Sneaky Installs on Windows Vista

Well, I just had a fun experience.  Here I was searching the Internet, chatting to a few colleagues when suddenly all hell breaks loose with my laptop’s CPU.

So, naturally I’m concerned because I’m not doing anything that should be CPU intensive, so I fire up ye olde Task Manager.  There is a process called ‘TrustedInstaller.exe’ absolutely chewing up my systems’ CPU.

I kill the process, and you can see for yourself what happens to the CPU usage:


Anyhow, the bugger decides that it’s not done, so it restarts again.  The process restarts as per below, take note of the top process:


..and the subsequent cost of CPU:


Wonderful.  So I go and check the Windows Installer service.  It’s stopped.  So the TrustedInstaller finishes and the result is not surprising, CPU use drops right back:


Now, the funny thing is that I’ve specifically got Windows Updates set to notify only, so that things don’t install while I’m using the computer – I want to install things when it is convenient FOR ME (how selfish).


I’m sure there are plenty of reasons, (perhaps licensing), why Microsoft would choose to push a secret update down to my computer (which is undoubtedly because although I couldn’t screen cap it, when I killed the first installation instance, the Licensing service kicked up a notch in its CPU usage).

However, I think that unless they manage to find a CPU friendly way of doing so, they need to refrain from mucking around with my computer while I am using it!

About Rob Sanders

IT Professional and TOGAF 9 certified Enterprise Architect with nearly two decades of industry experience, 18 years in commercial software development and 11 years in IT consulting. Check out the "About Rob" page for more information.

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