“The CPU can’t take much more, Captain!” (said in thick Scottish accent) OR "Maintenance in progress" is The Most Annoying Windows message. *Updated!


 

How to use the Windows Action Center for Good instead of Evil.

If you are like me, you’ve told your supermodel girlfriend you couldn’t take her out bikini shopping and instead stayed home to play with your computers and basically be uber-nerdy….  If you’re even more like me, you’ve screamed in absolute despair when you’ve logged onto one of said computers only to see this:

2015-01-01_17-41-51

The “Maintenance is in progress” system tray notification. 

Ugh.  The maintenance being reported here can be anything from software updates (this includes application software updates for Microsoft Applications), security scanning, and system diagnostics.

So what exactly is happening when “Maintenance in progress”?  There’s a simple way to find out:

Open a Command Window as an Administrator:

CommandPromptAdmin

Type the command “schtasks /query” without the quotes.

schtasks

You’ll get an output of tasks.

[NOTE – If your computer is a member of a domain, you might see tasks added by your domain administrator, you will also see other tasks added by 3rd party applications, Office, 3rd party Management Tools, Antivirus, backup software etc.]

The core Windows Automatic Maintenance Tasks will all list their path as Folder Microsoft\Windows\

Here is a brief list:

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
INFO: There are no scheduled tasks presently available at your access level.

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\.NET Framework
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
.NET Framework NGEN v4.0.30319           N/A                    Ready         
.NET Framework NGEN v4.0.30319 64        N/A                    Ready         
.NET Framework NGEN v4.0.30319 64 Critic N/A                    Disabled      
.NET Framework NGEN v4.0.30319 Critical  N/A                    Disabled      

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\Active Directory Rights Management Services Client
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
AD RMS Rights Policy Template Management N/A                    Disabled      
AD RMS Rights Policy Template Management N/A                    Ready         

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\AppID
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
PolicyConverter                          N/A                    Disabled      
SmartScreenSpecific                      N/A                    Ready         
VerifiedPublisherCertStoreCheck          N/A                    Ready         

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\Application Experience
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
AitAgent                                 N/A                    Ready         
Microsoft Compatibility Appraiser        1/3/2015 12:15:02 AM   Ready         
ProgramDataUpdater                       N/A                    Ready         
StartupAppTask                           N/A                    Ready         

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\ApplicationData
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
CleanupTemporaryState                    N/A                    Ready         

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\AppxDeploymentClient
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
Pre-staged app cleanup                   N/A                    Disabled      

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\Autochk
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
Proxy                                    N/A                    Ready         

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\Bluetooth
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
UninstallDeviceTask                      N/A                    Ready         

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\CertificateServicesClient
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
SystemTask                               N/A                    Ready         
UserTask                                 N/A                    Ready         
UserTask-Roam                            N/A                    Disabled      

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\Chkdsk
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
ProactiveScan                            N/A                    Ready         

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\Customer Experience Improvement Program
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
BthSQM                                   N/A                    Ready         
Consolidator                             1/2/2015 12:00:00 PM   Ready         
KernelCeipTask                           N/A                    Ready         
Uploader                                 N/A                    Ready         
UsbCeip                                  N/A                    Ready         

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\Data Integrity Scan
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
Data Integrity Scan                      N/A                    Disabled      
Data Integrity Scan for Crash Recovery   N/A                    Ready         

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\Defrag
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
ScheduledDefrag                          N/A                    Ready         

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\Device Setup
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
Metadata Refresh                         N/A                    Ready         

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\Diagnosis
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
Scheduled                                N/A                    Ready         

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\DiskCleanup
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
SilentCleanup                            N/A                    Ready         

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\DiskDiagnostic
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
Microsoft-Windows-DiskDiagnosticDataColl N/A                    Disabled      
Microsoft-Windows-DiskDiagnosticResolver N/A                    Disabled      

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\DiskFootprint
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
Diagnostics                              N/A                    Ready         

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\File Classification Infrastructure
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
Property Definition Sync                 1/3/2015 3:51:00 AM    Ready         

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\FileHistory
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
File History (maintenance mode)          N/A                    Ready         

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\IME
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
SQM data sender                          N/A                    Disabled      

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\Live
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
INFO: There are no scheduled tasks presently available at your access level.

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\Location
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
Notifications                            N/A                    Ready         

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\Maintenance
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
WinSAT                                   N/A                    Ready         

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\MemoryDiagnostic
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
ProcessMemoryDiagnosticEvents            N/A                    Ready         
RunFullMemoryDiagnostic                  N/A                    Ready         

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\Mobile Broadband Accounts
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
MNO Metadata Parser                      N/A                    Ready         

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\MobilePC
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
HotStart                                 N/A                    Ready         

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\MUI
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
LPRemove                                 N/A                    Ready         

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\Multimedia
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
SystemSoundsService                      N/A                    Running       

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\NetCfg
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
BindingWorkItemQueueHandler              N/A                    Ready         

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\NetTrace
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
GatherNetworkInfo                        N/A                    Ready         

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\Offline Files
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
Background Synchronization               N/A                    Disabled      
Logon Synchronization                    N/A                    Disabled      

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\PerfTrack
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
BackgroundConfigSurveyor                 1/3/2015 3:00:00 AM    Ready         

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\PI
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
Secure-Boot-Update                       N/A                    Ready         
Sqm-Tasks                                N/A                    Ready         

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\PLA
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
INFO: There are no scheduled tasks presently available at your access level.

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\Plug and Play
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
Device Install Group Policy              N/A                    Ready         
Device Install Reboot Required           N/A                    Ready         
Plug and Play Cleanup                    N/A                    Ready         
Sysprep Generalize Drivers               N/A                    Ready         

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\Power Efficiency Diagnostics
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
AnalyzeSystem                            N/A                    Ready         

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\RAC
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
RacTask                                  1/2/2015 7:14:09 PM    Running       

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\Ras
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
MobilityManager                          N/A                    Ready         

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\RecoveryEnvironment
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
VerifyWinRE                              N/A                    Ready         

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\Registry
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
RegIdleBackup                            N/A                    Ready         

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\RemoteAssistance
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
RemoteAssistanceTask                     N/A                    Ready         

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\RemovalTools
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
MRT_HB                                   N/A                    Ready         

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\Servicing
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
StartComponentCleanup                    N/A                    Ready         

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\SettingSync
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
BackgroundUploadTask                     N/A                    Queued        
BackupTask                               N/A                    Ready         
NetworkStateChangeTask                   N/A                    Ready         

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\Shell
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
CreateObjectTask                         N/A                    Ready         
FamilySafetyMonitor                      N/A                    Ready         
FamilySafetyRefresh                      N/A                    Ready         
FamilySafetyUpload                       N/A                    Disabled      
IndexerAutomaticMaintenance              N/A                    Ready         

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\SideShow
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
AutoWake                                 N/A                    Disabled      
GadgetManager                            N/A                    Ready         
SessionAgent                             N/A                    Disabled      
SystemDataProviders                      N/A                    Disabled      

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\SkyDrive
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
Idle Sync Maintenance Task               N/A                    Ready         
Routine Maintenance Task                 N/A                    Ready         

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\SoftwareProtectionPlatform
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
SvcRestartTask                           N/A                    Disabled      
SvcRestartTaskLogon                      N/A                    Disabled      
SvcRestartTaskNetwork                    N/A                    Disabled      

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\SpacePort
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
SpaceAgentTask                           N/A                    Ready         

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\Sysmain
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
HybridDriveCachePrepopulate              N/A                    Disabled      
HybridDriveCacheRebalance                N/A                    Disabled      
WsSwapAssessmentTask                     N/A                    Ready         

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\SystemRestore
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
SR                                       N/A                    Ready         

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\Task Manager
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
Interactive                              N/A                    Ready         

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\TaskScheduler
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
Idle Maintenance                         N/A                    Ready         
Maintenance Configurator                 1/3/2015 1:00:00 AM    Ready         
Manual Maintenance                       N/A                    Ready         
Regular Maintenance                      1/3/2015 3:16:16 AM    Ready         

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\TextServicesFramework
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
MsCtfMonitor                             N/A                    Running       

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\Time Synchronization
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
ForceSynchronizeTime                     N/A                    Ready         
SynchronizeTime                          N/A                    Ready         

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\Time Zone
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
SynchronizeTimeZone                      N/A                    Ready         

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\TPM
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
Tpm-Maintenance                          N/A                    Ready         

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\UPnP
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
UPnPHostConfig                           N/A                    Ready         

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\User Profile Service
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
HiveUploadTask                           N/A                    Disabled      

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\WDI
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
ResolutionHost                           N/A                    Ready         

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\Windows Error Reporting
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
QueueReporting                           N/A                    Ready         

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\Windows Filtering Platform
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
BfeOnServiceStartTypeChange              N/A                    Ready         

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\Windows Media Sharing
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
UpdateLibrary                            N/A                    Ready         

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\WindowsBackup
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
ConfigNotification                       1/2/2015 10:00:00 AM   Ready         

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\WindowsColorSystem
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
Calibration Loader                       N/A                    Disabled      

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
AUFirmwareInstall                        N/A                    Disabled      
AUScheduledInstall                       N/A                    Disabled      
AUSessionConnect                         N/A                    Ready         
Scheduled Start                          1/2/2015 5:25:58 PM    Ready         
Scheduled Start With Network             1/2/2015 5:26:00 PM    Ready         

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\Wininet
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
CacheTask                                N/A                    Running       

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\WOF
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
WIM-Hash-Management                      N/A                    Ready         
WIM-Hash-Validation                      N/A                    Disabled      

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\Work Folders
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
Work Folders Logon Synchronization       N/A                    Ready         
Work Folders Maintenance Work            N/A                    Ready         

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\Workplace Join
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
Automatic-Workplace-Join                 N/A                    Disabled      

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows\WS
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
Badge Update                             N/A                    Ready         
License Validation                       1/5/2015 8:26:39 AM    Ready         
Sync Licenses                            N/A                    Ready         
WSRefreshBannedAppsListTask              1/3/2015 4:55:04 PM    Ready         
WSTask                                   N/A                    Ready         

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows Live
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
INFO: There are no scheduled tasks presently available at your access level.

Folder: \Microsoft\Windows Live\SOXE
TaskName                                 Next Run Time          Status        
======================================== ====================== ===============
Extractor Definitions Update Task        1/10/2015 1:38:03 PM   Ready
      

  
WHAT NOW?  “Maintenance in progress” is still killing me!

I mean, I get it.  This stuff has to happen sometime….but come on!  When I see this icon, I just KNOW that my server or desktop is going to be slow and sluggish until ‘Maintenance’ is over.

Fortunately there are a couple of things you can do, to mitigate the issues caused by this.

#1 Action Center to the Rescue!

In Control Panel – Action Center you can set Automatic Maintenance to run outside your normal nerd (or computer user) hours.

2015-01-01_17-42-43

Action Center is your friend. 

2015-01-01_17-43-19B

Opening Action Center, you can see that beside the Automatic Maintenance section there is a notification that “Maintenance in progress” (apparently they couldn’t afford an ‘is’ as in “Maintenance IS in progress”, maybe there was a shortage of ‘to be’ verbs that day…but I digress).

You can stop the maintenance currently in progress as shown above.

2015-01-01_17-43-59B

Now that Automatic Maintenance has stopped, let’s change it to a time less likely to interfere with our nerdy computer habits….something like June 47th, 3183…. oh that’s not an option?

 

2015-01-01_17-44-21

No.  We can only select the time each day we want to run the maintenance tasks.  Set it for a time you’re usually not using your computer….like when you’re watching your supermodel girl wash your car, or when you’re accepting checks from Publishers Clearing House… Just don’t think setting it for 2am, and then letting your computer be asleep at 2am, will help you avoid this issue… Nope!  If your computer misses its scheduled maintenance it will either Wake Up to  complete it, or start it at 8am when you turn on the computer to update Facebook with a picture of your cat (named Benedict Cumberbatch).  You’re weird like that.

#2 TiWorker.exe is just an executable trying to do a job, man.

So what’s really going on here?  Why does just doing some simple maintenance cause your computer/desktop/server to seem sluggish?  Why does applying software updates peg your CPU process?

Well one of the many reasons that performance can take a hit, is if the tiworker.exe process is eating up too much CPU time installing updates.

2015-01-01_17-47-34

I call this slide “Straight Arrows are for boring people”.

Tiworker.exe is part of the Windows Modules Installer, and gets called whenever a software update is being applied to your system.  Sometimes this bad boy gets a little over zealous and doesn’t share CPU/Memory resources appropriately….

2015-01-01_17-47-57

We think that tiworker.exe had a troubled childhood and that’s why now, he hogs resources and doesn’t share appropriately…

So what can be done about tiworker.exe?

Fortunately Microsoft has updated tiworker for just this reason. 

If you are running x86 or x64 Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1, or any flavor of Windows Server 2012 R2, you can install KB2975061 to resolve issues with tiworker.exe.

KBdetails

You can get this update from Windows Update or manually get it from the article here Error 0x80070005 when you install an update in Windows 8.1 or Windows Server 2012 R2

 

image

KB2975061 contains version 6.3.9600.17031 of tiworker.exe.  If you are unsure about installing this update, check the version number of tiworker.exe in C:\Windows\WinSxS.

HOT OFF THE PRESSES!!!!

The December 2014 servicing stack update for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 has an even more recent version of tiworker.exe.  KB3012199 contains tiworker.exe version 6.3.9600.17477.

image

You can get KB3012199 from Windows Update or HERE (KB3012199)

I’ll update this article soon on more ways to improve performance issues during computer maintenance.

Peace out.

Comments (9)
  1. Mark H. says:

    That’s good info! Thank you!

  2. stephen says:

    Why can’t you find this info anywhere else? Good article. Thanks!

  3. boff says:

    thanks!

  4. Phil says:

    Also thanks! (Hadn’t heard of schtasks /query)

  5. Ben S. says:

    I had TIWorker at 100% CPU usage on 1 core. I just did this in command prompt (administator):
    DISM /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth

    It found the online image was corrupt and repaired it. It can be followed up by this for good measure:
    sfc /scannow

    So far so good. Got TIWorker.exe to chill out, at least for a while. I think the problem was I had a 40 GB partition for WIndows that I let fill up regularly for a while. Stupid caches always expanding. Then Windows dun corrupted itself. Whole lotta fail there.

    Good info though. I never knew Action Center did anything useful besides "cry wolf".

  6. tamil1 says:

    nice blog. thanks

  7. Thank you for the very well-written rundown. Explained what I needed, but also concise — the Benedict Cumberbatch reference put me over the top to actually take the minute to type this note to say thanks!

  8. Tim says:

    Thanks for the info… Now we an installation product that some customers are complaining about it taking a long time to run and from the logs that we have received it looks like it is TIWorker.exe that is running and therefore slowing down our installers.
    So is there anything that we can do within our installers to actually perform a stop on this process versus having to kill that process?

  9. Tim says:

    Oh and one of the issues was found on a Win 10 machine so would this slow down/CPU Hog not have been fixed for that version of Windows???

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