tedley318
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tedley318 asked on
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wuaudt.exe is really bogging down my computer

Recently, when I first start my computer for the day, wuaudt.exe runs and really bogs down my computer.  In Task Manager it shows it is using a lot of memory along with one of the many svchost.exe's that are running.  I had my computer set up to notify me when updates are available.  I have investigated this problem and found about the only thing to do is disable automatic updates altogether.  I have turned off Automatic Updates, unchecked Automatic Updates under the Services tab in msconfig and in services.msc I have set Automatic Updates to manual.  This seems to keep wuaudt.exe from running.  I read in one place that Microsoft issues updates on the first and third Tuesday's of each month so I plan on doing manual updates at those times.  Does anyone know why wuaudt.exe is suddenly such a memory hog? It only seems to be a problem the first time I time turn my computer on (I turn it off when not in use to save electricity).  If I shut it off and restart it later in the day, there is not a performance problem.  I have a Dell Dimension 5100C, Windows XP Pro SP3, 512 MB RAM, Pentium 4 3.00 Ghz processor. 

 I would like to be able to be notified of critical updates when they are issued but I don't want wuaudt.exe running every day if it is going to  bog me down.  Any ideas?

PA Bear MS MVP
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PA Bear MS MVP replied on

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Update: Due primarily to exchanges with several MS MVPS on the behalf of users like you, Microsoft is aware of and has acknowledged the issue:

"We have gotten reports from multiple sources and consider this to be a live service issue and we are investigating it as a Priority 1."


~Robear Dyer (PA Bear) ~ MS MVP (IE, Mail, Security, Windows & Update Services) since 2002 ~ Disclaimer: MS MVPs neither represent nor work for Microsoft
~Robear Dyer (PA Bear)
MS MVP-Windows Client (Security, Update Services, IE & Mail) since 2002
tedley318
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tedley318 replied on

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Thanks for the info!  I've opted out of Microsoft Updates as you and PA Bear have suggested.  Keeping my fingers crossed that everything works normally tomorrow!

comprob
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comprob replied on

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Attention:- PA Bear MS MVP.

Sorry in advance but this post (read Rant) is to chew your butt! Take this tongue lashing with a smile whilst saying to yourself " I should know better, I deserve to be flogged and I will change my ways".

I rarely have the time to post on any site and have been following this issue on the ms social forums for the last 3 weeks but I was so incensed by your posts I just had to this time.

I run an independent computer repair business and have personally experienced this on over 200 (yes two hundred) WinXp x86 different PCs in the last 3 weeks. Name brand or store/home built. Home or Pro, with or without AV, with or without silverlight. SP2 or SP3, 256, 512 or 1Gb RAM, clean or infected, it IS a MS Update problem. Any brand mobo, with or without graphics card, IDE or SATA. It doesn't matter. It now accounts for 95% or all our service calls. We are now generating so much revenue by calling every customer on our database that has XP. Ang guess what? 'Every' XP user, home or small business with less than 1GB RAM has told us that their PC has been running like an absolute dog over that last 3 to 4 weeks. I am now fixing (temporarily) this issue on up to a dozen PCs a day and it takes less than 3 minutes a box. And, I get to make a second visit to turn it back on again when MS fix the problem. The security issues of temporarily turning off MS update (not windows update) are a moot point if you can't actually use your PC. The attack vectors of unpatched MS Update issues are so tiny compared to unpatched Windows.

If you worked for me I would do a Donald Trump on your ____ quick smart. I strongly recommend as punishment you work on a help desk for a week or two and re-aquaint yourself with what customer service means.

I have seen your posts on a number of threads on these forums and I found your attitude to this issue condescending, unhelpful and your replies next to useless.

You were so blinded to the belief that this was a user or 3rd party program issue you failed to even do a simple Google to find the litterally tens of thousands of users worldwide with this problem. It just so happens that very few post on this forum.

This problem can be easily replicated on "ANY" (yes any) PC.

How? Take any PC, and simply do a format and clean install of XP. Install all windows updates and then install any MS program that turns on MS Update.

For Gords sake! How simple is it to show that every WinXp x86 PC worldwide is going to experience this issue if they use MS update.  No, it isn't happening to me yet so I'll just bury my head in the sand and refuse to beleive MS Update has a problem. What happened, you or a friend experience the problem and you realised you couldn't fix it?

Don't get me wrong. I love MS products and have used everything since basic and have seen the good the bad and the ugly accross all brands but I still love MS. Where would computing be today if BG hadn't taken an Uni/industry field trip, bought a share in a copier gui and developed something to replace MSDOS. Oh the thought of Abbey Road Studios logos everywhere make me shiver. (yeah I do know the real history, I've been around a while)

Smack smack. You've been told. Don't do it again. 

Cheers, Cliff.

MowGreen
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MowGreen replied on
IF wuaudt.exe, NOT wuauclt.exe., is the file's correct name then the system has malware resident. There is no Windows XP file named wuaudt.exe.
IF the file in question is wuaudt.exe, then suggest you first try doing a scan, using Internet Explorer, with the OneCare Safety scanner to see if it can be removed.
MowGreen Update Services - Consumer Security
MowGreen

*-343 FDNY -*
Never Forgotten
xjahjah
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xjahjah replied on

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I have experienced the same symptoms as tedley318. The process name is wuauclt.exe so I expect it to be legitimate.

Windows update starts at least once a day and uses a lot of memory (relative to my 512mb). In fact my PC is non-responsive for at least 30 min.!! Any suggestions on how to avoid this?

MowGreen
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MowGreen replied on

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I have experienced the same symptoms as tedley318. The process name is wuauclt.exe so I expect it to be legitimate.

Windows update starts at least once a day and uses a lot of memory (relative to my 512mb). In fact my PC is non-responsive for at least 30 min.!! Any suggestions on how to avoid this?

It may the a conflict with the installed antivirus/security suite; it may be an issue with the updating database log; it may be an issue with the updating components being damaged or not installed properly.

Which
edition of Windows is installed ? I ask because the updating components can be reset but the system should be configured to Clean boot first so that no 3rd party software will interfere with the reset process -

How to troubleshoot a problem by performing a clean boot in Windows Vista and Windows 7
How to configure Windows XP to start in a clean boot state

NOTE: All 3rd party firewalls will be Disabled in the Clean boot state. Open Control Panel > Windows Firewall to ensure that the native Windows firewall is now On.

After the system has been configured to Clean boot, go here - How do I reset Windows Update components?
Download and save the Fixit. Do not run it while the browser is open, please.
When the download completes close all open programs and browsers.
Now run MicrosoftFixit50202.msi and restart the system when it's finished it's operations. Reboot.

Does the process issue still exist while in the Clean boot state ? If not, then undo the Clean boot configuration steps, restart.

Does the process issue still exist in normal Windows mode ?


MowGreen Update Services - Consumer Security
MowGreen

*-343 FDNY -*
Never Forgotten
xjahjah
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xjahjah replied on

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Maybe I am too optimistic. However:

1)  12 hrs ago I renamed C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution\DataStore

2)  Restarted my PC

3)  Now - 12 hrs later - still no problem! I am optimistic!

C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution\DataStore has been recreated automatically and apparantly everything works fine. Cannot recall how I got the idea, but surely Google has something to do with it...

I'LL BE BACK! That is, if problems return....

 

 

 

 

MowGreen
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MowGreen replied on

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Maybe I am too optimistic. However:

1)  12 hrs ago I renamed C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution\DataStore

2)  Restarted my PC

3)  Now - 12 hrs later - still no problem! I am optimistic!

C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution\DataStore has been recreated automatically and apparantly everything works fine. Cannot recall how I got the idea, but surely Google has something to do with it...

I'LL BE BACK! That is, if problems return....


Then there was either a corrupted database or transaction log(s) in the DataStore subfolder. The most likely cause for this corruption issue is Security software. To avoid the issue in the future and an explantion of the corruption cause, please see -
Virus scanning recommendations for computers that are running Windows Server 2003, Windows 2000, or Windows XP
MowGreen Update Services - Consumer Security
MowGreen

*-343 FDNY -*
Never Forgotten
seeking_answers
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seeking_answers replied on

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I'm experiencing exactly the same problem as the original poster (wuauclt.exe and one svchost.exe becoming memory hogs). What are the implications of trying xjahjah's solution and deleting the DataStore folder? Incidentally, I think this problem started after installing the emergency patch issued by MS at the beginning of August:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/08/02/emergency_microsoft_update/

MowGreen
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MowGreen replied on

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From: Virus scanning recommendations for Enterprise computers that are running currently supported versions of Windows
For computers that are running Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 Warning This workaround may make a computer or a network more vulnerable to attack by malicious users or by malicious software such as viruses. We do not recommend this workaround but are providing this information so that you can implement this workaround at your own discretion. Use this workaround at your own risk.

Notes
  • We are not aware of a risk of excluding the specific files or folders that are mentioned in this article from scans that are made by your antivirus software. However, your system may be safer if you do not exclude any files or folders from scans.
  • When you scan these files, performance and operating system reliability problems may occur because of file locking.
  • Do not exclude any one of these files based on the file name extension. For example, do not exclude all files that have a .dit extension. Microsoft has no control over other files that may use the same extensions as the files that are described in this article.
  • This article provides both file names and folders that can be excluded. All the files and folders that are described in this article are protected by default permissions to allow only SYSTEM and administrator access, and they contain only operating system components. Excluding an entire folder maybe simpler but may not provide as much protection as excluding specific files based on file names.
Turn off scanning of Windows Update or Automatic Update related files
  • Turn off scanning of the Windows Update or Automatic Update database file (Datastore.edb). This file is located in the following folder:
    %windir%\SoftwareDistribution\Datastore


Did you run the Fixit to Enable the Workaround on this page prior to installing KB2286198 -http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2286198 ?
If so, then run the Disable Workaround Fixit. If you did not run the Fixit to Enable the Workaround, then read on.

If your computer is running XP then the update history contained in DataStore.edb will no longer be available when visiting either the Windows or Microsoft Update sites.

If it's running Vista/Windows 7, the View update history page available from Windows Update in the Control Panel will show no updates have been installed.
The ReportingEvents.log, located at Windows\Software Distribution in XP/Vista/Windows 7, will still show all past updating activity.


MowGreen Update Services - Consumer Security
MowGreen

*-343 FDNY -*
Never Forgotten
seeking_answers
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seeking_answers replied on

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Thanks for the information. I renamed the DataStore folder which seems to have resolved this issue.
moonhalo
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moonhalo replied on

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After the system has been configured to Clean boot, go here - How do I reset Windows Update components?
Download and save the Fixit. Do not run it while the browser is open, please.
When the download completes close all open programs and browsers.
Now run MicrosoftFixit50202.msi and restart the system when it's finished it's operations. Reboot.

Does the process issue still exist while in the Clean boot state? If not, then undo the Clean boot configuration steps, restart.

Does the process issue still exist in normal Windows mode ?


MowGreen Update Services - Consumer Security

I've followed these instructions, but I still have the same problem with wuauclt.exe and svchost.exe (the one hosting the Automatic Updates service), as described by others in this thread. And it is the case both in clean boot and normal boot states. I've also tried deleting deleting C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution\DataStore and C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution, but to no avail. My WindowsUpdate.log file is similar to http://pastebin.com/embed_iframe.php?i=72Nr9eWk (linked in another thread on this issue), with those abnormal time gaps after the lines marked on that file as 65, 71, and 138. Though in my case those processes run somewhat shorter, 20-30 min, svchost being more active and at moments bringing CPU usage to 100%. They run once a day, starting at 10 am, or at startup if I turn on my laptop after 10 am.

I run Windows XP Pro SP3. My AV program is Avira AntiVir 10. If Avira is updated at the same time when those processes run, the update fails.

seeking_answers
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seeking_answers replied on

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After the system has been configured to Clean boot, go here - How do I reset Windows Update components?
Download and save the Fixit. Do not run it while the browser is open, please.
When the download completes close all open programs and browsers.
Now run MicrosoftFixit50202.msi and restart the system when it's finished it's operations. Reboot.

Does the process issue still exist while in the Clean boot state? If not, then undo the Clean boot configuration steps, restart.

Does the process issue still exist in normal Windows mode ?


MowGreen Update Services - Consumer Security

I've followed these instructions, but I still have the same problem with wuauclt.exe and svchost.exe (the one hosting the Automatic Updates service), as described by others in this thread. And it is the case both in clean boot and normal boot states. I've also tried deleting deleting C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution\DataStore and C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution, but to no avail. My WindowsUpdate.log file is similar to http://pastebin.com/embed_iframe.php?i=72Nr9eWk (linked in another thread on this issue), with those abnormal time gaps after the lines marked on that file as 65, 71, and 138. Though in my case those processes run somewhat shorter, 20-30 min, svchost being more active and at moments bringing CPU usage to 100%. They run once a day, starting at 10 am, or at startup if I turn on my laptop after 10 am.

I run Windows XP Pro SP3. My AV program is Avira AntiVir 10. If Avira is updated at the same time when those processes run, the update fails.

After my initial optimism that deleting the DataStore folder had cured the problem, it's returned. I've resorted to turning off Automatic Updates.
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