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svchost.exe error: svchost.exe has generated an error – now what do I do?

svchost.exe error: svchost.exe has generated an error – now what do I do?

One of the most common search terms that leads people to
Ask Leo! lately is “svchost” or
“svchost.exe”. Besides wondering what svchost is, which I discuss in
this prior article, many people are
experiencing a svchost crash.

Folks, you probably have a virus.

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The svchost.exe error can result when your machine is infected with
any of a number of viruses and worms. A quick search at the
Symantec security reference site turned up
no less than 53 references with some of the current top threats
showing svchost symptoms.

So step one should be to make absolutely positive that you are
running an anti-virus checking program and that the virus information
it has is up to date. Depending on the specific virus you have there
may be a removal tool available separately that will fix this one
problem and allow you to continue with your upgrade (specifically, the
blaster virus seems to be quite prevalent, and Symantec has a removal
tool for it here).

Step one-and-a-half (it’s actually equally important as step one) is
to make sure your operating system has all of the latest patches
applied from Windows Update. These viruses
exploit vulnerabilities in the operating system that were patched
months ago, so if you got infected then you’re not up-to-date.

And finally, for a somewhat long, occasionally technical but very
informative thread on this issue visit
this discussion out at Experts Exchange.

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80 comments on “svchost.exe error: svchost.exe has generated an error – now what do I do?”

  1. this error appers when I work in documents the messages is svchost.exe has generated error , the solution is restart your machine?

  2. Ummm… i have a virus scan and it says that im virus free, and yes my anti-virus is up to date. o yea and another thing, my comp wont let me install the windows updates all it says when im downloading it is, “An error has occurd” thats it that’s all it says, just an error.

  3. I am running Windows 2000 Professional with Internet Explorer 6. I have installed Windows Service Pack 3. I am getting the error “Svchost.exe has generated errors . You will need to restart the program”. After this I can’t open a link in a new window. I can’t see contents of the WINNT folder. I can’t copy paste anything. Everything becomes ok if I restart. I have scanned with AVG Antivirus but it detects no virus. What Shall I do to solve this problem?

  4. I would try the following: ensure that that the virus signatures are the latest possible, run the system file checker, run windows update and install SP4. It definitely sounds exactly like the virus symptoms.


  5. I to had this problem and although my anti-virus is updated almost daily i did indeed have a worm. The welchia worm the removal tool from symantec found and removed the worm then i downloaded the patch from Microsoft and all is rosy in computer land again.

  6. Same problem overhere: svchost.exe gives errors and have to restart before problems are over for a very short while. Only 10-15 minutes everything works right after restart and than trouble starts again.
    I’ve updated McAfee virussoftware, Stinger and updated my windows2000 professional with sp4 and updated IE 6. No viruses were found, but still having the same problems.

    Who know’s the real solution?

  7. Certain variants of viruses are not detected by the virus checkers it appears. Check for Fixwelch.exe and Fixblast.exe. and let us know if either of those resolve the issue. Have also seen lots of reports with people experiencing the same symptoms, and the same frustrations, who are fixed by installing Win2K SP4 and patch KB823980 here .

  8. I am running Windows 2000 Professional and I have installed Windows Service Pack 4. If you getting the error “Svchost.exe has generated errors . You will need to restart the program”. After this you can’t open a link in a new window and if you can’t copy paste anything. So you need to install securitypatch KB823980 and service pack 4 from that moment on no more errors!!!!!!!! You can find this from

  9. There seems to be a lot of misinformation about this problem. I can assure you it is not a virus, I went far as to buy a new hard drive, create a NTFS partition, install Win2k with no floppys invloved and … there is the error. The problem first began when I signed up for Earthlink.

  10. Most probably you have a virus..nachi/welchia/spybot or a variant..remove these virus first thru stinger orwelchia fix tool from Symantec, install Service Pack-4, and security patches from Microsoft website. I faced a similar hasn’t repeated since the the last one hour.

  11. I got svchost.exe virus…
    I have tried to install the SP4, but the end of installation that has been closed automatically…
    Leo, may u help me?? and i am running in win2k.

  12. hi i found a comment posted on ur site that resembled my problem. i get svchost.exe error and y copy, past commands get dissssabled.
    according to ur instruction i downloaded fixblast from symentec but it does not detect any virus but the problem persists. i tried to find the patch for win2000 , but i can not find any info about patch 1 and patch 2 for download. why do get over this problem.

  13. Vanessa: svchost.exe problems can result from several viruses, blaster being only one of them. It’s hard to say which removal tool to use without knowing exactly which virus it is (though I’ll admit, I’m surprized that virus scanners aren’t doing a better job on this one). I would visit symantec’s site (this link will get you there: ) and search for “svchost” there as well.

    In the mean time, to attempt to get SP4 installed, I would first run system file checker (I just posted an article about it: – even though it talks about windows XP, it should work for Windows 2000 as well). This should attempt to repair the system files possibly damaged and preventing you from completing an SP4 install. Once that’s run, I’d install SP4 and the patch mentioned earlier in the comments here.

    Best of luck!


  14. I’d like to participate in this great discussion of a great problem.

    I was getting this error exactly as described by other can’t copy-paste,can’t open link in new window etc..

    What I did was backed up the data, formated the partition and did the fresh install of win2000. Immediately I installed SP4.

    Remember I have installed NOTHING else…No floppies or CDs were inserted(ofcourse only one CD of “win2000”)

    As soon as I started the internet I got this error again in just 2 minutes and I had to control my self not to break the monitor.:(

    Now all said…my conclusion is that if it really is the virus then it’s got to be in the installation of win2000 or SP4.

    And i’m going to try that “welch” and “blaster” uitility if I succeed then tell ya all.

  15. Final solution of this problem is “KB823980” patch.

    Neither “fixblast” nor “fixwelch” fixes the problem but this patch does the magic.

    But I very STRONGLY belive that the real cause of the problem is in the installations of IE6,SP3,SP4…

    And I have reasons to believe that because as I said earlier that in just 2 minutes after going online no virus can infect my PC(because dial-up internet speeds are not that fast!!)

  16. Actually the infection can happen that quickly. It can make it VERY difficult, as you’ve seen, to rebuild and get on the internet long enough to download additional patches without getting reinfected. What I *wish* is that MS would roll the 823980 patch INTO SP4, which would avoid the scenario.

    Glad you’re working again!


  17. Ok…

    After extensive searching for 2 hours finally I learned that IT IS the virus and it can in through the internet only whether it be only 2 minutes. The files it copies are very small.

    Now I will never go online before installing an AntiV and a firewall.:)

  18. “svchost.exe generated…..” this happens bcz u got blaster-worm (Lovsan) infected in your system. this worm can enter your system at the first time you go online.

    After getting infected, copy & paste commands wont work, you cannot disconnect from internet, you wont be able to update windows from

    Dont waste your time applying latest patches and service packs of internet explorer coz this does not actually solve the said problem. The solution/precausion you got to take is, install a firewall which can block trojan attacks. I recommend Trend Micro’s PC-CILLIN antivirus. It has a built-in personal firewall which i am sure makes an end of this error.

    For more help write me

  19. Okay, in most cases it’s not a virus (lets all jump off the virus band wagon…). I’ve had the same problem. svchost fails, IE won’t allow new windows to be opened and the copy paste facility fails. The only way to solve it is to reboot…

    I did find a windows update but the Microsoft update site didn’t point me to it, another forum like this one did. I can’t find it again but if I do I’ll give you the link to the microsoft page where you can download it.

    My PC spec for those wondering.
    AMD 2000+
    Windows 2000
    SP 3
    IE 6 SP1
    Netscape 7.1
    Office XP

  20. Actually, Kent, my experience right now is that while there can be other causes for this problem, viruses are *by far* the leading cause. Because this symptom can result from several different viruses, people are generally having a difficult time tracking down exactly what steps they need to take to eradicate their machines of the virus.

    I remain firmly *on* the virus bandwagon :-).

    But I look forward to the patch link you mentioned. Thanks for stopping by.


  21. hi it’s rishesh again.
    well for my copy paste disabaling and other problems, i ran fixblast.exe(which did not find any blaster worm) and downloaded the pack4 update . now i have a new problem , my computer now gets restarted all of sudden( sometimes it shows svchost.exe and sometimes it does not show and gets restarted).
    any tip for getting out of this mess.

  22. Greetings,

    Binu Thomas. Exactly the same problems you are talking about I am facing. Copy and Paste does not work, I cannot download the Microsoft Serviepacks….. so please maybe you can help, because I cannot even write an email…..

    Websites do not open Explorer tells me they are finished but I cannot see anything. If I open the program folder, I cannot see any folders….etc. etc.

    I really tried, I installed Norton Firewall FIRST before I even connected to the internet, so I have installed Windows 2000 now for the 7th time…Geez!!!

    Maybe somebody can help, cause I am so fed up..

    Guidance and Protection


  23. Hey Adama,
    Solution of your problem is download the windows update patch “KOB823980”.
    But if you believe me re-install the windows then very first thing before going online you should do is to install some firewall(I recommend “BlackIce”). Then download this patch and run it. ““ this link will directly take you to that download.


  24. NTFS will not help. As several comments here have mentioned, you need to get to SP4, and the KB823980 patch (links for both are in comments above). As the immediately preceding comment to yours indicates, it’s very easy to reinfected the moment you connect to the internet, and you’ll have to take some steps as suggested to avoid the immediate reinfection.

    Good luck!


  25. I run WIN2K Pro, and I used to have the “Svchost.exe has generated errors . You will need to restart the program” message whenever I was connected to the internet.
    My problem was solved as suggested on this webpage. I downloaded all the fixes and applied them step by step as follows:
    1- run the Fixwelch tool
    2-run Service Pack 4
    3- install securitypatch KB823980
    4- install security patch KB833330

    everything runs smooth now.


  26. In response to “George” posted 02/23/04
    I was searching for a solution to my svchost.exe problems and found your post dated 02/23/04 on AskLeo. I’m glad I read through the entire posting because I too suspected Earthlink Total Access 2004 as the culprit. {The svchost.exe problems are connected with the Welchia.B.Worm but ….} I really believe it all started with the TA2004 program. I have had Earthlink {first started as MindSpring in 1998} with no problems until I downloaded the Total Access 2004. My last computer just “crapped the bed” after install of TA2004. I figured it was old, whatever, and I had planned to buy a new one anyway. Bought a brand new HP last month and the ISP software asked for any previous ISP to download … clicked on Earthlink TA2004 … found my USER name, etc and proceeded to install ….. same sh_t different computer and I have been struggling ever since… with my new computer. I was able to uninstall the Earthlink program after their tech support … and cancelled my 5 year subscription. I’m now

    I know I can’t prove anything re: the Earthlink Total Access 2004 but I’m so glad to have seen your post, I truly feel there’s something wrong with their program that has compromised my system to be particularly vulnerable. We’ll probably hear something in the future.

    Onward Thru the Fog,

  27. Having same problem with svchost.exe error message (have Win2K) so read all posts & articles. Ran newest virus scan also FixWelch & FixBlast (nothing found) & also installed Firewall. Have now tried to download SP4… first time internet connection (dial-up connection) was lost after nearly 2 hours with only 24 mins to go. Tried again & after 2+ hours recd error that installation failed!!! Was downloading Express version so now trying full ver but that states more than 7 HOURS to download & if I had trouble with 2+ hour download, well…..
    Anything else I can do or must I PURCHASE the SP4 CD from MS??? Needless to say, I am unable to install the 2 recommended patches as I only have SP1 installed & as stated above, cannot install SP4! Thanks in advance for any & all suggestions!

  28. Well, getting SP4 on CD certainly seems like the most likely chance for success. Any chance you can take your computer somewhere … work, a friend or neighbor perhaps, that has a faster connection – like broadband? Or download the SP4 “Network Installation” to another computer (again, perhaps that of a friend) and burn it to CD-ROM or copy it to your computer some other way.

    Or the CD from Microsoft could save you a number of headaches for $10. I realize it takes a few days to get to you though.


  29. Thanks Leo. Will try to find “friend” to download the SP4 “Network Installation” to another computer and burn it to CD-ROM. I thought of this but wasn’t sure a CD could be burned (as I’m not that computer savvy).

  30. Howdy all

    Very similar problem to all listed above… I have reformatted and reinstalled three times with Win2k, have tried 2x express install, and have downloaded (+6hrs over dialup) network sp4 install, with the KB823980 patch…

    My problem now (and was also on Tuesday last week – it’s been over a week now) is that after I formatted, installed the patch, then the KB823980 patch, is that I can no longer connect to the internet at all.

    Totally flummoxed. Am posting from my parents place… will check again tomorrow to see if anyone has any ideas, happy to provide more detail.


  31. Further to the above post:

    I can connect to the internet, but I get absolutely no data transfer, and can not surf pages at all….

    Any ideas anyone?

  32. It would help to know specifically *how* things fail – error messages and such. The results of “ipconfig /all” run in a command shell would be helpful when you’re connected.


  33. Hi Leo

    Apologies for the vague post – after I connected completely shut down ZoneAlarm completely, my internet connection started to work again – am posting from home.

    All good


  34. I am continuously facing this problem of windows 2K svchost.exe error and u need to restart windows. I cant disconnect internet. I do have installed SP4 my Norton Antivirus is also updated. No virus is found upon scanning, but the problem persists, can some one plz help me with some suggestions.

  35. I’m running Windows XP and my problem with svchost.exe is that it uses so many resources that my CPU is constantly at 100%. This makes it almost impossible to do anything on the internet because pages load extremely slowly. I have just reinstalled Windows XP on a new hard drive so I’m sure this is not a hardware problem.

    I’m thinking that it might be the virus problem you mentioned before, but I’m not sure. I know there is a patch for Windows 2000, but is there one for Windows XP as well?

  36. sorry if this is a constant repeat of a similar problem everyone else is having…

    my isp is also earthlink and after installing windows xp i installed ta: 2004. i kept on getting an rcp: system restart problem. i downloaded two fixes one for the welchia worm and another for the blaster worm then i downloaded two windows security updates and i updated my virus definitions for norton.

    when i go online i get an error from norton saying that i have the welchia worm and so on… but when i do a full systems scan norton can’t find the virus. same thing with the fixes, they both can’t find anything on my computer. (i don’t know if this makes a difference or not but i scanned my computer in safe mode as well- still nothing) when the error message comes up the problem file has a (file name)”[1]”.exe the end… i’m guessing that the fixes/norton can’t recognize the virus because of the “[1]” added on to the name.. but i don’t know =/

    [a similar problem happened before when i downloaded earthlink’s ta: 2003 online… only i received the blaster.e.worm before but that problem was quickly fixed after i googled it… this time the problem isn’t being fixed as easily…]

    i feel really silly about this because i’m probably not even doing the right things to fix it.. and i apologize if this is a bother for you…

    but please help…

  37. If you haven’t used it, Symantec has a welchia removal tool. Visit them via

    The problem is that some of the worms are smart enough to interfere with anti-virus tools. FWIW the “[1]” is probably not an issue, but if you know the filename, you might try renaming it, rebooting, and seeing if the virus scanners can clean it up then.

    Good luck!


  38. Hmmm…prolly gonna have to e-mail me the fix (if any).
    Win2k professional and the svchost.exe problem as well….but the problem occurs RANDOMLY and don’t knock anything out here…sounding like a virus that AVG missed, checked a whole mess of things, and like the others, found no viruses.
    Only indication of a problem initially is 2 occurances of svchost…1 with 3300 used and the other a whopping 13300 in memory used…sound like a virus to you Leo?
    PLEASE EMAIL preferrably too…I only stumbled across this site and going to be away for a few weeks for work.

  39. Hi there i tried every thing update antivirus download sp4 download patch KB823980. Still i get the error. Can anyone help?

  40. Hi,
    Just another queery on svchost.

    I hve at least 6 svchost running on my machine,
    What I’m concerned about is that they are all in uppercase, SVCHOST.EXE
    I have read on a site somewhere that if they are in uppercase then I have a virus, my machine keeps shutting down, I am running windows XP, and have done all the virus checks with Norton, can any one advise???

    Thanks in anticipation


  41. I have this svchost error too. I have found the best solution. Chuck the damm thing in the skip, buy yoursel a pair of hiking boots and an OS map and enjoy the great out doors!

  42. Leo…I’ve been thru all of the mentioned problems here. I too am having sluggish response times, mainly due to the fact that svchost.exe is eating up 50%-85% CPU Usage. I’ve just finished all of the necessary updates – Windows (XP Pro), SpyBot S&D, and NAV full system scan. However, nothing has changed. Any additional tips? TKS!!!

  43. First step I’d take would be to use tasklist /svc and the task manager to identify which instance of svchost is eating the CPU, and what services it’s attempting to provide.


  44. HI,

    my svchost.exe and svchost64.exe are using 100% of my CPU! if i shut them down manualy system reboots. My AVG antivirus says that im virus free and yes i’ve tried symantec too.

    i’m running winXP SP1


  45. svchost is a required system component, so shutting down would do exactly as you describe, crash your system or worse.

    First, I’d run tasklist /svc in a command prompt, and use that along with task manager to determine which copy of svchost is eating up your CPU, and what services it provides. It’s possible that shutting down the associated service *may* (and I really mean *may*) resolve the issue for you.

    The site mentioned by previous poster also has good information and a couple of steps you might try. (Specifically, a service to be shut down.)

    ABOVE ALL: make sure you are up-to-date with Windows Update.

    Good luck,


  46. HI Leo! i’m runnung windows XP SP1 and when i log on svchost.exe generates an error witch shuts down my computer in 60 sec. i can stop it just with “shutdown -a” command in my cmd. i scanned my system with 3 diferent anti-virus progs an they said that i’m virus free!

  47. Well, the symptoms certainly sound like the blaster virus. 1) are the virus scanners up to date? If the database of viruses they’re looking for is old, then they might miss this one. Granted, it’s hard to imagine all three being out of date. In your shoes I’d head over to the symantec site ( ) and download and run the blaster removal tool. Heck, I’d grab the Welchia removal tool as well, as both viruses target the same Windows RPC service.

    Good luck,


  48. Luka: you are either infected with a virus, or you are being attacked by one on another machine. Make sure that your virus scans are current, and that your system is fully up to date, including the security patched mentioned in several of the comments here.

    Goot luck!


  49. i used symantec’s FixWelch and FixBlast an they said that i’m virus free. i also used AVG 7.0 witch is up to date and i updated my windows too.

    this svchost is using 100% CPU when i’m offline also, so i doubt that someone is attacking me.

    and i’ve got a new problem! my system is generating an error witch shuts down my system in 1 min.

  50. Hi Leo!
    New problems.I installed winxp updates on, but next time i checked for new updates, those witch i “already installed” were there. i did it for 3 times already.

  51. I have just the same problem as matthew, it’s the same service eating all my CPU. I have even tried to format my HD, but it’s still eating 100% of my CPU, so now im running on totally new-formatted windows with service pack1 and ad-aware and Norton antivirus 2004.

  52. I started getting this svchost.exe error when I had to disable the firewall in order to download the TurboTax updates. (I love TurboTax, but this is disgraceful. It should be able to play nicely with a firewall.) Anyway, it was my husband’s job to keep the PC in good shape, but he’s gone now and and I am pretty much clueless when it comes to fixing problems. Following your earlier instruction, I opened a command prompt and tried “tasklist” but it says there is no such command. I think it is going to be a long and painful process.
    But bless you all for being here and posting your problems and solutions.

  53. Yes, TASKLIST.EXE isn’t in XP Home, so I suspect that’s what you have. Process Explorer, while a little more geeky (ok, a lot more geeky, but with lots of other goodies for us geeks :-) can also be used to perform the same tasks. Process Explorer is available over at sysinternals:

    Good luck!


  54. what is this is this C:\Windows\bvtn.tmp\svchost.exe

    In that folder it’s likely malware of some sort. Run up to date scans asap.


  55. I had the same problem on a new slave HD I installed. I simply did a clean install of XP which eliminated the problem. All other fixes I tried just didn’t work. All my files (music and pictures) were retained with the new install. Hope this helps.

  56. my personal computer has these messages on screen. however, i have no net connection at my home. How to sove my problem. These massages are shows on screen.
    1. cannot find ///Fast Hardlock Driver
    2. HL VDD.Dll. An instable Virtual Device Driver failed Dll initialization – Choose ‘close’ to terminate the application
    3. NTVDM.exe has encountered a problem and needs to close. we are sorry for the inconvenience.
    4. window cannot find scvhost.exe

  57. I get this error message every time I reboot my computer. “instruction at 0x7c919af2 referenced memory at 0x00000010. The memory could not be written.” I have a eMachine running Win XP 2002 home edition,service pack 3. AMD Athelon processor 265e, 1.61 GHz, 2.75 GB RAM. Internal HD 149GB w/ 129 GB free space. Western Digital external HD-475 GB total w/ 269 GB free space. run avg free 2012, Wise Care 365, MS Firewall, use Google Chrome. run updates for XP and all software daily. Can you help me?


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