Home > Technology > Windows Update Broke my PC

Windows Update Broke my PC

I was nearly horrified after a failed Windows update resulted in referenced memory errors. The referenced memory errors were related to svchost.exe. I was about to try the steps listed on Tech Blender (Windows Update Broke My Machine (svchost.exe — application error), and How to Fix It) when I found a patch from Microsoft that fixed the problem.

Here’s the link – Download updates for Generic Host Process for Win32 Services Error

Categories: Technology Tags:
  1. Brandon Rojas
    2006-12-21 at 1:18 PM

    That happened to me over the weekend. My damn computer said “Installing updates please do not turn off computer or remove power”. It said that for like an hour. So in one graceful move, I turned it off. Bastards!

  2. 2006-12-21 at 1:31 PM

    That is exactly how my problem started. I turned automatic updates off and installed the patch mentioned in my post. Everything seems OK now.

  3. Dom Howard
    2007-02-15 at 6:26 AM

    This worked 100% for me – thanks for posting it.

  4. clayton spann
    2007-02-17 at 9:47 AM


    Thanks for taking the time to post your solution. I spent about three hours on a Friday night trying to resolve this issue on my desktop. After no success (OS reinstall, chkdsk, etc) I Goggled via my laptop and found you link. Thanks much. Unfortunately I have been unable to apply the fix due to an unstable desktop. Details are below

    I have a similar problem with a slight twist. My problem started the same way with a recent auto update (Feb06) from Microsoft while downloading 1 of 17 patches the system froze. Upon trying to reboot, the system is very unstable, sometimes I can boot all the way to the desktop (to see the svchost error box) other times the system just sits at the logon frozen (does not accept any inputs – mouse or keyboard). I can boot in via safe mode and have applied the above steps ( turn off auto update and download patch) but original problem still exists when I boot normal. Is there a better approach for booting normally that will give me a stable computer to apply the above solution?

  5. 2007-02-18 at 12:19 PM

    Clayton – Have you tried a full restart again? You may have to restart the PC one more time. The error actually occurs during shutdown, so you’ll likely see it the first time you reboot after applying the patch.

    MS Knowledge Base – Generic Host Process Error

  6. Clayton
    2007-02-19 at 10:52 AM

    I did a full restart (one of several dozen) after applying the patch and still had the problem. I was finally able to get a somewhat stable platform by killing processes during bootup. After clicking the log-on button I immediately hit ctrl-alt-del and watched the processes list, I killed everything I knew I could (PGP, AVG, Zonelab, etc..) and also tried to kill svchost.exe. Although this was a more hit and miss, since some kills of the svchost froze the machine. Once the system was somewhat stable I dumped in a Vista OS disk and loaded the OS over XP.

    I am pretty sure your link would have worked for me as well had I not tried to repair the XP OS first via the installation disk. Next time I’ll Google first before applying ‘standard’ Gates solutions.


  7. 2007-04-04 at 8:26 AM

    Thanks, I’m at work but after a huge storm and power outtage last night the computer was displaying this error. Course the updating do not turn off your computer dealeo stayed on the screen 5 hours before i rebooted and got the notorious error message.
    I’ll apply this patch when i get home!

  8. James
    2007-04-11 at 12:30 PM

    I can’t thank you enough for posting your solution. In a time crunch I did the dreaded “shutdown during update”, knowing it was a risk, but assuming with the alternatives, that I could take it. I’m onsite at a client, my laptop is down, all the data’s on the laptop…
    I find your fix, works like a charm, and all is right in the world again. U rock!

  9. 2007-04-15 at 1:07 PM

    I am still encountering PCs at work with this error. This is certainly a major nuisance.

  10. Gerardo
    2007-04-24 at 1:25 PM

    This worked like a breeze. However the short solution didn’t

    Thanks a lot.

  11. Tom
    2007-05-10 at 6:40 PM

    I’ve just encountered this problem, thankfully I didn’t cave-in and turn my PC off, I used my laptop to search for solutiouns instead and found this page, the problem now is I don’t know what I have to do (do I turn my PC off and download the patch with my laptop?). Could some one please give me a walkthrough from the screen that says “Updates are being installed (1 of 3)”


  12. Donald Futers
    2007-05-11 at 2:05 AM

    I’m having exactly the same problem as Tom! Mine’s on 3 of 4, though.

    It’s been on 3 of 4 since 11pm last night. It is now 8:14 am.

    I’m guessing this is a bad update Microsoft have put out, since both mine and Tom’s problems occurred on May 10th.

  13. Tom
    2007-05-11 at 9:01 AM

    Fourteen hours after the message first appeared, my PC turned itself off.

  14. John
    2007-05-26 at 8:57 AM

    Im stuck. I can not disable automatic update from control panel because every time my mouse is over my task bar, it turns into the hour glass and I cannot click on Start to get to the the control panel.

    I had the automatic update turned OFF but I was having problems getting the patch from the microsoft update site. I turned automatic update ON hoping it would be easier to get the patch but NOPE. Made EVERYTHING WORSE!!

    If I hire a professional techie to fix this problem, where do I send the bill to at Microsoft so they can pay for fixing their own problem!

  15. 2007-05-28 at 11:00 AM

    Tom, Donald, John, (Sorry about my late reply)

    Installing the patch should fix the problem. Getting the PC to cooperate can be a problem, however. If you can, try downloading the patch to a thumb drive from another computer.

    Try booting normally and running the patch from the thumb drive. If you have trouble, try booting into Windows Safe Mode. To boot into safe mode, you need to press a function key as the computer is booting. It may be F7, F8, or F9 – it can vary among manufacturers.

    If you are going to run the patch from a thumb drive, you can boot into “Safe Mode without Networking”.

    Run the patch and reboot TWICE. You may have to reboot twice – don’t forget this step!

    John – good luck billing Microsoft:) Just buy a Dell computer loaded with Ubuntu Linux next time.

  16. Mike
    2007-06-28 at 3:19 PM

    Chris…thanks for the great info…but if the steps above don’t work for some strange reason…try uninstalling printer drivers.

    I had the same problem that everyone above has mentioned, but none of the valuable information helped me out. I spent over three hours researching and implementing all of the ideas listed in this and several other blogs, but to no avail. I tried turning off automatic updates, running scripts to re-register DLLs, removing Microsoft Update, running Microsoft’s recently released automatic update patch, turning off suspect startup processes, disabling Java…but nothing worked until I removed all of my HP printer/software listed in the Add/Remove Programs.

    Now the problem seems to have gone away (and I’m sure that it was directly related to an automatic update from HP). Good luck to anyone if this last suggestion doesn’t work…I was at my wits end and almost reformatted the disk until I got lucky and found the answer.

  17. 2007-06-29 at 11:25 AM

    Mike – that sounds like a nightmare. Glad you finally figured it out. Thanks for sharing your solution…

  18. Mehari Amare
    2008-02-06 at 1:48 AM

    i have encountered with reference memory problem, that shutdowns my desktop pc.

  19. Khaleel Ahmed Khan
    2008-03-10 at 10:53 AM

    hello all,

    I have windows 2000 proffessional installed in my office machines. Every week windows patches gets installed automatically and it will prompt for reboot when I try to reboot it will get stuck at the shutting down screen. Once we do the hard reboot the system will be functioning fine. Kindly suggest how we can fix this issue.

  20. 2008-08-14 at 9:32 AM

    I came across this site and found it was exactly what I needed for my svchost problem

  21. jeff
    2008-10-03 at 8:36 PM

    I thought we had a bad stick of RAM or the OS was flaking out, but the issue was finally resolved when I uninstalled some HP software in Add/Remove Programs. Very frustrating, but I think everything is going to be okay now.

    Thanks for all the posts.

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: