Svchost - ok to see several. A very busy little critter that runs services. There's a tutorial here describing it.
Google for utilities Process Monitor or Process Explorer. used to be at Sysinternals, now at Microsoft and watch. It'll tell you what it's doing. ProcMon is particularily good - it combines file explorer, registry use, and processes. Speed reading ability required
but it might pinpoint what's being used and where and when.
Just to give you a ballpark figure from XP home - I currently have one instance of explorer.exe in task manager. Word is running. Excel is running. Notepad, browser, firewall console, and four directory windows, and explorer use is 21442K which is 21meg. I'm losing my mind but explorer isn't
Are you sure it's explorer and not svchost causing trouble. Explorer shows the huge memory use, right?
Besides defragging, did you run scan disk - the first option, with both settings checked. Windows can repair broken links in files and scandisk (aka as check disk) should be run before defrag. If you didn't I'd do it now. Secondly, Run control panel, and check the logs. In the event log, under applications, are there explorer errors. In system log, sort one of the columns. Are there any entries about NTFS or disk or other such.
That's all I can think of now.
Edit: are you opening any huge files? Are any huge files in a directory which you might have open? If explorer is allowed in the firewall to venture out to the internet, perhaps connection problems are causing problems?
Edited by tos226, 14 July 2007 - 08:48 PM.