Originally Posted by ampgalore
I am having the same problem. When I first got my computer, I had 36 processes running. Right now I have 51 processes running. Where did they come from?
I used adaware numerous times, no decrease in the number of processes.
How do you know which processes are essential, which ones are "garbage?"
Not always easy, msconfig(as mentioned by another poster) will tell you where the process originates from i.e which directory the executable is in, often that will give you a clue, something coming out of the windows or \system32 dir will probably be required. If it is just in a program files directory i.e
it may be a stub that does not need to be running all the time. If you have downloaded any media players from the web you will certainly have some of these and they will periodically connect to their home sites and try and get you to update the program (isnt Windows security wonderful), antivirus software also runs in the background unbidden as do some disk defrgamenters. Some stubs refer to hardware i.e in mine I have touchpad , keyboard and videocard processes all beetling away in the background.
You can always try stopping processes in the task manager, if they really are critical windows will not normally let you kill them. If killing a process does not seem to do any damage you can disable some of them in Msconfig, they can always be enabled again(and they will be on reboot).
Sometimes I will edit registry settings to get rid of stuff. but this can be risky , though you can make backups of your. registry.