Help and Support causes Windows XP to stop responding


When you start Help and Support, your computer may become slow or may stop responding. After several minutes, the computer may respond normally.


This problem may occur if the Helpsvc.exe process exhausts your computer resources. The Helpsvc.exe process may use up to 100% of the CPU resources on your computer for several minutes. To view CPU usage for Helpsvc.exe, start the Task Manager, and then click the Processes tab.


Service pack information

To resolve this problem, obtain the latest service pack for Microsoft Windows XP. For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322389 How to obtain the latest Windows XP service pack

Hotfix information

A supported hotfix is available from Microsoft. However, this hotfix is intended to correct only the problem that is described in this article. Apply this hotfix only to systems that are experiencing this specific problem. This hotfix might receive additional testing. Therefore, if you are not severely affected by this problem, we recommend that you wait for the next software update that contains this hotfix.

If the hotfix is available for download, there is a "Hotfix download available" section at the top of this Knowledge Base article. If this section does not appear, contact Microsoft Customer Service and Support to obtain the hotfix.

Note If additional issues occur or if any troubleshooting is required, you might have to create a separate service request. The usual support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for this specific hotfix. For a complete list of Microsoft Customer Service and Support telephone numbers or to create a separate service request, visit the following Microsoft Web site: Note The "Hotfix download available" form displays the languages for which the hotfix is available. If you do not see your language, it is because a hotfix is not available for that language.

The English version of this hotfix has the file attributes (or later) that are listed in the following table. The dates and times for these files are listed in coordinated universal time (UTC). When you view the file information, it is converted to local time. To find the difference between UTC and local time, use the Time Zone tab in the Date and Time tool in Control Panel.

Date Time Version Size File name Platform
15-Apr-2004 01:59 2,435 Dataspec.xml IA-64
15-Apr-2004 02:07 5.1.2600.1517 2,636,288 Helpsvc.exe IA-64
15-Apr-2004 02:00 2,435 Dataspec.xml x86
15-Apr-2004 22:02 5.1.2600.1517 703,488 Helpsvc.exe x86


Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section. This problem was first corrected in Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2.

More Information

For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

824684 Description of the standard terminology that is used to describe Microsoft software updates


Article ID: 839017 - Last Review: Oct 23, 2008 - Revision: 1