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Bug Operating Systems Windows

Microsoft Quietly Fixes Windows XP Resource Hog Problem 246

Posted by timothy
from the hey-cut-that-out dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft indicated this week that it has fixed a Windows XP resource-hog problem associated with the system's SVCHOST.EXE processes. Windows XP users affected by this problem typically found that the operating system was using up system resources for 15 minutes to an hour after startup, making it difficult to use the machine during that period. The Microsoft Update team had vowed last month to spend the holiday break tackling the issue, which has plagued some users for years. The fix involved stopping the system from perpetually checking Internet Explorer updates. Microsoft indicated that the fix was rolled out on Tuesday."
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Microsoft Quietly Fixes Windows XP Resource Hog Problem

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  • yes (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 17, 2014 @10:07PM (#45994735)

    Bye bye Windows 8 hello xp

    • Bravo! http://youtu.be/TAryFIuRxmQ [youtu.be]
      • Re:yes (Score:4, Insightful)

        by hairyfeet (841228) <{bassbeast1968} {at} {gmail.com}> on Saturday January 18, 2014 @10:42AM (#45998065) Journal

        Personally I find it ironic as hell that they FINALLY fix this problem...with less than 4 months left before EOL. They did the same thing IIRC with Win2K and reminds me of Mozilla with their "There is NO memory leak, it "works for me", the problem is you"...denial right up until they quietly fixed the memory leak they had said didn't exist. I know I submitted my first "SVCHOST hangs system in XP" bug report back when I was running the RTM of XP X64 and XP in a dual boot back in...wow that was 2005, how time flies.

        I'm just glad I got my customers all switched to Win 7 ages ago so I won't have to play "race to the finish" with XP. There is a couple dual boots but the customers haven't booted into XP in ages so no worries there, I can just remove those next time they come in for work.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Bye bye Windows 8 hello xp

      Maybe they need to be forced to roll out a similar fix for win 7 as that has the same bug in it .

      Probably the same in 8 , 8.1 , & 9 ..

  • Over a decade (Score:5, Insightful)

    by C18H27NO3 (1282172) on Friday January 17, 2014 @10:12PM (#45994805)
    Windows XP has been out for 12 years and they just started to look into the problem last month?
    • by arbiter1 (1204146)
      i never had a problem with it for 8 years i used it.
      • by nukenerd (172703)

        i never had a problem with it for 8 years i used it.

        I read that the bug was introduced about 6 months ago, not years, by a Windows update. And it does not seem to affect everybody, for some reason.

    • by tepples (727027) <{tepples} {at} {gmail.com}> on Friday January 17, 2014 @10:39PM (#45995071) Homepage Journal
      I seem to remember reading that the time used by the previous update conflict resolution algorithm scales exponentially [slashdot.org] with the number of updates issued for a particular platform. Until recently, the number of updates wasn't big enough to cause a problem, but after 12 years of updates, this has changed.
    • Re:Over a decade (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DogDude (805747) on Friday January 17, 2014 @10:52PM (#45995161) Homepage
      Windows XP has been out for 12 years and they just started to look into the problem last month?

      Or you can look at it in another way: "They fixed a bug on a 12 year old OS?! Awesome!"
      • Windows XP has been out for 12 years and they just started to look into the problem last month? Or you can look at it in another way: "They fixed a bug on a 12 year old OS?! Awesome!"

        Sure wish I had some mod points left as that post was befitting of one of mine

      • by fluffy99 (870997)

        Or you can look at it in another way: "They fixed a bug on a 12 year old OS?! Awesome!"

        As I understand it, the fix was done on the Windows Update server and wasn't actually an OS bug They cleaning up and deprecated a slew of superseded patches (mostly IE) so the OS wasn't checking for ancient, irrelevant patches. The article and people keep referencing the svchost process because the windows update service normally runs under svchost process instead of standalone (although it's trivial to configure it to do so).

    • What amazes me is that it explains so much. I have no idea how many XP users have asked me to work on their computer 'because it has gotten so slow' and after full virus and malware cleanings, the system was noticeably slower than it should be for the hardware. This problem actually seems to explain it. Usually, all that cleaning involved a restart, and if this bug was causing slowdowns for more than an hour (I've read comments on the earlier /. posts about his testifying to multi day resource hogging afte
    • No this is really annoying for VM users.

      It is not bloat but a bug. Your CPU goes 100% and the fans spin like mad and there is no way out of it. It started from SVChost.exe trying to do a Windows update and quiting after an overlfow of +1000 patches.

      Many were gleaming hoping this would force the holdouts finally to get with the times.

    • by evilviper (135110)

      Windows XP has been out for 12 years and they just started to look into the problem last month?

      The bug didn't exhibit itself 12 years ago. I believe the earliest report was 2 years ago, there were workarounds (like upgrading to IE9) and this isn't the first time they've TRIED to properly fix the issue...

      But what do I know, I just spent 2 minutes RTFA...

  • by mtthwbrnd (1608651) on Friday January 17, 2014 @10:15PM (#45994837)

    What next: Are they going to tackle the memory leaks in the Commodore 64 Operating System?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      My C64 never crashed .. maybe a better joke would have been to mention Windows 98, 95, ME, CE, 3.1 or every single version of MS DOS ever released.

  • by EdIII (1114411) on Friday January 17, 2014 @10:18PM (#45994875)

    The performance issue was a constant check for updates.. for another program notorious for performance issues....

    This is why I really wish that Microsoft was *truly* forced to allow IE to be ripped out of their operating system completely.

    At this point, just give it up guys. You had over 10 years trying to make a browser. Let it go....

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 17, 2014 @10:39PM (#45995067)

    I repair old computers to be resold and the amount of time it would take to get the first updates was the single longest time waster of re-installing a fresh copy of XP on an old machine. The last 2 days it only took about 5 minutes for XP to figure out what updates were exactly needed instead of what had become the normal several hours.

  • by jones_supa (887896) on Friday January 17, 2014 @10:47PM (#45995107)
    What I'd really like Microsoft to do for XP (and other versions of Windows) is when the product reaches end of life, create a new installation medium which includes all the updates. If anyone wants to do legacy installations of the OS in future for special purposes, that could be quite handy.
  • in the past the astroturfers and other MS fans said I was full of crap because I said my computer took 10 minutes to boot to a useable state. Screw all of you. I stand by my past assertions that MS OS's are crap- they always have been and always will be.

    When are they going to figure out what causes my Win 7 to take 10 minutes to boot to a useable state? Maybe in 2025...

    • by ApplePy (2703131)

      I hate to be the one to tell you this, because I am about the farthest thing from a Windows fan... but the problem is probably you and the amount of stuff you have starting up on your machine at boot time. Use "msconfig" to turn some shit off. I've gotten lots of Win 7 machines to a minute or less startup, down from 5+ minutes, and the problem is always the same: bloat.

      Then again, the obvious question that occurs to me is: if your user experience is so bad, why haven't you switched to something else?

      • by dbIII (701233)
        There's also broken update stuff on some Win7 boxes that causes long start times, inability to get new updates, desktop icons not able to be found - and that's just one of the problem boxes. The answer is a reinstall treadmill for boxes that have hardware where new drivers break the updates - and a hope that this time you can skip over the problem and get something that can be kept up to date.

        I'm beginning to think that that disgrunted bottom 10% that MS throw off each project has ended up working with up
      • by Smauler (915644)

        My Vista system used to boot from BIOS to usable desktop in 15 seconds. I timed it. It's a lot worse now (almost a minute), but it hasn't been cleared out properly for 4 years or so. This is on a striped pair of oldish 500gb hard drives.

    • by jddj (1085169)

      Agree: my office XP laptop (with an i5) took 12 minutes to boot to where I could even crowbar Outlook open.

      OTOH, my SSD-upgraded 2008 Mac Book Pro on Snow Leopard goes from cold metal to ready to work in 20 seconds.

    • by smash (1351)

      Yet, I can actually copy files from disk to disk on Windows or my Mac without the responsiveness of say, trying to start an app at the same time from one of the disks going to shit. Linux needs an IO scheduler that doesn't either suck or require fucking around to make it responsive to user interaction under load.

      Running both Windows and Linux on this machine (Core i5-4430) and as far as disk IO goes, Windows blows the doors off Linux on it, in terms of responsiveness when copying files. Can it be tweak

  • The fix involved stopping the system from perpetually checking Internet Explorer updates.

    Really guys? People get crappy performance for years, and it's due to trying to update IE?

    That's pretty lame, even for Microsoft.

  • Why fix it now? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Virtucon (127420)

    I'll bet it persists in Vista, 7, 8 and 8.1 or it's prodigy would exhibit the problem. I just looked over the patch Tuesday fixes from this week and there's no mention of anything for SVCHOST however there is a nice memory leak that's been around for a long time in oleaut32.dll. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2870467 [microsoft.com]

    I guess they don't take advantage of static or runtime analysis tools at MSFT.

  • OK, so now just incorporate this fix into a shrink-wrap version and launch it under the name of "Windows 9". I'm pretty sure it would outsell Windows 8 comfortably.
  • CO2 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tonywestonuk (261622) on Saturday January 18, 2014 @03:06AM (#45996557)

    I wonder, how much Co2 has been released into the atmosphere, with this bug present on millions of computers, over decades, causing PC's to eat more electricity than they should.

    • That extra bit is certainly much less than all the games you played and porn you visited over that same period.
    • by evilviper (135110)

      I wonder, how much Co2 has been released into the atmosphere, with this bug present on millions of computers, over decades, causing PC's to eat more electricity than they should.

      Far less than would have been caused by XP users "upgrading" to Vista...

      If you want to calculate something... Figure out how much energy would be saved if everyone had stuck with Windows 2000 for the past decade and a half, instead of upgrading.

    • Well, I don't have the numbers with me, but to find for that carbon value (V) I guess it would work like this:

      you need to find out how many computers had XP on them : (X)

      multiply that by how much power these machines use on average per second (watt hours/360) (P)

      find out how much carbon was emitted by power stations during that time. (C)

      find out how much energy was generated, (E) and divide (C) by that.

      and then divide that number by (P)

      That's how I'd do it.

  • They should have released a bug that makes the OS alone eat up the whole PC, and leave nothing for the applications. That way, everybody can be forced to migrate.

    Where, exactly, would be up to them.

  • so all those slow downs are so a system service can check for internet explorer updates? A program which shouldn't even be integrated into the OS?

    really MS? Knock it off.

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