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Windows 7: Windows Update using over a GB of RAM constantly

12 Aug 2015   #1
nev

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 
Windows Update using over a GB of RAM constantly

First off let me say that I do have a large backlog of updates (upwards of 96) that I haven't done. Reasons for not doing them include not needing to, not wanting to, and just the idea of one of them having or doing something I don't want.

I've noticed for quite a while now when I boot up my computer and when the 'delayed start' services kick in, Windows Update is the one that takes all my resources. As soon as they kick in, I see a lone svchost.exe fly up to around 1,400,000 K on the memory usage and around 12% of my CPU. This goes on for about fifteen minutes and then will settle on its own, usually. Sometimes it takes longer than others to finally settle down.

I'm not sure if doing the backlog of updates I have would even solve the issue, since this issue lies within the checking for updates. If I were to try to check for updates manually, it hangs. It gets stuck in an infinite check and then the memory usage will never go down until a reboot or termination of the service.

I've considered completely disabling Windows Update altogether, my only concern is MSE. I use that for anti-virus and I've noticed it seems to be directly tied to Windows Update. I've observed on a virtual machine that installing MSE after disabling Windows Update will actually result in it turning back on automatically. Not sure if I like this behavior.

Anyway, could anyone shed some light on this abnormally large usage of my RAM from Windows Update? What deems it necessary to use that much? On my system, this weighs in at around 20-23% of my total physical memory usage.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Aug 2015   #2
Callender

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Well my observations are:

When this high svchost.exe memory usage occurs and wuauserv is running under that particular instance of svchost.exe if you use a tool like RAMmap from SysInternals you will see the following file is locked and using a lot of RAM.

C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\DataStore\DataStore.edb
Windows Update using over a GB of RAM constantly-datastore-edb.jpg
Then the following screenshot shows the file's RAM usage in more detail. There is only a small section of the window shown and if you note the position of the scroll arrow you can see that the list is pretty huge.
Windows Update using over a GB of RAM constantly-datastore-edb-2.jpg
I've fixed the problem on my own machine a few times now but it's actually really very complicated to fix. I've also heard tales of people resorting to clean installing windows only to encounter the same problem.

My fix involves:

Running advanced disk cleanup.
Reset IE completely (32bit and 64bit)
Running MicrosoftFixit50202.msi in aggressive mode more than once.
Reset Windows Update components manually.
Clear Windows Update history and temp files.
Force reinstalling Windows Update Agent.
Reconfigure Windows Update settings.

It's probably too tricky to explain properly and in detail.

Nobody seems to have worked out why it happens in the first place!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Aug 2015   #3
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

I look at a lot simpler.

Ram is designed to be used when needed.

If your system determines that more resources is need when doing Windows 7 Updates, oh well.

You need Windows 7 Updates.

When I have a Windows 7 Updates I do nothing on the computer until the Updates are completed.
If you don't fall behind on the updates it doesn't take long.
You have fallen behind so it will take some time to complete the Updates.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Aug 2015   #4
Callender

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Okay well the problem re-appeared again and as you can probably guess that's why I was able to capture the screenshots in Post #2.

Here's more screenshots showing normal memory usage by svchost running wuaserv after the fix as opposed to the 1GB to 2GB earlier usage and indeed shows installation of this month's updates in progress. My logic would be that memory leaks need fixing in order to avoid bringing the system to a crawl but if adding more RAM works then try it and let us know if it works. It would sure help a lot of users who seem to have the same problem at the moment.
Windows Update using over a GB of RAM constantly-wu.jpg


My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Aug 2015   #5
NoelDP

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

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

This is quite normal - Windows Update tests the integrity of all updates as they come down - and again when you do a Check for updates, as well as at install time.
This is NOT a memory 'leak' - it's simply normal memory usage.
As Layback Bear said, memory is there to be used - my take on it is that if it's not in use then it may as well be hung on the wall as artwork.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Aug 2015   #6
Callender

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

NoelDP is the Windows Updates expert here and knows a lot! I'd go with his advice. It still doesn't explain why today's windows update check shows svchost.exe (netsvcs) memory usage as shown below - when before the fix it was running at over 1.2Gb daily.
Windows Update using over a GB of RAM constantly-svchost-netsvcs.jpg
Then there's this strange article here: How to fix: Svchost.exe (netsvcs) memory leak or high CPU usage problems - wintips.org - Windows Tips & How-tos

Apparently though, high svchost - netsvcs RAM usage isn't a memory leak so just have a read and ask the experts here if they've got any advice on how to fix any possible issues.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Sep 2015   #7
lehnerus2000

W7 Ultimate SP1, LM18 MATE, W10IP VM, W10 Home, #All 64 bit
 
 
Not Normal

I disagree that this is just "normal behaviour".

It is not normal for W7 to sit there for several hours:
  • Using ever increasing amounts of RAM
  • With CPU usage of 50% - 100% constantly
MS released something in May or June that caused this (convenient considering the release of W10 in July).

My VMs have all started doing this (the last time they were updated was June).
One of the updates in August or September seems to fix the issue though.

Of course, you need to let your machine run for several hours, before Windows Update will even show any available updates.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Sep 2015   #8
Callender

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by lehnerus2000 View Post
I disagree that this is just "normal behaviour".

It is not normal for W7 to sit there for several hours:
  • Using ever increasing amounts of RAM
  • With CPU usage of 50% - 100% constantly
MS released something in May or June that caused this (convenient considering the release of W10 in July).

My VMs have all started doing this (the last time they were updated was June).
One of the updates in August or September seems to fix the issue though.

Of course, you need to let your machine run for several hours, before Windows Update will even show any available updates.
Well at least someone else finally agrees! Like I said I've experienced the same high RAM usage on my machine and the only way I found to fix it was actually pretty complicated to explain. Once fixed RAM usage when checking for updates is "normal"

There is an update for Windows Update Agent that has been released recently that also has options to block W10 upgrade updates but I have not tried installing it yet. Here's the details:
Note   Note

Windows Update Client for Windows 7: June 2015


Fixes that are included in this update

This update addresses an issue in which system performance can be decreased during scans. This issue has the greatest effect on computers that have a small amount of physical memory.
This update addresses an issue in which Windows Update scans can fail and generate a 0x8007000E error.
General improvements are made to support upgrades to a later version of Windows.
This update installs a new Group Policy object that enables you to block upgrades to the latest version of Windows through Windows Update.

Microsoft is making Windows 10 available for free for one year from the date of availability to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 customers for non-Enterprise editions. If you have Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 Pro deployed in your organization, Windows 10 will be offered to you. Computers that have this Group Policy object enabled will never detect, download, or install an upgrade to the latest version of Windows.

You can configure this Group Policy object by using Group Policy (if the update is installed and if you use the updated WindowsUpdate.admx file by copying the file from where the editing policy is located). You can also do this by going to Computer Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update, double-clicking Turn off the upgrade to the latest version of Windows through Windows Update, and then clicking Enabled.

Policy path Computer Configuration / Administrative Templates / Windows Components / Windows Update

Policy setting Turn off the upgrade to the latest version of Windows through Windows Update (enabled or disabled)

To suppress this offer through the registry, set the following registry key:
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate
DWORD: DisableOSUpgrade = 1
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Sep 2015   #9
UsernameIssues

W7 Pro SP1 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Callender View Post
NoelDP is the Windows Updates expert here and knows a lot! I'd go with his advice. It still doesn't explain why today's windows update check shows svchost.exe (netsvcs) memory usage as shown below - when before the fix it was running at over 1.2Gb daily.
~~~
Perhaps using disk cleanup against the WU files reduces the RAM usage for the next scan.

When I start with a VM that only has SP1, the first thing offered is Windows Update Agent version 7.6.7600.320. That WU agent was released in the middle of 2014.

Yes, there was an update in June and one that got pulled this month, but as best I can tell, I'm using a 2014 WU "agent" or "client". If I watch the network traffic and the RAM/CPU usage, I see a few files come in and then no traffic while WU chews on those files. Then the cycle repeats itself.

If I assign a VM 512MB of RAM, WU peaks around 333MB (but the VM is still responsive for other apps). Assigning the VM 2GB of RAM lets WU reach ~1.4GB. Assigning the VM 4GB of RAM made no difference. The CPU usage was around 50% for all three setups.

There were long periods of time where no network traffic happened... just file validation. The RAM usage went up and down drastically until a certain group of updates were being processed. Then it held pretty steady for 20 minutes straight.

There was no memory leak - at least not how I define a leak. Leaks never stop using more RAM. WU definitely reached a plateau.


If I exit the VM, it reverts to its frozen state. Instead of asking WU to update the WU agent, I manually installed the June WU client. The CPU usage was still around 50%, but the RAM stayed under 500MB (with 2GB assigned to the VM). The scan completed much faster* than using the 2014 WU agent - however, I only ran one test with each version.

*about 20 minutes for 200+ updates. Perhaps I just got lucky.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Sep 2015   #10
GokAy

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

I have fixed this (two different PCs) by manually installing June 2015 Update Agent. As far as I can remember, I had to stop BITS in order to install it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Windows Update using over a GB of RAM constantly




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