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I've always noticed steady usage of my CPU from 'services.exe', typically from 1-4%, constantly throughout the day. If I enable the CPU Time column and sort the processes, I can see that over time services.exe rises to the top, right below the idle process. It's not a big deal, but it does hurt performance, and more importantly, battery life.

However, I have found that if I restart the service 'Windows Management Instrumentation' it completely stops the CPU usage! The interesting bit is the process 'WmiPrvSE.exe' does not record any real CPU usage over time. Once I restart WMI(Windows Management Instrumentation) from services.msc, services.exe CPU usage literally drops to 0%, and stays there.

If I check the properties of 'Windows Management Instrumentation' I see there are some services which depend on it, these services are restarted when WMI is restarted. These are the following services which are listed as dependant on WMI:

1) Intel Rapid Storage Technology

2) Internet Connection Sharing (ICS)

3) IP Helper

4) Security Center

5) VMWare Authorization Service

6) VMWare USB Arbitration Service

I've tried stopping/starting each one of these services individually but there is no effect on the CPU usage. If I restart WMI and watch the usage from task manager, the last item which is stopped is WMI itself, and it's at that exact point the CPU usage drops from 1-5 -> 0%.

So I ask you, what can I do to find what's causing this behaviour? I don't want to restart this service every time I login.


share|improve this question
Note that WMIPrvSE.exe is used for remote management tasks including RemoteDesktop, so I would surmise that when you restart WMI, you are disconnecting any clients, and stopping the work they were doing. you may find some good info here:… – Frank Thomas Sep 16 '13 at 3:50
run xperf while you have the high cpu usgae and provide the file: – magicandre1981 Sep 16 '13 at 4:07
Were you using Internet Connection Sharing with some USB 3G modem? Sorry about digging out, but I have similar problem (ICS uses 100% of one of my CPU cores). – Kamil Nov 19 '14 at 14:23
Nah I wasn't using ICS, I doubt this is the same issue as this was only causing minor CPU usage, not even close to 100% on any core. – fpsColton Nov 19 '14 at 17:57

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