Dealing with Common Svchost.exe Errors

The svchost.exe is the generic host process for Win32 services on your Windows computer. This process is used to administer Dynamic Link Library (DLL) files and a few other supplementary applications on your Windows computer.

DLL files are primarily files comprising functions that are separately complied, linked and saved from the processes that use them.  DLL files help in saving both disk space and system resources. Although useful, DLL files cannot run by themselves and need to use another executable program to do the job. This task is carried out by the svchost.exe file.

File Information

By default, the svchost.exe file is located in the %SystemRoot%\System32 folder. When your system is booting up the svchost.exe process checks your Windows registry for the services that need to be loaded at startup. While working as a host to run DLL files, the svshost.exe file creates multiple instances of itself to run different DLL files. Each session of the svchost.exe file can comprise a group of services. This is the reason why you may have multiple services running depending on how and where the svchost.exe service starts. The grouping of services by using the svchost.exe process ensures easier debugging, better control, and a more stable system.

Svchost.exe Errors and Solutions

The following error message may be displayed when you start your Windows XP computer:

Generic Host Process for Win32 Services has encountered a problem and needs to close."

Also, the following message may be displayed when you attempt to download updates on the same PC:

"Svchost.exe application error. The instruction at "Ox745f2780" referenced memory at 0x00000000000000. The memory could not be read."

Cause of the Error

These errors occur when there is some problem with some of the files that are required to perform the updates.

Resolution Method

To resolve this issue, you may have to replace the problem files with healthy files. To do this, perform the steps listed below:

  1. On the Start menu, select Run, type net stop wuauserv and then press Enter to stop the Windows Automatic Update service.
  2. In Windows Explorer, navigate to and delete the C:\WuTemp folder.
  3. Next, on the Start menu, select Run, type net stop cryptsvc and press Enter to stop the Cryptographic Services.
  4. Now, in Windows Explorer delete the C:\Windows\System32\Catroot2 folder.
  5. Next, in the C:\Windows folder, navigate to and change the name of the SoftwareDistribution folder to SoftwareDistributionOLD.
  6. Finally, in the C:\Windows\system32 folder rename the following DLL files from dllFile.dll to dllFile.old
    • Wuweb.dll
    • Wuapi.dll
    • Wuauclt.exe
    • Wuaucpl.cpl
    • Wuaueng1.dll
    • Wuaueng.dll
    • Wuauserv.dll
    • Wucltui.dll
    • Wups2.dll
    • Wups.dll
  7. After you are done, reboot your system.

If your Windows XP computer is configured to perform automatic updates, then you may receive the following error message when Windows tries to run an update:

"svchost.exe - Application Error

Also, if you open the Application log in the Event Viewer, you may notice an entry similar to the one listed below:

The instruction at "0x745f2780" reference memory at "0x00000000". The memory could not be 'read'."

In addition to the above errors, when you close the “svchost.exe – Application Error” message box you may not be able to run any programs on the system. You’ll be able to work only if you leave the error message box open. Even if you try to shutdown the PC, the system may stop responding.

"Date: DateOfError
Time: TimeOfError
Type: Error
User: N/A
Computer: YourComputerName
Source: Application
Error Category: (100)
Event ID: 1000

Description:

Faulting application svchost.exe, version 5.1.2600.2180, faulting module msi.dll, version 3.1.4000.2435, fault address 0x00012780.”

Cause of the Error

These problems usually occur if there is some problem with the Windows Automatic Update process.

Resolution Method

To resolve this issue, you may download and install a hotfix from the Microsoft Support Web site.

Workaround Solutions

Method 1

Leave the svchost.exe – Application Error message box open as is and proceed to perform the following steps:

  1. Verify the settings for the Automatic Updates service and for the Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS.)
    1. At Start > Run, type services.msc and then press Enter to display the Services management console window.
    2. Locate and double-click on Automatic Updates to open its properties window.
    3. On the Log On tab, ensure that:
      • Local System account option is selected.
      • The Allow service to interact with desktop check box is clear.
      • The service is enabled in the Hardware Profile list-if not, click Enable to enable it.
    4. On the General tab:
      • In the Startup Type list, ensure that Automatic option is selected.
      • If the service is not running, click the Start button to start it.
    5. Repeat the steps for the Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS).
  2. At Start > Run, use the REGSVR32 dllName.dll command to register the following files:
    • WUAPI.DLL
    • WUAUENG.DLL
    • WUAUENG1.DLL
    • ATL.DLL
    • WUCLTUI.DLL
    • WUPS.DLL
    • WUPS2.DLL
    • WUWEB.DLL
  3. Rename the temporary windows update folder by doing the following:
    1. On the Start menu, select Run, type net stop wuauserv and then press Enter to stop the Windows Automatic Update service.
    2. On the Start menu, select Run, type %windir% and press Enter.
    3. Rename the SoftwareDistribution folder to SoftwareDistribution old.
    4. Run net start Wuauserv to start the Automatic Updates service.

Method 2

If nothing works, disable automatic updates from the Security Center control panel. However, take care to perform manual PC updates on a regular basis to keep your PC updated at all times.

It is also recommended that you use a driver scanner tool, such as Driver Finder to keep all your device drivers up-to-date and free from problems.