Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

Another set of quick Q&A from the Ask Leo Free service. Today:

  • More Windows versus MSN Messenger questions
  • More SVCHOST questions
  • What's the minimum tasks set Windows XP?
  • How do I hide a file or folder in Windows Explorer?

Why can I get audio & video with MSN Messenger but not Windows Messenger? As mentioned in my article on the differences between MSN and Windows Messenger, their features are typically out of sync with respect to each other, and obviously not always well coordinated. It's quite possible (and my guess here) that the version of Windows Messenger you're using is probably not using uPNP, which is required to get audio and video through a uPNP compatible router.

I can't get MSN Messenger to use audio through my router - without the router it works fine. My guess is that your router needs to support uPNP, and doesn't. Results are undefined if the router you have does not. Check out the article on Audio Conversations in Messenger.

What Port do I open to enable audio in MSN Messenger? Unfortunately there is no port to open. MSN's audio protocol apparently doesn't work that way. uPNP routers allow MSN Messenger to request the resources it needs dynamically.

How do I get an MSN Messenger Account? Easy: fire up MSN Messenger, click on File, then Sign In... -- at the bottom of that dialog is a link to "Get a .NET Passport". Click on that, and it'll walk you through the process.

Why is SVCHOST using 99% of my CPU? Chances are you have a virus. Several viruses manifest as problems with SVCHOST -- typically it either faults, or eats CPU time as in this question. It's proving a challenge for everyone to repair, while most anti-virus programs can detect the viruses, not all are doing the job to clean it up. Reader comments following the article svchost.exe has generated an error - now what do I do? have been particularly helpful in guiding many folks to a resolution.

What's the minimum tasks set Windows XP? Unfortunately there really is no answer to this question. Each install is different, and will have different requirements. The best solution, while imperfect, is to do your best to understand what each process on your machine is for (see What's this program running on my machine?), and the decide whether or not you need the services it provides. Speaking of services, once you get past the "obvious" running programs, many questions relate to the system services that are left. This site has an excellent XP Services Reference that can often tell you exactly what each service is for, and includes recommendations for whether or not you need it. (Caveat: as I write this the site appears to be down. It's very popular, as you can imagine, so I'm hoping it'll return soon.)

How do I hide a file or folder in Windows Explorer? Right click on the file, select properties, and select the "Hidden" checkbox. Realize that this hides the file from normal viewing, but Windows Explorer can be set to always view hidden files ... so it's not very hidden, now is it?

Article C1900 - March 6, 2004 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

P Srinivas
April 6, 2004 6:43 AM

I have a *feeling* that someone in my company is playing with my system. My password is secure and I shut down the system every night I go home.
I tried with some freeware spyspotters.No results.
Can anyone help me?

April 7, 2004 9:05 AM

I have several svchost running when i ctrl alt del , are these nessary can i get rid of them?
why are they there on my profile when using winxppro and not other users? How can I get rid of these? do I need them?

April 7, 2004 9:23 AM

Yes, they probably are neccessary. Check out this article: "What is svchost and why is there more than one copy running?"



May 16, 2004 11:28 PM

I am new at this, and for some reason when I click to open windows explorer it will not open it for me but switches me to my documents. How do I get this window to open for me at the right place. My system is windowsXP. Thank you

May 17, 2004 9:45 AM

Can you be a little more specific as to what exactly you're clicking on? And what you'd like to see as "the right place"?

May 17, 2004 2:36 PM

well a friend said she has a virus in SVCHOST.EXE is there any way that i could get rid of this? it is windows XP, and her computer is really slow so can you help me?

July 17, 2004 1:53 AM

Somebody has hacked my accounts! I want to close them down so they can not be used by anyone, but how can i do this? Please help me!!

July 17, 2004 9:18 AM

This article should point you in the right direction:

Nicky boi
August 28, 2004 3:30 AM

MSN messenger is being slow.... every time i hit 'enter' in a conevsation it takes a good 15 - 30 sec for it to come up in the conversation. any idea what i can do to solve this problem? it is REALLY annoying. cheers, spasticnick.

August 28, 2004 9:26 AM

Hard to say without knowing a lot more. I see that kind of behaviour when my internet connection is really slow, or when I'm doing a large download or upload in the background. If you're running any filesharing software you might turn that off and see if things improve.

October 9, 2004 9:01 PM

Hey, i was just wonderin if anyone knows how to get rid of the people on the deleted list????

boogie jucie
March 10, 2005 7:02 AM

why cant i see profiles on my messenger chat.

boogie jucie
March 10, 2005 7:02 AM

why cant i see profiles on my messenger chat.

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