Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
When reporting a failure it's important to include all the relevant information. We'll outline some of the basics that help get your question answered.
I keep getting SVCHOST failures. Why?
I'm seeing a questions about svchost failures come by on the Ask Leo! web log on a regular basis. Unfortunately most of the questions are just about that detailed often without even including the message text. So I'll cover here what a good error report looks like and then include a few steps that may start to help identify the cause of some of these svchost related failures.
In order for any technical support resource to assist you with a problem there are a number of standard bits of information that you should just always provide up-front. Most are easy and if you don't supply those they're just going to ask you for them anyway. Why not speed up the process a little by providing these details from the very beginning:
The operating system you're running, and its version.
The machine brand, its processor speed and the amount of memory it has.
Any hardware add-on devices that you think might be related to the problem you're seeing.
Whether or not you are running a firewall, a virus scanner, or a spyware scanner, and what brand and version of each.
The exact text of the error message, if any that you are seeing. I know this can be a little bit of a pain, but the exact error can convey a lot of information. And trust me, this more than anything else, will be the first thing that your technical support person will ask about. (I've got a few tips on capturing those messages here.)
If the problem is reproducible a summary of how to make it happen.
A list of any changes that either happened or that you perhaps made to your computer around the time that the problem started; particularly any software or hardware that you installed or setup.
Now, on to svchost. Svchost is particularly hard fella to diagnose because as I outlined in a prior article there are typically several copies of svchost running at the same time.
In addition to the information above I would collect the following to begin diagnosing a svchost related problem:
Any change in behavior after the failure. Does something stop working once you've experienced the error message referencing svchost and if so what?
Capture the output of "tasklist /svc" if at all possible after rebooting but sometime before the svchost related failure. Then after the failure run "tasklist /svc" again and see what if anything is different.
That's not meant to be a solution but a starting point. That information might be enough to help you understand what's failing. If not it's valuable information for the technical support person you'll be talking to.
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