On a computer that is running Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2, the conhost.exe process crashes when an application exits. When the issue occurs, the computer might stop responding.
Note The following steps describe the process that leads to the crash:
A grandparent process has console handles.
The grandparent process starts a parent process.
The parent process closes output/error console handles.
The parent process starts at least one child process.
A child process creates new output/error console handles.
This child process closes the new console handles or exits.
Some other child process or the grandparent process tries to use a console handle, and the Conhost.exe process crashes.
A parent process has console handles.
The parent process closes output/error console handle.
The parent process starts more than one child process.
A child process allocates new output/error console handles.
All the child process try to close the allocated console handles.
This issue occurs because of a reference-counting problem in the csrss.exe process for console handles. The csrss.exe process that maintains the reference count for console buffers is wrong, and the output buffer is freed prematurely.
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 the problem that is described in this article. 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 website:
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.
To apply this hotfix, you must be running one of the following operating systems:
Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1)
Windows Server 2008 R2
Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (SP1)
To use the hotfix in this package, you do not have to make any changes to the registry.
You must restart the computer after you apply this hotfix.
Hotfix replacement information
This hotfix does not replace a previously released hotfix.
The global version of this hotfix installs files that have the attributes that are listed in the following tables. The dates and the times for these files are listed in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). The dates and the times for these files on your local computer are displayed in your local time together with your current daylight saving time (DST) bias. Additionally, the dates and the times may change when you perform certain operations on the files.
Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 file information notes
Important Windows 7 hotfixes and Windows Server 2008 R2 hotfixes are included in the same packages. However, hotfixes on the Hotfix Request page are listed under both operating systems. To request the hotfix package that applies to one or both operating systems, select the hotfix that is listed under "Windows 7/Windows Server 2008 R2" on the page. Always refer to the "Applies To" section in articles to determine the actual operating system that each hotfix applies to.
The files that apply to a specific product, SR_Level (RTM, SPn), and service branch (LDR, GDR) can be identified by examining the file version numbers as shown in the following table.
Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2
Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2
GDR service branches contain only those fixes that are widely released to address widespread, very important issues. LDR service branches contain hotfixes in addition to widely released fixes.
The MANIFEST files (.manifest) and the MUM files (.mum) that are installed for each environment are listed separately in the "Additional file information for Windows Server 2008 R2 and for Windows 7" section. MUM and MANIFEST files, and the associated security catalog (.cat) files, are extremely important to maintain the state of the updated components. The security catalog files, for which the attributes are not listed, are signed with a Microsoft digital signature.
For all supported x86-based versions of Windows 7
For all supported x64-based versions of Windows 7 and of Windows Server 2008 R2
For all supported IA-64-based versions of Windows Server 2008 R2
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.
For more information about software update terminology, 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
Additional file information
Additional file information for Windows 7 and for Windows Server 2008 R2
Additional files for all supported x86-based versions of Windows 7