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Dllhost.exe


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#1 MusicGuy

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Posted 02 April 2007 - 04:51 PM

I have a dllhost.exe process that runs on my computer at all times. I have read that under normal circumstances this is not supposed to be the case. Let me say I have researched this and read about malware that names itself dllhost.exe, but I have no signs of that. I'm completely sure my dllhost.exe is legit, but my concern is some malware could be using dllhost.exe to run.

In my particular instance the dllhost.exe uses about 6 MB of memory (according to task manager) and never uses CPU resources that I have seen. It runs under the SYSTEM user. If I try and end the process in task manager it just starts up again within a couple of seconds. I check the task manager every now and then, but to be honest I'm not sure when this dllhost.exe showed up (it could have been there since I got the computer for all I know, and I just didn't pay attention to it until now).

I can't figure out how to tell what is using that dllhost.exe process. From my reading it is supposed to be used by "com" objects but I can't find any more information on how to tell what it is. I have another computer which does not have dllhost.exe running. However, my dad's computer does have the dllhost.exe running all the time, and acts exactly the same (about the same RAM usage, 0% CPU, if you kill it it restarts). We both have fairly recent Dell computers. Is this something related to Dell? My computer that doesn't have it running is also a Dell, but I did a full system wipe when I upgraded to XP a couple of years ago so it does not have the default Dell software on there.

I have looked at everything in msconfig and don't find anything suspect. My computer is running perfectly as it always has and not exhibiting any signs of problems. I have run a full anti-virus/spyware scan and it found nothing. However, I do store financial data on this computer so I thought it would be prudent to research this as much as I can just to be sure. I suppose I could just do a system reinstall to be safe, but I would really rather not hassle with that if I don't have to.

How do I know what is using this dllhost.exe process and is this something I should be worried about? Is there a valid reason for dllhost.exe to be running all the time?

EDIT: A couple of other points, the computers that do have dllhost.exe running all the time are both running XP Media Center Edition. The one that doesn't have dllhost.exe running is a plain XP (and all are SP2). Also, I don't know if this is relevant but I found the component services window from the administrative tools. It looks like both dllhost.exe computers have .NET 1.1 entries there, but the other computer does not. I have read that .NET and dllhost.exe are connected, so this may be the culprit.

I have a strong feeling nothing is amiss with my computers but I still hate unknowns...

Edited by MusicGuy, 02 April 2007 - 05:34 PM.


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#2 nigglesnush85

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Posted 02 April 2007 - 07:07 PM

I wouldn't worry about it, it is used to load dll files and maintain them. if you want to be sure, I would recommend downloading http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysintern...ssExplorer.mspx to gather information on it,

I would also run some free online AV scans http://housecall.trendmicro.com/
http://www.pandasoftware.com/products/ActiveScan.htm if they find nothing wrong, It should be ok.

Hope this helps
Regards,

Alan.

#3 MusicGuy

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Posted 02 April 2007 - 11:34 PM

I finally figured this out, it does have something to do with Windows Media Center. I ran services.mcs and disabled the three "Windows Media Center" services, then restarted and dllhost.exe no longer loads at startup. Never anything to worry about, but I feel better now that I know for sure what it is.

#4 nigglesnush85

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Posted 03 April 2007 - 08:17 AM

I'm glad it worked for you, but you say that you have 3 windows media player services? can you go in to some more detail?

Edited by nigglesnush85, 03 April 2007 - 08:17 AM.

Regards,

Alan.

#5 MusicGuy

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Posted 03 April 2007 - 01:51 PM

I'm glad it worked for you, but you say that you have 3 windows media player services? can you go in to some more detail?

Not "media player," it's "Media Center" (as in Windows XP Media Center Edition). The three services I disabled are "Media Center Extender Service," "Media Center Receiver Service," and "Media Center Scheduler Service." Since I don't use the special features of Media Center I will probably just leave these turned off.




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