My Windows Task Manager states that 9 instances of svchost.exe are running at the same time. Is that normal?
This program was made just for this purpose:
Tweaking.com - svchost.exe Lookup Tool 1.5.0
My solution to this problem was to start using Linux.
Windows 7 users don't need added programs to view anything.
This will help you to find out the same info that other programs will do for you.
My neighbor had 29 running at startup consuming resources. It was malware that cloaked itself from most scans. Finally got that and a rootkit cleaned up .
It's basically the short handle for "Service host" as it hosts most of the services running in the background of Windows.
Another tool would be Svchost Viewer which shows you detailed information (only) about the process.
How to determine what services are running under a SVCHOST.EXE process
Svchost.exe is a "surrogate" process that makes it easier for Windows programmers to write software which will run in the background. In other words, it "wraps around" the real programmer and runs it in the background. This is a great idea, but it has the downside that it conceals the identity of the real background process in Task Manager.
It's normal to see multiple instances of it in the the list since the represent, as explained above, different actual programs. If you want to find out what those processes are, download Process Explorer (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653.aspx) and run it. It will show you a much more accurate picture.