Please help! Tears imminent! Freezing / 100% CPU

  tammer 13:16 12 May 2007

Please help me if you can!

I've had a nightmare recently - see previous post:

click here

Now that windows is reinstalled, I've added Works / Office / Adobe Reader / Cyberscub Pro / Bullguard 7 / all office updates / IE7 / Battlefield 1942 only to find my laptop is now freezing shortly after startup.

If I open task manager quickly after starting I can see that it's an Svchost.exe file that's hogging 100% of the CPU and most of the memory. The laptop then freezes completely and you can't restart or anything. If you press power off (which probably isn't good for it) it tries to shut down and says "explorer.exe" isn't responding, closes it eventually and then freezes. Holding down power off allows you to turn it off.

I was suspicious it was IE7 or Bullguard that was causing the problem (although it's hard to tie that to svchost.exe) so I uninstalled them. I'm using the windows firewall just now.

The only reason I was able to write this is because I ended the svchost process in task manager but it'll probably be back when I restart. The machine seems ok just now which possibly rules out a hardware problem?

I can't think it would be a virus as Bullguard would have picked it up.

What else could be causing the problem and what can I do? Run CC cleaner or something?

  recap 13:38 12 May 2007

click here to run an online Svchost.exe scan to try and determine the problem.

  Kate B 13:41 12 May 2007

Bullguard would pick up a virus, but not a Trojan. Try A Squared click here, Spybot click here, Adaware click here, Windows Defender click here and superantisypware click here which between them should root out any nasties.

  tammer 14:00 12 May 2007

I've not yet tried looking for trojans but I did some more research on google and other people have reported a problem with Automatic Updates causing the problem I have.

I've turned off automatic updates and, touch wood, the problem hasn't been back. My laptop runs XP Home and is approx. 20 months old.

I'm left now unable to get automatic updates (automatically, or even at all). Is it possible to fix that does anyone know?

  tammer 14:03 12 May 2007

so I guess it would pick up trojans too?


  Kate B 14:08 12 May 2007

You've got to keep your Windows installation patched. If you must turn off automatic updates, for heaven's sake make sure you update manually. I'm not familiar with Bullguard so I don't know if looks for spyware.

  Whaty 14:18 12 May 2007

I've heard of and experienced a similar problem with Microsoft Updates (as opposed to Windows Update).

If you go to the Microsoft Update page, in the left hand pane there should be an option to 'change settings', select this and then scroll down the page that appears. You should then have an option to turn off Microsoft Update (if it is installed). This does not disable Windows Update, which you should always try to keep turned on.

After doing this check your Windows Update settings in Security Centre and set it to your preference.

Restart your PC and see how it goes.


  beynac 14:21 12 May 2007

This may help. I haven't had a chance to look into it myself though: click here

  wee eddie 15:00 12 May 2007

Have you downloaded the latest Fixes there. There appears to have been one that is causing a problem.

Apart from being 20 months old, you have told us little about the "spec" of your Laptop. Is it's graphics up to Gaming?

Why have you installed M$ Office and M$ Works? Unless there is a very specific reason I would get rid of Works and free up some space.

  steve0 15:03 12 May 2007

Had exactly same problem on my desktop - see my post click here

The batch file fixes it and you can then put back automatic updates

  tammer 16:56 12 May 2007

Thanks everyone for all your help.

To answer the various points raised:

-I've done what you suggested Whaty and Beynac and everything is ok at the moment.

-My laptop is well capable of handling BF42 so no problems there.

-Thanks Kate B, Bullguard is pretty good at warding off all nasties so no worries there either.

To me, it's a real shame that I went through the hassle of reinstalling windows (through my own stupidity) because of a bug that exists in the windows update service! I've learned a few lessons the hard way here but I guess my laptop is now in better shape than it was.

Thanks again.

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