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I'm looking at a laptop for a colleague which is running terribly slow. A quick look showed that the CPU was 100% used by 2-3 SVCHost processes, which off course doesn't tell much since those are just 'cover' processes with services running underneath them. So I fired up process explorer in hopes of finding a shady rogue service which was bogging the system, but to my surprise I found genuine MS Windows processes (or at least damn-good disguised ones) are bogging down the system:

  • dnscache (DNS Client)
  • IKEEXT (IKE and AuthIP IPSec Keyring modules)
  • iphlpsvc (IP Helper)

Seen separately, these processes might seem odd to be using a lot of CPU, but taking a step back one can conclude that all three services are quite closely related to networking. I've tried running:

netsh int ip reset log.txt

which has helped me save bizarre network-related problems in the past, but this didn't help Off course I though about a virus, but both MS Security Essentials as well as malwarebytes (let both run a full scan).

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What happens if you disable the network adapter(s)? – Shinrai Jul 11 '12 at 21:13
Did you know Windows 7's Task Manager will show you which services are being hosted by right-clicking any svchost.exe process and choosing "Go to Service(s)"? It'll even show you which service "group" they belong to (like "netsvcs"). – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Jul 11 '12 at 21:32
Has this notebook EVER ran properly? Do these services behave like this in Safe Mode? How about Safe Mode with Networking? Have you checked with the manufacturer to determine if this is a known issue? Have you tried updating the notebook's device drivers? Is there a new BIOS version available for it? – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Jul 11 '12 at 21:36
Not much I'm afraid, tried disabling the LAN as well as the WLAN adapter and rebooting t he PC, but the same 3 services keep topping out the CPU usage – Alex Jul 11 '12 at 21:40
The notebook did run properly, in fact I ordered it for my colleague and installed some applications on it before handing it to her, it was running fine back then. Safe mode without network does not have a problem, but then again none of these services are running in safe mode. Safe mode WITH networking does show the same problem. – Alex Jul 11 '12 at 21:54

I have had a similar problem due to DNS Client service: go to Services and disable the DNS client Service and then stop it, this might solve your problem.

Not satisfactory really as mine was working fine before - but at least I can use it this way

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Sorry but that's just plain looking over the problem. If you disable DNS client you won't be able to query any DNS records (like, can't really imagine working on a computer like that... – Alex Oct 22 '13 at 10:56

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