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Windows 7: Windows Update making computer unusuable - over 90% RAM usage

19 Jan 2015   #1
tim53795

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 
Windows Update making computer unusuable - over 90% RAM usage

My parents have an Acer 5742 laptop with 2GB of RAM (Windows 7 Computer properties reports 1.7GB usable). Every day they complain that the computer is unusable for half an hour or more, usually when they first start it. 'Unusable' means that it's so bogged down that most programs won't start, not even Windows Explorer and it takes some time even to get Task Manager to start. Programs already started don't respond for 30 seconds or so to even a single click.

I've investigated the problem with Task Manager and Process Explorer and it's pretty clear that all the RAM is being used up (Task Manager reports 92-94% Physical Memory use). Process Explorer shows that the svchost.exe instance which has wuauclt.exe (Windows Update) as a sub-process is the culprit, with RAM usage for this svchost.exe being 750MB-1GB.

Is there anyway to stop Windows Update going crazy like this every day? Would creating a bigger swap file help?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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19 Jan 2015   #2
eatup

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 Bit
 
 

WU eats up RAM every time it searches for updates. I've set mine to never look for updates as I can do it manually every now and then. Folks should be pretty safe with MSE installed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jan 2015   #3
tim53795

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 

Yeah, the problem is if I set it to manual they'll never remember to do it
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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19 Jan 2015   #4
eatup

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 Bit
 
 

With MSE, there isn't even a need to "update". Updating just prevents the infection from getting on your system. MSE prevents the infection from running. With MSE, most viruses and trojans are as good as if they never existed on the system...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2015   #5
tim53795

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 

Do you mean MS Security Essentials? That's not a substitute for updates so isn't a good solution here.

Surely others have hit this kind of problem on computers with 2GB RAM - was there anything you could do to make it work reasonably?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2015   #6
DavidE

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64
 
 

My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2015   #7
tim53795

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 

Thanks, I had a look through that but the problem here is Windows Update itself, and not some pre-installed crapware other software that runs on boot or another time. I did enable ReadyBoost though using a spare USB stick though, just in case it helps.

I've also changed the Windows update settings to run at 9pm, which should be when they're not using the computer usually.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2015   #8
NoelDP

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 x64 Home Premium (and x86 VirtualBox VM)/Win10
 
 

This sounds to me as if Windows Update is having problems either identifying or locating required updates.

Do you have any 'cleanup' tools installed?

Windows x64 on a 2GB machine is minimum spec - I would never recommend it on anything less than 4GB.

Please post the following data...
C:\Windows\Windowsupdate.log


Please follow the Windows Update Posting Instructions and post the requested data

If the file is too large (8MB compressed), remove the older CBSPersist cab files until the final file is below the limit - you can always post them separately after zipping them. (the forum doesn't allow the upload of bare CAB files, for a number of reasons)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2015   #9
tim53795

Windows 7 64-bit
 
 

Thanks for replying, here's the log file
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jan 2015   #10
NoelDP

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 x64 Home Premium (and x86 VirtualBox VM)/Win10
 
 

You should try installing https://support.microsoft.com/kb/2901983 by downloading it and running the download - then do a new check for updates.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Windows Update making computer unusuable - over 90% RAM usage




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