Help - update service slows XPpro to a crawl

George Neuner
07-09-2005, 11:35 PM
Hi all,

If this has been covered before I'd appreciate some pointers as
googling didn't quickly turn up anything similar.

I have a Dell Dimension 8200 (1.6GHz P4, 768MB RAM) with XPpro SP2
installed. I have noticed in recent months that whenever the Windows
Update service is active the computer slows to a crawl and the system
can remain sluggish for days while Update tries to download a set of
patches. Performance returns to normal immediately upon completion of
the patch installation - even when there's no reboot (like this month
when just the malware tool was updated).

The same result occurs whether I wait out the glacially slow service
or I get impatient and perform a manual update. Either way the
computer speeds up again as soon as the Update service has been

While performance is impaired there is no excessive activity apparent
in the task manager or in netstat. I can find nothing hogging the CPU
or opening zillions of sockets or doing anything else that would
obviously impact performance, however the computer's response is
*very* noticably slower - to the point where just editing a document
in Word2K can become painful. Subjectively I guestimate the
performance hit to be 50% or more.

I use ZoneAlarm Pro 5.5 instead of the Windows firewall (which is
completely disabled) and I run AVG 7 for anti-virus if either of these
programs provide any clues. I also have a Dimension 8400 (3GHz P4 HT,
1GB RAM) with the same setup which does not experience any perceptible
slowdown while the Update daemon is active.

Has anyone witnessed similar behavior with the Windows Update service
and does anyone know what to do about it?

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Help - update service slows XPpro to a crawl