Windows 10 Task Host Window

Cycloid Torus

Posts: 4,822   +1,639
Tried to turn off system last night (3/14), but Windows refused.

" Task Host Window: “Closing 1 app and shutting down (To go back and save your work, click Cancel and finish what you need to). Task Host is stopping background tasks. (Microsoft\Windows\DeviceDirectoryClient\RegisterUserDevice) "

Since it just sat there doing nothing for longer than I have patience for at midnight, I cancelled and googled for the issue. Results included such fixes as in place repair, sfc /scannow, DISM, clean install, etc. Many of these from MVPs on Microsoft forum.

NOT

What I finally figured out was that, being Patch Tuesday, Windows had begun to begin to begin updating. The 'background task' was something to do with BITS. Nothing indicated that it was doing so. No CPU, HDD, Network or Memory activity. It was in the peculiar situation I now label as "PATCH FUGUE" (def: a state or period of loss of awareness of one's identity, often coupled with flight from one's usual environment, associated with certain forms of hysteria and epilepsy ).

I proceeded to close down - and left it 'blue screened' (not BSOD, just hung). In the night it settled itself - and when I rebooted, I found a failed update which had hidden in the rubble of the previous shutdown.

Anyone have further insight?
 
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DelJo63

Just that Task Host is the hub for all of the Scheduled Tasks in the system (on Unix it's like Chron or AT). The issue for shutdown not stopping is frustrating, but can be a design feature of some tasks - - they intercept the Terminate signal by design and ignore it.
 

Cycloid Torus

Posts: 4,822   +1,639
Just that Task Host is the hub for all of the Scheduled Tasks in the system (on Unix it's like Chron or AT). The issue for shutdown not stopping is frustrating, but can be a design feature of some tasks - - they intercept the Terminate signal by design and ignore it.
Thank you. I had an inkling of that. I do rather wonder why it would be an 'information void' when a simple 'updating' might do better. At least to keep the over-vigilant (like me) from messing around to 'fix' it. "Closing 1 app" when there is no open app is puzzling.

I googled and found huge amounts of 'helpful' advice.. none of which suggested 'leave it alone'.

I wonder how many folks get into breaking things when they try to 'fix'.
 

holdum323

Posts: 1,721   +452
Hi Actually MS gave you some good things to try IMHO; if the update hadn't completed. Glad you got the issue solved.
Those things in post #1 from MS are all good things to try. ;) Of course letting the update complete was your solution this time.(y)
"Since it just sat there doing nothing for longer than I have patience for at midnight, I cancelled and googled for the issue. Results included such fixes as in place repair, sfc /scannow, DISM, clean install, etc. Many of these from MVPs on Microsoft forum."
 

Cycloid Torus

Posts: 4,822   +1,639
Hi Actually MS gave you some good things to try IMHO; if the update hadn't completed. Glad you got the issue solved.
Those things in post #1 from MS are all good things to try. ;) Of course letting the update complete was your solution this time.(y)
"Since it just sat there doing nothing for longer than I have patience for at midnight, I cancelled and googled for the issue. Results included such fixes as in place repair, sfc /scannow, DISM, clean install, etc. Many of these from MVPs on Microsoft forum."
The point being that MS forum had given numerous wrong 'fixes' without a hint of the right one. There was no idea of a 'stealthed' running update as it was. I'm beginning to wonder if more of the problems we are being asked about may arise from 'hidden' updates resulting in this 'fugue' state. If you do not know that your machine is so busy doing a background task that it does not operate properly, you might try to 'fix' it. It that case "in place repair, sfc /scannow, DISM, clean install, etc. " are NOT good things to try.
 

holdum323

Posts: 1,721   +452
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DelJo63

Hi! There's nothing wrong with a in-place- repair. That's just a over the top install of windows and fixes a lot of problems; sfc /scannow ,DISM is always a good thing to try.
EXCEPT when it is neither necessary nor applicable.
 

Cycloid Torus

Posts: 4,822   +1,639
Hi I attached a link that tells you how to know if Windows update is running.
I read "Recovery options in Windows 10" and saw nothing which does that. Did I miss something?

Here's an excellent guide to fixing Windows Update issues: Win 10, 8,1 & 7
Very good. Looks like it affords excellent help for an update which is clearly off the rails. However, it does not help to discover if there is a hung / in process Windows update.

All this stuff fixes what is broken. My problem occurs when it looks/behaves broken, but it isn't. To even run the update troubleshooter, one must realize that it is the update that is hung. Otherwise, the user could easily fall into the trap of applying several unnecessary fixes. Granted doing a restore, or a repair, an sfc scan, a chkdsk scan or even a clean install should not hurt anything except be a terrific waste of time.

I fear that the real lack in this, is the absence of clear disclosure of system state when closing down...all I got was a clear blue screen with 'shutting down' pasted in the center.

One comment (10forums) was that Microsoft\Windows\DeviceDirectoryClient\RegisterUserDevice = 'looking for a server'

This makes some sense in the Patch Tuesday rush. Would be nice if Microsoft stated that. It would be nice if Update Service would give you a numbered ticket and let you wait in line (seemingly forever .. only 1,245,327 ahead of you) like the Deli counter at my grocer's.

Thanks for the thoughts!
 

holdum323

Posts: 1,721   +452
Capture25.JPG Hi This is the best I can do for you.;) MS is trying to get along with us.
 
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DelJo63

Very good. Looks like it affords excellent help for an update which is clearly off the rails. However, it does not help to discover if there is a hung / in process Windows update.
That's one difficult nut to crack. If it's hung, you can't tap it on the shoulder and even politely ask "are sick or well?"

IF you can get to the task monitor, for an active task you might see cpu / net / disk activity - - may be.

If truly hung, it should show as not responding
 

learninmypc

Posts: 9,404   +703
I've seen that "Task Host Window: “Closing 1 app and shutting down (To go back and save your work, click Cancel and finish what you need to)." but before I got a chance to do anything, it rebooted. Thank you @Cycloid Torus for the knowledge :)
 

Cycloid Torus

Posts: 4,822   +1,639
That's one difficult nut to crack. If it's hung, you can't tap it on the shoulder and even politely ask "are sick or well?"

IF you can get to the task monitor, for an active task you might see cpu / net / disk activity - - may be.

If truly hung, it should show as not responding
That is the odd thing. I think it is a stealthed background program (like a pre-BITS loader) - so there is NO record... Task Manager was zeroed for CPU and HDD and Network... and memory showed no changes. I think it was hung waiting for a server to come available...so this stealthed background was in a holding pattern waiting for a server so it could begin to begin the process which would lead to an update. Back and forth it stayed that way for 30 minutes. Then I gave up, hit the 'kill it' button and watched a cheery blue screen saying 'shutting down' and doing nothing while I did necessary things in the bath and trundled off to my wee bed - at some hour in the night I guess it got a server and did something or other, as I found a failed update in the morning.
So my new rule for handling Task Window is to leave it alone for 6 hours before doing anything - which, come to think of it, is how I handle Windows 7 updates as they can break for a 3 hour lunch at any time.
 

holdum323

Posts: 1,721   +452
Hi @Cycloid Torus I searched all over the network for "Task Host Windows" You are right my friend; there's not a good answer for dealing with this. I agree with every thing you said about this. Well done.(y) It's really sad that MS hasn't come up with a better solution and suggestion for this issue. I guess the reason I've never seen this, is because I click on "Check for Updates" and go ahead and install them. I don't wait for the automatic updates. Again I say well done my friend. I learned some thing from your thread. I hope MS is watching TS and takes notice of your thread and learns from it like I have.;)
PS After more searching, it has become very clear to me, that MS doesn't have a clue what "Task Host Windows" is ROFL MS techs are like the blind leading the blind and they get paid for what we do free.
 
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DelJo63

I think it was hung waiting for a server to come available...so this stealthed background was in a holding pattern waiting for a server so it could begin to begin the process which would lead to an update.
If that were true, it would have been in a condition that would have allowed the T.H. to kill it :)
 

holdum323

Posts: 1,721   +452
Cool! Not thinking well this morning.:DThanks for your reply!
Task Host Window is an intelligent windows program which pops up when you attempt to Shut Down windows. The reason why it pops up is due to the running processes and programs in the background; when you initiate shutdown or reboot, task host interrupts the process to check if all running programs were closed to avoid data loss, the pop up would also show you which programs were running. An example of this, would be a notepad file or a word file open, whilst it’s open if you attempt to shut down, Task Host window will be shown.
 
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DelJo63

I have dumb question. Why didn't Task Host show and identify that a update was running?:D
It's hard to understand that choice by MS. The task IS visible in the taskmgr but task host elects to not show it :gulp:

[edit] the task name is wuauserv and / or intelligent installer [/edit]
 

holdum323

Posts: 1,721   +452
Yes, I am sure we knew all of that from the conversation above. Thanks anyway.
Just trying to learn and be helpful. I have never seen Task Host pop-up. I have seen warnings about programs running when I shut down, but I rarely shut my PC down. Maybe I just missed the "Task Host" warning or ignored it. I have learned a lot. Thanks everyone!
Good thread!
 
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