Shell Hardware Detection (ShellHWDetection) Service Defaults in Windows 8

Provides notifications for AutoPlay hardware events.

Default Settings

Startup type: Automatic
Display name:Shell Hardware Detection
Service name:ShellHWDetection
Service type:share
Error control:ignore
Path:%SystemRoot%\System32\svchost.exe -k netsvcs
Registry key:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\ShellHWDetection
  • SeImpersonatePrivilege
  • SeSystemEnvironmentPrivilege

Default Behavior

Shell Hardware Detection is a Win32 service. In Windows 8 it is starting automatically during the operating system startup. Then the Shell Hardware Detection service runs as LocalSystem in a process of svchost.exe, sharing it with other services. If Shell Hardware Detection fails to load or initialize, Windows 8 startup proceeds. The error details should be added to Event Log without notifying the user.


Shell Hardware Detection can't start, if the Remote Procedure Call (RPC) service is disabled or not available.

Restore Default Startup Configuration of Shell Hardware Detection

Before you begin doing this, make sure that all the services on which Shell Hardware Detection depends are configured by default and function properly. See the list of dependencies above.

1. Run the Command Prompt as an administrator.

2. Copy the commands below, paste them into the command window and press ENTER:

sc config ShellHWDetection start= auto
sc start ShellHWDetection

3. Close the command window and restart the computer.

The ShellHWDetection service is using the shsvcs.dll file that is located in the C:\Windows\System32 directory. If the file is removed or corrupted, read this article to restore its original version from Windows 8 installation media.