[UPDATE 11/21/2011] Apple has a very good page explaining how to work around this problem, albeit while not acknowledging that it is their problem.
Here is the original post:
My Intel Core2Duo Windows 7 64-bit computer started having this problem with the AppleMobileDeviceService.exe taking 50% of the CPU usage continuously, whether iTunes was open or not. Some may see 100% of the CPU in use.
Apple’s support recommended a painful “uninstall everything in this exact order and reinstall everything.” I generally hate that approach because they just aren’t trying to figure out what’s wrong, plus many users were saying it just came back immediately or a week later.
This sounded like a more reasonable solution (downgrading the Apple Application Support from 2.0.1 to 1.5.2), but it made me nervous that it might affect functionality with the iPhone 4S or iPad2. I assume that when Apple included this update is when the problem started for me.
Then, I found this blog that recommended a “netsh winsock reset” which sounds like a true fix to me. I did that and my Bsecure/Bsafe CloudCare (internet filtering software) popped up a notice that it had repaired itself. After restarting, the problem still persisted. I then uninstalled Bsecure CloudCare and the problem was gone! [Clarification: I do not recommend the "netsh winsock reset" because of the risk to messing up the computer!]
On that blog the author says, “Apparently the Windows TCP/IP stack can get corrupted and this will reset the Winsock Catalog to its default state – i.e. one that works properly.” I think he is correct, except for the “corrupted” part. According to Wikipedia, “a Layered Service Provider is a DLL that uses Winsock APIs to insert itself into the TCP/IP protocol stack.” Bsecure CloudCare and other webfiltering solutions use LSPs to do the filtering. Some malware/adware in the past insert LSPs, as well. I bet that there are a heck of a lot of computer users out there with a non-standard TCP/IP protocol stack that are suffering badly from this software bug of Apple’s making.
I’m not 100% certain on this, but with my own experience and seeing how doing the “netsh winsock reset” fixes the problem, it makes sense.
If you are thinking of trying the “netsh winsock reset,” be aware that it could be fixing a problem, or creating a worse problem than Apple’s bug.
[UPDATE 10/17/11] Based on Matt McLaughlin’s comment, I’m feeling more confident about my theory. He looked at his “Winsock Providers” tab in Sysinternals’s Autoruns. Check it out to see if there is anything there if you have this problem. I will not recommend what to do about it.
[UPDATE 11/21/11] SO, it looks like Apple has endorsed my conclusion about what it causing this problem (link to Apple’s support document about this very problem). And their solution to this problem: REMOVE ANY SOFTWARE THAT USES LSPs. Yep, these vendors use LSPs for 10 years or more and Apple’s software has a bug that causes our computers to malfunction and we must remove the other vendors’ software, not get an update from Apple to fix the bug…
[UPDATE 12/18/11] Here is a list of software that is rendered unusable and needs to be removed because of this problem:
- Bsecure CloudCare/Bsafe
- CA Antivirus Suite (Computer Associates, free with Time Warner cable)
- PC Tools Antivirus (not the newest version)
- Alienware’s Xeno Power Suite
- Kaseya – remote management
- Integard from Race River – filtering
- SafeEyes – filtering
- Filternet – filtering
- Apple’s list:
- Bigfoot Networks
- ByteMobile, Inc.
- Covenant Eyes
- SpeedBit Video Accelerator
[UPDATE 1/21/2012] Bsecure has somehow released a “fix” that allows CloudCare and iTunes to both work fine together. Here are their instructions:
- In order to run the iTunes fix we will need to determine if you are on a 32 bit or 64 bit system. You can do this here:
- Now click on the link for your system
32 bit computers – CLICK HERE
64 bit computers – CLICK HERE
- Run itunesfix32.exe OR itunesfix64.exe
- If you are using Mozilla Firefox, it is possible that you may have to ‘download’ the file first, and then double click on it in the downloads list.
Internet explorer may require you to click keep, and then run.
- You will know the fix has finished when you see a black box appear on your screen for a moment, and then disappears.
- After this happens, reboot your computer one last time.
iTunes store should now work properly & the mobile device service will no longer conflict.