Last Updated on May 18, 2021
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Recently, some users reported the error message “sihost.exe – System Warning Unknown Hard Error” (also known as sihost.exe unknown hard error) when accessing Windows 10, especially after getting Windows 10 April 2018 Update 1803. This error has also occurred when launching a program or game or even after going through a Windows rollback cycle.
Other error messages sometimes appear, such as Ctfmon.exe unknown hard error and Explorer.exe unknown hard error. These error messages may indicate damaged or corrupted system files in your operating system or conflicts between third-party software and your upgraded Windows system. To solve this problem, you can try the solutions listed below.
What causes `SiHost.Exe Hard Drive Error’ in Windows 10
After doing some troubleshooting exercises, we came to the conclusion that the following main causes are responsible for causing Sihost.Exe Unknown Hard Error.
Background applications/services: There may be some background applications and services running that are interfering with the efficient operation of Sihost, thus causing Sihost.Exe Unknown Hard Error. We recommend that you try closing these background applications and see if this helps eliminate the error message.
Damaged system files: Some system files on your computer may be corrupted after a crash or memory error. So, if your system files are damaged or have been corrupted, you won’t be able to use the Start menu and Cortana, and you may get an “Unknown Hard Error” when you try to do so.
Damaged partitions: If your computer partitions contain bad sectors or have not been cleaned and optimized for some time, you will get Sihost.Exe Unknown Hard Error when trying to use Windows on your computer. Therefore, it is recommended to try to repair corrupted partitions and then see if that solves the problem.
Outdated drivers: Sometimes your computer drivers may be outdated, which can prevent your system from working efficiently. Therefore, we recommend that you manually check for outdated drivers or run a driver scanner that will let you know if any drivers are corrupt or need to be updated.
Damaged account files: Some of your personal account files may not be properly optimized, so you see an error message on your lock screen or computer screen. We recommend that you create a new account and see if the Sihost.Exe Unknown Hard Error disappears on it. If it does, it probably means that the files in your account have been corrupted.
Problems with Windows Explorer: There may be a problem with Windows Explorer on your computer that is preventing it from working efficiently. A simple restart should solve most problems.
Now that you’ve covered almost all of the main causes, we can move on to implementing solutions.
Here’s how to fix the “SiHost.Exe” hard drive error in Windows 10
Run the system file checker
The system warning sihost.exe unknown hard error may be caused by corrupt or non-functioning system files of your operating system. In this case, you can run an SFC scan to repair corrupted system files.
- Type cmd in the search box, then right-click Command Prompt and select Run as administrator.
- At the extended command prompt, type sfc / scan now and press Enter. This process can take a long time, so please be patient.
- Once the process is complete, restart your computer and the error sihost.exe unknown hard should disappear.
Perform an automatic repair
If the error message sihost.exe unknown hard still appears after trying all of the above methods, we recommend performing an automatic repair. Automatic recovery can scan your computer for an error and then try to fix it. To do this, follow these steps:
- Boot your computer from a USB drive or a bootable Windows 10 DVD.
- Follow the instructions on the screen until you get to the Install Now screen. Click on the Restore Computer link in the bottom left corner.
- Then go to Troubleshooting -> Advanced Settings.
- In the Advanced Options screen, click Restore Boot.
Perform a clean boot
Sometimes the sihost.exe unknown hard error can be caused by a specific program. To determine if a program is causing the problem, it is recommended that you perform a reboot. Here’s how:
- Press Win + R to open the Run dialog box, then type MSConfig and press Enter to open the System Configuration window.
- Click the Services tab. Then check the Hide all Microsoft services checkbox.
- Now click Disable All, and then click Apply to save this change.
- Click the Autorun tab and then click Open Task Manager.
- Go to the Autorun tab and disable all applications one by one until you figure out which one is causing the sihost.exe error. After that, you can uninstall the program.
Undo the last changes using the system restore point
For many users, the sihost.exe system warning unknown error almost never occurs after installing new updates or software. This indicates that the error may be caused by incompatible changes. To fix the complicated sihost.exe error, you can try uninstalling or uninstalling recently installed features.
If you don’t want to remove them individually, a good choice is to restore the system. This will restore Windows to a previous state where the error did not occur.
Checking for hard disk errors
Some users report that hard drive errors can also cause sihost.exe errors. You can run the CHKDSK command to check and fix hard disk errors. Here is a quick guide.
- Open the extended command line.
- Type chkdsk /f /r at the command prompt and press Enter.
- Windows 10 will now automatically detect hard drive errors and try to fix them.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Perform a clean boot on your Windows 10 desktop/laptop. To fix sihost.exe unknown hard error, first of all, you need to determine if third-party software is causing the problem. You can log in to Windows 10 as an administrator and then perform a clean boot on your computer.
No, it is not. The real sihost.exe file is a safe Microsoft Windows system process called "Shell Infrastructure Host". However, malware authors, such as viruses, worms, and Trojans, deliberately give their processes the same file names to avoid detection.
- Perform a clean boot.
- Run an SFC scan.
- Run the CHKDSK program to repair bad or damaged sectors on the hard drives.
- Check for the latest software changes.
- Update outdated or faulty drivers.
The sihost.exe program uses a command set that is not supported by your processor. Install the correct version for your computer. It is possible that a hardware component on your computer is not working properly.