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ludi
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Windows Module Installer Worker (TIWorker.exe) and the High CPU Usage

Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:05 am

I've only ever noticed this on a couple laptops, because it kills battery and spins fans, although it may have affected other systems at some point. But apparently it can occur on both Windows 8.x and Windows 10, where the Windows Module Installer sometimes gets stuck on a 25-35% CPU bender and just won't quit. My research so far says:

-- This process is related to Windows update
-- It sometimes runs for a while after an update to perform system maintenance
-- It can occasionally be provoked to run indefinitely by a faulty system or hardware driver
-- It can sometimes be calmed by restarting

Fine and dandy, but I've had one case where I rebooted several times and it kept coming back, so then just let it run all night and it was still pegging a steady 25-35% CPU the next morning. Now I'm configuring a second-hand Dell E7240 ultrabook with a fairly clean installation, and it just happened again after the Oct.10 Patch Tuesday updates. So I dug into Google again and found this:

https://thewindowscentral.com/fix-tiwor ... isk-usage/

So far, Method 7 and Method 8 seem to have resolved the problem, but I'm wondering what I did, exactly, and if there's a more foolproof way of dealing with this issue?

For posterity, those fixes are:

#Method 7: Repair the System Update Readiness Tool
#Start an elevated command prompt, change directory to C:\Windows\System32, run this command:
DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth   #May take several minutes to complete

#Method 8: Clear the local updates cache
#Start an elevated command prompt and run the following command sequence:
net stop wuauserv   #Stops the Windows Update Service
CD %Windir%
CD SoftwareDistribution       
DEL /F /S /Q Download   #Deletes the contents of C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download
net start wuauserv   #Restarts the Windows Update Service
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Chrispy_
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Re: Windows Module Installer Worker (TIWorker.exe) and the High CPU Usage

Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:04 am

As far as I know it's just a symptom of failed updates getting stuck. I used to see it a lot on Windows 7 machines and the solution for me was to stop windows update service, wipe the c:\windows\softwaredistribution folder, start windows update service, and try again.

If the problem persisted, reinstalling drivers was my first port of call.
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just brew it!
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Re: Windows Module Installer Worker (TIWorker.exe) and the High CPU Usage

Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:17 am

It amazes me that after all these years, Windows Update is still such a POS.
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bthylafh
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Re: Windows Module Installer Worker (TIWorker.exe) and the High CPU Usage

Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:03 am

just brew it! wrote:
It amazes me that after all these years, Windows Update is still such a POS.


It's better than it used to be, but yeah.
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Re: Windows Module Installer Worker (TIWorker.exe) and the High CPU Usage

Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:41 am

just brew it! wrote:
It amazes me that after all these years, Windows Update is still such a POS.

I'd go more for 'disappointed' over 'amazed'.

How many times have they fixed the 'Windows Update may take $hugenum of time to sort itself because of the indexing method crapping out after n updates' issue?
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Re: Windows Module Installer Worker (TIWorker.exe) and the High CPU Usage

Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:05 am

bthylafh wrote:
It's better than it used to be, but yeah.

Sometimes, sometimes not.

It's incredible, really, that after all these years and despite the massive scale of deployment, none of the undeniably smart people at Microsoft have managed to architect and bring to the masses a means of efficiently patching their software. Either Windows itself is actually so insanely architected that this is impossible, or this is the monther of all layer 9 problems (within Microsoft, and the rest of the world be damned).
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DragonDaddyBear
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Re: Windows Module Installer Worker (TIWorker.exe) and the High CPU Usage

Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:46 am

That's what Universal Apps are for. It is much easier to patch. If only developers would use it.
 
TheRazorsEdge
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Re: Windows Module Installer Worker (TIWorker.exe) and the High CPU Usage

Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:29 am

ludi wrote:
but I'm wondering what I did, exactly, and if there's a more foolproof way of dealing with this issue?


That is basically the most foolproof way to resolve update issues (unless they are caused by something besides Windows, of course).

You did two things:

Method 7 repairs your Windows installation, which will replace any corrupted files and should reset/clear any pending servicing actions. (Servicing is the start-to-finish process of installing Windows or updates, and it includes all of those steps that occur behind the scenes or after a reboot.)

Method 8 is a soft reset of Windows Update. You stopped the service, cleared its download cache, and restarted it. A more thorough version of Method 8 would wipe all state data instead of just the download cache by deleting one step higher in the directory tree:

CD %Windir%
DEL /F /S /Q SoftwareDistribution


The Windows Update service (wuauserv) will automatically create the folder with default permissions if does not exist when the service starts.
 
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Re: Windows Module Installer Worker (TIWorker.exe) and the High CPU Usage

Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:29 am

DragonDaddyBear wrote:
That's what Universal Apps are for. It is much easier to patch. If only developers would use it.

I thought that was more about portability? Isn't it built on top of the same underlying OS foundation (which will still need to be patched "the old fashioned way") under the hood?
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DragonDaddyBear
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Re: Windows Module Installer Worker (TIWorker.exe) and the High CPU Usage

Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:04 am

You're probably right. It is much faster to install and update, though.
 
TheRazorsEdge
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Re: Windows Module Installer Worker (TIWorker.exe) and the High CPU Usage

Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:17 pm

just brew it! wrote:
I thought that was more about portability? Isn't it built on top of the same underlying OS foundation (which will still need to be patched "the old fashioned way") under the hood?


Universal apps run in a container of sorts. It provides a different API and abstraction layer than what Win32 apps have. More granular permissions are available as well. They are more function-based in nature, similar to Android.

I do not understand how this is relevant either. Your OS needs the same patches regardless of whether you have universal apps installed.
 
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Re: Windows Module Installer Worker (TIWorker.exe) and the High CPU Usage

Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:58 pm

just brew it! wrote:
It amazes me that after all these years, Windows Update is still such a POS.


FTFY!
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Topinio
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Re: Windows Module Installer Worker (TIWorker.exe) and the High CPU Usage

Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:59 pm

DragonDaddyBear wrote:
That's what Universal Apps are for. It is much easier to patch. If only developers would use it.

How is that at all relevant in a thread about patching the OS?
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DragonDaddyBear
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Re: Windows Module Installer Worker (TIWorker.exe) and the High CPU Usage

Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:28 pm

Microsoft patches do more than just the OS. IE and Office were particularly problematic at one point in my career. If you're not on Legacy IE or using "Desktop" Office then you wouldn't have to patch those. It's a quick app reinstall if you have issues.
 
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Re: Windows Module Installer Worker (TIWorker.exe) and the High CPU Usage

Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:06 pm

Yeah, I recently noticed that this had been happening to me for months on my little 7" Windows 8.1 tablet. I only use it as an e-reader and thought the battery was just going out. Finally occurred to me to launch the task manager and saw the Windows Update process whipping the CPU at a steady 40%. Apparently it'd been trying and failing to install updates since December of last year. The Windows Update error log had grown to 500 MB (!!!).

I ended up just turning off updates since I only really use it as a reader, but I might try nuking the SoftwareDistribution folder and seeing what happens.
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