Problem. Windows XP is showing an error message that states: svchost.exe – Application Error… The instruction at “0x009a96bc” referenced memory at “0x00000000”. The memory could not be “written”. Click OK to terminate the program Click on CANCEL to debug the program.

Solution. Although this problem may be the result of a virus, it is likely caused by an error with the Microsoft Automatic Update service. Microsoft has acknowledged the problem and provides manual repair instructions on their support page (article 927385). Before following the instructions on Microsoft’s website, be sure that your computer has the latest anti-virus software installed.

Resources. Here are some additional online resources relating to this problem.