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[SOLVED] Deleted svchost..exe .. computer won't work

This is a discussion on [SOLVED] Deleted svchost..exe .. computer won't work within the Windows XP Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. I know a lot of people don't like to read long posts, sorry, but a lot of this information is


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Old 04-14-2008, 02:42 PM   #1
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I know a lot of people don't like to read long posts, sorry, but a lot of this information is vital to fixing the problem:
I am running WindowsXP Home edition.
I've never really had to post on any forums asking for assistance with WindowsXP, but I am completely stumped at this point. Yesterday I downloaded AVG, because I was suspicious that my current anti-virus software wasn't working correctly, or wasn't filtering out viruses properly, my suspicions were correct. I found some virus in a suspicious file called 'svchost..exe'. I played around with winsock32.dll, kernel32.dll and shell32.dll to try to get rid of the virus manually. Needless to say, it screwed my internet connection up. I tried reinstalling the dll's from recovery console but no luck, so I repaired Windows (by reinstalling all of the system files with the WindowsXP disc). Afterwards I log on to my computer everything works fine for a while. So I decide to just delete the strange svchost..exe file, and everything still works fine and dandy, nor is it protected by Windows or being used. I run Hijack this! and to my surprise I find:

O4 - HKCU\..\Run: [explorer.exe] C:\WINDOWS\system32\svchost..exe

I delete it using Hijack This! as I'm sure many people would have done... then I download Windows XP Service Pack 3 RC 2, install it, and right as it finishes installing a message pops up: Access is denied. So I run regedt32.exe, change my permissions and try later, still the same problem. So it uninstalls itself and restarts my computer without asking. Upon boot up, my username password has changed, so I start up in safe mode. When I reach safe mode my start bar at the bottom is gone... so I use ctrl+alt+delete to run CMD and change the password of my username to what it was before... I restart my computer and log in as myself and the start bar is still missing. I can't drag or drop files unless I use CMD to copy/move. Half of my programs won't start up including Windows Defender and Firefox. When I navigate to system restore with file browser and I try to run it I get an error message, "System Restore is not able to protect your computer. Please restart your computer and run System Restore again." (Of course I could restart my computer 100 times and it still wouldn't work). So, in order to try last resorts I do "sfc /scannow" and "chkdsk /f" I also make a copy of svchost.exe and rename it to svchost..exe with CMD. None of those efforts were able to repair the problem. So, I load up my WindowsXP disc again, and reinstall Windows... again... I start up knowing well, "surely, reinstalling Windows will fix this problem," I was wrong. I log on to my username and I still have no start bar and half of my programs still won't load. I am officially out of ideas, and I'm guessing the problem has something to do with deleting that svchost..exe with Hijack This!

Please help. Thanks a lot to anyone who makes an effort.

Note: I deleted svchost..exe, not svchost.exe, and they were both in the system32 folder. svchost.exe is still there.
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Old 04-14-2008, 07:02 PM   #2
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No one can help? I was really counting on these forums since I've posted it in a few other places and got ignored...
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Old 04-14-2008, 07:12 PM   #3
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Hello CatGuy, Welcome to TSF!

Without giving you a lecture, the svchost.exe files can have up to 15 different reasons to be operating, as it is one of the core files in Windows® XP™; tampering with them can have catasrophic results as you have discovered.
Perhaps a 'Repair Installation' might be the way out for you if you can get your machine to boot up with the Windows® CD.
Try this method to "Repair" your installation...

(The Windows® XP CD will be required for this procedure.)
(Recovery discs are not recommended with this procedure.)

Please Note: Performing a "Repair Installation" in this manner does not delete any Personal Files, it just 'repairs' the core of the installation.

Restart the computer and as soon as it starts to 'fire up' continually tap the Delete key so that access can be made into the BIOS...once in here, reset the boot order this way...
  • CD/DVD
  • HDD (or IDE0)
  • Floppy/Other device (if you don't have a floppy).
Insert the Windows® XP SP2 CD in the Drive; then, Save and Exit the BIOS.

Reboot the computer; a screen will appear, that says... Boot from CD.... Press any key to Boot from CD...follow the instruction...it will then progress to a Blue screen and load the basic drivers.

A prompt will appear to press r to enter the Recovery Console...PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS, as another option will come up to allow the option to 'Repair' the installation, and select the partition that needs repairing... please select this option.
Once that's done, it will continue to load; then, it will want to reboot, so just let it!
The computer will then be returned to the previous "Black Screen" saying Press any key to boot from the CD... this time, DON'T...just let it reboot itself and it will then go to the next phase of the 'Repair Installation' where you will need to press F8 to agree to the Licence Agreement.

It is then a matter of following the on-screen prompts, including input of your Product Key, and 'naming' the computer...please ensure that it is the "Original" name that was used and then let Windows® install.

This process will take about 45 minutes...and it will reboot a couple of times, but do not be tempted to hit any key to boot it from the CD, or you'll be back at square one again.

Just be attentive and follow the on-screen prompts.

Just let it do its thing...now when you finally are at the Windows Desktop, power down the computer and re-enter the BIOS and change the Boot Configuration Order back to its original (default) configuration.

I hope that this cures your woes.

Post back with the results, and if there are any other queries/concerns.

Kind Regards,
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Old 04-14-2008, 07:22 PM   #4
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I've already done this twice, I also decided I would just try a few things like making a new registry string (since I deleted it in Hijack this):
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run\explorer.exe string with the contents of: C:\WINDOWS\system32\svchost..exe

No luck. This is why I am stumped, because I've already repaired Windows the way you suggested, twice! :(

I wasn't sure if it would work, but I figured it was worth a shot. I appreciate the fact that you've responded though, you're the first person to post something semi-helpful all day long on the several forums I've posted on.
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Old 04-14-2008, 07:30 PM   #5
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Ok Cat Guy,

If that's the case, can you 'slave' your HDD in another computer to retrieve your personal data?
If so, I'd suggest that you do this; then use a freeware utility like "Darik's Boot N Nuke" to totally wipe your Drive back to a RAW state where you can reinstall Windows® XP as a 'clean' installation.

The Darik's Boot N Nuke Download site. (Click the coloured link.)

Sorry its not better news.

Kind Regards,
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Old 04-14-2008, 07:33 PM   #6
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I already have KillDisk to wipe my drive and I have Linux on my slave drive, and I was afraid that would be what is suggested to do. I suppose I'll have to do that. It shouldn't be too bad though, the worse part is installing all of my major programs again since I am a heavy web/game developer. Thanks for your response.
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Old 04-14-2008, 07:36 PM   #7
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Let us know the outcome when you've finished.

Regards,
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Old 04-16-2008, 04:07 PM   #8
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For future refence:
My other drive is a Linux drive, and upon reformatting Windows I came across the problem of not being able to access/mount my Linux drive to retrieve the files that I backed up.
I talked to a few buddies, and a lot of then sent me a few different programs and some of them almost worked, but a lot of them wouldn't let me get to the /home/ folder on my Linux drive from Windows. Finally I found a program that worked:
https://www.diskinternals.com/Linux-Reader/

I was able to recover all of my files, etc, and I highly recommend this program to anyone who ever comes across the same problem, it's free.
Also: A lot of people don't think about using Windows' built in Files and Settings transfer wizard, which is able to keep a lot of your internet book marks and settings, etc.

Best of luck to anyone else who ever has this problem.
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