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"svchost.exe" maxes out CPU


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#1
steverino1997a

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Hello,

I have a Compaq Presario 2200 notebook about 2-1/2 years old. It has worked great until recently. When I start it up, it goes through it's normal boot process, but "most" times, you're unable to open a program. I've been trying to figure out what happens, and it appears the machine goes through a boot up and then one of the "svchost.exe" commands keeps working. It causes the CPU usage to jump from 2% to 98% - goes back and forth and everywhere in between for 3-4 minutes, then settles on 98%-99% CPU usage and stays there. At this point, I'm unable to launch any programs. A couple times after 6-10 minutes, the CPU usage drops back down to normal. As a work around, I launch the Task Manager after starting up the machine. And once it locks up due to the 100% usage (I'm assuming this is why it locks up and won't allow a program to launch), I click on that svchost.exe process and end the task. The CPU usage then drops back to normal and everything appears fine, except I don't have volume control. If I click on the volume control, a box opens that says " There is no active mixer available. To install mixer devices, go to Control Panel, click Printers and Other Hardware, and then click Add Hardware. This program will now close".

Couple other notes - when this happens, there is usually 6 - svchost.exe commands open and only the one is pegged. Also, when the CPU is pegged (or close to it), the fan keeps kicking up. Assuming this is due to too much heat from the processor being maxed out.

I have not installed any new programs at the time this problem started. The only thing that changes is the McAfee Security Suite updates pretty much on a daily basis. The only other thing I can think of is I recently plugged into a network at a hotel, and the following night wireless access at a different hotel. I don't recall having this problem prior to that.

As always, any help will be greatly appreciated!

Steve
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#2
simon_shaft

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I suppose, from my limited experience, that one (or more) of your services. I ain't very sure bout this, but if, lets say if you install another anti virus program (temporarily) and try to disable the McAfee Anti virus, will the same thing happen? Or you might want to disable unused services by right clicking the My Computer, click on "Manage" and from the new window(computer management), expand Services and Applications>Services and disable anything that you do not need.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314056 for svchost.exe process explanation
http://www.blackvipe...servicecfg.htm- BlackViper's Service configuration
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#3
macten

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this is a possibility:

"Note: svchost.exe is a process registered as a backdoor vulnerability which may be installed for malicious purposes by an attacker allowing access to your computer from remote locations, stealing passwords, Internet banking and personal data. If unaccounted for, this process should be removed immediately."

http://www.liutiliti...ibrary/svchost/

A lot of people have trouble with McAffe products. I would disable that process and McAffe and download Avast antivirus, update it and run it:

http://www.avast.com...avast-home.html

like I say, this may or may not solve the problem. If not, post back here and we'll look into it further.
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#4
macten

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if you could download Avast to a flashdrive from a friends pc that would be better. I was out 'looking' and one person said that his firewall kept blocking it from going out on the Internet. Definately a virus in his case.

edit: what are you using for a firewall?

Edited by macten, 17 May 2007 - 10:19 AM.

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#5
steverino1997a

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Thanks Macten,

I currently have the McAfee Security Suite which includes the firewall. I have discovered a few more details on this problem. Every time I reboot or open out of the Stand By state, this problem occurs. Again, if I open the task mgr before CPU maxes out I can end this task, but then I'm unable to access the security settings in control panels, access the system resotre points, etc. I'll try what you recommended in your earlier post. I appreciate the help. Thanks!

Steve
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#6
macten

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I would disable standby (if possible) for now. I never use standby or hybernate. Sooner or later they cause problems. I'll look into it further....
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#7
macten

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try booting into safe mode and see if the problem still exists. press F8 every second as you boot up...
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#8
macten

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very well may be a virus:

"svchost.exe error: svchost.exe has generated an error - now what do I do?

One of the most common search terms that leads people to Ask Leo! lately is "svchost" or "svchost.exe". Besides wondering what svchost is, which I discuss in this prior article, many people are experiencing a svchost crash.

Folks, you probably have a virus."

http://ask-leo.com/s...at_do_i_do.html
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#9
steverino1997a

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I downloaded and ran the utility program. It came up with 3xx errors and it reparied 15 on the free version. Did not fix the problem. I do hav e program called RegCure which I have tried multiple times with no resolution. I don't have a problem by the utility you mentioned if it will cure the problem.........

I downloaded AVAST and am currently running a boot scan. Once complete, I'll post back if that took care of the problem and also see what happens when I start in safe mode.

Thanks......
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#10
macten

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here's another link:

http://ask-leo.com/s...s_and_more.html

looks like you need to update your software but take care of the virus issue first. The trick is....you really don't want to connect that pc to the internet, that's why I mentioned downloading Avast to a flashdrive from another pc. Would be best to run Avast from safemode and disabling system restore before you run it.
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#11
steverino1997a

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Thanks again macten. My Daughter has her flash drive at school. I'll follow your instructions re the Avast when she gets home. I've also unplugged the network cable for the affected computer until I go through these steps. I looked through the Ask Leo link. Looks like I'm not the only one with this problem........
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#12
macten

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let us know how it works out....
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#13
bobmad

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Before you go crazy on antivirus stuff, try this. Turn off automatic updates and restart.

If the problem goes away install this hot fix. download

described kb927891

This should fix your issue and save some time.
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#14
macten

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thinking about it some more....if you wanted to be ultra safe, you could download both ZoneAlarm (firewall) and Avast to that flashdrive from another pc. Boot the infected pc into safemode and copy and paste both ZA and Avast to the desktop and install both of them. But first I would disable the McAfee stuff. And better yet uninstall all McAfee products. They didn't prevent this problem.....

ZoneAlarm will prevent svchost from getting out onto the Internet. Anyway....reboot into normal mode making sure ZA starts. You still need to update Avast. Then reboot into safemode and run the updated Avast.

Perhaps a lot of work but the safest way to do it.....

If you decide to go with ZA select 'basic zonealarm'

http://www.zonealarm...reeDownload.jsp
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#15
macten

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my post indicates that he needs to update his software and I would go crazy about the antivirus stuff. Once your setup correctly and use some common sense, you will have no further virus or spyware problems.
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