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svchost.exe PID / process during idle

Discussion in 'Windows 7' started by distill, Jan 8, 2012.

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  1. distill

    distill Thread Starter

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    When I don't touch my computer for a while, I get CPU 100% (or CPU 50% on this dual core). As soon as I touch the mouse, in one second the culprit escapes. I know it's something under svchost.exe and I know I could see which svchost with Process Explorer or Svchost Viewer. But since the whole process disappears as soon as I touch mouse, it's pretty difficult to pinpoint. Svchost Viewer doesn't list all the processes in one screen, scrolling is needed. So it's basically always hidden and I can't scroll to it as that kills the process.

    How do I find out what exact process inside svchost.exe is eating my CPU during idle? My goal is to prevent the offending process altogether from starting.

    By the way, which settings of Windows Defender can cause this CPU 100% on idle problem, I didn't yet try shutting down all the settings there.
     
  2. Phantom010

    Phantom010 Trusted Advisor

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    You can replace the Task Manager with Process Explorer by clicking on Options > Replace Task Manager.

    Then, click (CTRL+ALT+DEL) to start Process Explorer instead of using the mouse.

    If it also happens when pressing keys on your keyboad, you may want to suspect your screensaver?
     
  3. distill

    distill Thread Starter

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    I was a bit vague there, the "idle" is cancelled by any input, including keyboard. I don't use a screen saver here, just standby for the monitor. It'd be great if it was possible to examine closely the already ended PIDs.
     
  4. Phantom010

    Phantom010 Trusted Advisor

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    Can you leave the Process Explorer window open and wait for the CPU usage to go up?

    Also try disabling Standby.
     
  5. distill

    distill Thread Starter

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    The monitor idle "Turn off the display" / Power options is unrelated, I think. I just waited for 25 minutes to see what happens. Well, the same thing happened as before. Process Explorer tells me what I already know, it is svchost which is tkaing 50% CPU (dual core). But clicking right mouse / Properties for that is useless because it blanks the content information as soon as the process is gone. And it's gone in less than a second probably (after user input). I could, in theory, make a screenshot of Svchost Viewer during the 1 second window. That could let me know the exact service name. But as the list is longer than one screen, the need for scrolling makes it a fat chance to get the right screenshot. Extremely difficult.
     
  6. Phantom010

    Phantom010 Trusted Advisor

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    The excellent free PicPick will let you take a "Scrolling Window" screenshot.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Phantom010

    Phantom010 Trusted Advisor

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    Just tried Svchost Viewer. It's quite basic, and useless if you already have Process Explorer, IMHO...

    The important thing, while in Process Explorer, is to note which svchost.exe process is hogging that CPU. Then, you can at least determine which group of services that particular svchost.exe process is managing.

    You can open the Properties window for that svchost.exe process and leave it open on the Threads page.

    Let me know which process it is, and if possible, which thread.

    Example:

    As you can see on the following screenshot, dhcpcsvc.dll is related to the DHCP Client service. Hopefully, that's the kind of information that would be useful (if it were hogging CPU):

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Phantom010

    Phantom010 Trusted Advisor

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    How long is that "while"? Is it always the same?

    Any specific Scheduled Tasks?

    Still seems related to a screensaver though.
     
  9. Phantom010

    Phantom010 Trusted Advisor

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    1- Please click HERE to download HijackThis.

    2- Run the program.

    3- Click on the Main Menu button if not already there.

    4- Select Do a system scan and save a logfile.

    5- Copy and paste the scan log from Notepad into your next reply. Do not attach it.

    6- Do not "Fix" anything unless advised to do so.


    For Windows 7 and Vista:

    If Windows is denying access to the Hosts file, run HijackThis as Administrator or disable the UAC first.

    ===================================================================

    Next,

    1- Run HijackThis again.

    2- Click on Open the Misc Tools section from the Main Menu.

    3- Check the List also minor sections (full) and List empty sections (complete) boxes.

    4- Click on Generate StartupList log.

    5- Copy and paste the StartupList log from Notepad into your next reply.
     
  10. Phantom010

    Phantom010 Trusted Advisor

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    A little feedback would be appreciated... :)
     
  11. distill

    distill Thread Starter

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    Thank you very much. However, this happened now: I let the computer stay on idle for days, and then the behavior stopped. Possibly some index was completed or virus heuristics completed or whatever the cause was. So at the moment I can't test this anymore. I will get back to this as soon as the problem reappears.

    The problem with Process Explorer / Properties / Threads was, as far as I tested, it also empties when the process dies. Which is 1 second after I touch the computer. Also the PicPick was not good enough, the scrolling snapshots were taken way too slowly, allowing the process to die long before everything was snapshot. That's why I setup a rig with many Svchost Viewers side by side, covering all the scrolling range. Plus Process Explorer or Task Manager. That way I could possibly capture the culprit, but then the problem ceased altogether before I could try that method.
     
  12. Phantom010

    Phantom010 Trusted Advisor

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    If the issue ever returns, try your computer in Safe Mode. If all is well in that mode, you may wan to run a Clean Boot troubleshooting procedure to hopefully isolate the offending application. Run it for both Services and Startup items.
     
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