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Filed Under: PC Help & Fixes   

Windows-based operating systems, such as Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows 2003, Windows XP, and Windows Vista use the generic host process svchost.exe or Service Host process for services that run from DLLs or Dynamic Host Libraries. As the svchost.exe processes can run multiple services, there can be multiple sessions of the process running on your system at the same time-with each svchost.exe consuming different amounts of CPU resources and memory. This is the reason why svchost.exe is associated with several PC problems such as 100% CPU usage problems, memory error, and excessive power utilization.

Although svchost.exe is usually detected to be the culprit that is eating up your system’s resource, it does not cause much damage. Because, in reality, svchost.exe is just a holder process for other services running on your system. For instance, virus, spyware, adware or Trojan programs may hide behind the svchost.exe process and consume a large amount of CPU and memory resources. This is the reason why when you open the Process tab of your Task Manager, you may see the svchost.exe process creating 100% CPU usage problems on your system.

Note: To open Task Manager, press the Ctrl + Alt + Del combination keys.

If on Windows Vista system, you are unable to view the svchost.exe process listed on the Processes tab of Task Manager window, and still your system is showing high CPU usage, then perform the following steps:

  1. Select the Show processes from all users button.
  2. In the User Account Control dialog box that opens, select the Continue button.
  3. Now, you will be able to see several svchost.exe processes running on the system and you may notice one of them consuming high CPU resources.
  4. Next, in order to find out the service that is behind the svchost.exe process and is consuming higher CPU or memory resources, you need to do the following:

  5. Once you have located the svchost.exe service that is causing the problem, right-click on it, and select Go to Service(s).
  6. Doing this, will open the Services tab in which some of the services will be highlighted. These highlighted services will be the ones that are associated with the problematic svchost.exe process.
  7. After you have identified the services that are causing the svhost.exe process to eat up system resources, you can carefully go through them and determine the service that might be causing the problem.
  8. When you have determined the suspected service, first ensure that no other services or processes rely on this service, then right-click on it and select Stop Service. You can also stop the service by opening the Services Management Console from the Control Panel.

Warning: Be careful when stopping a service because stopping essential Windows Vista services may make your PC unstable.

100% CPU usage problems and memory error may also be caused to due several other issues such as damaged registry, malware infections, and clogged and damaged hard disk. To prevent these problems you must regularly clean up and repair your registry with the help of a Windows Vista registry cleaner tool, run regular full system scans with your antivirus and antispyware tools, and keep your hard disk free from unwanted files and errors with the help of Disk Cleanup and Disk Defragmenter tools.

Additional Recommendations...

Driver Update: Many errors are related to driver problems such as obsolete, outdated or incompatible drivers. A driver update tool is recommended to scan your system for corrupted and outdated drivers and to ensure that all your drivers stay up-to-date.