- May 10th, 2012
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Svchost error doesn’t appears often, and if it did, it indicates some serious problem or infection. Starting from Windows NT OS, Microsoft moved all of the Windows services from executable programs (EXE files) to dynamic libraries (DLL files). The svchost.exe is the program that is needed to start the Service Host process that will use service functions stored in different DLLs. It is the only executable program in this model; however, it is not a single process. This executable runs in multiple instances and hosts one or more services started from different dynamic link libraries (DLLls). If services let share one process space, it helps to save memory resources for something else. This is not the only good point for such a design; it also makes it easier to maintain different operating system components.
This file is located at %SystemRoot%\System32\Svchost.exe. If you use Task Manager, then you probably wonder why so many svchost.exe processes are running at the same time. Well, this is due to possible services failures that might bring down all the service process should it be a single one. With multiple service process instances running, failure of one service doesn’t automatically bring down whole the service system. This design also helped to make Windows NT one of the most stable operating system, and the newer versions of this successful OS (XP, Vista, 7) inherited this Service Host design of the parent.
The services are divided into logical groups that can use one instance of the Host Process to run. However, even shared processes not always help to keep the system resources free from overload. If too many services are running at the same time, you might notice sufficient downfall in the system performance or get the message box with svchost error.
If this is the case, you can stop some service processes and disable unneeded services. Alternatively, you also might try to figure out which one of the svchost.exe processes consumes too much CPU resources by looking at the Processes tab in the Task Manager, and restart found heavy-load process. It might solve the problem. More deep investigation, however, for many PC users presents the problem of being in a dark room with many shadows cast by unknown instances just because the simple thing is somehow hidden. The only thing that anyone can easily figure out is a check mark in the “Show processes from all users” check box in the Task manager. Though, it might be very important to find out where the heavy-load process came from before going on with the efforts for improvements since the process ran in another user OS instance might need his presence before it might be stopped.
How to discover what the services in some particular Service Host instance are running?
1. Windows Vista and XP Pro version let you run task list utility from the Command window. You need start the window, type tasklist /SVC at the prompt, and press Enter. You will get the list of running svchost.exe processes with sublists of cryptic names for the services that are running in each process.
2. If this is not enough, then there are different ways to find out more depending on the system. In Windows Vista you can right-click svchost.exe in the list on the Processes tab in Task Manager and click “Go to Service” option (look at the bottom of pop-up menu). This will open the Services tab in Task Manager with the list of services running under that svchost.exe process. Here you can see what the services are and stop them if needed.
3. The most comprehensive way of the investigation is Process Explorer utility from Microsoft. Here hovering mouse over the list of processes brings pop-up menu with the list of services running in each process. Hovering of your mouse over processes will show you a popup list of all the services. You can double-click on a svchost.exe instance and select the Services tab, where you can choose to stop one of the services if you choose by double clicking the line and going to Services tab where the service might be stopped.
How to stop system services
- Open Services tab from the Administrative Tools option of Control Panel.
- Find needed service in the list, right-click it, and choose Properties.
- Change the startup type of the service to Disabled, and click Stop button to stop it.
How to fix errors and solve problems with unknown causes
There is a utility that will solve a wide range of svchost.exe issues automatically even if the problem was caused by a virus or other malware. However, the problems are sometimes quite complicated, and probably the best feature of this wizard is a customer support and assistance coming from experienced professionals.