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If you find yourself in the situation of closing down a windows computer with an Os that had no errors before shutdown, but on the next reboot or next login into your user account, you discover an error message like this one in the screenshot, don’t worry, sometimes, the fact that this error message appeared, might actually mean, that you’ve been saved a lot of headache by the person or the software which deactivated or uninstalled the windows scripting host on your computer 🙂

The windows scripting host process is a service running on PCs with Windows Xp or later, and though in Vista and 7, its name has been changed, the functionality it provides is pretty much the same: it allows the execution of visual basic scripts as if they were binary executables, interpreting the commands in the visual basic scripts and “doing” things a user with full access to the computer would do.

While in some cases, especially in the case of tech-savy users it’s an extraordinary tool to automate tasks such as folder creation, registry manipulation, file editing and creation and deletion, but most importantly, REPETITIVE tasks, it can also be exploited by malicious intent and a small .vbs file of only a few lines long can destroy very easily an entire installation, and take any amount of sensitive data with it.

Windows Script Host access is disabled on this machine
Screenshot of “Windows Script Host access disabled” error message in Windows XP

Because of these very serious privacy and security flaws, many computer technicians, systems and network administrators, myself included, intentionally restrict acces to, or eliminate the windows scripting host access completely from the windows computers they manage.

The average user, with office/small office – home office usage skills and average level of expertise in IT or dexterity in the windows environment will most probably NEVER need the .vbs scripting capabilities. So it’s safer for the sysadmin to turn it off, then to be put in a situation in which you try to recover settings, data, or an entire installation, because of a not needed service being turned on.

So, it’s obvious, that if you receive this message, “Windows Script Host access is disabled on this machine. Contact your administrator for details” – it’s not necessarily a bad thing !

What should you do ?

If the alert doesn’t bother you and otherwise, you can do all your tasks with the system, symply click on its OK button and it will close. If, however, this alert appears more then just at the login or beginning of the session, you might want to scan the startup folders, or better yet, directly the running processes for malware, Potentially Unwanted Programs or PUP, and tell your system administrator about it.

I personally recommend giving Spybot Search & Destroy a try, so far, it proved to be one of the best – if not the best – antispyware programs I’ve met, and I’ve met quite a few in more then 20 years I’ve spent in the IT world. You can read more about Spybot Search & Destroy on their site, www.safer-networking.org.