47 processes running with only 1 open program

September 24, 2010 at 06:40:48
Specs: Windows XP
my task manager says i have 47 processes running... but i only have 1 viewable program running. exactly which programs or processes MUST actually be there?

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September 24, 2010 at 06:43:53
Here's some reading on the subject:


Goin' Fishin' (Some day)

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September 24, 2010 at 06:55:46
Most of them will be Operating System processes that will start up even before anyone has logged on.


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September 24, 2010 at 07:34:32
The number of processes running in itself has little relationship to performance. I would expect that all of these other processes are using virtually no CPU time so that cannot impact performance. Some of these processes may be using significant memory, but that is only because there is currently no better use for it. If your application requires more memory the usage of inactive processes will be trimmed back, in some cases to almost nothing. I have seen this happen many times.

Unless your system has a severe memory shortage reducing the number of processes running is unlikely to significantly improve performance. Unless you are actually having a problem I would not be concerned.

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September 24, 2010 at 08:16:12
Did you look in the Process Tab?

Ms Hulot's boat

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September 24, 2010 at 12:09:47
Please bare with my ignorance to terms n such, Im totatally a Non-Techy, but seem to be muddling through when demanded upon in absolute frustrations.

Prior to my reinstalling of my Laptop Windows XP system, my CPU was running at 100% practically non-stop with only 3% free space. Couldnt even defrag. What a mess.

One piece of knowledge I have been searching for, for a few years now.... is a simple, pretty Generic....(NOT going to screw up my computer), "these MUST be on and running" list for my startup and background stuff. OR where might I find that info.... Every so often I find myself back to this ?? and have yet to find an answer.

I just dont want to have to go through all this frustration AGAIN if there is some way for me to keep things under control. Task Manager seems to be one place I spend a bit of time watching. Do I understand what Im looking at? LoL...I try....

Truly Thanks To All 4 ANY Helpfull Advice.
p. --> <pdot>

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September 24, 2010 at 12:18:08
There is no definitive list of what should be running and what can be deleted, it all depends on your hardware, how it is configured and what you use the computer for.

Attached is a list of common things found in the task manager, some good, some bad. It will give you some idea of what you can get rid of.



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September 24, 2010 at 12:56:10
Awesome Stuart!

Thank You So Much..... I'm sure this will help me out n steer me in a more productive direction.


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September 24, 2010 at 13:43:57
Here's another - click on each one for explanation:


I'd found this in Google (always worth trying) but when I came back Stuart had added his post. It still might be useful.

Ms Hulot's boat

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September 24, 2010 at 14:09:04
Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to bring up Task Manager, then click the Processes tab. Under "user name" you'll see SYSTEM, LOCAL SERVICE, NETWORK SERVICE & your own user name. I'll assume it's pdot42. There are certain services that can be disabled for better performance but for the most part, the only processes you need to be concerned with are the ones associated with pdot42. Put your mouse pointer on "User name" on the top of the column & click...this will arrange all the processes. You may have to click twice to bring your name to the top. The ones associated with pdot42 are the processes you need to sort out.

On my system, I have 40 processes running but only 6 of them are associated with my name. I can identify all of them...explorer, internet explorer, task manager, sound mixer, firewall & anti-virus. If you have processes that you can't identify, google them...you may find they're legit, but they may also be viruses, malware or spyware. Once they're identified, you can figure out how to deal with them.

If you click on the word "CPU" at the top of the column, the processes will then be arranged by CPU usage. If a certain process is hogging the CPU, google it.

If you've only got 3% freespace, it's time to do some major house cleaning. You need at least 15% free space to be able to defrag. Do you regularly empty your recycle bin? Some people just leave stuff sitting in there, not realizing that until you empty it, it's still occupying space on the drive. I've seen PCs with dozens of GBs of junk just rotting away in the bin. If you're sure you don't need it, dump it.

And get a cleaner such as CCleaner-Slim...it's the last one of this list:


CCleaner can also help you to identify startup processes. Open CCleaner, click TOOLS, then click STARTUP. From there, you can either delete or disable unneeded or unwanted processes that load every time the PC is started.

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September 24, 2010 at 16:22:25
Take care if using Google to search for "files" and "processes" by name. There are stacks of dubious website around that try to say everything is a virus or trojan in order for you to use their wonder program - ultimately leading to a sale.

It is best to try your hardest to find a legitimate reason for a file or process and only assume it is a nasty when you feel absolutely certain - seek advice if necessary. If you delete a valid process or file it can lead to big problems .

Ms Hulot's boat

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