Quite recently, I began facing this really irritating svchost problem on my computer. I’m running Windows XP Service Pa(ni)ck Two, and really haven’t had this problem before. A certain process called svchost.exe began eating up most of the CPU power, and here I was, unable to do absolutely anything on my computer for the next five minutes to five hours.
Yes, the problem never had a defined period of time, and often came and went randomly. And if I decided to end the process from task manager, Windows reverted to the good ol’ Windows Classic theme, and convinced itself that it didn’t have any sound devices installed anymore. This was too much, and I decided to explore.
What is svchost.exe?
svchost.exe, as defined by Microsoft themselves
… checks the services part of the registry to construct a list of services that it must load. Multiple instances of Svchost.exe can run at the same time. Each Svchost.exe session can contain a grouping of services. Therefore, separate services can run, depending on how and where Svchost.exe is started. This grouping of services allows for better control and easier debugging.
For a quick check, click on Start and then, click on Run. In the Run dialog box, type cmd and smack enter. Congratulations. You are now in primitive, but more powerful, DOS mode.
Type tasklist /svc and hit enter. A long list of processes currently running will follow, along with the services it is taking care of. The svchost.exe entry is so prominent, that it’ll catch your eye when you scroll down the list. But contrary to what the movies force you to believe, typing something and getting a list of results is not hacking. (I’m talking about you, Swordfish).
Okay… Now what?
You’ve seen for yourself that ending that svchost.exe process will cause unprecedented and irrevocable damage to your computer, thus angering Lord William Henry Gates the Third, who will ensure that you rot in the bowels of hell forever! [Citation Needed]
Don’t worry. I have a solution. In fact, Mr Important, I have four simple solutions I have for you. You will, I know, make the right choice.
I was elected to lead. Not to read.
What’s the name again?
It is possible that the process you noticed in the task manager was not svchost.exe but scvhost.exe. The latter is a spyware, which will allow users to access your computer remotely. You must get rid of it at once by installing an anti-virus RIGHT NOW. You can also choose not to react to this situation, if you are totally okay with Ho Chi Minh’s grandson in Vietnam enjoying a holiday in Bermuda, with the money he stole from your bank account with the help of the net banking passwords he found on your PC.
If you use your computer primarily for browsing the web, watching movies, playing music, or basically anything that does not involve gaming, you can switch to Linux. If you simply love orange colour, start with Ubuntu. If you’re a fan of black ‘n green, start with Linux Mint.
Best of all, Linux is free.
The real (temporary) solution.
It’s alright. It’s okay. You can keep that gun on the table. Heh. *wipes sweat off brow*. I was just joking. I know what the solution is. Heh. Right here.
So here’s a temporary solution. Basically, what I figured out was, that if you have a really old computer with automatic updates disabled, then Windows will try to get them by itself. So it forces you to update your operating system, if you don’t want to. And all this Nazi stuff is managed by one single process. You guessed it. svchost.exe.
So here’s what you do:
1] Open Task Manager, right-click on the svchost process, and click End Process. The process is gone. What follows is complete disruption of your computer’s sound capability. This is definite. Sometimes, even the themes may get messed up. To verify this, you can open that the Volume Control by clicking on the tiny speaker in the taskbar. Instead of getting a sound mixer, you’ll be greeted with this.
2] Click on Start button in the taskbar. Right-click on My Computer and click on Manage in the drop-down menu which follows.
3] In the right pane, double-click on Services and Application. Double-click on Services. If you get this, you’re on the right track.
4] Scroll down, and you’ll find something known as Windows Audio. When you select it by single-clicking, you’ll see its description on the left-hand side. Not the left pane. To the left of the list of services. The service is currently stopped.
5] To the immediate left of the services list, you’ll see Start the service. Click on Start.
Starting the Windows Audio Service
You may follow the same procedure to restart the Themes service as well, if you want to.
But the problem is that this is still a temporary solution, so you’ll have to do this all over again when you restart your computer. So I suggest you Hibernate Windows, rather than restarting it or shutting it down.
The permanent solution
I suggest you do this after you’ve attempted the previous one. That will speed up work.
In the same Computer Management window in the above solution, search for Automatic Updates. Double-click it. You should see this.
See that Startup type: dropdown box? Yes, that one. Click it, and choose Disabled.
Automatic Updates Disabled
Then you click okay, and you can close all open windows now. Congratulations, sire, you have now fixed your computer.
I would be extremely grateful if you leave a comment below, or rate this post. Please let me know if this worked or not. Thank you!