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svchost is driving me batty


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#1
CHORE

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here's the skinny, geeks.

my computer has been running slow. not so slow that it is inoperable, just far below what i know it is capable of.

i think i have narrowed the problem down to the process "svchost.exe."
it hogs about 20,000k of my memory everytime i boot up

i know it is a vital process, that it's normal to have multiple instances of it running, blah, blah, blah.
my problem is that when i end the process, my computer runs faster (games have a higher framerate), but i lose sound.

i have had this problem before, prior to updating to service pack 2. i finally took the plunge, and service pack 2 seems to have fixed everything; my computer was screamingly fast. this was about 6 months ago. but now, svchost is back, and i don't know what to do. i don't want to post a HJT log here, because i'm not even sure if this is the right place to be posting this.

thanks in advance!
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#2
1101doc

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Svchost is an 'envelope' for XP Services. Sysinternals free process Explorer will help you discover which Service/s are creating the problem. Just mouse over an instance of 'svchost' to get a tooltip that lists the hosted services.
http://www.microsoft...ssexplorer.mspx

For solid info on XP Services, I rely on:
http://www.theelderg...vices_guide.htm
http://www.blackvipe.../servicecfg.htm

Compare and contrast to determine your needs. I suggest making changes to Services one at a time so that you can observe the effects (if any) and go back to reset it if required. Changing them wholesale makes it really hard to figure out "What broke it?"

Edited by 1101doc, 30 September 2007 - 07:59 PM.

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#3
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alright, i'll give these things a go and report back later
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#4
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ok.

I read your readings, did some doings, and disabled "automatic updates" and "background information transfer" on the offending svchost instance.
it's gone down some in memeory usage, but is still taking up about 18,000, and gets back up to 20,000 if left alone.

here are the other processes listed under the "big" svchost:

COM+ Event System
DHCP Client
Cryptographic Services
Distributed Link Tracking Client
Error Reporting Service
Fast User Switching Compatibility
Help and Support
HID Input Device
Network Connections
Network Locations Awareness (NLA)
Remote Access Connection Manager
Secondary Logon
Security Center
Server
Shell Hardware Detection
System Event Notification
System Restore Service
Task Scheduler
Telephony
Themes
Windows Audio
Windows Firewall/Internet Connection Sharing (ICS)
Windows Management Instrumentation
Windows Time
Workstation


my questions are: how do i know what i should or should not turn off? is one of these services gobbling up all my memory? do i just trail and error to find out which one it is?

thanks alot alot alot in advance
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#5
1101doc

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As I type this, my 'big' svchost is listed at almost 19,000. The real question is how much CPU is it consuming. XP handles memory quite well. If too much is asked of the RAM, it writes to the disc. Just make sure that your virtual memory(Page file) is set to "System Managed Size," and stop worrying about it. You can always add more RAM if your board will support it.

If you want to cut down on the Services, just read up at Black Viper or Elder Geek and make changes accordingly. Manual is a safe setting for almost everything. If Windows needs it, XP will start a service set to manual. Keep an eye on them, and change the setting of services that XP starts at boot to Automatic to speed things up a bit.
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#6
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alright, alright.

i did the "system managed" pagefile, went throught and disabled some of the unneeded svchost services, and my svchost is down to about a 16,000-17,000.

i also should mention that i just added another gb of memory to my computer (bringing the total to 2048) prior to posting here, thinking it would solve my problem.

i should also also mention that my problem is one purely of frivolity, as i really just want to play games; everything else works fine. so it's no big pressing matter if this issue isn't resolved.

that being said, i have been using the framerate in half life 1 as a benchmark, and i should be getting a framerate of 99.9 on my video card (Radeon X700). I noticed my performance dropping with the onset of the svchost problems, and sure enough, after i did all the little fixes you reccommended, my framerate was great at the beginning of the game, and then would drop considerably, to being unplayable. I alt-tabbed out to see that svchost was up to 19,000 or 20,000 again. this is frustrating.

anyway, thanks for your help, if you have anything more to suggest, i am open, but this is not a compu-life-or-death matter
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#7
1101doc

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Sorry, no experience with gaming. Might try Black Viper's settings for "Power User" or "Bare Bones" to see if things work better (or at all). http://www.blackvipe.../servicecfg.htm

I suggest that you make a chart (on paper) that indicates the changes you make to Services, and the settings needed for non-gaming functions, so that you can reset them as required.

If I was more experienced, I would offer you a .bat file that would toggle everything on and off. I have a small one I got from Window's Secrets latest newsletter that turns on and off the 2 services required for Window's Update. Looks to me like you would need the actual 'Windows' name of each service in order to write the commands. http://windowssecrets.com/comp/070927/
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#8
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do you think it would behoove me at all to reinstall SP2? or is that even possible?

i put off upgrading from SP1 for the longest time, at which time i had similar symptoms. but when i went SP2, everything was great
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#9
1101doc

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I wouldn't mess with Sp2. Lots of posts about problems when making changes there. It really isn't a seperate thing, but more a bunch of changes integrated into XP.

Just learned of this, and have not yet tried it on my test machine, but this might be what you're looking for. No reviews, no nada yet, still in beta, so "Danger, Will Robinson!" If it works as advertised and is clean and bug-free, it would seem to be just the ticket: http://www.sparklexp.com/ This is not a recommendation!

Edited by 1101doc, 04 October 2007 - 06:21 PM.

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