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Winxp Helpsvcs.exe Starts Automagically And Hdd Thrashes

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#1 jimc48


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Posted 13 January 2007 - 11:11 PM

Hi, everyone. I am new on this forum and, of course, came here with a problem! I spent 20 years in the Navy as a Crypto Tech (electronics/computers). Retired and found a job as the tech at a local hospital where I worked for 13 years, progressing to network administrator). Lost my job to downsizing and decided to retire for real. Now it seems like I'm busier than I ever was when I was working!!!

This is a strange problem and I have been unable to find any reference to it through online searches.

At approximately 2230 in the evening, if my pc is not in use (and sometimes when it is), helpsvcs starts. The hard drive begins thrashing continuously and when I open Processes in the Windows Task Manager, I can watch Mem Usage for helpsvcs grow continually. I've seen it as high as 150MB, thus the thrashing might be caused by file swapping, but don't know for sure.

I'm running WinXP, SP1 on a Dell Dimension 8100 with 256MB of RAM, two hard drives, a CD Reader, DVD/CD Writer. I run Norton AntiVirus weekly, Full Scan, with the most recent virus definitions and it finds nothing unusual. There is nothing scheduled to start near that time of day! When I run Services.MSC, I find Help and Support but no helpsvcs service.

Don't really know what else to say about this but it is very frustrating!


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#2 resp


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Posted 14 January 2007 - 01:07 AM

Theres was a problem similar to this posted that actually came up on a google search lol Click here

might actually help you find that service in the startup list or whatever

By the way why haven't you updated to SP2 yet? its been out for a while now and it actualyl helps quite a lot with security and bugs in the system,

#3 usasma


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Posted 14 January 2007 - 10:52 AM

Without SP2 you are vulnerable to all sorts of exploits that the Norton will not protect you against. Also, without antispyware protection, you're vulnerable to that also.

That being said, when you got to SERVICES.MSC, right click on the Help and Support service and select "Properties". In the next screen you'll see the path to the executable for the Help and Support service - please note that it runs under svchost.exe.

When you start the Help and Support applet from the Start Menu, it launches processes called "HelpCtr.exe", "HelpSvc.exe", and "HelpHost.exe" on my system.

If this is occurring spontaneously on your system, then it's because something on your system is "calling" it up. This could be something scheduled in Windows, it could be something that's caused by a corruption in Windows, or it could be caused by malware.

The malware is the most likely reason here because you don't have SP2 or antispyware protection. So, the first thing to try is these 2 free, online scans to ensure that your system is clean:


I'd suggest updating to SP2 immediately - here's a link with info on doing it: http://aumha.net/viewforum.php?f=45

I'd also suggest getting some antispyware protection. Here's a link to the one I use (it's free): http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details...;displaylang=en

Let us know the results of the 2 online scans and we can move on from there.
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