I was in the same boat as a lot of the folks on this MSDN forum thread
. Vista stability went out the window a few weeks ago. mostly related to Search, but disabling the Search service only seemed to shift the problems to explorer.exe or lsass.exe. installing SP1 RC1 refresh 2 seeemed to help but after rebuilding the index the same problems came back. i found some useful info about lsass
, and finally found a great solution by Aaron Tiensivu on his blog post about resetting a corrupt vista user profile
. i didn't think it had anything to do with a corrupt profile, but the stuck-in-a-loop lsass.exe activity referencing the SamSs service made me try it out. it did work, but after a day or two the explorer.exe CPU problems came back. however, disabling Search has given me normal stability back, which is very welcome. it's running smoothly so far.
i guess Windows 7 isn't that far away really, hopefully MS will be more careful next time :)