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ESET Smart Security Kernel Service does not start


  • This solution applies to ESET Smart Security versions 4.x and 3.0 only
  • You experience an issue starting the EKRN service used by ESET Smart Security


Upgrade to the latest version

Many of the issues you might be experiencing with your ESET product have been resolved in the latest version. We highly recommend that you upgrade to the latest version:


Follow the steps below to resolve the issue:

  1. Locate the em001_32.dat file (typically in the %ProgramFiles%ESETEset Smart Security directory) and rename it to em001_32.dat.bak.
  2. Restart the computer. The EKRN.EXE service should now start automatically.
  3. If the EKRN.EXE service does not start automatically, run the following command:
    1. Click Start → All Programs → Accessories. Right-click Command Prompt and choose Run as administrator from the context menu

      Windows 8 users: Press the Windows key + Q to open an app search and type cmd into the Search field. Right-click the cmd application when it appears in results and select Run as administrator from the context menu.
  4. Type the following command on one line and press ENTER:

    net start ekrn  
  5. Perform a manual update of ESET Smart Security from the GUI.

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