System overheating from Service Host activity

jmt356
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System overheating from Service Host activity

Post by jmt356 »

“Service Host: Local System” is frequently running in the background of my computer, taking 60% or more of my computer’s processing power, and causing the fan to blow full blast incessantly. This morning, the fan was running so hard that the computer suddenly shut itself down. When I turned it back on, a message displayed stating that the computer shut down to prevent itself from overheating.

I have tried to end the Service Host task, which almost always appears to be running in the background, but I get a warning that doing so may cause Windows to become unstable. Yet I am afraid that if I keep it running in the background, it may damage my computer from overheating. Is there a way to stop Service Host from overtasking my computer? Can I safely end Service Host?
Regards,

JMT

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StuartR
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Re: System overheating from Service Host activity

Post by StuartR »

Which version of Windows does this computer run? This issue should be in one of the Windows operating system forums, as it is unlikely to be a hardware problem.
StuartR


jmt356
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Re: System overheating from Service Host activity

Post by jmt356 »

Windows 8
Regards,

JMT

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StuartR
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Re: System overheating from Service Host activity

Post by StuartR »

Do any of the suggestions in This thread help?
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DaveA
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Re: System overheating from Service Host activity

Post by DaveA »

It pays to shut down and do a reboot from scratch.
This means not to hibernate, sleep and etc., a real shut down.
The will close all entries of Service Host and then just start the one(s) needed on restart.
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Re: System overheating from Service Host activity

Post by JoeP »

You should use a tool such as Process Explorer to try to identify which exact service is using the system resources.

You should not try to stop Service Host. You'll find many instances of Service Host. Each can host one or more services. These services are important to Windows.
Joe

jmt356
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Re: System overheating from Service Host activity

Post by jmt356 »

I restarted, but Service Host continued to use up all my system resources.

I expanded the arrow next to Service Host in the Task Manager and then stopped several of the sub-processes. This caused a reduction in the resources used by Service Host and in the pressure put on my computer's fan.

However, now, when I try to launch Task Manager, the following error message is displayed, "The service cannot accept control messages at this time." I think I must again restart.
Regards,

JMT

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HansV
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Re: System overheating from Service Host activity

Post by HansV »

Stopping sub-processes of Service Host is dangerous, as JoeP mentioned.

You can try the following:
Click Start.
Type services.msc and press Enter.
Locate Superfetch in the list of services.
Look at the Status column.
If it says Started:
- Right-click Superfetch and select Properties from the context menu.
- Set Startup to Manual or to Disabled.
- Click Stop to end the service now.
- Click OK.
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Regards,
Hans

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Re: System overheating from Service Host activity

Post by JoeP »

There may be other reasons for overheating. Have you ever tried physically cleaning the PC?
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macropod
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Re: System overheating from Service Host activity

Post by macropod »

JoeP wrote:There may be other reasons for overheating. Have you ever tried physically cleaning the PC?
That can make a big difference to the overheating issue. My Toshiba laptop became unstable last year, with 'hardware problems manifesting in things like the web cam refusing to start, USB ports failing, etc. Took it to a repair shop whose staff replace the wiring harness for the webcam. No difference. Eventually, I opened the laptop, only to find years' of accumulated fluff stuck between the fan and the CPU's remote cooling fins. No matter how hard the fan worked, little cooling was occurring. Cleaned out the fluff, re-assembled the laptop and voila! no more overheating or mysterious 'hardware' problems.
Paul Edstein
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jmt356
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Re: System overheating from Service Host activity

Post by jmt356 »

I have not tried to clean the computer. It is a laptop and it would be risky to open up and clean, perhaps as risky as overheating.

Here is something I tried that seemed to work:
- Launch Task Manager
- Click the arrow to the left of the Service Host process that is using up substantial computer processing power
- Right-click on the Windows update sub-process and select Stop.

Doing this caused Service Host to stop using significant processing power. I am unsure whether stopping the update process will have any significant risk on my computer, but I imagine any such risk will be less than that of overheating.
Regards,

JMT

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Re: System overheating from Service Host activity

Post by JoeP »

Your computer should not overhear just because something is use 60% of your CPU. I believe that either you need to clean the computer (search the internet for instructions on cleaning your model) or you have a hardware problem.
Joe

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Jay Freedman
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Re: System overheating from Service Host activity

Post by Jay Freedman »

Look at the air intake. On my wife's laptop, it's on the bottom of the case, and it was completely covered with fine lint. If that's the same on your laptop, wipe it off. Zero risk.

For a more thorough cleaning, you'll need a small screwdriver (probably Phillips type) and a can of compressed air. There will be at least one panel on the underside of the laptop, held on with one or two screws, covering the places where the memory and hard drive can be replaced. Remove the panel(s) and blow air into the opening to dislodge any dust. Replace the panels. This procedure isn't risky either -- you won't touch anything that can be damaged.

jmt356
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Re: System overheating from Service Host activity

Post by jmt356 »

“Service Host: Local System” is often taking 60% or MORE of my computer's processing power. This, when coupled with other programs that are running, drives the use of my computer's processing power up to 90% or MORE. Is it normal for the fan to be blowing that hard at those levels of processing?

Is it unsafe to turn off the Windows Update sub-task under Service Host?
Regards,

JMT

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HansV
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Re: System overheating from Service Host activity

Post by HansV »

Disabling Windows Update might be a temporary workaround, but it is not a good idea in the long term.

You might check Windows Update to see if there are optional updates that you haven't installed. If so, you can right-click them and select Hide Update (unless you prefer to install them of course).
Some users have reported that this stopped the high CPU usage. You can always unhide updates later on if necessary.
Regards,
Hans

jmt356
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Re: System overheating from Service Host activity

Post by jmt356 »

I just went to Windows Update under Settings and chose to install updates, which showed about 500 or 900 MB (I am not sure what this meant; perhaps 500 MB of the 900 MB had not been downloaded and installed to my computer?). I will see if this stops the very high Service Host activity, which is using so much of my system resources.

I also do not understand why Windows Updates are even available. I understand Windows stopped support Windows 8 years ago. Doesn't this mean I should be free from having to install continuous updates?
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JMT

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HansV
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Re: System overheating from Service Host activity

Post by HansV »

If you have the original version of Windows 8, I strongly recommend updating to Windows 8.1. Support for the original release ended on January 12. 2016.

Windows 8.1 is on mainstream support (receiving fixes and security updates) until January 9, 2018, and on extended support (security updates only) until January 10, 2023.
Regards,
Hans

jmt356
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Re: System overheating from Service Host activity

Post by jmt356 »

I tried upgrading to Windows 8.1 some time ago, but experienced problems. For example, my computer was hanging at restart.

It seems I am able to get updates even though I am using Windows 8. There is a whole series of updates under Windows Updates I can download and install. Many of these are security updates. It is possible, however, that these are updates from before Jan. 12, 2016 that I never downloaded and installed.
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JMT

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HansV
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Re: System overheating from Service Host activity

Post by HansV »

I assume that the available updates are older ones, as you suggest.

It might be worth trying to install Windows 8.1 again, and if that succeeds, to install Windows 8.1 Update, the latest (and last) major update to Windows 8.
Regards,
Hans