What is and how to remove "VCSystem Tray has stopped working" message?

9:40:00 AM |

Q: I keep getting a message that says "VC System Tray has stopped working".

A: it is in fact a Vaio Care error message, and downloading the update from Sony support will fix the problem. Just download VAIOCare Software and Install it.

What Is VAIOCare.exe?

VAIOCare.exe is a type of EXE file associated with VAIOShellStarter.exe developed by Sony Corporation for the Windows Operating System. The latest known version of VAIOCare.exe is, which was produced for Windows. This EXE file carries a popularity rating of 1 stars and a security rating of "UNKNOWN".

What Are EXE Files?

EXE ("executable") files, such as VAIOCare.exe, are files that contain step-by-step instructions that a computer follows to carry out a function. When you "double-click" an EXE file, your computer automatically executes these instructions designed by a software developer (eg. Sony Corporation) to run a program (eg. VAIOShellStarter.exe) on your PC.
Every software application on your PC uses an executable file - your web browser, word processor, spreadsheet program, etc. - making it one of the most useful kinds of files in the Windows operating system. Without executable files like VAIOCare.exe, you wouldn't be able to use any programs on your PC.

Why Do I Have EXE Errors?

Because of their usefulness and ubiquity, EXE files are commonly used as a method of delivery for virus / malware infection. Often, viruses will be disguised as a benign EXE file (such as VAIOCare.exe) and distributed through SPAM email or malicious websites, which can then infect your computer when executed (eg. when you double-click the EXE file).
In addition, viruses can infect, replace, or corrupt existing EXE files, which can then lead to error messages when VAIOShellStarter.exe or related programs are executed. Thus, any executable files that you download to your PC should be scanned for viruses before opening - even if you think it is from a reputable source.

When Do EXE Errors Occur?

EXE errors, such as those associated with VAIOCare.exe, most often occur during computer startup, program startup, or while trying to use a specific function in your program (eg. printing).

Common VAIOCare.exe Error Messages

The most common VAIOCare.exe errors that can appear on a Windows-based computer are:
  • "VAIOCare.exe Application Error."
  • "VAIOCare.exe is not a valid Win32 application."
  • "VAIOCare.exe has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience."
  • "Cannot find VAIOCare.exe."
  • "VAIOCare.exe not found."
  • "Error starting program: VAIOCare.exe."
  • "VAIOCare.exe is not running."
  • "VAIOCare.exe failed."
  • "Faulting Application Path: VAIOCare.exe."
These EXE error messages can appear during program installation, while a VAIOCare.exe-related software program (eg. VAIOShellStarter.exe) is running, during Windows startup or shutdown, or even during the installation of the Windows operating system. Keeping track of when and where your VAIOCare.exe error occurs is a critical piece of information in troubleshooting the problem. 

Causes of VAIOCare.exe Errors

VAIOCare.exe problems can be attributed to corrupt or missing files, invalid registry entries associated with VAIOCare.exe, or a virus / malware infection.
More specifically, these VAIOCare.exe errors can be caused by:
  • Corrupt Windows registry keys associated with VAIOCare.exe / VAIOShellStarter.exe.
  • Virus or malware infection that has corrupted the VAIOCare.exe file or related VAIOShellStarter.exe program files.
  • Another program maliciously or mistakenly deleted VAIOCare.exe-related files.
  • Another program is in conflict with VAIOShellStarter.exe and its shared referenced files.
  • Corrupt download or incomplete installation of VAIOShellStarter.exe software.

How To Fix VAIOCare.exe Errors

Caution: We do not recommend downloading VAIOCare.exe from "EXE download" sites. These sites distribute EXE files that are unapproved by the official VAIOCare.exe file developer, and can often be bundled with virus-infected or other malicious files. If you require a copy of VAIOCare.exe, it is recommended that you obtain it directly from Sony Corporation.
Below is a list of troubleshooting steps to resolve your VAIOCare.exe problems. These troubleshooting steps get progressively more difficult and time consuming, so we strongly recommend attempting them in ascending order to avoid unnecessary time and effort.

Step 1: Repair Registry Entries Associated with VAIOShellStarter.exe

Sometimes VAIOCare.exe and other EXE system errors can be related to problems in the Windows registry. Several programs can share the same VAIOCare.exe file, but when these programs are uninstalled or changed, sometimes "orphaned" (invalid) EXE registry entries are left behind.
Basically, what this means is that while the actual file path may have changed, its incorrect former location is still recorded in the Windows registry. When Windows tries looking up these incorrect file references (file locations on your PC), VAIOCare.exe errors can occur. In addition, malware infection may have corrupted the registry entries associated with VAIOShellStarter.exe. Thus, these invalid EXE registry entries need to be repaired to fix the root of the problem.
Manually editing the Windows registry to remove invalid VAIOCare.exe keys is not recommended unless you are PC service professional. Incorrectly editing your registry can stop your PC from functioning and create irreversible damage to your operating system. In fact, one misplaced comma can prevent your PC from booting entirely!
Because of this risk, we highly recommend using a trusted registry cleaner such as WinThruster (Developed by Microsoft Gold Certified Partner) to scan and repair any VAIOCare.exe-related registry problems. Using a registry cleaner automates the process of finding invalid registry entries, missing file references (like the one causing your VAIOCare.exe error), and broken links within the registry. A backup is automatically created before each scan, with the ability to undo any changes in a single click, protecting you against the possibility of PC damage. The best part is that repairing registry errors can also dramatically improve system speed and performance.

Caution: Unless you an advanced PC user, we DO NOT recommend editing the Windows registry manually. Using Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall Windows. We do not guarantee that problems resulting from the incorrect use of Registry Editor can be solved. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.
To manually repair your Windows registry, first you need to create a backup by exporting a portion of the registry related to VAIOCare.exe (eg. VAIOShellStarter.exe):
  1. Click the Start button.
  2. Type "command" in the search box... DO NOT hit ENTER yet!
  3. While holding CTRL-Shift on your keyboard, hit ENTER.
  4. You will be prompted with a permission dialog box.
  5. Click Yes.
  6. A black box will open with a blinking cursor.
  7. Type "regedit" and hit ENTER.
  8. In the Registry Editor, select the VAIOCare.exe-related key (eg. VAIOShellStarter.exe) you want to back up.
  9. From the File menu, choose Export.
  10. In the Save In list, select the folder where you want to save the VAIOShellStarter.exe backup key.
  11. In the File Name box, type a name for your backup file, such as "VAIOShellStarter.exe Backup".
  12. In the Export Range box, be sure that "Selected branch" is selected.
  13. Click Save.
  14. The file is then saved with a .reg file extension.
  15. You now have a backup of your VAIOCare.exe-related registry entry.
The next steps in manually editing your registry will not be discussed in this article due to the high risk of damaging your system. If you would like to learn more about manual registry editing, please see the links below.

We do not claim any responsibility for the results of the actions taken from the content linked below - complete these tasks at your own risk.

Step 2: Conduct a Full Malware Scan of Your PC

There is a chance that your VAIOCare.exe error could be related to a malware infection on your PC. These malicious intruders can damage, corrupt, or even delete EXE-related files. Furthermore, there's a possibility that the VAIOCare.exe error you are experiencing is related to a component of the malicious program itself.

Tip: If you do not already have a malware protection program installed, we highly recommend using Emsisoft Anti-Malware (download here). They offer a malware removal guarantee that is not offered by other security software.

Step 3: Clean Out Your System Junk (Temporary Files and Folders) With Disk Cleanup (cleanmgr)

Over time, your computer accumulates junk files from normal web surfing and computer use. If this junk isn't occasionally cleaned out, it can cause VAIOShellStarter.exe to respond slowly or provides an VAIOCare.exe error, possibly due to file conflicts or an overloaded hard drive. Cleaning up these temporary files with Disk Cleanup might not only solve your VAIOCare.exe error, but can also dramatically speed up the performance of your PC.

Tip: Although Disk Cleanup is a wonderful built-in tool, it will not completely clean up all of the temporary files on your computer. Other programs that you frequently use such Microsoft Office, Firefox, Chrome, Live Messenger, and hundreds of other programs are not cleaned up with Disk Cleanup (including some Sony Corporation programs).

Because of the shortcomings of the Windows Disk Cleanup (cleanmgr) tool, we highly recommend using a specialized hard drive cleanup / privacy protection software such as WinSweeper (Developed by Microsoft Gold Partner) to clean up your entire computer. Running WinSweeper once per day (using automatic scanning) will ensure that your computer is always clean, running fast, and free of VAIOCare.exe errors related to temporary files.
How to run Disk Cleanup (cleanmgr) (Windows XP, Vista, 7, and 8):
  1. Click the Start button.
  2. Type "command" in the search box... DO NOT hit ENTER yet!
  3. While holding CTRL-Shift on your keyboard, hit ENTER.
  4. You will be prompted with a permission dialog box.
  5. Click Yes.
  6. A black box will open with a blinking cursor.
  7. Type "cleanmgr" and hit ENTER.
  8. Disk Cleanup will begin calculating how much occupied disk space you can reclaim.
  9. The Disk Cleanup dialog box will appear with series of checkboxes you can select. In most cases, the "Temporary Files" category will occupy the most disk space.
  10. Check the boxes of the categories you want to clean and click OK.

Step 4: Update Your PC Device Drivers

VAIOCare.exe errors can be related to corrupt or outdated device drivers. Drivers can work one day, and suddenly stop working the next day, for a variety of reasons. The good news is that you can often update the device driver to fix the EXE problem.
Finding the exact driver for your VAIOCare.exe-related hardware device can be extremely difficult, even directly on the Sony Corporation or related manufacturer's website. Even if you are experienced at finding, downloading, and manually updating drivers, the process can still be very time consuming and extremely irritating. Installing the wrong driver, or simply an incompatible version of the right driver, can make your problems even worse.
Because of the time and complexity involved in updating drivers, we highly recommend using a driver update tool such as DriverDoc (Developed by Microsoft Gold Partner) to automate the process.
DriverDoc updates all of your PC device drivers, not just those associated with your EXE error. DriverDoc's proprietary One-Click Update™ technology not only ensures that you have correct driver versions for your hardware, but it also creates a backup of your current drivers before making any changes. Maintaining a driver backup provides you with the security of knowing that you can rollback any driver to a previous version if necessary. With updated device drivers, you can finally unlock new hardware features and improve the speed and performance of your PC.

Please Note: Your VAIOCare.exe may not be related to hardware driver problems, but it's always a good idea to ensure all of your PC device drivers are up-to-date to maximize PC performance.

Step 5: Utilize Windows System Restore to "Undo" Recent System Changes

Windows System Restore allows you to "go back in time" with your PC to help fix your VAIOCare.exe problems. System Restore can return your PC's system files and programs back to a time when everything was working fine. This can potentially help you avoid hours of troubleshooting headaches associated with EXE errors.

Please Note: Using System Restore will not affect your documents, pictures, or other data.
To use System Restore (Windows XP, Vista, 7, and 8):
  1. Click the Start button.
  2. In the search box, type "System Restore" and hit ENTER.
  3. In the results, click System Restore.
  4. Enter any administrator passwords (if prompted).
  5. Follow the steps in the Wizard to choose a restore point.
  6. Restore your computer.

Step 6: Uninstall and Reinstall the VAIOShellStarter.exe Program Associated with VAIOCare.exe

If your VAIOCare.exe error is related to a specific program, reinstalling VAIOShellStarter.exe-related software could be the answer.
Instructions for Windows 7 and Windows Vista:
  1. Open Programs and Features by clicking the Start button.
  2. Click Control Panel on the right side menu.
  3. Click Programs.
  4. Click Programs and Features.
  5. Locate VAIOCare.exe-associated program (eg. VAIOShellStarter.exe) under the Name column.
  6. Click on the VAIOShellStarter.exe-associated entry.
  7. Click the Uninstall button on the top menu ribbon.
  8. Follow the on-screen directions to complete the uninstallation of your VAIOCare.exe-associated program.
Instructions for Windows XP:
  1. Open Programs and Features by clicking the Start button.
  2. Click Control Panel.
  3. Click Add or Remove Programs.
  4. Locate VAIOCare.exe-associated program (eg. VAIOShellStarter.exe) under the list of Currently Installed Programs.
  5. Click on the VAIOShellStarter.exe-associated entry.
  6. Click the Remove button on the right side.
  7. Follow the on-screen directions to complete the uninstallation of your VAIOCare.exe-associated program.
Instructions for Windows 8:
  1. Hover the cursor in the bottom left of the screen to produce the Start Menu image.
  2. Right-Click to bring up the Start Context Menu.
  3. Click Programs and Features.
  4. Locate VAIOCare.exe-associated program (eg. VAIOShellStarter.exe) under the Name column.
  5. Click on the VAIOShellStarter.exe-associated entry.
  6. Click the Uninstall/Change on the top menu ribbon.
  7. Follow the on-screen directions to complete the uninstallation of your VAIOCare.exe-associated program.
After you have successfully uninstalled your VAIOCare.exe-associated program (eg. VAIOShellStarter.exe), reinstall the program according to the Sony Corporation instructions.

Tip: If you are positive that your EXE error is related to a specific Sony Corporation program, uninstalling and reinstalling your VAIOCare.exe-related program will likely be the solution to your problem.

Step 7: Run Windows System File Checker ("sfc /scannow")

System File Checker is a handy tool included with Windows that allows you scan for and restore corruptions in Windows system files (including those related to VAIOCare.exe). If System File Checker finds a problem with your EXE or other critical system file, it will attempt to replace the problematic files automatically.
To run System File Checker (Windows XP, Vista, 7, and 8):
  1. Click the Start button.
  2. Type "command" in the search box... DO NOT hit ENTER yet!
  3. While holding CTRL-Shift on your keyboard, hit ENTER.
  4. You will be prompted with a permission dialog box.
  5. Click Yes.
  6. A black box will open with a blinking cursor.
  7. Type "sfc /scannow" and hit ENTER.
  8. System File Checker will begin scanning for VAIOCare.exe and other system file problems (be patient - the system scan may take a while).
  9. Follow the on-screen commands.

Step 8: Install All Available Windows Updates

Microsoft is constantly updating and improving Windows system files that could be associated with VAIOCare.exe. Sometimes resolving your EXE problems may be as simple as updating Windows with the latest Service Pack or other patch that Microsoft releases on an ongoing basis.
To check for Windows Updates (Windows XP, Vista, 7, and 8):
  1. Click the Start button.
  2. Type "update" into the search box and hit ENTER.
  3. The Windows Update dialog box will appear.
  4. If updates are available, click the Install Updates button.

Step 9: Perform a Clean Installation of Windows

Caution: We must emphasize that reinstalling Windows will be a very time-consuming and advanced task to resolve VAIOCare.exe problems. To avoid data loss, you must be sure that you have backed-up all of your important documents, pictures, software installers, and other personal data before beginning the process. If you are not currently backing up your data, you need to do so immediately (download a highly-recommended backup solution) to protect yourself from permanent data loss.
This step is your final option in trying to resolve your VAIOCare.exe issue. Reinstalling Windows will erase everything from your hard drive, allowing you to start again with a fresh system. Furthermore, a clean install of Windows will also quickly clean out any and all "junk" that has accumulated over the normal usage of your computer.

Please Note: If VAIOCare.exe errors still persist after a clean install of Windows, your EXE problem MUST be hardware related. If that is the case, then it is likely you will need to replace the associated hardware causing the VAIOCare.exe error.
Filename: VAIOCare.exeLatest Known Version:
Developer: Sony CorporationFile Size (Bytes): 867256
Software: VAIOShellStarter.exeOperating System: Windows
Description: Start VAIOShell
MD5: 3ac4605a0567454e11a680a531a3144f
SHA1: 1E9B55852B127A54D32DB1AF2D07831A8EC47632

Operating System Information

VAIOCare.exe error messages can occur in any of the following Microsoft Windows operating systems:
  • Windows 8
  • Windows 7
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows XP
  • Windows ME
  • Windows 2000