svchost.exe at 100%

I have had a couple of computers lately, and many in the past, where Windows Updates, whether automatic or manual, cause svchost.exe to wind itself up to nearly 100% CPU usage and quite a lot of memory usage, effectively slowing the computer to an absolute crawl. There are some excellent pages on how to fix this, all of which have some effect I am sure, but none of them fix the problem.

I have had the last computer for 3 days now, and while reading through the blog entries and the many replies saying “that does not work, what else can I try?”, right at the bottom of one or two such blogs, I find short, angry replies saying that HP Printer software is to blame. Most people on the blogs seem to ignore these entries, and I was about to, when I realised it was a common factor between this PC and the last, and that the last had miraculously fixed itself on the n-th iteration of re-installing windows/service packs and printer drivers.

So, I disabled all the HP unneeded stuff, updates, monitors all that stuff, rebooted, and automatic updates started happening without issues! I think the last computer was down to sequence, I left the printer software to the end, rather than early in the piece, so all the relevant updates and fixes were done. The latest computer had had a system repair done with Windows XP home SP1, and then SP2 and SP3 applied, but when this is done, the HP software was not changed at all, so the problem never goes away!

So this post is for me, and the odd poor soul who is desperate enough to search and come to my blog. Try it, if it works, glad to have helped! Hopefully I fixed it before my ulcers developed.


Dave Glover is a director of Signs of Success Ltd. married to Lynn (the other director of SOS) with 3 grown up kids. We live in Whitby, in New Zealand. After 30+ years in IT as everything from Trainee Programmer to Project Manager, Dave now runs a Computer Maintenance and Sign Making shop near his home.

Posted in Computer Stuff

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *