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Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Tasklist.exe is a utility to examine your system's running programs. It's not on every version of Windows but a more powerful alternative is available.[an error occurred while processing this directive]
What is Tasklist.exe, and why don't I have it?
In several articles here I talk about using a tool called tasklist to determine which services are being provided by the various instances of svchost.
As it turns out that advice is very confusing for some since they don't actually have tasklist. Users with Windows XP Home for one since tasklist.exe is provided only with Windows XP Pro and (I assume) Windows 2003 server.
Fortunately there's an alternative, and it involves one of my favorite tools.
SysInternals makes a free tool called Process Explorer or "procexp". I've referenced it in various articles here because it's a great tool for viewing everything from what processes are running on your machine, to what process is holding a file open. It turns out that it's great for determining which services an instance of a process is providing.
Here's a portion of procexp's display on my machine:
You'll note that there are at least two instances of SVCHOST.EXE running. If we double click on one we get the following:
Note the tab labeled "Services" at the top. If we click on that we'll get something like this:
This instance of SVCHOST happens to be providing 30 separate services to the operating system, from "AudioSrv", aka "Windows Audio", on down.
The information is actually a more detailed than tasklist would provide since it includes the full text name of each service, as well as the descriptive help information for each found at the bottom of the display.
Process Explorer is free and runs on all Windows platforms. The services information we're discussing here only applies to Windows NT based versions which include Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.
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