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And I could have a corrupt file / reg entry, etc., as well as any MS's update server tricks or a Vista broken update "Agent".
One recent update check on the dual core laptop, the & event viewer showed 32 updates found.
I've read posts all over the internet about (mostly Vista & Win7) high CPU use - searching updates & it hanging forever.
Never read any attempt at explaining actual cause of high CPU use for svchost & wuauserv service.
As that post notes, Win XP had a similar problem three years ago after Win 8.1 was released and Microsoft eventually released a patch - likely because Win XP had (and still has) a large marketshare worldwide.
A single core CPU will show 100% saturation while a dual core CPU will show 50% saturation.FYI, the Windows Update Agent-7.6-x86(in 32 bit OS), didn't change any dates on update files in System 32.Unless it just "checked if they existed," & skipped them, didn't appear to change anything.Then there's a huge gap of several hours (no warnings, no errors) before the next timestamp shows that Agent (the Windows Update Agent) has finished searching for available updates.There's little read/write activity on my hard drive during this time gap - just the Windows Update Agent chewing up CPU and my cooling fan running in overdrive.