Our Director of IT is running WinXP SP1 on an HP Pavilion ze5000 laptop. This morning, right after we installed IIS on our Windows 2000 Server, he began to experience a real slowdown on his laptop. When we checked CPU utilization for running processes, his svchost.exe was at 99%! We thought it might be a worm or something, but a Norton Antivirus 2002 Pro scan came back negative. Any idea what could cause this? (Note: After a reboot his CPU utilization for svchost.exe went back to 1%.)

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The two might not have anything to do with each other. Sometimes svchost performs tasks in the background, such as running memory optimization or page-file garbage collection, which can cause CPU activity to spike.

This was first published in October 2002

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