Shell Hardware Detection (ShellHWDetection) Service Defaults in Windows 7

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

Default Behavior

Shell Hardware Detection is a Win32 service. In Windows 7 it is starting automatically on the operating system startup. Then the Shell Hardware Detection service is running as LocalSystem in a shared process of svchost.exe. Other system components, such as drivers and services, may run in the same process. If Shell Hardware Detection fails to load or initialize, Windows 7 startup continues without error messages. The failure details are being written into Event Log.


Shell Hardware Detection is unable to start, if the Remote Procedure Call (RPC) service is stopped or disabled.

If Shell Hardware Detection is stopped, the Windows Image Acquisition (WIA) service fails to start and initialize.

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 7 installation media.