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Microsoft Windows is an extremely popular operating system for both businesses and home users, with a variety of different products and software that works with the operating system and other software. The two most recent versions are Windows Vista and Windows 7.
Many users of Windows have experienced the downfalls of the OS with different issues that crop up from time to time. The problem is that not a lot of information is given for what is happening or what could possibly be causing it. Vista users had many complaints about the system, as it could hog memory and CPU power that could be used elsewhere. The one thing that some Vista users may have experienced was that of an error message that read 'host process for Windows services stopped working and was closed'.
This message of course does not go into detail about what the possible problem could be nor where the issue would be coming from. As with many of the Windows error messages, this one leaves a user frustrated and confused about what their computer is doing.
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Host Process and Windows Services
What exactly is a host process for Windows? In general, this host process is what Windows uses for many of its services that are run on your computer through the various versions. These services are Automatic Updates, themes, plug and play, Windows Firewall, and others. In most cases, this is a general executable file that helps to find the services that need to be started when your computer is turned on. It helps to start services such as versions of Office, your antivirus program, Adobe products, and others.
For many Windows Vista users, they tended to receive the error code that the host process for Windows has stopped working and was closed in regards to a particular application or software product. In the early days when Vista was first released, many of the applications that people used on a daily or weekly basis may not have worked on the new operating system or the version that they were using was not up to date for the new OS.
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Troubleshooting with Event Viewer
To discover what could be causing your issue, check the Event Viewer. To access it in Windows Vista, click on the START button and to the Control Panel. Depending on how you have the view (either classic or Vista), you will either select Administrative Tools (classic view) or System and Maintenance. In System, click the 'view logs' link under Administrative Tools.
Alternatively, you can type in 'event viewer' in the search bar within the START Menu.
Within the Event Viewer, click the Applications and Services folder and the Windows folder. Go through and find any service that has a red X, along with the word 'error'. Look for the events that happened around the time that you first received the error. One of the biggest issues was that of Windows Vista and Norton's Security. When a user uninstalled Norton's, sometimes files and folders from the software did not get uninstalled and it can cause issues with the Windows built-in firewall and it's Defender application (now known as Security Essentials).
The remedy for this is to make sure that your Norton software is completely uninstalled. There are a variety of program removers such a Revo Uninstaller and CCleaner that do a very good job of making sure programs completely remove themselves from the system. These and other can be found at Download.com.
Other issues included the ATI Catalyst center for ATI graphics cards, bad driver installs, thumb drives, and card readers. The best way to avoid this error message is to make sure that your applications and software are updated for Vista and that Windows Vista itself is updated to the latest version of its security pack.