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Generic Host Process for Win32 Service – crashes and burns, but why?!?

October 1st, 2006 by Zack Whittaker

Normally I don’t post “personal” entries on here, either to do with my personal life and/or personal problems I’m having with my computer(s) but this one’s being a right pain and I’m actually concerned that other people may be having it too.

If you check out the Microsoft Online Crash Analysis (ID: 1501) then it explains basically what happens. As most of you know, the “Generic Host Process for Win32 Services” is “svchost.exe” in Task Manager. You’ll see that there’s usually at least 5 or 6 of them in Task Manager and it’s a very important service because it hosts other services and handles all the processes from DLL files – basically it’s a very important service and should never really be messed with unless you really know what you’re doing.

I sometimes turn my machine on and it’ll give me an error report saying that the “Generic Host Process for Win32 Services had to close” and it’ll let me report it. After I do so, it’ll take me to the Online Crash Analysis site as given above. Now this has only seemed to have happened on my laptop but on 5 different sets of operating systems and/or re-installations, and the problem only seems to come about after I install all the updates that it gives me. I’ve got Windows XP Media Center 2005 installed at the moment with all the updates, and it still happens. Is it just my laptop, or is it actually an automatic update which starts screwing things up?

There’s a fix available for this problem and it says that it’s a problem that happens when you install the update MS05-012, however it doesn’t freakin’ work! I’m really stumped to be honest – has anyone else got this error or seen it before? Has anyone got any information? Why the hell isn’t Microsoft doing something about it? Here’s my system information here and obviously take out the “sensitive” data – if anyone wants to look at it, feel free and let me know if anyone’s got any ideas.

 

Update by Jabez: According to a comment left by RRasco, the fix #2 from http://www.sizlopedia.com/2007/04/28/fix-generic-host-for-win32-process-error/ worked for him. Give it a shot!

Posted in Bugs, Rants, Windows XP | 29 Comments »


This entry was posted on Sunday, October 1st, 2006 at 7:03 am and is filed under Bugs, Rants, Windows XP. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


29 Responses

  1. Kristan M. Kenney Says:

    Im noticing higher memory usage with SVCHOST but no crashes

  2. Joe Becher Says:

    Good luck, if it comes back, hope you figure out a fix.

  3. Ignacio Téllez Says:

    Well, I came a long way to your blog, just to say that I’ve been having this problem with svchost for a couple of days, and I didn’t (ever!) download an update on my Windows SP2, so I could not believe that updates are the cause. At least, in my case. Any other ideas?

  4. Rachel Says:

    I have had the same problem every time I get an automatic update. Sometimes it magically fixes and sometimes I have to scream and bang everything until I calm myself down and throw something across the room. (!) This is what I did to fix it(I believe):
    1. Restart computer
    2. Install the fix
    3. Restart again
    4. Install any more updates
    5. Restart
    That should do the trick… Like I said, it’s happened to me before, and all I think I did was install the fix, install the updates and go… I’m not sure though. (!)

  5. Rachel Says:

    Other than that, you could try installing the fix on a different account on XP. Worked for me.

  6. Paul Says:

    I have discovered fixes for two cases on our network:

    First Case: If Zenworks is installed, stop all Zen services in task manager. Remove Zenworks. Install the MS Patch. Restart. Reinstall Zenworks. This should fix the problem.

    Second case: No Zenworks. Installed MS Patch, but it did not fix it. Removed MSN Messenger. Restarted. Reinstalled MSN Messenger. This corrected the problem.

  7. Wes Says:

    Strangely enough changing automatic update to “download the updates but let me choose when to install them” got rid of this pesky problem.

  8. Eric Says:

    This problem occurs on my pc too. Windows SP2 but without updates.
    I have read that it’s caused by viruses, worms.. It’s driving me up the wall.
    This problem only happens to me everytime I connect to the internet. When I start browsing for like ten to fifteen mins, the error occurs and I lose all my communication status, i.e i cant surf the net or download anything. Does anyone have the same problem here? help is much appreciated..

  9. Jayan Says:

    Hi,

    I Got The Same Problem As Eric!!!

    Can Anyone Help PLz???

  10. Thomas Jones Says:

    Having the problem here on a Toshiba laptop running Media Center 2005. I got this as a christmas gift about a month before the day. I performed many installs and software updates, and operated the laptop at very basic levels, but for extended periods of time, just to ensure that all hardware was working well. After my wife started using it, she added some additional software, such as windows live messenger, yahoo messenger, and a few other nick nacks. Now, sporadically, but often enough to be quite annoying, the machine will experience an SVCHOST crash. Afterwards, the machine has lost so much functionality that the machine pretty much has to be completely powered off. No soft restart, shutdown or anything else will work. In troubleshooting, i was able to identify that the SVCHOST crash seemed to occur when the memory utilization went above 100 meg for that particular process. Obviously, there are several copies running, but the one will be the most active at the time. Also, the wuauclt.exe process will show a lot of activity as the time of the crash. This coincides well with what other users are reporting, that the problem does seem to stem from the activity of Windows Update performing it’s checks of the OS. Initially, we only experienced crashes of windows live messenger, and yahoo messenger. This would happen usually by just opening these applications, but sometimes the apps would open up just fine and work for a while. On the second launch of yahoo messenger the program would state that it didn’t load the plugins as the software crashed previously. This led me to believe that there had to be a problem with something that both of these messenger programs utilized. We were also having a problem with one particular update that would never install. It was the KB927928 update. This update has to do with XML. It seemed reasonable at the time that maybe this was the problem. I corrected this by removing two different XML updates, one of them being the KB927928, rebooting in between the removal of each of them, and the reinstalling only the one. This corrected the problem with the update, but unfortunately, the crashing problem has remained.

  11. Kyle Says:

    I just got a brand new laptop 4 days ago as a late Christmas present. It runs Media Center 05 and last night I installed a large update package (55 items) because PC-Cillin told me to. This morning, I got the “generis host process” crash message (reported it), and an error box saying that [alphanumeric code i didnt catch] referenced memory at 0x000000 that couldn’t be “read.” I was furious, this being a new, top-of-the-line Dell. I knew the updates caused the problem because they were the only thing I had changed about the system configuration in 24 hours. I accessed System Restore and rolled back to last night, pre-update. It booted clean, no error messages, no crash, though the update icon on the taskbar told me “updates are ready to install.” Ohhhhhh, no. I turned off automatic updates altogether and that seems to have fixed it for me.

  12. Kyle Says:

    COROLLARY TO ABOVE POST:
    Damn, automatic update has managed to damage my system somehow. Now, inexplicably, my Wi-Fi connection only connects automatically about every other startup. The other times I have to open control panel, double click Network Connections, wait while it freezes, Ctrl-Alt-Del and End Task control panel, and suddenly I’m connected. I’ll probably contact Dell to see if they can fix it, but beware- AUTOMATIC UPDATE WILL SCREW YOU OVER, DON’T USE IT!!!

  13. Kyle Says:

    COROLLARY TO ABOVE POST:
    Darn, automatic update has managed to damage my system somehow. Now, inexplicably, my Wi-Fi connection only connects automatically about every other startup. The other times I have to open control panel, double click Network Connections, wait while it freezes, Ctrl-Alt-Del and End Task control panel, and suddenly I’m connected. I’ll probably contact Dell to see if they can fix it, but beware- AUTOMATIC UPDATE WILL SCREW YOU OVER, DON’T USE IT!!!

  14. Kyle Says:

    COROLLARY TO ABOVE POST:
    Phooey. Automatic update has managed to damage my system somehow. Now, inexplicably, my Wi-Fi connection only connects automatically about every other startup. The other times I have to open control panel, double click Network Connections, wait while it freezes, Ctrl-Alt-Del and End Task control panel, and suddenly I’m connected. I’ll probably contact Dell to see if they can fix it, but beware- AUTOMATIC UPDATE WILL SCREW YOU OVER, DON’T USE IT!!!

  15. someone_else_512 Says:

    I have the same problem as Eric, but I have run an AVG Virus scan and nothing came up.
    I did what you said, goflashman, but when I restarted, “Win32” application encountered a problem. After that, the same problem occurred again. Anyone else with any help?

  16. Me Says:

    Fruck that snit. Nothing works. I guess I am reinstalling again (just did that 2 weeks ago). Bigest piece of OS ever made. If it wasn’t for COD4 I would never even need to boot to it. Fedora all the way.

  17. patrick Says:

    yo dudes all the above does not work, i don’t know what to do, i don’t want to format this thing again, any ideas ????!!!

  18. Jabez Gan [MVP] Says:

    Hey Patrick,

    have you tried checking event viewer? Also what OS are you using?When did you start to have this issue? Maybe a software that you installed caused this issue?

  19. Murtaza Says:

    Any solutions for the problem? am running xp sp2 and have the same problem. lately it seems to be occuring more n more frequently and am thinking of formatting again… for the 4th 5th time. I had this problem 2 3 years ago but then it was fixed by the patch some1 mentioned above but now even that patch doesnt make a difference. Before my last format I installed numerous antiviruses n spyware/malware removal software and completely cleaned the pc(they only found 1-2 minor worms n some cookies which couldnt have caused this) but still didnt solve anything. MICROSOFT WINDOWS sucks… I agree with Me… if it warent for CS n some other games I would never use this load of crpap.

  20. Murtaza Says:

    btw @ Jabez: this is what event viewer shows:

    Faulting application svchost.exe, version 5.1.2600.2180, faulting module netapi32.dll, version 5.1.2600.2180, fault address 0x0000a3c0.

    n i only have this problem when im at home connected to the internet via DSL n it doesnt seem to happen when am connected via LAN at work.

  21. Jabez Gan [MVP] Says:

    Hi Murtaza,

    The version that I’m using is 5.1.2600.2976…

    Can you make sure that you are running Windows XP SP2, and see if this problem persists?

    Sorry for not replying promptly…

  22. RRasco Says:

    I have four laptops that do this constantly when connected to the network. For the life of me I cannot figure out what the cause is. They only crash when connected to our network, not any other network. The only info I have been able to locate all point to the Blaster Worm, but I can’t find any trace of that worm on any of the machines. Can someone give me some tips on what to do?

  23. RRasco Says:

    Solution #2 on the page below seems to have worked for me. It did mess up the MS Firewall Client installation by reporting an error “There is a problem with the MSFWC installation”, but that was remedied by re-installing it. As of now, we have eliminated all instances of this error. I’m keeping my fingers crosses on this one.

    http://www.sizlopedia.com/2007/04/28/fix-generic-host-for-win32-process-error/

  24. Jabez Gan [MVP] Says:

    Cool thanks for the feedback RRasco 🙂 I’ll update the post with the link to your fix.

  25. RRasco Says:

    I wanted to report back and say that I still have not seen any more occurrences of this dreaded error to date after applying the fix. To note, I have used it on several XP *and* Vista machines.

  26. Patrick S Says:

    At work we recently found that one of the reasons this issue was occouring was our WSUS servers in our office was causing the problem. Workstations were putting our a request for updates…the server would respond but not deliver-therefore they just spent all of their time asking for updates

    If we pointed our workstations to another one of our SUS servers in other countries it worked like a charm.

    A simple re-build of our server to 3.0 (as well as updating workstations to Windows Update [instead of Microsoft update client]) seemed to clear up the problems.

  27. MAAN Says:

    Hello Frnds,

    am MAAN frm Delhi (India). facing a prblm frm last few days “Generic Host Process for Win32 Services has encountered a problem”
    if any body have any solution then mail me on my mail.
    Mail Id:. msyadav99@gmail.com

  28. Aaron Says:

    Do any of y’all have USB storage devices attached at startup? Removing my Olympus 321M seems to have fixed the problem for me.

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