svchost.exe sucking up all memory

For at least the past month I've noticed a problem ... after several days my Windows 7 laptop grinds to an almost-halt. Command takes minutes to work; and we're talking around 10 minutes or so! This includes closing windows, launching new programs, etc. When this happens the task manager indicates that svchost.exe has sucked up nearly all available member, over 1.5G on my 3.6GB usable computer. Task manager show Memory usage at 100%, and it stays there. Even when I laboriously close program and have almost nothing running, memory usage is still maxed out and svhost.exe has not released any memory. Sometime, if I let it sit in this state for a few hours (with nothing running), svchost.exe gets back to normal with around 94M memory. More often than not the only remedy is to reboot -- which can take up to 10 minutes! After rebooting, everything works fine ... for 3 or 4 days.

There were a number of postings in this problem, but I saw no resolutions.

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This could very well be Virus/Spyware related.
Aadvise updating AntiViris scanning pc, installing antispyware and scanning (like superAntiSpyware).
It could also be an AntiVirus fault. So it could also help to uninstall AntiVirus, see what happens and then re-install.
MarkAuthor Commented:
I've been running Norton Internet Security for years - all up-to-date. I'll try downloading the msert program and running a full scan, and possibly a few others like roguekiller. I'll post back results
Probably this service needs to be stopped: Windows update. Stop it next time you visit this problem for a test.
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By itself svchost.exe rarely causes high CPU usage.  svshost.exe's role is assist another application's .dll in running, and it is the other application that is causing the problem.
Try running Process Explorer
and see what other applications are listed under the various svchost.exe instances.

This will explain in more detail.  (using Process Explorer is mentioned toward the bottom.)
MarkAuthor Commented:
When my system ground to a halt, I checked and svchost.exe was using over 1.5G of memory. I launched the Services panel (which of course took several minutes) and stopped Windows Update and immediately svchost.exe memory usage dropped back to a more normal 150M+.

So, what is the issue? Do I have to permanently disable Windows Update? I don't mind since I pro-actively check for updates and I have no updates automatically applied.
Run these in the order given

Reset Windows Update

Windows Update Troubleshooter  or


Reinstall Windows Update Agent (different links for different Win 7 systems (32bit and 64bit))

Run the Windows Update Readiness tool:

Run SFC /SCANNOW from a Command Prompt

Run a System Restore to a date before the problem started.

Run a Repair Install.  A Repair Install should not affect personal data or installed programs. but it never hurts to backup first. 

If nothing helps there is also a very complicated reference with a solution from Xircal at the very beginning.

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MarkAuthor Commented:
jcimarron: I've done your 1st suggestion. I'll give it a couple of days to see if that helps. Interestingly, kb3065987 was not in my list of pending updates.
Windows update is known to do this. It is a bad component and microsoft should get busy and recode it.
People that do not notice this are usually using strong machines with SSDs and plenty of RAM, but on older machines, one or two CPU cores, less than 4 GB RAM, you can really feel it and it's annoying so many people.

Setting the update service to manual and doing an update check manually once a week (you can even automate those, feel free to ask) is the best way out.
MarkAuthor Commented:
Windows update is known to do this ...
Why am I not surprised.
Setting the update service to manual and doing an update check manually once a week ... is the best way out.
I can do this on my home computer, but where I work has lots of workstations, so I don't favor that solution.
(you can even automate those, feel free to ask)
OK, yes, I'm asking! Maybe that solution will work on the office workstations. In fact, I think one user is experiencing this problem now.

Meanwhile, I've applied the kb3065987 update mentioned by jcimarron in his first suggested link and so far so good, although it's only been 2 days.
The update kb3065987 wasn't installed? That would mean the machine had not been updated for months...
Ok, to do this scripted, there are only 2 commands needed:
net start wuauserv
wuauclt /detectnow /updatenow

Open in new window

The windows update service should be set to manual start before you start using that script.
MarkAuthor Commented:
The update kb3065987 wasn't installed?
That update wasn't even in my list of pending updates. I checked.

Where does your suggested script get installed? Windows scheduler on the Win7 workstation?
It is a batch file. Simply save a textfile as updater.bat on your desktop, rightclick it and select "run as administrator".
MarkAuthor Commented:
I've been running several days with no more problems. jcimarron's 1st suggest update seems to have fixed it! Thanks. Some points to McKnife for initially identifying the culprit.
You are welcome.
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