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
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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.