Cryptographic Services error, can't install Windows Updates

I am having a problem with Cryptographic Services, I can't seem to get it to start. This is causing a slew of problem including not being able to install a few Windows Updates that I need, not being able to install Microsoft Security Essentials, and Windows Defender service not being able to start.

I tried repairing the database at first, it repaired like 500 errors. But then I still saw an error in the Event Viewer when I started Cryptographic Services. So I tried the second step of stopping the service, deleting the catroot2 folder, starting the service, then running the database repair. This time the database repair did not run at all, stopping on error:

"esentutl (1168) An attempt to open the file "C:\Windows\System32\catroot2\{F750E6C3-38EE-11D1-85E5-00C04FC295EE}\catdb" for read only access failed with system error 32 (0x00000020): "The process cannot access the file because it is being used by another process. ".  The open file operation will fail with error -1032 (0xfffffbf8)."

I have uploaded my errors from Windows event viewer into skydrive:^_1.12.11/logs0111211.evtx

PS: I had Event service disabled for a while because I was told by someone it would fix a problem and it actually didn't, so there is a gap in time but you should still see all the errors I've been having.

Thanks for your help!


Question Info

Last updated October 2, 2018 Views 4,011 Applies to:
I have no antivirus...installed

And that's why you are seeing the effects of a hijackware infection! See...

     Cleaning a Compromised System

Back-up any personal data (none of which should be considered 100% trustworthy at this point) then format the HDD & do a clean install of Windows. Please note that a Repair Install (AKA in-place upgrade) will NOT fix this!

HOW TO do a clean install of Win7: See the "Using the Custom installation option and formatting the hard disk" (or the "Reinstalling Windows 7") section of

NOTE: If your computer didn't come with a set of disks, there will be a hidden Recovery partition (not to be confused with System Restore) you would use to do the clean install (AKA a "destructive recovery").

After the clean install, you will have the equivalent of a "new computer" so take care of EVERYTHING on the following page BEFORE otherwise connecting the machine to the internet or a local network (i.e., other computers) AND BEFORE connecting a flash drive, SDCard, or any other external drive to the computer:

     4 steps to help protect your new computer before you go online

VERY IMPORTANT!! =>  Any Norton or McAfee free-trial that came preinstalled on the computer when you bought it will be reinstalled (but invalid) when Windows is reinstalled. You MUST uninstall the free-trial AND download/run the appropriate removal tool BEFORE installing any updates AND BEFORE installing your new anti-virus application (e.g., Microsoft Security Essentials - free).

     Norton Removal Tool

     McAfee Consumer Products Removal Tool

Also see:

Risks & Benefits of P2P file sharing

Steps To Help Prevent Spyware 

Steps to Help Prevent Computer Worms

Avoid Rogue Security Software!

If you need additional assistance with the clean install, please begin a new thread in this forum:

Wish I'd had better news for you.  Good luck!

~Robear Dyer (PA Bear) ~ MS MVP (IE, Mail, Security, Windows & Update Services) since 2002 ~ Disclaimer: MS MVPs neither represent nor work for Microsoft
~Robear Dyer (PA Bear)
Microsoft MVP (Windows Client) since October 2002

Did this solve your problem?

Sorry this didn't help.

Great! Thanks for marking this as the answer.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback, it helps us improve the site.

How satisfied are you with this response?

Thanks for your feedback.