Windows XP svchost 100% CPU usage

I am using a windows XP machine because I have some old software.  Recently it has started slowdown.  Using task manager I see that an instance of svchost is maxing out 100% of my CPU.  It runs for about 10 minutes before this happens, but once it happens it is continuous.  Short of wiping and re-installing XP, is there a solution?  Thanks in advance.  John
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Nick RhodeIT DirectorCommented:
When in the task manager click on performance tab and check the resource monitor.  Target that svchost and see what it is associated with.
Pradeep DubeyConsultantCommented:
you have to verify it why this is taking too much CPU:

1) Boot computer in clean boot sate and then turn on automatic Windows Updates. check how to configure for  clean boot .

2) If the issue persists then, you have to perform SFC scan. To do so, please follow this link:

3) If you are not interested to do all these things, take backup and install a fresh copy of XP in 39 min :-).

4) Process Monitor also help you to find out cause of this issue.
svchost by itself it harmless. I'ts main job is to run a service.

You need you figure out what is the service that svchost  runs which causes the lag.

For this goto setting /control pancel/Adminstrative tools and clcik on services.

Take a look at those with status as "Started". Start right clicking on them and choose Stop, See if CPU usage is down, if not continue stopping until you find the memory eating service.

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First of all, you have to ensure XP is upgraded as -a) operating system support will be stopped by April 2014 by MS and security of this OS will be in Question.  You should be able to find compatible version of your software or you may want to explore how you can run this application on newer Operating Systems, for example on Windows 7.  Simply using application compatibility settings!? (Post a question specifying your application/ software and other relevant details to seek assistance from experts.

Finally, it appears some malware to me; you may want to download malware bytes or Dr Web to scan and remove it. Run this in safe mode for better results. Additionally, ensure you have an antivirus program to protect your system, in case if you don’t have any - AVG or MS Security Essentials.
Try disabling Windows Update.
Start -> All Programs -> Windows Update
In the menu on the left side, click Change Settings
In the Important updates picklist, choose Never check for updates (not recommended)
OK to the Opt Out warning and finish the wizard.
Reboot and see if the 100% CPU usage by the svchost process reappears.
jbrid1234Author Commented:
Thanks very much.  The culprit was the Automatic Update service, and stopping that cleared up the problem.
Good solution!
jbrid1234Author Commented:
Fayaz - Thanks, also.  I have malwarebytes on my other machines, but hadn't thought to put it on this old one, since I do hardly any internet browsing with it.   I will fix that.  Thanks again - I'm much impressed with the experts on this site.  Ive used this site before, and usually had an answer within 20 minutes, as in this case.  John
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