is a generic host
process name for a group of services that are run from dynamic-link libraries (DLLs) and can run other services underneath itself. This is a valid system process that belongs to the Windows Operating System which handles processes executed from DLLs. It runs from the registry key, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Svchost where details of the services running under each instance of svchost.exe can be found. At startup, Svchost.exe checks the services portion of the registry to construct a list of services that it needs to load.
It is not unusual for multiple instances of Svchost.exe running at the same time
in Task manager in order to optimize the running of the various services.
svchost.exe SYSTEM (there can be more than one listed
svchost.exe LOCAL SERVICE
svchost.exe NETWORK SERVICE (there can be more than one listed
Each Svchost.exe session can contain a grouping of services, therefore, separate services can run, depending on how and where Svchost.exe is started. This grouping of services permits better control and easier debugging. The process ID's (PID's) are not static and can change with each logon but generally they stay nearly the same because they are running services all the time. The PID's must be checked in real time to determine what services each instance of svchost.exe is controlling at that particular time.
Determining whether a file is malware or a legitimate process sometimes depends on the location (path) it is running from. One of the ways that malware tries to hide is to give itself the same name as a critical system file like svchost.exe. However, it then places itself in a different location on your computer. In XP, the legitimate Svchost.exe file is located in your C:\WINDOWS\system32\
Other legitimate copies can be found in the following folders:
If svchost.exe is running as a startup (shows in msconfig), it can be bad as shown here
. Make sure the spelling
is correct. If it's scv
host.exe, then your dealing with a Trojan
There are several ways to investigate svchost.exe and related processes. First, see "How to determine what services are running under a Svchost.exe process
" using Proces Explorer
.Note: Process Explorer shows two panes by default: the upper pane is always a process list and the bottom pane either shows the list of DLLs loaded into the process selected in the upper pane, or the list of operating system resource handles (files, Registry keys, synchronization objects) the process has open. In the menu at the top select View > Lower Pane View to change between DLLs and Handles.
You can also download and use AnVir TaskManager Free
or System Explorer
to investigate all running processes and gather additional information to identify and resolve problems. These tools will show the process CPU usage, a description and its path location
. If you right-click on the file in question and select properties, you will see more details about the file.