graphicsRat
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graphicsRat asked on
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wuauclt.exe runs every day for approx 1 hour!

Once everyday the Windows update process wuauclt.exe runs for almost 40 mins during which time the system is completely unresponsive. Is this normal? I'm running Windows XP service pack 3 and I've got Norton AntiVirus installed.

I've just done a complete search for "wuauclt.exe" on my system. I found four candidates. Here are their sizes and message digests:


C:\WINDOWS\Prefetch\WUAUCLT.EXE-399A8E72.pf (size: 71kb -- md5: d334d955d85727879430f67f44cc8a81)


C:\WINDOWS\system32\wuauclt.exe (size: 53kb -- md5: 62bb79160f86cd962f312c68c6239bfd)


C:\WINDOWS\ServicePackFiles\i386\wuauclt.exe (size: 109kb -- md5: ed7262e52c31cf1625b65039102bc16c)


C:\WINDOWS\system32\dllcache\wuauclt.exe (size: 53kb -- md5: 62bb79160f86cd962f312c68c6239bfd)


graphicsRat
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graphicsRat replied on

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Problem solved. All I had to do was delete the directory C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution\DataStore

Read all about it here .

JackzWindows
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JackzWindows replied on
Do you mean to say that the process if it finding updates happens or just that the process itself runs? If it is the latter then I wouldn't worry. If it is finding updates then just let it do that and simply reboot your computer once it finishes. Sorry if this is no help but I wasn't too sure what you meant. Jackz.
graphicsRat
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graphicsRat replied on

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I mean the process itself runs  for about an hour once a day (not sure what exactly its doing, sometimes I get updates, most of the time I don't), during which time the system becomes very unresponsive, which I find very annoying.

Chaos_Edit
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Chaos_Edit replied on

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You need to set your auto updates to once a week and not everyday. this should take care of the problem.


Young and learning...Have mercy - Chaos
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graphicsRat
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graphicsRat replied on

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I've set auto update to 1ce a week (tomorrow afternoon) but wuauclt.exe has just run again for 1 hour causing my machine to page to no end. During this time I noticed that Norton claimed to update itself several times (ran . Could it be that Norton is piggy-backing on wuauclt.exe? I am this close to flipping my lid.

Chaos_Edit
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Chaos_Edit replied on

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That is VERY likely, I run used to run McAfee and it used the same or a similar process.

Norton is a resource hog, and this sounds like EXACTLY something Norton would do.

Before dumping Norton, disable the update for ONE day, and see if this is the issue.

 

I would dump it, use the removal tool:

Norton Removal Tool  

ftp://ftp.symantec.com/public/english_us_canada/removal_tools/Norton_Removal_Tool.exe

 

And then run the following FREE setup:

Setup:

http://www.malwarebytes.org/mbam.php

This will check for malware, AND registry key errors, or so most of the forums say. >.>

http://superantispyware.com/

You can download the free version and it will check for spyware as well

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

This is a GREAT AV it works EXTREMELY well in conjunction for the above.

 

OR, if you're not interested in Freeware: I would Recommend eSet NOD32


Young and learning...Have mercy - Chaos
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LemP
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LemP replied on

The file in the Prefetch folder is just there to speed up loading; it's not a "real" file.  Regardless of what you may find on the Internet about "cleaning" Prefetch, leave it alone.

The file in ServicePackFiles is the version from before you installed the most recent Service Pack.  You can ignore this as well.

The file that is actually used is the one in Windows\system32.  The dllcache folder is where Windows stores copies of system files in case the "in use" file is deleted or corrupted.  SeeDescription of Windows File Protection .

As you can see, the files in \system32 and in \dllcache are identical, which is a good sign.  I checked, and on my XP SP3 system wuauclt.exe has the same MD5 hash as yours, so it's highly unlikely that this file is itself infected.

All that being said, I suspect that the problem is that your Norton Antivirus is somehow interfering with wuauclt.exe.  I can't tell you how to re-configure Norton a/v, but I'd suggest two experiments:

  1. Disable Norton a/v as much as you can.  At least turn off real-time file system protection.  Open Task Manager and then go to Windows Update.  Wuauclt.exe should start.  Monitor it in Task Manager and see how much it uses in terms of CPU percentage.
  2. If merely turning off Norton's real-time file system protection doesn't help, reboot the computer into Safe Mode with networking and try the same experiment.

Obviously, while you have your a/v disabled, don't download anything and don't surf anywhere other than Windows Update.

You can also take a look at the WindowsUpdate.log which is located in C:\Windows to see if there is any clue there, but I bet it's Norton.

If disabling Norton fixes your problem, you have two options: (a) find out how to configure Norton to stop this behavior or (b) remove Norton entirely from your system and get a less intrusive a/v.  If it were me, I'd go with option (b).

Decent free a/v options include Avast! and Microsoft Security Essentials.  I like NOD32 Antivirus 4 from eset.com, but it's not free.

 

MS MVP (Windows Desktop Experience) 2006-2009
Microsoft Community Contributor (MCC) 2011-2012
graphicsRat
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graphicsRat replied on

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Thanks for the changes you've recommended. While I take time to study/try them out take a look at the snip of my WindowsUpdate.log for yesterday.

http://pastebin.com/embed_iframe.php?i=72Nr9eWk

LemP
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LemP replied on

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Thanks for the changes you've recommended. While I take time to study/try them out take a look at the snip of my WindowsUpdate.log for yesterday.

http://pastebin.com/embed_iframe.php?i=72Nr9eWk

There are more "WARNINGS" there than I would expect.  There also are far more entries in a 22-hour period than I would expect, but I'm not an expert when it comes to Windows Update.  I'd suggest that you post a short question in theWindows Update forum and include links to both your log excerpt and this thread.

Because the WU Forum covers more than one OS, be sure to include the following information:

Minimum information to post:
Version of Windows and Service pack level.

(Windows XP Home, SP3; Vista Home Premium, SP1; Windows 7 Ultimate, etc...)
Also post if you are using 32bit or 64bit version of Windows.

Update number of the last update installed prior to any problems.  If you don't know the update number then give the date that the update was installed.  The update number of any failed updates.

Error code from any failed updates or if you believe an update has caused a blue screen, give the error codes from the blue screen.

Other information to post:
Steps already taken to correct the issue and the results of the steps.

If the issue has ever happened before with other updates.

A couple other helpful pieces are:
What anti-virus program you use, if it is up to date, and if there has ever been any other anti-virus program installed. 
If your version of Windows was upgraded from a previous version or if it came with (or was clean installed with) the version you are currently running.

 

MS MVP (Windows Desktop Experience) 2006-2009
Microsoft Community Contributor (MCC) 2011-2012
rawbone62
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rawbone62 replied on

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Have the same problem with a friend, wuauclt and svchost is eating memory (not cpu) and slowing down pc while user processes become unresponsive for several minutes (memory and disk swapping is done), reinstalling windows xp sp3 + manual updates of all microsoft components did not help!

I will consider, even though it is from 2007:
http://blogs.technet.com/asiasupp/archive/2007/05/29/automatic-update-causes-svchost-exe-high-cpu.aspx
Automatic Update causes SVCHOST.exe high CPU

Will give feedback in a few days...

xjahjah
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xjahjah replied on

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I also experience wuauclt and svchost is eating memory (not cpu) and slowing down the pc for 40-60+ minutes while the harddisk is at 100%. I am not sure when this started, but i'll say within the last month.

When checking http://pastebin.com/embed_iframe.php?i=72Nr9eWk provided above I notice a weird gap between the timestamps of line 70 and 71. 19 minutes+! I see the same kind of time gaps in my own WindowsUpdate.log and I can assure that wuauclt and svchost are NOT idle during these 19 minutes.  

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