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svchost.exe slowing pc.

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by benaround3, Jun 12, 2010.

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  1. benaround3

    benaround3 Thread Starter

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    Hello

    I have a Dell Latitude laptop with XP pro, SP3 and all updates. Recently I found the cpu running at 3-4 % with only the desktop, Avira, and Windows Defender running. Normally cpu is down to 1% with these programs running. I turned off automatic updates and avira and defender but cpu was still at 3-4 %. How can I find out the cause of this? I do not know which of several svchost processes is causing the problem, this one uses about 35Mb with firefox open, 31Mb when I close it. Please ignore my out of date signature, I will change it now
     
  2. Quackers88

    Quackers88

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    This is not a problem really. My CPU runs at 4-5% when I'm doing nothing. During a long idle spell it will go much higher as Windows uses the processor for jobs. A svchost.exe "problem" is usually when the CPU hits 50% or even higher, and even then that could just be Windows at it again. svchost.exe is a host process for many Windows services which may be running at any time.
     
  3. flavallee

    flavallee Frank Trusted Advisor

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    If your laptop is running slow, there are other reasons for it, and not because the CPU usage is at 3 - 4%.

    What's the 7-character "service tag number" on the sticker?

    How much RAM does it have?

    Go to Start - Run - MSCONFIG - OK - Startup(tab). Have many entries are checked?

    If you installed Windows Defender, get rid of it.

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  4. benaround3

    benaround3 Thread Starter

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    Thank you

    I do appreciate that for a laptop a cpu usage of 3-4 % is not high, it's just that I noticed it was running a little slow and previously to this it always idled at 1-2 %, so I wondered if I could find out what had changed. I have used windows defender on it for over a year.

    GLP1W0J

    632 MB RAM

    4 startup items:

    ctfmon (do I need this?)
    msmsgs
    avgnt
    MSASCui

    explorer.exe is also running at 1% cpu and I am pretty sure that until recenty it was 0%.
     
  5. NozzaC

    NozzaC

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    What flavallee said.

    svchost is not an application running as such. It is an app that hosts a service, hence the name. It might be running the DNS Client service, COM+ etc. If you want to know which service this particular instance hosting then you can download and use Process Explorer. If it's a non-native windows Service (ie one from a 3rd party application) then you could uninstall that app or stop the service manually. I guess it's possible it's hosting a malware service which is slowing the machine down in other ways but I've no reason to suggest that really.
     
  6. benaround3

    benaround3 Thread Starter

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    Thank you
    I downloaded Process Explorer and ran it. It described all the 8 svchost tasks as Generic Host Proces for Win32 Services.
    Does that mean they are all OK?
    I guess I will have to leave it at that for now as long as it doesn't get any slower.
     
  7. flavallee

    flavallee Frank Trusted Advisor

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    Service tag number GLP1W0J is assigned to a Dell Latitude X300 laptop. Here is the Dell support and software site that's specific only to that laptop. I highly suggest that you add and save this site in your browser favorites/bookmarks list so you can refer to it when needed.

    According to its system information section, it came with 640 MB of RAM pre-installed. It has a 128 MB non-removable module and a 512 MB removable module. The only upgradeable option that it has is to replace the 512 MB module with a 1024 MB(1 GB) module and increase the overall amount of RAM from 640 MB to 1152 MB. A 1024 MB(1 GB) module costs $49.98 plus shipping at this site, just in case you decide you want to max out the RAM in that laptop.

    The msmsgs startup entry is associated with the outdated Windows Messenger program that comes as part of the operating system and which hardly noone uses anymore. If you uncheck it, it'll keep rechecking itself unless you disable it permanently within the program. Start the program to open its main window, then click Tools - Options - Preferences. Uncheck the top 4 boxes, then click Apply - OK, then close the program. Now when you uncheck it in the startup list, it'll stay unchecked.

    The ctfmon startup entry is associated with text-to-speech that comes as part of Microsoft Office and some other programs. It'll keep rechecking itself if you uncheck it. The only way to permanently disable it is to go into Regional And Language Options in the Control Panel and make some setting changes, which are too complicated to explain, so just leave it alone.

    Personally, I would uninstall Windows Defender and replace it with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware 1.46 because it does a better job.

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  8. benaround3

    benaround3 Thread Starter

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    Thank you Flavalee, I am very appreciative of the trouble you go to but afraid I may not have time to follow this all up right now. This isn't my main pc, just a backup I use when I go away.
    You won't believe this but I actually use windows messenger becaause of it's simplicity. It does all I want and doesn't pester me to keep upgrading etc etc!
    I always wondered what ctfmon was and now I know.
     
  9. flavallee

    flavallee Frank Trusted Advisor

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    I didn't think anyone used Windows Messenger anymore. It was replaced years ago by MSN Messenger and then by Windows Live Messenger. I agree that the original version is simple and easy to use and doesn't have all the "bells and whistles" and bloatware of the new version.

    Since that's not your main computer and it's just used as a backup, you can make the other changes(if you choose to) at your own pace.

    Unless you have any other issue with that computer to address, I guess we're done here.

    And I was glad to help. :)

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