Since late January, most users running a pre-installed Lenovo image of Windows 10 has been bitten by a bug in Lenovo’s System Update Service (SUService.exe) causing it to constantly occupy a CPU thread. This was noticed by many ThinkPad and IdeaPad users as an unexpected increase in fan noise, but many desktop users might not notice the problem. I’m submitting this story to Slashdot because Lenovo does not provide an official support venue for their software, and the problem has persisted for several weeks with no indication of a patch forthcoming. While this bug continues to persist, anyone with a preinstalled Lenovo image of Windows 10 will have greatly reduced battery life on a laptop, and greatly increased power consumption in any case. As a thought experiment, if this causes 1 million systems to increase their idle power consumption by 40 watts, this software bug is currently wasting 40 megawatts, or about 1/20th the output of a typical commercial power station. On my ThinkPad P15, this bug actually wastes 80 watts of power, so the indication is that 40 watts per system is a very conservative number.
Lenovo’s official forums and unofficial reddit pages have seen several threads pop up since late January with confused users noticing the issue, but so far Lenovo is yet to issue an official statement. Users have recommended uninstalling the Lenovo System Update Service as a workaround, but that won’t stop this power virus from eating up megawatts of power around the world for those who don’t notice this power virus’s impact on system performance.