Protected Storage (ProtectedStorage) Service Defaults in Windows XP

Provides protected storage for sensitive data, such as private keys, to prevent access by unauthorized services, processes, or users.

Default Settings

Startup type: Automatic
Display name:Protected Storage
Service name:ProtectedStorage
Error control:normal
Registry key:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\ProtectedStorage

Default Behavior

In Windows XP it is starting automatically along with the operating system. If the Protected Storage fails to start, the technical information about the error is added to the Event Log. Windows XP startup should proceed, but a message box should be displayed informing the user that the ProtectedStorage service has failed to start.


Protected Storage depends on the Remote Procedure Call (RPC) service.

Restore Default Startup Configuration of Protected Storage

Before you begin doing this, make sure that all the services on which Protected Storage 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 ProtectedStorage start= auto
sc start ProtectedStorage

3. Close the command window and restart the computer.

The ProtectedStorage service is using the lsass.exe 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.