How to troubleshoot high CPU usage caused by the Patch Management agent plugin?
Work through the following procedures to pinpoint the cause for high CPU usage on the client caused by the Patch Management agent plugin:
Begin with turning each of these back on - beginning with the Patch Management Agent. Observe the behavior of the CPU usage and allow for time to try each software enabled. There should be an increase in CPU usage when the conflicting software is enabled and that can be further troubleshot as needed.
Advisory: Exclusions for Altiris Agent through Antivirus are detailed on KB: 154301 "What exclusions should be considered for Symantec Management Platform and Agents to function correctly with an anti-virus solution installed?"
Another good tool is Process Monitor. Found at: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896645.aspx.
Work through the following to use the Process Monitor from Microsoft:
Note: One instance of this anomaly was caused by the client failing to download a package. Client logs displayed invalid software update package and this was causing the scan to run with high CPU. See also KB: 177049 "Software Updates are generating errors for the client policy xml files."