Too many 'service host' processes in task manager taking up disk space

A few days ago I encountered a website unrelated to mozilla try to get me to download a 'firefox update' which I promptly ignored and closed the window. The next day when I turned my laptop on I got a firefox update but I mistook it for the malware I encountered, and force closed the update via task manager- while it was updating. It turned out to be the real firefox update and as soon as I closed it I got 'firefox cannot load XPCOM' and wouldn't start so I uninstalled and reinstalled firefox and rebooted, and it worked again, but now I have a butt ton of 'service host' processes running in my task manager that were never there before and the 'disk' section in task manager is running at 90-100%. This is not normal for my laptop. It's in the red because of all these 'service host' processes. I've uninstalled and reinstalled firefox several times but no luck. Scanned for malware and viruses in case they were causing these service host processes, but nothing came up.

There are more 'service host' processes not in the picture.

I posted on this thread but it's rather old and didn't get a response. I tried most of the solutions there and none of them worked. I disabled windows defender, turned off windows update, turned off BITS, turned off all startup programs, disabled superfetch, but none of that worked- I still have a butt ton of 'service host' processes running that won't go away. I also tried 'end task' on them in task manager but when my laptop rebooted they were still there.

I did try going into Command Prompt and typing 'sfc/scannow' as instructed in part of the thread I linked, and when it was done it said "Windows resource protection found corrupt files but was unable to fix some of them. Details are included in the CBS.log windir\Logs\CBS\CBS.log. For example C:\Windows\Logs\CBS\CBS.log. Note that logging is currently not supported in offline servicing scenarios."

I read somewhere else the solution to this result was to use the 'DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth' command so I entered that and waited for it to finish. When it did, I got this error:

I've been scouring the internet for three days trying to figure out how to remove all these 'service host' processes, and I've tried a LOT of solutions that popped up but none of them have worked :( I haven't been able to fully try the method above because of this error, so I'd appreciate some help.

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Hi Brianna,

There are several reasons why the Task Manager on your Windows 10 computer is showing processes with high CPU usage. It is possible that there are several programs or applications running at the same time or there is system corruption.

Since you have performed several troubleshooting steps, you can do a clean install on your Windows 8.1 computer. Information and steps are on this link.

Let us know how it goes.

Regards.

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Hi so, I went into Settings->Change PC Settings->Update and Recovery->Recovery-> and chose the option 'remove everything and reinstall windows' That's the same thing you're suggesting, right?

I'm still having the 'disk' section in my task manager acting up even though I completely removed everything off my laptop and started like new. It's at %100 when I start up my laptop and eventually it goes back down, but it'll go back up to %100 again, at random intervals.

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Okay so turns out what I did instead was slightly different. I followed the directions from the link you  provided and installed Windows 8.1 that way. I used USB to put the installation media on and it took a couple hours. Then ran 'setup.exe' in the USB and started downloading. Things went smoothly until it got up to 96% and I got 'Windows 8.1 installation has failed' error.

Tried downloading it again but still got the same error message at %96.

Doesn't say what's wrong or give help on how to fix the issue, just tells you it failed and the only thing to click is 'Ok' to close the window...

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Turns out I didn't disable windows defender like I thought I did- I went into the actual program and turned off real-time protection, but discovered it was still running in task manager 'services' today

I right-clicked it and pressed stop, but I got 'the operation could not be completed- access denied.'

I think this might be the sole program causing my disk to run at %100, but I can't disable it.

I also tried going through this route: Control Panel-> System and Security-> Administrative Tools-> Services-> and double-clicked Windows Defender Service. The option I need to click to disable is there, but it's all grayed out. (It also confirms it's still running next to 'service status')

I need to click from 'automatic' to 'disable' but I can't. If I could access these grayed out options, I can see if it's really Windows Defender causing my disk to run at %100. I think this might be what's causing it but I can't access options to disable.

I figured I needed admin permissions to access them. I am the admin account though, and I also tried right-clicking 'run as administrator' on Services but the options are still grayed. I opened Services properties tabs and then the security tab, then clicked 'edit permissions' but I can't check the 'special permissions' box becuse it's grayed out too.

Help is appreciated.

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Thanks for getting back to us. Windows Defender can no longer be disabled but it can be turned on or off. Additionally, you can disable the Windows Defender real-time protection by referring the steps provided on this link.

Keep us updated.

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Last updated September 13, 2021 Views 36,460 Applies to: