What causes multiple instances of processes?

KrogerMIS used Ask the Experts™
I have a remote server running Windows Server 2003 Std. Edition that periodically runs very slowly.  Hardware-wise, it's running 3GHz Pentium 4, 2GB RAM with multi-GB free space on the single hard drive.  Software-wise, the heaviest applications are SQL Server 2005 and our enterprise uses McAfee's products.  

When the site reports a slowdown, I remote to the server and open Task Manager.  There, I see multiple instances of various processes.  For example: csrss.exe, explorer.exe, Mctray.exe, shstat.exe, SMax4.exe, sqlmangr.exe, TBMon.exe, winlogon.exe and others.  I've not seen any messages in the Event Viewer that might explain why this is happening.  The site doesn't report any problems other than the slowdown.

Am I correct in thinking this is an indication of the problem?  Can anyone explain what might be causing the multiple instances?  Can you give me some direction as to how to hunt this down?

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remmett70Network Manager

Do others remote into this server for various functions.  When you remote in and start a new session, more instances of the programs will start.  If others remote in as well, then there will be even more instances.  I would make sure that anyone who does remote in is logging out of their session so those processes are closed when they are finished.
SQL 2005 requires more memory to function. Pls try to increase the pagefile size and see. If possible, increase the RAM


There are no other remote sessions on the box as our support team are the only ones with access remotely.  I had already added more RAM and increased the pagefile size and that does seem to have helped.  But I was hoping for an explanation of the multiple instances of the process so I could understand what might be happening.  I did find out that the CPU in the box is a Pentium 4 with one core but with Hype-Threading enabled.  Perhaps that explains the multiple instances?

In any case, this thread appears to have died, so I'll close it and award the points to mohanarangam.

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