Solution to one of the causes of 'Windows applications hanging' RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • Windows System Bug/Potential Security Flaw

    I had a Windows 7 64-bit system that has been working for over a year. Suddenly many programs, including Internet Explorer, many of the system utilities, Skype, and Norton 360's control panels, started hanging. The system was unusable. It took me three weeks to find the problem.

    There must be some Windows service that many programs are using to display their output. This service apparently attempts to make a list of installed fonts. If an error occurs during reading the list, the service just continually attempts to re-read the list, never returning and making the application hang.


    * Go to 'http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/default.aspx' or

    * Download the Windows 'Sysinternals Suite'.

    * Extract the contents into a folder.

    * Run the program procmon.exe. You will see a list of events for the processes on your system.

    * Open one of the applications which is hanging.

    * I saw a flood of BUFFER OVERFLOW events on the registry for the key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE.SOFTWARE.Microsoft.Windows NT.CurrentVersion.Fonts

    When I saw the problem, I thought I had too many fonts on my system. So I started uninstalling fonts. However, I went into the Registry (Push the Windows Start button and enter 'regedit' in the input field to start the Registry Editor.). Under
    the key "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE.SOFTWARE.Microsoft.Windows NT.CurrentVersion.Fonts" I saw the list of installed fonts. Most fonts had names like 'arial.ttf', but some font entries had extremely long names that shot off the end of the screen. I went through the font list and removed any entries with long names.

    My system started acting normally again. No applications hung.

    Unfortunately, I started one solution then switched to another, so I'm not sure which fixed the problem, but I am pretty sure it was the second (removing font entries with inordinately long names.)


    Sunday, May 5, 2013 12:21 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    Thanks for sharing. We really appreciate your time and efforts. Hope your experience will help other community members facing similar problems.


    Vincent Wang
    TechNet Community Support

    Monday, May 6, 2013 7:43 AM