Many people have been experiencing Windows lockups and 100% CPU utilization due to the infamous svchost/msi problem. The apparent culprit is the Automatic Updates/Windows Update client – check out the sequence of updates that Microsoft has released to address this issue. KB92781 was first released February 20, 2007. Thanks for finally getting this fixed Microsoft, it’s only been three months!
I personally worked around the problem by stopping the Automatic Updates service. Later I found out I could resolve the problem most of the time by installing the updated WSUS client (required even if you don’t use WSUS) and then installing the MSI fix described in KB927891. After a reboot, the problem went away on 80% of my computers. On the other 20% I was forced to just disable the Automatic Updates service and wait for a real fix from Microsoft.
If you do run WSUS, Microsoft did just release WSUS 3.0. Before you deploy or upgrade to WSUS 3.0, make sure to read the release notes, especially if you’re running Small Business Server (SBS) 2003 R2. Other system requirements include Microsoft Management Console (MMC) 3.0 and Microsoft Report Viewer 2005 SP1.