Failed To Read Description. Error Code 2 For Background Services In Windows

Windows runs a number of services in the background. You can find these background services with their current status in Services window (Press Windows + R, type services.msc and hit Enter). These services are also seen in a separate tab, under the hood of System Configuration Utility (commonly known as msconfig). Today, I came around a weird issue for the background services running in the Services window. Against each service, the status says “Failed to Read Description. Error Code 2″. Have a look at the following screenshot:

Failed To Read Description Error Code 2

Since there is error code 2, it can be concluded that background services files were missing from the system. The first and foremost thing I did after seeing the error, I just checked theΒ  necessary files for the services. So it was everything OK with my system, the files were there πŸ™‚ So I run the System File Checker to find out and fix possible corruption and rebooted. But there was no difference in the situation, services still showing the same error.

Now, I started by troubleshooting steps in another direction, and finally ended up all this mess with following solution:

Failed To Read Description. Error Code 2

1. Press Windows Key + R combination, type put Regedt32.exe in RunΒ dialog box and hit Enter to open the Registry Editor.

REGEDIT Enable Or Disable Hyperlink Warnings For Office 2013 programs

2. Navigate to the following location:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\MUI

Services.MSC-Failed-To-Read-Description-Error-Code-2-1

3. Now right click on the MUI key and select New -> Key. Name the newly created key as StringCacheSettings. In the right pane of this newly created key, create a new DWORD value, name it asΒ StringCacheGeneration. Double click this newly created DWORD to modify its Value data:

Services.MSC-Failed-To-Read-Description-Error-Code-2-3

4. In the above shown box, type the Value data as 38b. Make sure you have selected Hexadecimal base here. Click OK. You may now close the Registry Editor and reboot to get fixed up.

Hope this helps!

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Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
An Electrical Engineer by profession, Kapil is a Microsoft MVP and a Microsoft Content Creator. Please read the entire post & the comments first & create a system restore point before making any changes to your system.

31 Comments

  1. Russtavo

    Thank you this fixed the problems that the AMD Catalyst Uninstall (cleanup) Utility left me with!!!

  2. ^^ Glad to hear that πŸ™‚

  3. Flo

    Thank you very much – I too was using the AMD Driver Cleanup Utility on Windows 8.1 a few days ago and strange things happened to my PC afterwards (unable to uninstall programs from control panel, some settings in various control panels didn’t work anymore, no more power plans available). This fix immediately solved everything.

    AMD thinks labeling their broken cleanup tool with “Currently supports Windows 7 at this time.” is enough, but to me and countless other users that didn’t read as “Screws up Windows 8 at this time.”. Sigh..

  4. James J

    Hey Kapil, thanks to you and google yall saved me from doing alot of troubleshooting.

  5. Antoros

    Biggest thanks to you, i already had to refresh my w8 installation because 8.1 broke it because driver incompatibility

    spent days installing and setting everything again and to have to do that again…

    your fix worked perfectly, now i have my Admin power back, and can change accounts and UAC settings

  6. Timothy King

    This totally fixed my problems related to AMD Uninstall !! Thanks soooo much!!

  7. Dorian

    It works the same way for Windows on 64 bits?

  8. Dan

    Thanks a ton, works perfect on Windows 8.1 64 bit.

  9. Kaabi Golooba

    Oh my God it simply just works like magic, thanks buddy

  10. upp3rd0g

    Wow, not only fixes this the service-description-failure problem (as described above), but at the same it also fixes this problem for me:

    http://www.eightforums.com/network-sharing/21814-unable-access-properties-my-network-connection.html

    Thanx! This saves me a full reinstall. πŸ™‚

  11. You have no idea how much this helped.
    On top of services.msc description error, I also can’t access the properties of my network adapter.
    And another BIG issues was my Radeon graphics card’s memory clock stucked at 150 MHz even at load resulting at a massive performance drop!
    It also caused Photoshop 64bit to not run probably because my graphics card’s problem.

    This lone registry key solved them all! I can’t believe it.
    I think my problem was also caused by AMD Cleanup Utility.
    Going to stop using that. πŸ™

    Thank you very much for posting this! <3

  12. ^^ Thanks for letting us know this πŸ™‚

  13. Sol

    A big thank you for this solution <3

  14. Seems like the graphics memory clock issue still is a problem. It wasn’t related.

    Probably because it’s a relatively new product and more driver optimizations have yet to be done.

  15. quidpro

    UGH! Thank you so much! There were few if any administrator related functions I could access. Firewall, UAC, almost anything! I don’t recall using the AMD Catalyst Uninstall Utility…
    How did you find your way to this solution?

  16. Pino

    Thanks man! Thank you very much!

  17. SuperC142

    Thank you! This worked perfectly.

  18. jm

    Hi,
    I purchased an HP Notebook PC 2000-2c20NR last week that came pre-installed with Windows 8.
    Somehow – I think it was when I was trying to change settings to where I do not have to give a password everytime I log in – I became lost as the Administrator. I am the only one who uses this laptop.

    So, now I am stuck, unable to change settings, install/uninstall programs, etc. Everytime I try to change something, I am given this error screen:

    As you see, it asks me to type an administrator password, then click Yes. The “Yes” option is greyed out and disabled. I have tried everything I could find to change this, but in order to make any changes, I have to be the Adminstrator (which I am), but this error screen pops up with any and everything I do. I have even tried a System Restore/Recovery, but I can’t, because the UAC will not let me continue as Administrator.

    The status of my account currently names me a “local user.”

    I have Norton Internet Security 2013 installed and no viruses, etc are present.

    Please let me know how to fix this, as I am completely at a loss!
    Thank you!!

  19. ^^ Perform the following: Boot into Safe Mode using following way:

    https://www.thewindowsclub.com/safe-mode-in-windows-8

    When the log on screen appears in safe mode you will see an account named
    Administrator. This is the built-in administrator account.There is no password associated with this account, by default. You should be able to simply select that account and log on.

    Once the safe mode desktop appears, you can go into
    Control Panel/User Accounts and change your existing standard account to
    an administrator account.

    1. Open Control Panel / User Accounts.

    2. Select Manage another account.

    3. Select your Standard account.

    4. Select Change account type.

    5. Select the Administrator option.

    6. Click the Change account type button and select the Administrator option.

    Exit Control Panel and reboot the computer. Log on with your normal account, which will now have administrator privileges.

    Let us know the results. Hope this helps, Good luck πŸ™‚

  20. heyricardo

    It let me reinstall MSE. No other way worked. Thank you for sharing this piece of knowledge.Regards, Ricardo

  21. ^^ Glad we could help πŸ™‚

  22. John

    Thank you very much for the fix. I was unable to access properties of my network connection, kept getting “unexpected error occurred” when I clicked on the ethernet adapter in properties and your this fix solved that problem too πŸ™‚ Thanks a million, KapilArya!

  23. ^^ Glad it helped! πŸ™‚

  24. AlainBo

    Thanks. I had the same problem but my installation was in french and whenever I searched for the french error message, I couldn’t find a decent link to fix this issue. I changed Windows’ display language to English just so I could do a search using the English error message and found this page. Well worth the 2 minutes.

    For what it’s worth, I believe I had the same issue as others with AMD Catalyst uninstaller. I had uninstalled a bad version of AMD CCC. I had to do this because when I upgraded my HP ENVY (h8-1419) from Windows8.0 to Windows8.1 the AMD CCC, the wrong video card was detected and that broke a few things.

    How did you ever manage to find this fix? Was this registry key removed by the uninstaller or is this a hack to tell Windows to bypass or recompute some values?

  25. Amy

    IT DIDNT WORK I WAS SO CONDIENT ABOUT IT HELP ME PLEASE

  26. Jeremiah Mattson

    Thank you this fix worked for me!

  27. Radoslav Shterev

    great tip – just saved me a pre-install – thank you.

  28. Joakim

    My windows defender is still broken/missing/ wont start, I dunno

  29. mehrshadgk

    worked perfectly for Ansys Licence Manager

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