How to fix svchost.exe 100% CPU usage

svchost.exe 100% CPU usage and then my PC crashes (Solution)

Holy crap… my computer has been FREAKING out this week and I have no idea why. So I did the alt+ctr+delete and took a look at the running processes. svchost.exe was going crazy and using 99-100% of my CPU all the time! If I clicked on end task it would come back a few minutes later… not to mention the beautiful look of Windows XP got messed up after I ended the task (and you know how everybody wants their Windows to look slick). So I did some searching and searching and searching and tried many different things…

The problem
Here’s why svchost was using so much of my CPU. The culprit is Windows Update! I had automatic updates on and svhost would flip out.

Here’s what didn’t work for me:
* I tried to do Windows Update manually. My computer just froze up, nothing would happen after a few minutes, my PC got really hot.
* I tried a patch from Microsoft, but I didn’t bookmark it. I also read this…
Link: Microsoft Support
Description: FIX: When you run Windows Update to scan for updates that use Windows Installer, including Office updates, CPU utilization may reach 100 percent for prolonged periods

Here’s what I did…

Part 1 of the svchost fix
Correct Services Setup
1. Click Start -> Run, type “services.msc” (without quotation marks) in the open box and click OK.
2. Double click the service “Automatic Updates”.
3. Click on the Log On tab, please ensure the option “Local System Account” is selected and the option “Allow service to interact with desktop” is unchecked.
4. Check if this service has been enabled on the listed Hardware Profile. If not, please click the Enable button to enable it.
5. Click on the tab “General ” and make sure the “Startup Type” is “Automatic”. Then please click the button “Start” under “Service Status” to start the service.
6. Repeat the above steps with the other service: Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS)

Part 2 of the svchost fix
Re-register Windows Update components and Clear the corrupted Windows Update temp folder.

1. Click on Start and then click Run,
2. In the open field type “REGSVR32 WUAPI.DLL” (without quotation marks) and press Enter.
3. When you receive the “DllRegisterServer in WUAPI.DLL succeeded” message, click OK.
4. Please repeat these steps for each of the following commands:

REGSVR32 WUAUENG.DLL
REGSVR32 WUAUENG1.DLL
REGSVR32 ATL.DLL
REGSVR32 WUCLTUI.DLL
REGSVR32 WUPS.DLL
REGSVR32 WUPS2.DLL
REGSVR32 WUWEB.DLL

Part 3 of the svchost fix
After the above steps are finished, since temporary folder of Windows Update may be corrupted, we can refer to the following steps to rename this folder so a new one will be created.

1. Click Start, Run, type: cmd and press Enter. Please run the following command in the opened window. “net stop WuAuServ” (note, you might need to reboot before the net stop command will work… I did not have to reboot)
2. Click Start, Run, type: %windir% and press Enter.
3. In the opened folder, rename the folder SoftwareDistribution to SDold.
4. Click Start, Run, type: cmd and press Enter. Please run the following command in the opened window.
net start WuAuServ

You could always upgrade to the latest version of Microsoft Windows!

After I did all of this I rebooted my PC. I haven’t activated Windows Automatic Updates. I then did Windows Update manually and updated my PC. Everything is now working just fine.

17 thoughts on “How to fix svchost.exe 100% CPU usage

  1. I’ve struggled with this problem for days… reinstalling XP SP3 too many times to remeber. I know very little about computers/operating systems etc. The only way to stop svchost hogging the system was to turn off automatic updates. Non of the fixes I found on the web worked. Then I had that eurika moment. My install CD was loading I.E. 6 so I installed I.E.8 and now the old laptop works OK. Hope this helps someone.

  2. I fought this issue for two days before trying the instructions on this site and they worked beautifully–so far. haha.

    You are a GOD!

  3. No luck for me.. Tried the instructions and tried installing IE8. Still stuck at 100%.

    Clean install of XP SP3 (Friend had a disk failure and asked me to fix). Straight out of the box it doesn’t work…. Someone at M$ wants shooting for this.

  4. After a lot experiance with a new-installed xp-sp3 , without any succes, i used the tip of tazrubi:
    download internet explorer 8, that solved the issue for me.
    thanks a lot…

  5. I had high cpu usage from svchost after updating windows xp sp1 to sp3. I tried everything here, nothing worked. I found if you download internet explorer 8, that solved the issue for me. Automatic updates work and going to their site. This might be something to think about, because internet explorer is way outdated. Also i had a problem with downloading games from big fish. When they failed to install, heard a strange noise from the speakers. Went to safe mode, disabled legacy audio and video drivers. Because i had a issue with them before with the report after BSOD. I have never had any problem with disabling them. It is more stable then when i bought it. So if you have any problems, try disabling old drivers that came with windows xp. Especially old audio/ video drivers, because they can cause conflict with the other drivers for your computer.

  6. Seemed to work for a while, then same problem happened. Seems to be true for everything from Windows. Time to save up for a Mac I guess.

  7. Hi – I just did this section, and it worked for me. Thanks, BobM
    1. Click Start, Run, type: cmd and press Enter. Please run the following command in the opened window. “net stop WuAuServ” (note, you might need to reboot before the net stop command will work… I did not have to reboot)
    2. Click Start, Run, type: %windir% and press Enter.
    3. In the opened folder, rename the folder SoftwareDistribution to SDold.
    4. Click Start, Run, type: cmd and press Enter. Please run the following command in the opened window.
    net start WuAuServ

  8. As far as I can tell, this has seemingly worked after NOTHING else I’ve tried has. Hopefully it’s not just a temporary fluke. Thanks for this!

  9. I am really impressed. This has worked a treat on my netbook. It means I can delay a tricky re install from USB. Thanks dude, you are the bomb!!!

  10. Just wanted to thank you for this post. I followed these steps (but also I first un-registered each DLL) and then was able to re-upgrade to Microsoft Update and now it behaves properly!

  11. Thanks a bunch! being a hard core PC gamer I am always downloading patches which mostly contain viruses, adwears ect. Thanks to these directions My computer is now working perfectly and even tho my virus scan deleted the virus the cpu usage was still high! Thanks again!

  12. Hi! nice post, but, is WUAUENG.DLL a localization dependant file? I have the spanish XP version, do you think there is some other dll meant for the spanish version of the SO? something like WUAUESP.DLL? where is thsi file located?

  13. We recently had this exact problem on multiple PCs on the same day. All appear to have been triggered by either windows XP service Pack 3, or transition from the “windows automatic update” to “microsoft update” (which are apparently different programs entirely) or some combination of the two. Running this fix removed the “microsoft update” program, putting the systems back to “windows update”, which functions perfectly. We have been able to install XP SP3 and all other fixes, but I have not added the microsoft update option back in at this point (don’t think it is needed).

    The fixes listed on this page worked perfectly, with some added details:
    - Prior to running anything on this page I:
    - a. Disabled automatic updates completely
    - b. Set a restore point using system restore (start->all programs->accessories->system tools->system restore)
    - c. Installed windows Process Explorer, which gives much nicer detail on the task manager screen to see what is actually going on with the CPU.

    - In part 1, #5, when trying to “start” Automatic Updates and BITS, they were already running on our systems. I had to stop them, then restart them.
    - In part 3, #1, WuAuServ was already stopped. I did this step anyway, and did not need to reboot.
    - In part 3, #2, after typing “%windir%” to determine the windir location, cd to that location (mine was c:\windows) and then type: rename c:\windows\SoftwareDistribution SDOld (if your windir is not c:\windows, you will need to change the rename command I listed)

    After running the rest, I rebooted and went to the microsoft update website. There are now “3″ options:
    - Install Microsoft Update (this option was not present before this fix)
    - Express Updates
    - Custom Updates

    Express and custom updates worked fine for me, and installed the windows genuine advantage software and XP SP3 without any issues. I then turned automatic updates back on, and I have not reinstalled the microsoft update thing at this point. Everything is running great, and I honestly think a couple older PCs are running a bit faster now… perhaps the MS update was bogging it down continuously.

    Thanks for the great posting!

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