WmiPrvSE.exe high CPU usage problem caused by bad startup program RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • My high CPU usage problem turned out to be caused by a covertly installed software program called “Search Protect” by a manufacturer that goes by the name of “Conduit”.  I have a 1.8 GHz single core processor. The constant 50 plus percent CPU usage caused by the problem rendered the Windows 7 (x84) installation virtually unusable. I started this computer on July 2, 2013 for maintenance after it had not been started for about over 2 months. The only thing that was installed in the computer after it had been started was the usual slew of updates from Windows, Microsoft, and perhaps Adobe and Java. I noticed the high CPU usage problem and after many hours over a period of about 3 days I pinpointed the problem to the “Windows Management Instrumentation” (WMI) service along with the “WmiPrvSE.exe” process and two associated “ntdll!RtlUserThreadStart” threads in particular. At that point I was about to take the drastic measure of using a work around to delete the WmiPrvSE.exe system file entirely from the computer (which would have probably been a big mistake). After more research I came across an article entitled “Manually Fixing High CPU Usage” at WindowsAnswers.net that suggested that I check out the startup programs as part of an overall troubleshooting strategy. That made sense since I could make the high CPU usage problem go away if I either restarted or paused (and resumed) the “Windows Management Instrumentation” service. But the problem always came back after I restarted the computer. So I used the Windows System Configuration utility to restart the computer with all of the startup programs disabled. After the computer restarted and it stabilized the high CPU usage problem was gone. I then set about the painstaking process of using the System Configuration utility to disable one startup program at a time and then restarting the computer. When I got to Search Protect by Conduit the problem went away BUT after one or more restarts the problem came back! So I went back to the System Configuration utility and to my surprise the Search Protect by Conduit box had been mysteriously rechecked! I then Google searched “Search Protect by Conduit” and found that the program may have been installed by a third party program directly into the Programs and Features (installed programs) folder. I opened the Programs and Features folder and to my surprise, there was Search Protect installed on July 2, 2013. I uninstalled the program and the high CPU usage problem went away entirely. At the risk of throwing out an arrow of suspicion where it may not be warranted, the only thing that was installed in this computer on July 2, 2013 was 24 Windows and Microsoft updates and perhaps (I can’t recall for sure) an Adobe Reader and Java update. I could not check the Windows System Restore interface for an update history because it was not set up. I have to think that Search Protect was either installed along with an update or that it was somehow activated to be installed during an update. In any event I would advise anyone that is having the high CPU usage problem to start by going to the System Configuration utility and seeing if Search Protect by Conduit is in the list of startup programs. If it is then you can delete it entirely from the Programs and Features folder. If it is NOT in the list then you should use the System Configuration utility to restart the computer with all of the startup programs disabled by un-checking the “Load startup items” box under “Selective startup” to see if the problem may be caused by another startup program.     

    Thursday, July 11, 2013 4:18 AM

All replies

  • Hi,


    Generally, we can perform a Clean Boot to narrow down the possible third party software conflicts. For the detailed steps, please refer to the following Microsoft KB article:


    How to troubleshoot a problem by performing a clean boot in Windows Vista or in Windows 7



    What’s the result in Clean Boot?


    If the issue persists in Clean Boot, please also refer to the following blog for how to use Netmon to figure out the root cause.


    Using Netmon to figure out the source of high CPU in WMIprvse.exe




    Vincent Wang
    TechNet Community Support

    Tuesday, July 16, 2013 5:55 AM
  • Install the WPT and run this cmd file:

    Xperf -on PROC_THREAD+LOADER+PROFILE+INTERRUPT+DPC+DISPATCHER -stackwalk profile -BufferSize 1024 -MaxFile 256 -FileMode Circular -f Kernel.etl
    xperf -start WMILogger -on WMI_Tracing:::'stack' -BufferSize 1024 -f WMI.etl
    echo At this point, the test pass should be performed.
    Xperf -stop
    Xperf -stop WMILogger
    Xperf -merge WMI.etl kernel.etl WMItracing.etl
    del WMI.etl
    del kernel.etl
    start xperf WMItracing.etl

    zip and upload the WMItracing.etl.

    "A programmer is just a tool which converts caffeine into code"

    Thursday, August 1, 2013 7:00 PM
  • Many thanks joktop - that was my problem exactly.  FWIW, my Search Protect was somehow installed on the same day I installed Nokia Suite (for my Nokia cell phone).  Don't know if there was a connection...
    Saturday, October 5, 2013 4:41 PM
  • My thanks to you.  I uninstalled Search Protect a few days ago and my system has been running normally again. My CPU had previously been pegged near 100%.  Tried the Hotfix from Microsoft.  No change. Tried many other things and then stumbled on you post. Thanks again. I was ready to trash my system it had been misbehaving for so long!
    Thursday, December 5, 2013 1:21 AM
  • Hi,

    Just a big thank you for this information.

    My partner's laptop was running very slowly with CPU usage often at 100%. I tried to install a fix to wmiprvse.exe but it wouldn't install. Then I came across your post and sure enough Search Protect was running on the laptop. I removed it and as I write CPU usage is 10%. GREAT

    Thanks very much.

    Martin J

    Thursday, December 12, 2013 11:10 PM
  • Thanks joktop. Fixed my problem exactly.
    Saturday, December 14, 2013 7:16 PM