computer out of a window. Thanks again for sharing!!

Ren said...

I have this problem, but I have additional symptoms- some that make using this fix impossible.

1. I cannot boot the machine in safe mode (video driver fails to initialize).

2. SVCHOST/wuauclt was initially the problem. I disabled automatic updates. (services.msc) This did not solve the problem of a process hitting me with 99% CPU usage. It didn't even stop it from happening immediately on startup.

2. Disabled Windows Firewall/Internet Connection sharing. (services msc) This bought me a few minutes of time. But another process will eventually shoot up to 99% processor usage. Usually AVG Antivirus, which I installed to see if I had a problem. Sometimes its even Process Explorer.

3. I attempt to kill processes that hog the cpu, but eventually it is LSASS. When I kill that, WINLOGON is the next to take its place. At that point the game is over because killing WINLOGON restarts you.

4. I cannot perform a system restore, or boot up in safe mode. I can't reach because all web traffic is redirected. If I use google, I can click on links but I am redirected to search-engine style sites and not where I want to go. I can view cached pages, but that is it. Updating AVG or getting to windows update is a no go.


Riotfellow said...

I didn't know here was a microsft patch for this, so i have been tinkering around with the system settings and i have found this solution:
1. download process explorer from microsofts or sysinternals homepage
2. Start the program and find the svchost that uses the most CPU.
3. right-click svchost.exe then properties->threads
4. The thread showing the most CPU should be kernel32.dll (in my case) click any of them and push the suspend button
5. Problem solved!

toma said...

hi!I’m having a problem with my comp too.The svchost is rising high but doesn’t reach 99 %, it only goes to 70%!The other 30% is occupied by the system.This doesn’t happend all the time,some times the wauclt goes to 60% and the explorer goes to 40%, anyway the result is a 100% cpu usage an a dead computer.
any help?

Anonymous said...

Same SVC 100% problem but this doesn't seem to fix it. System "says" updates not installed - already there. Problem isn't going away.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately the two downloads didn't solve the problem. I downloaded Process Explorer from MS and it identified a driver for HP Imaging (printer-related) was spiking the cpu. The name of it was HPSCPSVC32.DLL, and it supposedly checks for any HP printers that are newly attached or have changed their ip address. I have an HP7200 inkjet printer, so this file probably came with the printer installation. Anyway, went into the services, switched that service from automatic start to manual start. Problem appears to be gone on both of my pcs, and I can still print. Thanks for the postings everyone! -CA Mike

Paul said...

These Windows Update solutions did not work for me either (my system said they were both already installed by 2009.) But Mike for CA was right in his post on 4/14/2009 as it is the #*()%@#! HP printer software (I also have an HP Photosmart 7200 model). But he didn't give a fully descriptive fix at the service now uses a different name and re-starts even if you switch it to Manual (bugger!). In order to disable this piece of garbage HP software, you need to go to Control Panel>Administrative Tools> Services and DISABLE the "HP Network Devices Support" because that bugger will automatically re-start even if you switch to manual. I am buying the new EPSON printer as I've had WAY too many problems with HP printer software (as if the 100MB+ HP software install wasn't enough to tip me off...)

Also, just to help others serach for this solution, in addition to svchost.exe pushing the CPU to 100% I also had services.exe, spoolsv.exe, ASFAgent.exe and rundll32.exe topping the list.

PencilsandPixelsArt said...

Turned out my problem was HP software as well. I have an HP D7260. Odd it worked fine on one computer, but when installed on another it was eating 100% CPU and severely crippling the system. Thanks to Paul for the fix. Once I disabled the HP Network Devices Support the CPU went right down to normal. Please be sure and actually DISABLE the service by double clicking the service and selecting "disable" from the drop down menu. Don't just stop the service it will restart a short time later on its own!

Just a side note, in my case the problem was often intermittent, making it harder to find out the source. About 1/3 of the time the computer would suddenly return to normal CPU usage.

If HP only knew how much time I wasted scanning for viruses and downloading updates!!!! This viscious software bug will make me think twice about ever using their products again, although I must admit the printer itself performs nicely.

Anonymous said...

Riotfellow said...

I didn't know here was a microsft patch for this, so i have been tinkering around with the system settings and i have found this solution:
1. download process explorer from microsofts or sysinternals homepage
2. Start the program and find the svchost that uses the most CPU.
3. right-click svchost.exe then properties->threads
4. The thread showing the most CPU should be kernel32.dll (in my case) click any of them and push the suspend button
5. Problem solved!

THIS WORKED!!! Thank God

Anonymous said...

Old fix, from 2007.
There have been many microsoft updates.

Riotfellow, who wants to go through that every session?
You have the right idea though, but, closeing something that should be running is not a solution. More forensics into why that thread is causeing the 100% cpu load is the question.

Why not just go into choose details in explorer(right click detail toolbar, thsmall thin ones) and untick everything.
Then to make sure every explorer has same settings, go in "tools/folder options" and hit "apply to all folders".

Also do the xp tweak for avi preview if it happens in a directory with avi the tweak, it is common.

This usually happens when someone with large amount of media files have "bit rate" ticked in explorer details for every folder.

Anonymous said...

The OP's solution did not work but it looks like my problem may be related to an HP printer - none of those mentioned above. I uninstalled completely and so far CPU usage has plummeted to near zero. Time will tell as I have had temporary lapses of the problem when I tried other things - only to have it reappear.

Anonymous said...

I tried everything in the manual and it didnt work for me, I found out that the problem is with DcomLaunch that runs svchost.exe and consumes 96% of CPU (i have widows xp professional). I found out that DcomLaunch is a servis that came with Service pack2. When i try to kill the process a window pops up that says there was an error and the computer will shut down in a minute. I aslo tried to install patch KB927891 and Windows Update 3.0. Nothing worked.

Does anyone have an idea what could sort the problem out?

Thank you very much in advance for any ideas

Myrrdin said...

For me its the same problem like the person above me!
I installed the patches, I also used a fix_svchost.bat file from

and deactivated the automatic update client and everything. Still after 10 minutes or so. svchost.exe pleases me with 99% CPU.
WHAT TO DO??? I am help- and speechless

Also I get the one minute warning thing when I shut down the process manually (dont do that at home kids ;)

Peter said...

Same as the two comments above. In the end I put it down to a virus.

I ended the svchost process, which then gave me a minute to go to the windows run command and type 'shutdown -a' (no quotes) which gave me plenty of time to do a system restore, now all is back to normal.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info. Only had to apply the patch. System has been running for about a day without problems, so I assume the problem has been resolved.

MikeD said...

I stopped and disabled the NET Driver HPZ12 and the Pml Driver HPZ12 services and that resolved this issue for me on the workstations that had this issue. The services are for an HP print monitor to monitor toner usage and so forth.

I'm using WSUS 2.0 and wuaueng.dll version 7.1.xxxx.xx on XP pro SP3.

Anonymous said...

Tried to install these updates but got a message saying the computer is already updated and agent already installed.
For now, I just kill this service every time I boot.

Anonymous said...

In my system this svchost-CPU issue was caused by McAfee virus scan. Killing svchost after every reboot fixed the problem, but with side effects like not being able to open Microsoft website, and losing network connection after a Hibernate. I found another solution later.

Open the McAfee console – Configure virun scan option – Uncheck the option “Start Activeshield every time system starts”.

This procedure disables the virus scan though.

Anonymous said...

Good article but it didn't help me much. I also can recommend you this -

Anonymous said...

Does not help!

Anonymous said...

this post did not work for me. i tried to download both patches and both times my pc said i already had them or newer yet my pc is still having this problem.