On Vox: IT: PC hangs on startup/opening of IE

Monday, Summer Bear had been asking me about this problem: PC hung on running Windows update.

He opened up Task Manager (Alt + Clt + Del) and noticed that a file “svchost.exe” was hogging the system and using 100% of the CPU.

And strangely enough, today, I’d encountered the same problem while trying to open Internet Explorer. I thought it could be the Norton Antivirus new updates that could be causing this problem. I recalled the problem Summer Bear came across and opened up Task Manager to check. Indeed, “svchost.exe” was taking up 99% of the CPU, causing the PC to hang.

I called Summer Bear to ask him how he resolved the problem, and he gave me the Microsoft hotfix http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927891 to this problem. However, the problem still persisted after installing the Hotfix.

I went on to google around and found this article:


So far, the problem had been resolved. After following the instructions given and restarting my laptop, I noticed the Automatic Windows Update was running. So indeed, the new Windows Update had been causing this problem.



This can fixed by disabling Microsoft Update, at least until a fix is released. This is NOT the same as disabling Automatic Windows Update under the “Control Panel”.

1) Go to the Windows Update link in Internet Explorer. Open the Internet Explorer browser -> go to “Tools” ->click “Windows Update”.

NOTE: If your PC hangs at this point, open up Task Manager (Clt + Alt + Del), under the “Processes” tab, look for the file “svchost.exe” that is using 99% of the CPU. There will be a few “svchost.exe” running, just right click on the one that is using 99% CPU and choose “End this process”. You will be prompted with a warning, just click OK. This should give you enough time to resolve the problem before it hangs the PC again.

2) Select ‘Change settings’ on the left panel of the Windows Update page.

3) Scroll all the way down to the bottom.

4) Disable Windows Software Update.

This still allows automatic downloading of standard core Windows updates, but not for Microsoft related software, such as Office.

After much research and reading, I suspect the main problem is in the new update release of Microsoft Office.


‘Svchost’ is a generic container for Windows services – the background programs that *should* be of little interest to the average users. The high cpu usage is apparently caused by the Windows Update service, and seems to be widespread. A few forum posts indicated it was Microsoft Update causing the problem: MU is an optional upgrade that monitors Office (and other Microsoft programs?) for updates, rather than just the core Windows files monitored by the standard Windows Update. The WU website asks if you want to install MU on every visit, and I expect many people have (I do by default).


Hope this post will help some people who has the same problem.

Originally posted on kongnir.vox.com