Over the past few weeks I have been plagued with a Generic Host Error, whilst online using a dial-up connection. Windows popped up the warning, (Generic Host Process for WIN32 Services has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience…), shortly afterwards, my internet connection froze – and ‘disconnect’ didn’t work. I could only redial after a reboot – and then, usually within a few minutes, I got the same error again. Hugely frustrating!
After trawling the forums, (for days!), I came up with the following. I’m still not sure what is going on here – thoughts vary from dodgy printer drivers to online attacks, from Windows Image Acquisition to open ports exploited by ‘worms’ or ‘malware’ – plus countless other theories!
Thanks to all the forum contributors – here’s what worked for me on Windows XP SP2. If you are still running Windows XP without SP2, most pundits recommend that you do not install SP2 until you are adware, malware, spyware & virus free.
Assuming you are running SP2, ensure Windows firewall is active, then connect to the internet to download:
· Crap Cleaner www.cleaner.com
· Firewall Leak Tester www.firewallleaktester.com/tools/wwdc.exe
· Spybot Search & Destroy www.spybot.com
· AVG Free www.grisoft.com
· Ad-Aware SE Personal www.lavasoft.com
· Microsoft Hotfix support.microsoft.com/kb/894391
· Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool www.microsoft.com/security/malwareremove/default.mspx
After downloading, disconnect from the internet
As this problem is closely linked to the activities of Windows file svchost.exe, you may like to use Windows Explorer to search for this file – the only valid version should be in the windows\system32 folder.
- Install Microsoft Hotfix 894391
- Run Malicious Software Removal Tool
- Run Firewall Leak Tester – close open ports and reboot
- Install & Run Crap Cleaner to remove temporary/junk files
- Install Spybot Search & Destroy, connect to the internet and update Spybot files
- Reboot into Safe Mode
- Run Spybot scan and reboot
- Install Ad-Aware, connect to the internet and update file definitions
- Reboot into Safe Mode
- Run Ad-Aware scan
- Install Grisoft’s AVG Free, connect to the internet and update the virus definitions
- Run AVG Free
- Connect to Microsoft Update to install the latest critical updates (including SP2 if not already installed)
- Check that your firewall and security software is active
And that’s it. As I say, it worked for me – (touch wood) my internet connection is solid and no more ‘freeze ups’. Of course it may not work for you. As a final note – be very careful about which security software you use. I believe that all of the above are fine but there are many programs out there which claim to fix registry errors; they scan your system and totally exaggerate the threats. Then of course, you have to pay to activate the cleanup part of the program.
Best of luck – this particular problem drove me up the wall for weeks!