Windows Update ate my PC

June 12, 2010

My machine felt really sluggish today. Couldn’t put my finger on it. It was just slow. Task manager revealed nothing untoward. No aberrant AV processes. No rogue Diskeeper compaction processes. No excessive memory paging. Nothing. The machine looked fine.

I ran some of my Project Euler solutions as known benchmarks and found that they were taking 3.5 times as long as usual. What could be wrong?

Check the update history. Overnight my PC had run in a load of Important updates. 19 of them. Mostly Security updates for Vista, .NET SP1, Office 2007 and IE8. I’d left it on to do a weekly full AV scan last night and between 03:04 and 03:19 it had brought this little lot down, installed them and then had rebooted itself in order to apply these patches.

I feared the worst.

However, further investigation showed that although my PC was still using the High Performance power profile, the Maximum CPU was set to 0%. Yes. You’ve got it. ZERO PERCENT. Luckily this doesn’t mean don’t power up, it just drops it back to some sort of ultra conservative sleep mode. Did Restore Defaults for the Power Plan. It all came back to 100% and performance picked up again.

All was well in the world. Or, at least, on my PC.

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