Fix: Esrv.exe Startup Application Error

Some users have been reporting receiving an error message involving esrv.exe at every startup. Initially, the error was reported on Windows 10 technical preview builds, but it has been confirmed to happen on up-to-date computers. Although the error might vary, most users report seeing the following error message at every startup:

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

Note: Clicking Ok will make the error go away for the time being, but it will return promptly at the next startup.

Based on our investigations, the issue seems to occur after the user applies a large Windows update or upgrades to Windows 10 from an older Windows version.

What is esrv.exe?

Eserv.exe is a process that belongs to Intel Driver Update. Most of the time, the error occurs because Intel Driver Update was improperly removed or handled manually by the user or automatically by Windows Update during the installation of an update.

An improper removal will leave some parts behind (startup keys, run once keys) that might still call for the Eserv.exe process to run at every startup. Since Windows is no longer able to find and start the Eserv.exe process (or a process associated with it), the Esrv.exe Startup Application Error will be displayed instead.

Because Intel has stopped supporting Intel Driver Update and replaced it with Intel Driver & Support Assistant, Windows Update tries to make the transition itself. However, something might go wrong during this process which ends up spawning the Esrv.exe Startup Application Error.

Removing the Esrv.exe Startup Application Error

If you’re currently struggling with the same issue, this article will provide you will various troubleshooting steps that will most likely allow you to remove the issue from the startup phase. Below you have a collection of methods that other users have used to remove the error message. Please follow each potential fix in order until you find a solution that takes care of the problem for you. Let’s begin!

Method 1: Uninstall Inter Driver Update

The simplest way of preventing the Esrv.exe Startup Application error is to uninstall the program that it belongs to. Intel Driver Update can be uninstalled conventionally from Programs and Features.

Note: If you are worried about losing functionality after uninstalling Intel Driver Update, don’t sweat it. Intel has already replaced the old Intel Driver Update with Intel Driver & support assistant. Windows should automatically notice and download the latest version again if the program is needed. And just to get you covered, we will provide a manual download link in order to have an alternative.

Here’s a quick guide on how to stop the Esrv.exe startup application error from appearing at every startup by uninstalling Intel Driver Software:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a new Run box. Next, type “appwiz.cpl” and hit Enter to open Programs and Features.
  2. Inside Programs and Features, scroll down through the application list to locate Intel Driver Software.
  3. Right-click on Intel Driver Software and choose Uninstall. Then, follow the on-screen prompts to remove the software from your system.
  4. Once Intel Driver Software has been removed, close Programs and Features and restart your computer.
  5. At the next startup, see if the error returns. In case the issue has been resolved, you can return to Programs and Features and check if Intel Driver Software has been replaced with Intel Driver & Support Assistant. In case it hasn’t, you can download the utility manually from this link (here).

If you’re still seeing the Esrv.exe error message at every startup, continue down with Method 2.

Method 2: Rename every instance of esrv.exe

Some users have managed to resolve the issue by manually finding every instance of Esrv.exe and renaming the extension of the file. Supposedly, this managed to prevent the error from occurring at every startup.

Here’s a quick guide on how to search and rename every instance of esrv.exe:

  1. Open-File Explorer and access your C drive (or the partition that holds your Windows files).
  2. On the root location of your Windows drive, use the search box in the top-right corner to search for “esrv.exe“. You should be able to find at least two occurrences in the Intel folder located under Program FIles.
  3. Right-click on every instance of esrv.exe that has been returned and click Rename. Then, simply add a “.old” at the end of the extension. This will signal your operating system to disregard that file.
  4. Click Yes at the Rename prompt to confirm the modifications.
  5. Reboot your computer and see if the error returns at the next startup.

If the error message is still appearing during the startup phase, continue down with the final method.

Method 3: Using Autoruns to remove any startup key related to esrv.exe

If none of the methods above have managed to remove the Esrv.exe Startup Application Error, let’s see if we can remove the error by deleting the startup keys that are calling the esrv.exe service. We are going to accomplish this with Autoruns – a program equipped to remove run, runonce, registry keys and startup folders.

Because the error occurs at every startup, the problem is likely caused by a scheduled task that is either left behind by an improper uninstallation or has glitched out. Follow the guide down below to remove any startup mention of esrv.exe, thus preventing the apparition of this error:

  1. Visit this link (here) and click the Download Autoruns and Autorunsc button to download the utility.
  2. When the archive is downloaded to your computer, use a decompression software like WinZip, WinRar or 7Zip to extract the contents in an accessible folder.
  3. Open the folder where you extracted the contents and double-click on the Autoruns executable.
  4. When the initial window appears, don’t do anything until the Everything list is fully loaded with startup items.
  5. Once the list is fully populated, press Ctrl + F to bring up the search function. In the search box, type “esrv.exe” and click on the Find Next button.
  6. Next, right-click on the first blue highlighted occurence and choose Delete to remove the startup item. Once the first occurence is dealt with, bring up the search function again (using step 5) and repeat the procedure until there are no startup items mentioning esrv.exe left.
  7. Close Autoruns and restart your computer. At the next startup, you should no longer be bothered by the Esrv.exe Startup Application error.

Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.