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Article ID: 263201 - Last Review: May 7, 2007 - Revision: 4.5

This article was previously published under Q263201
Notice
This article applies to Windows 2000. Support for Windows 2000 ends on July 13, 2010. The Windows 2000 End-of-Support Solution Center (http://support.microsoft.com/?scid=http%3a%2f%2fsupport.microsoft.com%2fwin2000) is a starting point for planning your migration strategy from Windows 2000. For more information see the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy (http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle/) .

SUMMARY

This article describes the processes which run by default in Microsoft Windows 2000. These processes can be viewed using Task Manager.

MORE INFORMATION

Csrss.exe - You cannot end this process from Task Manager.
  • This is the user-mode portion of the Win32 subsystem (with Win32.sys being the kernel-mode portion). Csrss stands for client/server run-time subsystem and is an essential subsystem that must be running at all times. Csrss is responsible for console windows, creating and/or deleting threads, and some parts of the 16-bit virtual MS-DOS environment.
Explorer.exe - You can end this process from Task Manager.
  • This is the user shell, which we see as the familiar taskbar, desktop, and so on. This process isn't as vital to the running of Windows as you might expect, and can be stopped (and restarted) from Task Manager, usually with no negative side effects on the system.
Internat.exe - You can end this process from Task Manager.
  • Internat.exe runs at startup; it loads the different input locales that are specified by the user. The locales to be loaded for the current user are taken from the following registry key:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Keyboard Layout\Preload
    Internat.exe loads the "EN" icon into the system tray, allowing the user to easily switch between locales. This icon disappears when the process is stopped, but the locales can still be changed through Control Panel.

    Note The locales for the "System" are loaded from here:
    HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Keyboard Layout\Preload
    These locales are used by system services that are running under the Local System account or when no user is logged on (for example, at the logon prompt).
Lsass.exe - You cannot end this process from Task Manager.
  • This is the local security authentication server, and it generates the process responsible for authenticating users for the Winlogon service. This process is performed by using authentication packages such as the default Msgina.dll. If authentication is successful, Lsass generates the user's access token, which is used to launch the initial shell. Other processes that the user initiates inherit this token.
Mstask.exe - You cannot end this process from Task Manager.
  • This is the task scheduler service, responsible for running tasks at a time predetermined by the user.
Smss.exe - You cannot end this process from Task Manager.
  • This is the session manager subsystem, which is responsible for starting the user session. This process is initiated by the system thread and is responsible for various activities, including launching the Winlogon and Win32 (Csrss.exe) processes and setting system variables. After it has launched these processes, it waits for either Winlogon or Csrss to end. If this happens "normally," the system shuts down; if it happens unexpectedly, Smss.exe causes the system to stop responding (hang).
Spoolsv.exe - You cannot end this process from Task Manager.
  • The spooler service is responsible for managing spooled print/fax jobs.
Svchost.exe - You cannot end this process from Task Manager.
  • This is a generic process, which acts as a host for other processes running from DLLs; therefore, don't be surprised to see more than one entry for this process. To see what processes are using Svchost.exe, use Tlist.exe from the Windows 2000 CD-ROM; the syntax is tlist -s at the command prompt.

    For more information, see the following article:

    250320  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/250320/EN-US/ ) Description of Svchost.exe in Windows 2000
Services.exe - You cannot end this process from Task Manager.
  • This is the Services Control Manager, which is responsible for starting, stopping, and interacting with system services.
System - You cannot end this process from Task Manager.
  • Most system kernel-mode threads run as the System process.
System Idle Process - You cannot end this process from Task Manager.
  • This process is a single thread running on each processor, which has the sole task of accounting for processor time when the system isn't processing other threads. In Task Manager, expect this process to account for the majority of processor time.
Taskmgr.exe - You can end this process from Task Manager.
  • This is the process for Task Manager itself.
Winlogon.exe - You cannot end this process from Task Manager.
  • This is the process responsible for managing user logon and logoff. Moreover, Winlogon is active only when the user presses CTRL+ALT+DEL, at which point it shows the security dialog box.
Winmgmt.exe - You cannot end this process from Task Manager.
  • Winmgmt.exe is a core component of client management in Windows 2000. This process initializes when the first client application connects or continuously when management applications request its services.
Many of the processes that cannot be ended from Task Manager can be ended using the Resource Kit utility kill.exe. However, this command may cause system failure or other unwanted side effects.

APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
Keywords: 
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