Troubleshooting Application error 0xc0000142 in Windows 10

April 10, 2020 |

greater than 16 minutes

There are certain unalterable truths about Windows. Well, there are certain truths that remain unalterable about Windows despite the best attempts of Microsoft. One is the certainty of periodic Windows updates, especially to Windows 10. The other is the certainty of bugs accompanying these updates. Fine, we might be exaggerating slightly here, but it is undeniable that Windows is an operating system that runs the gamut from the glorious to the absolutely annoying.

While the regular updates from Microsoft keep the OS fresh and exciting and current with the latest developments in software, each discovery of a bug seems like taking several steps backwards. Doubtless, Windows 10 would be a much better rated operating system if it wasn’t for the abundance of bugs. And to make matters worse, some of these tend to spring up from absolutely nowhere. Even the most careful of users have been blindsided by inexplicable glitches that dampen the user experience.

Even so, Windows 10 is popular for a reason. To tell the truth, its virtues far outweigh the downsides. And Microsoft tends to do its best (even if its best isn’t enough) to improve things at regular intervals. We have the feature updates that involve design tweaks and the addition of newer features that change, usually in a positive way, the way you use your system. Inevitably, there are sometimes snags that weren’t fished out before the release of a new build. The user, more often than not, has to accept things as they are.

Before we go off the rails here, let’s focus on the actual premise of this article. You’re probably reading it because the headline tells you that you can find solutions to the Esrv.exe application error 0xc0000142 that many Windows 10 users have been experiencing recently. Do forgive the philosophical ramblings; we do have solutions for you and anyone else that wishes to know how to get rid of that error message and its annoying pop-ups.

One more bite of the philosophical apple and I’m done, I promise. Bugs on Windows are generally classified into categories depending on whether their occurrence makes you grunt in irritation, grumble in frustration or gnash your teeth in red-hot anger. Luckily for you, the Esrv.exe application error 0xc0000142 isn’t in the same class as a blue screen of death. This means that despite the error code, which is a feature of BSOD errors, the Error Code 0xc0000142 bug is pretty mild in comparison.

By this point, you must be itching to get at the solution. You can always skip straight to that section, but what’s the fun in that, eh? Wouldn’t it be better to first have an idea of exactly what the error you’re dealing with is and why it is happening to you? (Hint: it isn’t karma).

What Is Esrv.exe?

Writing around three hundred years ago, the poet Alexander Pope mused on how “mighty contests rise from trivial things”. He’s right, you know. Remember how your best friend wouldn’t speak to you for days simply because you broke her favourite cup or made out with the hot boy/girl they were crushing on. Fine, that isn’t a good example, but you get the point. Right? Right.

The much-labored-over point is this: the Esrv.exe file that is causing all this trouble is a pretty trivial file in the grand scheme of things. The original Esrv.exe stood for Sony Energy Services. Yeah, we kid you not. A file that has something to do with those Sony Vaio laptops of old might be what is causing you huge irritations on Windows 10. How weird is that?

The old Esrv.exe was a Sony Corporation file and dutifully did what it was supposed to do. The modern Esrv.exe is a different beast altogether. For one, it’s got nothing to do with Sony. It is part of the Intel driver infrastructure on Windows 10 and other versions of the Windows OS. Specifically, it is linked to the Intel Driver Update Utility.

If you’re using an Intel laptop, chances are you’ve come across a driver program from Intel. This is either the Intel Driver Update Utility or the Intel Driver & Support Assistant. Under normal circumstances, Esrv.exe just quietly goes about its work in the background, monitoring energy usage and similar tasks. A process that doesn’t do much which is part of a program that doesn’t do much. Boring, huh?

Actually, from a functional standpoint, the Intel Driver Update Utility is a really boring application. It basically does nothing on the system apart from fetching the latest updates for Intel drivers. And it isn’t even accurate some of the time. Moreover, Windows has a native application (Device Manager) that can be used to update Intel drivers just as well, thank you very much.

What Causes the Esrv.exe Application Error 0xc0000142 Bug in Windows 10?

Where there is a functional overlap, conflict is usually inevitable. We’re pretty sure you and your colleague at work won’t be best buddies for much longer if you’re both saddled with doing the same thing. The same applies to the Windows 10 automatic update function and the Intel Driver Update Utility.

It has been observed that those dealing with the Error Code 0xc0000142 bug started experiencing the issue after upgrading the firmware to a feature release such as the Windows 10 Creator’s Update. As mentioned earlier, the sole function of the Intel Driver Update Utility is to find and download the latest Intel drivers for the system. Meanwhile, Windows Update tries to do exactly the same thing as part of the update process. Sometimes, it becomes a case of too many cooks spoiling the broth. The two inevitably get into conflict, causing the screen to display the Esrv.exe application error 0xc0000142 message.

Another common cause of the Error Code 0xc0000142 bug on Windows 10 is because on your system, you have older software that is interfering with the installation of the newer thing. If you’ve been living under a rock (you probably have been when it comes to technical stuff like driver programs), you might not know that Intel has rested the Intel Driver Update Utility program. In its place is the better designed Intel Driver & Support Assistant.

If you’re still using the old driver program from Intel and you have carried out a feature update to Windows 10, there is a good chance you’ll experience the Esrv.exe application error 0xc0000142. Why? Because Windows Update tries to install the new Intel program to your computer while you still have the older program that hasn’t been removed. Windows Update isn’t the brightest kid on the block when it comes to installing stuff, you see. Thus, it might make a mess of the installation.

Another cause of the Esrv.exe application error 0xc0000142 is improperly removed startup keys. To cut a complicated story short, startup keys are required for a program to load at startup. If you’ve deleted the Intel Driver Update Utility, the installation might be incomplete. Some startup keys might be left behind. These keys will call for the Esrv.exe service to run the moment you start up the system. However, with the Intel driver tool already removed, there is nothing for Windows to start. Instead, it displays the annoying Error Code 0xc0000142 message:

ESRV.EXE – Application Error: The application was unable to start correctly (0xc0000142). Click OK to close the application.

That isn’t the only startup-related reason for the Esrv.exe application error 0xc0000142 either. If there are multiple Esrv.exe files on your system, the OS might have a hard time deciding which of them to load. This is also related to the location of the Esrv.exe file. You’re likely to find the file in C:\\Program Files\\Intel Driver Update Utility\\SUR\\x64. However, the location may change after the old Intel driver program is replaced by the new one. If the old files aren’t expunged, there may end up being duplicate or triplicate Esrv.exe in your system. In such a situation where the OS can’t decide which one of them to load, it simply gives up and displays the Esrv.exe application error 0xc0000142 message instead.

Malware is one more reason that the annoying Esrv.exe pop-up can appear. This might seem surprising, but it really isn’t. You see, hackers have become adept at disguising things and making them serve their nefarious interests. A file such as Esrv.exe is of secondary importance to Windows. The hackers bank on this knowledge to disguise their malicious files as Esrv.exe. Basically, they can rename the malware to make users believe it is a legitimate process. If they succeed in infiltrating the computer, the user’s personal information and the system itself become compromised. Not to mention the malware will interfere with the normal running of programs.

As you can see, there is more than one cause of the Esrv.exe application error 0xc0000142. Usually, you should be able to figure out the reason why you’re getting the error using the section above as a guide. In any case, the solution to the error is closely tied to the common causes. You can always make Esrv.exe start up properly, and the issue will go away. Otherwise, removing the parent program for Esrv.exe and all associated files is another way to solve the issue.

How to Fix Error Code 0xc0000142 in Windows 10

Annoying is an understatement when used to describe the Esrv.exe application errors in Windows 10. They aren’t terminal, unlike BSODs, but they are incredibly irritating. They affect the user experience through frequent pop-ups and basically make many people give up using their systems until they have been serviced.

With the right information, you can make solving the Esrv.exe pop-up issue on Windows 10 a real piece of cake. You won’t even need to break a sweat to make it go away for good.

The solutions given here have been tried and tested by us. It is not hyperbole to say we trust these fixes to work for everyone as they worked for us. If you’re a stickler for rules, here’s one: we recommend you test out the fixes in the order they’re presented. If you’re not, you’re free to dive right in, trying out whichever fix you believe will give you the best solution in the fastest time.

Fix 1: Replace the Old Intel Driver Update Utility with the New Intel Driver & Support Assistant

There is a saying that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks. Many have tried to disprove this; by and large, they’ve failed. Some even ended up being bitten by the old dog.

What has this got to do with solving the Esrv.exe application error 0xc0000142? A lot, actually. We’ve already mentioned how the Intel Driver Update Utility is Intel’s old software for driver updates. There’s your old dog, folks. Apparently, the tool is so old that it simply stopped working like it used to. Many users gave up on it after trying unsuccessfully to make it do what it was supposed to do. Simple things like updating Intel drivers became a herculean task. And when it does succeed in updating, it sometimes makes a mess of the installation.

The Intel Driver Update Utility quickly became an eyesore to the point that even the developer wanted nothing to do with it. Intel abandoned the old dog and brought out a new one to be admired by Windows 10 users and everyone else. The Intel Driver & Support Assistant replaced the older utility. According to the testimony of multiple users, it performs way better than its predecessors.

Therefore, if you’re currently grappling with Esrv.exe application error 0xc0000142 issues, your old Intel Driver Update Utility might be to blame. You can get rid of the error by simply replacing the old utility tool with the new Intel Driver & Support Assistant.

  1. First of all, you must launch the Intel Driver Update Utility. Look for it on your desktop and double-click the icon to launch.
  2. Assuming you’re connected to the internet, you’ll get a notification explaining that an upgrade is present for the software.
  3. Click the Install button to proceed to update the assistant.
  4. Wait for the program to finish updating itself. You might have to restart the program once the update is complete.
  5. Before you do anything else, you have to check for the effectiveness of the update. Are you still getting code 0xc0000142 errors? If not, that’s the issue solved right there and you can relax.
  6. If the error still pops up like an annoying weather report, simply upgrade the software to the new one from Intel.
  7. Go to the Intel download center and download the latest version of the Intel Driver & Support Assistant for your Windows 10 machine. The .exe file you download must be compatible with your operating system and be the correct architecture.
  8. When you’re done, you need to give the software time to settle down so it can work properly. This means you should reboot the PC.

After doing all this, you’ll most likely find that the pop-ups related to the Error Code 0xc0000142 bug aren’t appearing anymore.

Fix 2: Uninstall the Intel Driver Update Utility

What do doctors do with a malfunctioning organ? They either patch it up or replace it with a healthy one, that’s what. In some cases, there is simply no patching up to be done for the Intel Driver Update Utility. It simply keeps causing multiple annoying pop-ups each day, courtesy of its Esrv.exe process. In that case, surgical removal is the best thing.

Of course, the metaphor doesn’t really hold water. For one thing, neither the Esrv.exe process nor either of the two driver updating tools from Intel is critical or crucial to the operating system. Strictly speaking, they’re more of add-ons than anything integral. We’ve mentioned how there is at least one alternative method to update drivers in Windows 10.

Thus, if you’re desperately looking for a way to get rid of the Esrv.exe application error 0xc0000142 pop-ups, removing the utility altogether can relieve you of your worries.

  1. Open programs and processes have been known to interfere with uninstalling applications in Windows 10. Therefore, to successfully remove the driver update tool from Intel, you must ensure there are no related processes running in Task Manager.
  2. Open Task Manager via any of the popular methods, such as selecting it from Windows 10’s hidden menu (Win Key+X).
  3. Look for any process related to either the Intel Driver Update Utility or the Intel Driver & Support Assistant depending on which software you have. Right-click and select End Task on every process you find.
  4. Any other Intel process found in Task Manager should be terminated as well.
  5. You’re now ready to remove the driver update utility. Hover your mouse over the Start Menu icon and right-click the icon.
  6. Select Control Panel from the menu that is displayed.
  7. Change the “View by” mode in the Control Panel window to Category.
  8. Now click the “Uninstall a program” link under Programs.
  9. Look for the Intel driver update tool you need to delete. This could be the Intel Driver Update Utility or the Intel Driver & Support Assistant or both. Right-click the program and select Uninstall.
  10. Follow the uninstallation process to completion. If you have both the older and newer tools, removing one can solve your problem. If that doesn’t work, reboot the machine, return to the “Uninstall a program” window in Control Panel, and remove the other one as well.

If this method fixed the issue, great. You can keep the driver update tool from Intel off your PC and enjoy some bug-free computing for a change. In any case, you don’t need the utility anyway. Windows will automatically update the Intel drivers on your computer as part of any new update.

Fix 3: Adjust Proxy Settings with Command Prompt

When you get persistent Esrv.exe application errors, it can be due to an issue with the proxy settings on your computer. If there is an issue connecting to the net, the process might not work normally, and neither would its parent program. After all, checking for new Intel driver updates and installing them requires internet access.

There are several methods to check your proxy settings in Windows 10. If you’re comfortable with using the Command Prompt, we recommend this method due to its ease.

  1. Press the Windows key + X to bring up the Windows Tools menu.
  2. Select Command Prompt (Admin) from the list to run CMD with administrative privileges.
  3. In the elevated Command Prompt window, type “ winhttp show proxy” without quotes and hit the Enter key.

What you do next depends on the result. If it shows that there’s nothing amiss with your proxy settings, you’ll have to look elsewhere for a solution to the Error Code 0xc0000142 bug.

Fix 4: Remove Malware with Auslogics Anti-Malware

No sooner does Microsoft patch a security flaw in Windows 10 than cyber criminals give the organization a fresh headache by creating yet another series of malware. While this back and forth might be interesting to security analysts, the rest of us just want our systems to be safe to use.

Wishes aren’t horses, however. Hackers can use the names of legitimate system processes to dupe the OS into letting the infectious files off the hook. Esrv.exe isn’t exempt from this misuse. Although it isn’t a core system file, hackers can still name a virus “Esrv.exe” and use it to steal personal information or mine data.

Therefore, it is imperative that your system is kept protected all the time. There are a zillion security software tools on the market, each one proclaiming itself the best digital crime catcher since the days of Sherlock Holmes. For the best results, it is hard to look past Auslogics Anti-Malware.

This program packs a serious punch and delivers repeated blows to malware, Trojans, rootkits, ransomware, and other forms of malicious programs until it boxes them into submission. It is not your run-of-the-mill program; it uses advanced security algorithms to fish out dangerous items from your machine no matter where they’re hidden.

For issues like the Error Code 0xc0000142 bug on Windows, running Auslogics Anti-Malware ensures that a virus isn’t running amok in the background. For example, if there is more than one Esrv.exe process running in Task Manager, one of them might be a virus. You can check out the location of the files to determine which is a culprit. Any Esrv.exe process that doesn’t originate from the Intel folder in Program Files is automatically suspect.

With Auslogics Anti-Malware installed and providing real-time protection — either singly or in conjunction with your primary antivirus — it will become impossible for malware to infect your computer in the guise of genuine Esrv.exe or any other Windows file.

Fix 5: Update Intel Drivers with Third-Party Software

There is no doubt that drivers are the lifeblood of hardware-software interaction. Without them, the OS would be speaking French and the hardware English and there would be no interpreter. Even then, an interpreter who isn’t good at their job can cause communication breakdowns. In the same vein, drivers need to be kept up to date all the time.

This is true of Intel drivers. They need to be updated regularly so the hardware can run in an efficient manner. Therefore, Intel added the driver updater tool to Intel laptops running Windows 10. The tool is meant to regularly check for the latest drivers and install them when available.

However, if the Intel Driver Update Utility keeps misbehaving, leading to constant Error Code 0xc0000142 pop-ups, you can simply remove it and use an alternative program for driver updates. We get it, Intel software is the safest for installing and updating Intel drivers. However, the safest and most convenient aren’t the same thing.

Enter Auslogics Driver Updater to save you from headaches over whether to remove the driver download tool by Intel. Auslogics Driver Updater will bring your Intel drivers up to date at the click of a button. The software is created to minimize confusion with regard to the appropriate drivers for each OS and architecture. It only downloads and installs the drivers that perfectly match your version of Windows, the hardware model, and system architecture.

Once you’ve installed Auslogics Driver Updater, making it work for you is as easy as ABC. Simply click the large green button, and the program will scan your PC and fetch the latest version of the drivers installed on your PC. From there, it’s up to you whether to update singly or bring everything up to date with a single click. You can unlock a one-click mass driver update for a few quid.

Fix 6: Repair or Replace the Esrv.exe File with Windows Update

Windows updates can solve a variety of issues. Each new update comes with security fixes and patches that close vulnerabilities and solve bugs. If the Error Code 0xc0000142 is running amok on your PC, you can update Windows and see if that makes a positive difference.

Another reason is that for major feature updates, Windows updates the hardware drivers as part of the process. Therefore, the latest update can replace any damaged Intel driver files, including Esrv.exe, with updated and clean ones.

  1. Press the Windows key to bring up the Start Menu.
  2. Click Settings (or the gear icon).
  3. Select Update & Security.
  4. Select Windows Update in the left sidebar.
  5. Click the “Check for updates” link in the right pane.
  6. Windows will start downloading available updates and prompt you to reboot your PC so it can install them.

After the post-update reboot, you should hopefully have seen the last of the annoying Esrv.exe application error 0xc0000142 pop-ups.

Fix 7: Rename Additional Esrv.exe Files

If your laptop uses an Intel chip, there should be more than one Esrv.exe file on the system. Generally, that doesn’t matter and neither do you need to know what each one is for or when each runs in the background.

However, since they’re pretty much the same thing, perhaps the system requires just one to work with. For those who keep struggling with the Error Code 0xc0000142 bug despite the fixes above, renaming the Esrv.exe files has been presented as a solution.

  1. Launch the Windows File Explorer by clicking its icon on the taskbar.
  2. Go to the root of your main drive. It should be the one containing the Windows installation directory.
  3. In the search box on the top right of the explorer window, type “Esrv.exe” to find all occurrences of the file name.
  4. The search results will be displayed for you. Ignore the top result and rename the rest of the Esrv.exe files to something else. To do this, right-click an occurrence and select the Rename option. Add “.old” to the file name. “.old” functions as a redundant extension that instructs Windows to ignore the file. When you’re done, there should be only one file left named “Esrv.exe”.

Simple. Reboot your PC, and everything should be fine.

Fix 8: Completely Remove Esrv.exe Leftover Startup Keys with Autoruns

Autoruns is a program that helps to remove stubborn leftovers in Windows. When an application is uninstalled, the startup keys, registry entries, etc. get deleted too. However, some of them leave leftovers that interfere with Windows operation.

The OS can be tricked by the leftover startup keys into thinking that the program is still installed on the machine. This inevitably leads to errors, such as the Esrv.exe application error 0xc0000142. With Autoruns, you can remove these startup keys for good. Here’s how:

  1. Download Autoruns from the Microsoft Documents site. Click the Download Autoruns and Autorunsc link to begin the download. The file size should be about 1.6MB.
  2. Unzip the download to any accessible location on the machine.
  3. Double-click Autoruns.exe in the extracted folder.
  4. Autoruns will load all the startup items on the PC. You’ll find them under the Everything list.
  5. Search for leftover items associated with Esrv.exe. Press Ctrl + F to open the Find bar, then type “esrv.exe” in the box and click the Find Next button.
  6. Once the occurrences of the search term are highlighted, right-click the first one and select Delete. Repeat the steps in the previous bullet and keep deleting all items until none are left.
  7. When you’ve successfully deleted everything relevant to Esrv.exe, close Autoruns and reboot the system.

Parting Shots

That’s all from us on how to fix the Esrv.exe issue on Windows 10. When the Esrv.exe application error 0xc0000142 pop-ups show up, clicking OK to close the notification merely brings a temporary respite. However, with the fixes provided in this guide, the Error Code 0xc0000142 bug will be permanently fixed.

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