Windows Update Broke My Machine (svchost.exe -- application error), and How to Fix It Kinda... ~ Ask The Admin

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Windows Update Broke My Machine (svchost.exe -- application error), and How to Fix It Kinda...

error x windowsOne of my Windows XP SP 2 machines on my domain started spitting the following message at me after logon. Any choice this dialog gives me that I choose, the machine becomes unusable. If I move the box out of the way the machines operation continues normally. The dialog just hangs there

svchost.exe -- application error the instruction at "0x745f2780" reference memory at "0x00000000". the memory could not be 'read'
Looking into the event log yielded the following:

Faulting application svchost.exe, version 5.1.2600.2180, faulting module msi.dll, version 3.1.4000.2435, fault address 0x00012780
I Googled it and searched around some other sources and found others with similar issues. Now, how I fixed it and why it broke in the first place are two very separate things.

First I read alot about it having to do with WSUS and Office updates which we are doing. So this is what I did:
  1. Reboot into safemode
  2. Rename the directory SoftwareDistribution to SdistOLD (In your \windows directory)
  3. Delete the files in your prefetch folder also in windows.
  4. Turn off auto update service (disable)
  5. If you are using WSUS turn off classifications for Office products.
  6. Reboot normally and if the error does not show up do a windows update from the website.
  7. If the error came back reboot and try again.
  8. Turn auto updates back on... Leave off office updates.
This has solved my problems but I now do my office updates via script or manually.

If I figure anything else out I will post it. But at least now the problem is gone.

Questions? Comments? Hit em up in the comments kiddies!