Essential IT Tool - Process Explorer

Ever wonder what all those svchost.exe programs are that show up under Task Manager? They are actually host processes for Windows Services, encapsulating one or many different Windows Services. But seeing a list of five, six or more svchost.exe's in the Task Manager process list doesn't help you much to determine why some svchost.exe has gone rogue, taking up tons of CPU or memory.

A very helpful (and free) tool to look inside svchosts.exe's and see what's going on is Process Explorer. Process Explorer is a free tool from Microsoft available from TechNet. In addition to the basic Task Manager information, Process Explorer lets you hover over a host process and see all of the Windows Services encapsulated within it. Process Explorer was invaluable to me in finding out that it was an HP printer program that kept running amok due to a memory leak.


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