47

I have Windows 7 running in a VM on my Ubuntu PC, for when I occasionally need to do something on Windows. Today this message appeared, but I'm a little skeptical that it is actually from Windows.

Notice that instead of saying it might "need information from you" it says "need information form you".

Interactive Services Detection - Program is trying to display a message

  • 12
    In short, there are programs running in the background ("services"). They normally cannot show anything on your screen. When you click "view the message", you switch to another desktop where you can temporarily interact with the program. Once you're done, you'll go back to your own desktop. It's perfectly fine, although unusual. – isanae Jun 11 '17 at 9:32
  • 12
    The background program (service) you're running has a bug. It is doing something it was never supposed to be doing, and something that was officially broken by Microsoft over a decade ago. Look for an updated version of it, or file a bug report with the vendor of the software. And yeah, that spelling error is craziness. No idea how that ever got past Microsoft's QA. – Cody Gray Jun 11 '17 at 9:47
  • 9
    @CodyGray To be fair, if the service was written pre-Vista, it's not a bug, that's just what services did at the time. – isanae Jun 11 '17 at 10:03
  • 3
    Spelling errors are common even in genuine Windows messages (in particular in translated versions - the German messages are often horrible) – Hagen von Eitzen Jun 11 '17 at 15:37
  • 4
    FYI Alt+PrintScreen captures the current active window so you don't have to crop with ugly artifacts around like that. Snipping tool also have an option to capture current window – phuclv Jun 12 '17 at 2:48
51

The Interactive Services Detection message is meant for errors that happen in service context of the desktop session when a service tries to interact with the legacy desktop (desktops with session 0). This is a mitigation feature of the Windows environment post-Vista. Currently Windows employs session 0 isolation (now the desktop of the first user to log in is run in session 1 instead).

Clicking on view message should bring you to session 0's desktop where you can deal with the (probably an error of some kind) message further.

For a more expansive explanation see MSDN blog posts by Pat Altimore on it:

If you are really paranoid like me ;P, disconnect the VM from the internet and then proceed. You can even go get a set of Sysinternals Suite from Microsoft here and use the modules:

  • procexp - more detailed version of task manager for seeing exactly whats going on where
  • tcpview - see what connections are being attempted, from where, and to whom

This should give you ample information to decide whether this is a malicious exploit gone wrong, or a harmless bug on the system. It's more than likely just a harmless error, but I'll never tell someone to be less cautious.

UPDATE:

As for the spelling error, I took your image and did a reverse google image search. This spelling error appears in a lot of screenshots of this message. It makes my stomach turn as I'm sure it does you, but just be careful and diligent in debugging it and you should be ok. But to be fair, the spelling error also appears in the screenshot on Microsoft's blog I linked earlier too.

  • 10
    Thanks for the explanation and update. I've been conditioned to never trust anything with bad grammar and/or spelling, which was why I was alarmed by this. Extreme paranoia makes me want to just nuke the VM and create another one. :-) – Kimberly W Jun 11 '17 at 18:40
  • 9
    I'm exactly the same. To think of how many VMs I've nuked from orbit just because they said one little thing wrong... I just realized im an evil vm master :( – Nalaurien Jun 11 '17 at 18:54

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.