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Windows update maxing out a CPU core and running forever

DrSNAFU

New Member
I have an Aspire Switch 11 laptop/tablet hybrid and this week I noticed it getting slower. Checked it and sure enough, an svchost.exe was eating up 25% of my processor usage, one of my cores. I tracked it down quickly, disabling the windows update service quickly shut off the drain.



Tried disabling windows update service and deleting SoftwareDistribution and restarting, multiple times. Rebuilds folder to roughly 109-117 megs before stopping and CPU usage maxes out. Zero hard drive use. Zero network use.




  • Ran Panda Antivirus full scan.
  • Ran Spybot S&D full scan.
  • Ran Malwarebytes antimalware full scan.
  • Ran SuperAntiSpyware full scan.



  • Tried windows 8.1 update troubleshooter, no effect on issue.
  • Tried windows 8.1 update diagnostic download, no effect on issue.
  • Downloaded and ran standalone installer for windows 8.1 updater. Effect: Installer stayed at "checking computer for updates" indefinitely, it restarted windows update service which stays at 25% CPU indefinitely. Canceling does not work. Stopping service ends installer program with error.
  • Tried "sfc /scannow" Successfully finished, component storage repaired. No effect on issue.
  • Tried "dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth". Ran and completed, could find no issues with file system.
  • Performed 'clean boot' by disabling all startup items and non-windows services. No effect on issue.
  • Completed system file cleanup of update files through disk cleanup. No effect on issue.
  • Ran disk checker. No errors found.
  • Used Windows7Forums Reset_Windows_Update_History.bat reset file. No effect on issue.
  • Used Windows7Forums Reset_Reregister_Windows_Update_Components.bat file. No effect on issue.
  • Disabled Panda antivirus. No effect on issue.
  • Uninstalled Panda antivirus. No effect on issue.
  • Attempted to install Win8.1 update - KB3172614. Effect: Again, stuck on 'Searching for updates on this computer' while updater service starts and permanently stays at 25% CPU use. No HDD or network use.
  • Flipped automatic proxy setting in IE connections back and forth. No effect on issue.


I'm running out of ideas. Version of Wuaueng.dll is 7.9.9600.18235 The ReportingEvents.log correctly logs when installing apps like netflix through the microsoft store, and has seemingly detected a number of updates automatically, but checking for updates through the control panel just keeps sending those little dots across the screen forever. :/
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    Computer type
    Tablet
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Acer Aspire Switch 11
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Panda Antivirus

DrSNAFU

New Member
Well just on a whim, I decided to try the KB3172614 update again. This time I disabled my Wifi (not sure if that did anything) and made one change. I went into my update settings and set when to update to "never automatically check for updates". Apparently it tried to automatically check every time the service was started and that was what got me into the loop. I was actually able to install the update without getting stuck this time! I then did a manual check, rebuilt the update database, and just installed a fresh crop of updates! I've also flipped it back to automatic and for now it's not eating my cycles anymore. Sorry for the needless wall of text guys.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    Computer type
    Tablet
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Acer Aspire Switch 11
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Panda Antivirus

willington

New Member
Thank you for laying out your issue so clearly, it helped me rectify a similar situation.

From others I have spoken with, many problems have manifested themselves since MS started 'roll-up' updates in October. From memory, the cumulative update was about 107mb, but the W8.1 OS files increased by over 0.4gb! This then started to trigger, at least 3 times a day for three days, massive 'dumps' for Microsoft to analyze (not Error dumps). The gathering of these files caused my computer to become virtually unusable and I resorted to having to go back to a Restore Point - which after 4 hours reported as 'failed'! After going back to a Restore point, pre-October's roll-up, my computer is working fine.

The October Roll-up also changed my Settings to Auto-check for Updates, as it does in W10, from my selected 'manual check' prior to this.

Alas, with this observation and a few other indicators, it appears that MS may be recommencing their 'Upgrade to W10' campaign for users of W7/8.. You may wish to be vary wary of installing an Optional Update (Kb 2976978) - which refers to an 'Insider Programme' for w8.1. A 'Insider Programme' for an OS which MS have no stated intention of improving and want rid off?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    windows 8.1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Dell XPS One 2720
    CPU
    Intel I7
    Memory
    2TB + SSD
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVidea 2Gb
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    MCAfee

DrSNAFU

New Member
The oddest thing was, I had this same issue on my desktop PC just a week ago. Update taking up an entire core indefinitely. Thankfully all it took was a deletion of the SoftwareDistribution folder and reset of the service.

I'm glad my big block of text has helped someone though.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    Computer type
    Tablet
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Acer Aspire Switch 11
    Browser
    Firefox
    Antivirus
    Panda Antivirus

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