It seems that this client may have a corrupted datastore, please do the following:

Stop the Windows Update service.

Rename %windir%\SoftwareDistribution to SoftwareDistribution.OLD

Restart the Windows Update service.

Run this command: wuauclt /resetauthorization /detectnow.

Wait 30 minutes.

This seems to have helped get things going again on an XP VM downloading directly from Microsoft (not WSUS). Wuauclt.exe still went back to almost 100% after this fix. I forgot it overnight but when I came back, the automatic update process had completed, CPU was down, and it was asking for a restart.

BTW, if anyone else is scratching their head looking for the Windows Update service (step 1), it's called Automatic Updates in XP.

wuauclt and svchost high MEM usage


Back to Deighton