The last two days, my XP netbook came to almost a halt after five minutes of usage. As usual, I went right to Task Manager to see what was causing the problem. I discovered one of the svchost processes was using 99% of the CPU power. Out of frustration I deleted it, which gave about a 2 minutes relief and I could use Chrome for a short while, and it came back again. I was worry my system was hacked! (Don’t we always?)
After some research, I downloaded Process Explorer, which gives more information about the processes being run. I checked the one svchost (bundled up dll processes) that was causing the problem, and it had at least 10 processes running, which freaked me out as likely hack attack. I ran Malwarebytes and MS Essential, and luckily no viruses or malwares were detected.
After more research, bingo! Apparently, there was a problem for some XP machines with the latest updates. The halt was Windows trying to figure out which updates to apply, which meant looking through your entire system for clues.
Finally, the solution was getting the proper (IE # and OS version) patch and download and install it. Google MS13-097. This will reset all the updates to where they should be, so that you can continue to use Windows Automatic Updates.
Honestly, this is not something for a novice, cause most likely they don’t even know where to start. Although XP is no longer supported starting Jan1, 2014, Microsoft should not ignore its users like this. I read there are still 37% XP users of the entire MS OS ecosystem.