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"svchost" Runaway Proc ID 1280 "wuauclt.exe" XP SP2

By almcneil ยท 6 replies
Oct 16, 2013
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  1. I'm having an issue with a runaway spawned process, svchost, that is eating up my CPU. I am using Windows XP SP3. I used ProcessExplorer and it determined that the svchost is spawned to launch the Windows automatic updater process, wuauclt.exe. I checked with Microsoft and there is a KB article and update, #927891. I tried to install it but it said that it's included in SP2, so I already have it. Someone on another forum reported this, ran MalwareBytes Anti-Rootkit and found infections. I tried it but it found nothing.

    Any suggestions? I'm doing a full security sweep but this is a Windows re-installation just a few weeks ago.
  2. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 1,277

    My security scan completed but nothing found.

    I did another Google on this problem but removed the reference to "wuauclt.exe" and found some more related posts. Some advised checking MS updates and I admit, it's a new installation and I haven't gotten around to that yet. So I'm doing it now. There are some IE updates that, if missing, can result in this type of problem.

    Running MS updates now.
  3. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    Because there are no more service updates for XPsp3 after April 2014 you will soon be able to disable MS update altogether. Meanwhile it is going to take a lot of time to update a recent sp3 install even assuming there are no bugs. Regrettably, MS has made an almighty mess of several updates this month. It is wise to take control of updates yourself, and wait for a couple of weeks after each patch Tuesday to let the wrinkles unravel before you apply the updates.

    In your position I would set updates to be advised when available, but not even downloaded. Do it yourself after checking with the internet on any reports of problems. I find Windows secrets useful for that http://windowssecrets.com/ You don't have to pay, just register. If you find it helpful, you can offer a donation.

    In the report for October was "And according to Microsoft Community posts, KB 2862330 fails to install on some systems. It would not be surprising if other problems cropped up." which applies to XP

    Furthermore, it sometimes happens that some updates such as the KB you refer to are re-issued, having been de-bugged themselves.
  4. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 1,277

    Thx GB.

    I realized after a while, running MS updates was a pointless move. It's causing the CPU problem! I need to UNINSTALL recent updates. I think the issue is between the Windows automatic updater and MS Security Essentials. I currently have 3 workstations all experiencing this svchost CPU hog problem. According to ProcessExplorer, it's linked to 'wuauclt.exe', which is the Windows automatic updater process and I noticed this started happening in each case shortly after installing/updating MS Security Updates.

    Continuing to investigate. Any suggestions are appreciated.
  5. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    I read a case elsewhere where someone (with same symptoms) said their problem was with the MS Update option not Windows Update itself. Try switching off the MS Update option

    At best this still only "half-of-a-fix" but might at least let you get past the CPU problem for now
  6. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 1,277

    Lookin, yes, that is what is called a "workaround". It means it does not solve the actual problem but allows the user to continue using their computer by getting around the problem until a solution can be found.

    Still investigating.
  7. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 1,277

    I have resolved my own posting.

    I actually encountered two variations of this problem. I first posted at the start of this thread about a "svchost" runaway process linked to the Windows automatic updater. This was happening on 2 PCs. I also was encountering 2 PCs with "MsMpEng.exe" runaway processes, part of Microsoft Security Essentials (MSSE) All of this happened about the same time and following either the installation of MSEE (former case) or a program update to a current installation (latter case) I then found a thread on a Microsoft Community forum where someone resolved it. For the latter case, you run a full scan. So I did and "MsMpEng.exe" no long was a runaway process. For the former, the latest build for MSSE has a programming bug in which it conflicts with the Windows automatic updater. Until the release builds have this fixed, disable the Windows automatic updater to workaround the problem. Once the bug is fixed in the release build, then uninstall MSSE and install the fixed release.

    See this link for reference:

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