It would appear that your installation has become corrupted somehow. It happens from time to time and is a nuisance I know.
The best solution is to uninstall completely in the normal manner via Control Panel, run the MCPR cleanup tool available under Useful Links at the top of this page, reboot and then reinstall from your online account.
You could take advantage of this opportunity to get SP2 as it requires you to either uninstall antivirus or at least disable it. That could also be part of the problem as SP1 ceased to be supported by MIcrosoft in July - see THIS link.
That means you will be missing some security updates.
There is help with installing SP2 HERE.
Hope that helps and good luck.
Thank you for your quick response.
I just did a System Restore that removed the McAfee Firewall 12.0.338, dated 8/27/11, so now I am back to Firewall 11.5.145 dated 12/14/10. This has temporarily resolved the multiple Windows Problem Reports stating that McAfee Service Host has stopped working (had received 9 reports within half an hour).
I also changed the Update setting to notify me when updates are available. Does this feature actually tell you what kind of Updates are available (ie., will it say DAT is available for download or Firewall available for download) or is it just a generic Updates are available?
I like the automatic download of DATs.
However, I do not like the Automatic Downloads of new versions of McAfee products. I have my Windows Updates set so that I can choose when to download them. I never download Windows Updates the day they are released, because they always seem to have some sort of problem and Microsoft needs to fix and re-issue them. McAfee should give us the same choice on new versions of Secuirty System, Firewall, etc. Just because a product version is released doesn't mean it should be immediately downloaded without my active consent.
Since I now have some breathing room, I can proceed with your solution.
I always install Windows updates as soon as they become available and can't recall ever having a problem.
There is no way to tell what is contained in a McAfee update. They never have included such information although we have frequently suggested they do that.
Using System restore usually messes up VirusScan (amongst other things) as it is time-sensitive so you should always upate immediately afterwards. That means of course you'll be back to the more recent version of firewall too.
I think your best bet is to follow the advice I gave in my original response.
That service host issue should not be happening at all. Are you using registry cleaners by any chance? They have a habit of deleting important registry keys and are best avoided in my opinion.
If you have further questions I would contact Technical Support Chat and have them check out your installation.
I don't think I'm using a Registry Cleaner. I'm not sure what that is. I know that it's dangerous to change the registry if you don't know what you are doing.
Thanks again for your advice.
OK, good luck.
Identical problem started on same date 8/27/11 on a Dell Inspiron running Vista!
This sounds like a problem on McAfee's end.
Isn't there a fix from McAfee instead of requiring each McAfee user on the planet to remove and reinstall McAfee?
Thanks for your further consideration and reply.
There are not many instances of this I would dare to say that your version updated from the 2010 version automatically. Did it? I would say the update was corrupted we have seen this happen and many different error result.The fix should be as Peter above says uninstall via the link in useful; links tab above and reinstall. BTW the whole world does not have to do it only those with messed up installs which is not many.
You can restore back and let it reupdate it might take now. I assume you do not have any other Anti malware/AV programs installed these can mess up the update.