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Windows 7: Massive CPU problem upon installing latest Windows Critical Update.

28 Jun 2012   #1

Windows 7 Professional x64
Massive CPU problem upon installing latest Windows Critical Update.

Hello, Windows 7 Forums.

I was actually sitting down to write a scathing email to Microsoft concerning their Updates ruining my computer and putting my university work in severe jeopardy, but then I though "No, scathing emails are unbecoming and unproductive. I'll see if I can get help on these forusm instead."

So, a couple of weekends ago, my computer went bonkers.

I am a 3D graphics students, with a constant workflow, so almost every night I'll have all three of Photoshop, Autodesk Maya and VLC open, no problems, computer chugging along fine. This night, however, was different - even attempting to have all three programs open made the computer slow down to within an inch of its life, all three of them freezing. I am computer savvy, but not to the extent of knowing the deeper recesses of software and hardware workings. I figured, 'the cpu is a little outdated, I've been working it very hard lately, and I just installed a new graphics card - I'll turn off for the night, and see if something went wrong tomorrow.'

The next day, I had the same problem. svchost.exe was chewing up all the CPU in it's path. Ontop of that, opening any one of Photoshop, Maya or VLC used an impossibly massive chunk of CPU that it never normally needed to run. I checked the graphics driver was all fine, it was. I tried to do a System Restore, it was turned off. At this point, I was completely incabable of doing my work. The lag was impossible to work with concerning the pograms I use. Even the smallest of tasks was making them crash. Firefox got hit the worst, constantly lagging and crashing even whilst loading a simple page like google.

I ran antivirus software, anti-malware software, nothing. System diagnostic. Disk check. Nothing. According to my computer, it was working awesomely.

I took the computer to my usual computer-guy. After two days, he could not figure out the problem. So we did a fresh re-install of Windows.

I took the computer home and it was working beautifully.

In the morning, it was exactly the same as before.

I was pulling my hair out. How was this possible?! How could a reformatting not solve the problem, if we had proved it wasn't a hardware problem?! I had one day left to finish my schoolwork. One anxiety attack later, I charged back to my poor loyal computer guy and demanded an explanation.

"Was it working fine last night?"


"So what did you do lastnight before switching it off??"

"Nothing! I installed a couple of my school programs, then then computer shut down and installed a couple Windows Updates, then-" my eyes grew very round.

"Do a System Restore and undo the Update," he said."

I did so. The computer worked swimmingly.

I also remembered a tiny forgotten detail of the night that everything had gone wrong. I had been having some problems with Star Wars: The Old Republic, and the forums had suggested making sure Windows had all the latest updates. So I'd run the updater in the background.

The latest Windows Critical Update had killed my computer.

Okay. I hope you've enjoyed the story so far. Anyway, after that I disabled Windows Update, but a couple of days ago Windows Defender seemed to somehow get around that, turned it back on and re-install the update. Computer go boom Again. System Restore again.

I have no pirated software on my computer, including windows, and all I've re-installed since the reformat. are what I need for schoolwork, plus SW:TOR.

I can't be having this problem. It's ridiculous and stupid - how is it that an update of Microsoft's own making is doing this to my computer? What could possibly be happening? I'm assuming I'll actually need further updates in the future, like Service Packs and such. I really don't want to run into this problem every time I try to do that.

So. Any Ideas?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jun 2012   #2

Windows 7 x64 Professional SP1

Hello and welcome Aolani!

Yes, it is generally a good idea to keep your windows updated BUT, if you're handling a system that is mission critical (e.g. for sensitive, important workflows etc), it's better to manually update your windows and just apply one update at a time from the Windows Update menu... after backing up your important data and system state..

In general, critical updates from Microsoft should be safe to apply but there have been documented cases of them bricking certain systems/configurations for no apparent reason what so ever.. It can be a crapshoot sometimes, and it often involved hotfixes from MS themselves to fix those issues... (happened to me many moons ago... fortunately reverting using a system restore solved the issue)

It is likely that in the future you might have to update your Windows with a service pack, but when you have to cross that bridge, ensure that you've got a working system backed up BEFORE applying it.. that's like a the 1st rule of Computing...

So to recap; do not apply all updates en masse lest your system gets ruined like you describe.. even more so when you rely on it for very very important tasks....

P.S. That's a rather harrowing tale that you told, but it is the lessons we learn through pain and anguish that we never forget...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jun 2012   #3

Windows 7 Professional x64

Thankyou, solarmystic :) Hopefully I won't spent most of my time here posting about computer woes like this one.

Harrowing is definitely the word. It was very Murphy's Law too, running into this problem very close to the deadline for a project. I was convinced the universe was working against me. I'm wondering, maybe I can get a hotfix directly from Microsoft as well?
That said, this computer is a bit of a lemon, so come tax return I'm hoping to get a brand spanking new i7-quad-core-whatever-that-awesome-crap-is CPU and motherboard. My computer lingo is epic.

I just started holidays, so I'm considering going through the Updates and installing them one at a time, re-starting after each install, seeing if I can narrow down the problem to one of them. Even then though, I'm a little anxious about risking it. I've currently only got Service Pack 1 for Win 7, I'm not sure if there are any others.

The lesson I learned? Probably that I need much better time management of my school work, so that if/when this happens again, I've got extra time to get the problem fixed, instead of having to hand work in the next day.
My System SpecsSystem Spec


 Massive CPU problem upon installing latest Windows Critical Update.

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