As I always have Process Explorer running in tray area, I noticed that with my computer doing nothing, the CPU icon was showing constant 10%-12% CPU utilization. It was one of the many SRVHOST.EXE processes, and running the RPC Endpoint Mapper Service and the Remote Procedure Call Service. Looking at it deeper, I saw there were two threads in that process using the CPU.
Looking at the call stacks, it looked like they were grabbing and releasing the same mutex over and over. Feeling lazy, I rebooted the machine and hoped the problem would go away. Alas, no such luck as I logged back in and the CPU chewing looked the same.
With a problem in RPC, that’s something going across the network so I checked a couple of my other computers and they were showing the same symptoms. My guess was that some other process was screwing up the RPC call so should be using more CPU than normal, so decided to watch Process Monitor sorted on the CPU column.
Interestingly, I noticed that WHSTRAYAPP.EXE kept popping up there a lot more than I expected. Earlier today I remembered reading that there was an update to Windows Home Server, KB981089, so that might be something to look at. I clicked in the tray area to access Home Server, and was confronted with the dreaded “Not connected to server” message.
Checking the rest of my machines, they all showed they could not connect to the Home Server. My guess is that the automatic update install for client machines failed. I did a manual reinstall of the Windows Home Server Connector on one machine and that fixed the SVCHOST.EXE issue as well as got the connection back to Home Server. Note that on a couple of my computers, the Connector software install was in a very bad state so I had to uninstall the Windows Home Server Connector and reboot the machines. If you don’t uninstall and reboot, the installation will fail with a message “Unable to install the Connector Service. Verify that you have sufficient privileges to install system services.”
I don’t know if the auto client update was something on my network/setup, but if your clients can’t connect to your Home Server they don’t get backed up!