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Thread: Win XP HELPSVC.exe high CPU after screensaver

  1. #1

    Question Win XP HELPSVC.exe high CPU after screensaver

    I usually leave my system on at night. Recently I've noticed ~ 100% cpu use when I logon the next day. The culprit is always HELPSVC.exe. At first I thought I might have brushed F1 at some point but that loads HLPCTR.exe instead. Then I thought it was tied to the screen saver: windows blank. I have "on resume, password protect" enabled. HLPSVC.exe loads with resume password disabled. HELPSVC.exe loads with other screensavers too. It doesn't seem to load if the screensaver never kicks in. I'm stumped.

    HELPSVC.exe lives here \WINDOWS\PCHEALTH\HELPCTR\Binaries

    Windows XP Pro noSP

    CPU Type Intel Pentium III, 500 MHz (5 x 100)
    Motherboard Name Asus P3B-F (4 DIMM)
    Motherboard Chipset Intel 82440BX
    System Memory 1024 MB (ECC SDRAM)
    BIOS Type Award Medallion (05/19/00)

    Video Adapter ASUS V9520 v44.03 (128 MB)
    3D Accelerator nVIDIA GeForce FX 5200
    desktop 1600x1200

    Audio Adapter Creative SB Live! 5.1 Sound Card

    Network Adapter 3Com EtherLink 10/100 PCI TX NIC (3C905B-TX)

    Software Firewall: Agnitum Outpost Pro 2
    screensaver: windows blank

    Windows XP Application Compatibility Update[Q313484]
    Windows XP Hotfix - KB823980 Update
    Windows XP Hotfix (SP1) [See Q309521 for more information]
    Windows XP Hotfix (SP1) [See Q311967 for more information]
    Windows XP Hotfix (SP1) [See Q315000 for more information]
    Windows XP Hotfix (SP1) [See Q319733 for more information]
    Windows XP Hotfix (SP1) [See Q321178 for more information]

    Norton AntiVirus 2004

    power management disabled

  2. #2
    Taken from answers that work Task List.

    re Helpsvc.exe

    Microsoft Help Center Service – Windows XP. In our experience you will only see this task running if you have Automatic Updates turned ON or if you are in the process of running a Windows Update, or you access the Windows XP Help, as this task’s main job is to install Microsoft updates to the Windows XP Help and Support Center, and most specifically, new Headlines. Microsoft’s description of Headlines : "A useful feature of Help and Support Center is the Headlines area. This area is typically titled "Did you know?" and is usually located in the lower-right corner of the main window, unless the window has been customized by the OEM or modified for certain languages. A page in Help and Support Center with more Headlines is exposed to users when they click the "View more headlines" hyperlink at the bottom of the "Did you know?" section. Headlines provides a dynamic source of content that users can visit frequently to find help and support on current issues as well as those that were known at the time the operating system was released. For example, it may display links to topics that inform the user about new security bulletins, software updates, or new Help content.".

    Recommendation :
    In most cases this task terminates once the Windows Update terminates and/or you exit the Windows XP Help. It has been known, however, not to terminate itself and instead to run away with CPU usage, up to 90%, with the obvious impact on the PC’s performance. If this happens regularly create a DWORD entry called Headlines and give it the value of 0, for the following Registry Key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ PCHealth \ HelpSvc \ (only advanced users should attempt this). This disables the Headlines feature which simply means that your Help and Support Center headlines are never updated.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Welcome to

    In addition to what Malcore said, you seem to be running WinXP without any updates. This leaves you vulnerable to any number of nasty worms and other malware that takes advantage of vulnerabilities in WinXP. I would suggest downloading and installing promptly.

    You may be able to simply turn off the Helpsvc.exe, check at Black Viper for detailed instructions for these kind of things...
    Budfred ..... Caveat Emptor....

    Helpful links SpywareBlaster... HijackThis... ATF Cleaner...

    Post a complaint about malware here!!
    So how did I get infected in the first place??

    MS MVP 2006 and ASAP member since 2004...

    If you PM me for help, expect an irritated response... Post in the forum...

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