Fix Cssauth.exe Initialization Error

Cssauth.exe is a component of Lenovo’s ThinkVantage Client Security Solution (CSS). ThinkVantage CSS is a combination of software and hardware components, used to protect users’ information. This software is available on all ThinkPad and ThinkCentre units.

Some ThinkPad and ThinkCentre models have additional security in the form of an embedded chip called Trusted Platform Module (TPM). TPM and CSS work together on key and process encryption. As an added measure of protection, TPM is isolated from the Operating System.

File Information

By default the cssauth.exe file is located in a subfolder within C:\Program Files. The most common size of the file on Windows XP is 2,341,632 bytes. You may also find it in 1,996,336, 2,614,848, 1,988,144 and, 2,630,968 bytes. A Verisign signed file, it adds the following registry entries that enable it to start at system startup:


Cssauth.exe Error Message The following is a common error message that you may come across:

The instance of cssauth.exe cannot start because of an initialization error.

Resolution Method

The source of the error is unknown. However, one of the following two methods may help you fix the problem:

Method 1: Enable TPM

To enable TPM, restart your PC and then get into the BIOS settings. Here, enable TPM.

Method 2: Update the ATMEL Driver

If you already have the driver, try uninstalling it and rebooting the PC when you are done. Once you’ve rebooted, go to Lenovo’s website and download the latest ATMEL driver. Install the driver on your computer.