Multiple "svchost.exe" in Newly Loaded Windows XP

Posted on 2004-09-21
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2009-07-29
I just purchased a new harddrive for my laptop, due to so many problems on my current harddrive.  I loaded windows XP onto it and I am trying to be very observant and cautious as "running tasks".  I am sick and tired of Virus' and adware and want to do everything possible to prevent it and to keep my computer from clogging up.

On a newly loaded windows XP "running tasks" are:

System idle process
svchost.exe-not available
svchost.exe-not available

I guess that my questions is why are there multiple svchost.exe in the process category, Can I get rid of the duplicates and how do I get rid of the duplicates???????  Also are there any other processes that can be deleted such as those regarding help___.exe????

Thanks John Bayless,  My First Question, More to come, 52 YO, and my history goes back to XT, 286s & 386s and I am trying to get a handle on XP.
Question by:jorbay
  • 3
LVL 59

Accepted Solution

LeeTutor earned 200 total points
ID: 12112933
It is perfectly all right to have multiple svchost processes running simultaneously.  I right now have 4 of them on my pc.

See this MSKB article:

A Description of Svchost.exe in Windows XP
LVL 59

Expert Comment

ID: 12113025
To keep viruses/trojans/spyware etc. from infecting your computer, it is important to have both an Antivirus program running and a firewall.  You can check online personal computer magazines (or, of course, the printed versions) for reviews of both these types of programs.  E.G., www.pcmag.com and www.pcworld.com  Or you can use a free AV program such as AVG:


The builtin Windows XP firewall is barely adequate, in my opinion.  I use the free version of the ZoneAlarm firewall which can be downloaded from www.zonelabs.com

Expert Comment

ID: 12113075

svchost.exe handles the processes running from DLL files. It is normal for there to be 3 or 4 instances of this running.
These will just keep coming back, don't worry about them.

whenever you click help, helpctr.exe is initiated.  It is not essential, you can stop it if you want.

If you are worried about ad-ware etc. download ad-aware from http://www.lavasoft.nl
Ad-Aware is free for personal use and does a pretty good job as long as you remeber to update the definitions.

Also be sure to install all updates from windows update (In internet explorer, click 'tools', then 'windows update')

enjoy :o)
LVL 59

Expert Comment

ID: 12113086
You can research many of the running XP tasks at this website:


I don't see any invalid processes running in your task list.  I would not recommend turning off the tasks with HELP in them. They not only link you to the builtin Microsoft XP help documention, but also to important tasks such as Windows Update.

Author Comment

ID: 12114503
Lee & zaneyfunster, thanks for your assistance.   The microsoft website helped explain the situation--very good reference.  I am currently using Norton Internet Security, Ad-aware, and Spybot and have tried using bhblaster (not really sure what it does except monitor changes).  I plan to load my Norton Internet security, and then to get my microsoft updates, next to install ad-aware SE, and Spybot.  I am also considering not using IE as my browser. (I used to use Netscape, why isn't it mentioned as a suitable browser?)

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