This sounds like a problem that I've had for the past 4-5 months.
I'm running XP-Pro, SP2, 544mb ram, with an older GW2K, PIII-600MhZ.
Initially I thought it was just some system maintenance that was needed.
After a few times, I called up my task manager and found that I have 12 svchost.exe processes running. One will be running at 85% to 97% of cpu resources.
I then went into my msconfig utility and began turning off what I considered useless, or unnecessary programs that loaded upon boot up.
over the course of the next month or so I found that this was a standard occurrence regardless of what I did.
I then contacted my AV provider and asked if there was a virus because my AV program would have a malfunction on a regular basis. They could only tell me to uninstall, run an online scan, and then re-install.
This did nothing to stop the malfunction from occurring, and I ultimately noticed that my AV program had not updated in over 45 days.
At this point I downloaded some free AV and antispam programs that also found no viruses, or spam.
At this point I began looking on google to see if multiple svchost processes were somehow caused by viruses.
While I found numerous articles that implied this hypothesis, I never found any distinct article that definitively clarified it one way or another.
I then decided to contact the AV maker directly, instead of my ISP who acts as a go between.
They of course directed me back to the ISP, and we appear to have resolved the AV issue malfunctioning, but I still have 12 svchost.exe processes loading every time I boot up.
At one point I did read up on a MS KB article that told how to determine which svchost process is performing what task, but I could never figure out how to stop it from occurring altogether.
I think I even went to the MS newsgroups, and don't ever remember anyone ever responding. I did just find a response from MS tech support on the topic. I'll go back through this again. (I'll post their response below)
Now when I boot up, after about ten minutes all of the svchost.exe processes will be at max, and I'll go into my task manager to see what's taking place. When I see one that's running at the high percentage rate, I'll terminate it.
shortly thereafter another svchost.exe process will go to the high percentage. I'll then terminate it, and after a couple of moments my screen will flicker, and the taskbar will turn white, and take anywhere from 1 minute to 5 minutes to recover. Sometimes it won't recover at all, and I'll need to reboot.
It's my considered opinion at this point that my system is either just getting too old, or there is a virus affecting my system-- that has gotten so deep into my system that no virus checker has been able to find and eradicate it.
So, I'd like to join Anthony's request for assistance.
Here is the response I obtained from MS's tech support on the topic.
Thank you for contacting Microsoft Customer Service.
I apologize for the delay in our response to your issue. Due to an increase in requests, our response time is longer than usual. I appreciate your patience in this regard.
I understand from your message that 8 svchost's are running at once, and one of them is taking upwards of about 95% CPU capacity on Windows XP Professional.
I have included some self-help resources that may address your issue, and information on how to contact Technical Support. If the self-help resources that are provided do not resolve your issue, or if you prefer assisted technical support, you can contact the technical support team directly at the URL provided below:
You may work with a Microsoft Support Professional via e-mail, telephone, and chat to resolve your issue. Depending on how you obtained your software, there may be fees to use the Assisted Support option. Please visit the following link to contact the Support Team regarding your issue with Windows XP Professional:
Please note that if the Microsoft Windows XP Professional came from your computer manufacturer, please contact your computer manufacturer directly. Contact information for most major computer manufacturers is available at:
Steve, you may search the Product Solution Center or the Knowledge Base of self-help articles to resolve your issue using the following link regarding your issue with Windows XP Professional:
You may also post your issue in the Microsoft news groups. Please visit the link below to look for a possible resolution regarding your issue with Windows XP Professional:
I hope your issue is resolved at the earliest and appreciate your patience in this regard. Meeting and exceeding your expectations are my top priorities.
Microsoft Customer Service Representative
If you have any feedback about your Online Customer Service experience, please send it to my manager, Smita Singh, at http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=6998852 Please do not forget to indicate the name of my manager in the subject field.
--- Original Message ---
Sent : Friday, November 30, 2007 3:58:18 AM UTC
To : CNTUS.PRCS.NA.00.EN.TRA.BGL.CS.T01.CUS.00.WB@css.one.microsoft.com
Subject : svchost issues
CUSTOMER PROVIDED SYSTEM PROPERTIES
O/S: Win-XP, Pro-SP2
Br: IE 6.0.2900.2180.....
Country/Region: United States
Windows XP Professional
QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS
Message: I have 8 svchost's running at once, and one of them is taking upwards of 95% or more of my cpu's capacity.
I've read up on this from various links through google, and they all state that this is most likely a virus.
I have run my virus scans, and have all of my AV definitions up to date. It has not recognized this as a virus.
Do you have any better/comprehensive information on this topic than KB 314056?
Is there a patch, or a fix for this?
I have no crashes, no system failures, etc...
My sole problem-- so far-- is that one of the svchost's is taking almost all of my cpu capacity.