wuauclt.exe - helpful, or a nuisance?

  bart warstein 12:43 12 Mar 07

I'm running XP Pro with SP2 on my laptop (with AVG Free, Zone Alarm Firewall, Spybot and AdAware). Recently I've noticed that Internet Explorer (v6) takes ages to start up. And sometimes my initial screen freezes for a while after I boot up - while there is clearly a lot going on on my C drive. Viruscheck shows no nasties on my system.

Checking the Task Manager (which itself takes a while to open up,and sometimes opens multiple windows), it seems that there are two processes running after startup which load the CPU up to 100%. They are wuauclt.exe, and svchost.exe.

It seems that wuauclt.exe is Windows Automatic Updater. I have my Updater set to "prompt" only(since I like to choose and control update downloads). But the Google searches I've done so far reveal contradictory info. Some sites say wuauclt.exe is normal and safe. Others say it is a nuisance because you can't prevent it running, and it loads up the CPU so freezing other programmes. And I have seen some comments suggesting it is, or can be, a trojan and should be removed.

What do PC Advisor experts and readers think?


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