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In my task manager, I have two entries for svchost.exe - one taking up 300MB of memory and the other 75MB.

Is that normal? If not, what should I do? What can the problem be? I don't remember seeing svchost.exe take up this much memory before.

OS: Windows Vista Home Premium SP1

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You can use Process Explorer to see what services are hosted by which svchost process. –  grawity Jun 23 '10 at 20:14
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3 Answers

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Having two entries for svchost.exe is not a problem. It is not uncommon to see several entries. For a bit of an explaination about the svchost.exe process, see the question What does the svchost.exe process do?.

As for the memory, 300MB does seem like a lot for a single instance. Have a look at the question svchost eating up memory and take a look at the process. If the process is hosting several services 300 MB might be reasonable, but if not the tool mentioned in the question, Process Explorer, can help you to determine which process is causing the problems.

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Just thought I'd mention here that certain malware changes its name to svchost.exe so that it cannot be identified easily, although that doesn't seem to be the case here. So if the User Name column beside the svchost.exe processes shows your user account name, and not a system account name, like SYSTEM/LOCAL SERVICE/NETWORK SERVICE, you can assume that it's something fishy. –  Om Nom Nom Jun 23 '10 at 20:33
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It's normal. svchost is basically the helper process for background Windows and other applications' services, so it can be running multiple tasks at the same time. And two copies of svchost is nothing; sometimes I have as many as 12. If the memory it's consuming is really bugging you, just restart your computer.

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Start up in safe mode, open Task manager and take a screenshot of running services. Start up normally, do the same, compare the two and start deleting services. I got rid of a 400 MB svchost.exe instance this very way.

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Just killing processes without knowing what they are about is very risky business... –  vonbrand Mar 5 '13 at 1:45
    
well, right click on the service and goto the process, if its running @ 400 mb its either a bug or superfluous –  john krueger Mar 5 '13 at 13:12
    
Or something that happens to need 400MiB. Unless you know which... –  vonbrand Mar 5 '13 at 13:37
    
Nothing in my little netbook world needs 400mb, if I dont know what the process and associated services are (rare) I google it and figure it out –  john krueger Mar 13 '13 at 1:41
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