Shell Hardware Detection (ShellHWDetection) Service Defaults in Windows XP

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

Default Behavior

Shell Hardware Detection is a Win32 service. In Windows XP it is starting automatically along with the operating system. Then the Shell Hardware Detection service is running as LocalSystem in a shared process of svchost.exe. Other services and drivers are allowed to run in the same process. If the Shell Hardware Detection fails to load or initialize, Windows XP start up proceeds without error messages, but information about the failure is being written into Event Log.


Shell Hardware Detection depends on the Remote Procedure Call (RPC) service.

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.

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 XP installation media.