Session Manager Subsystem

Session Manager Subsystem, or smss.exe, is a component of the Microsoft Windows NT family of operating systems, from Windows NT 3.1 to Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. It is executed during the startup process of those operating systems. At this time it:

  • Creates environment variables.
  • Starts the kernel and user modes of the Win32 subsystem. This subsystem includes win32k.sys (kernel-mode), winsrv.dll (user-mode), and csrss.exe (user-mode). Any other subsystems listed in the Required value of the HKLMSystemCurrentControlSetControlSession ManagerSubSystems Registry key are also started.
  • Creates DOS device mappings (e.g. CON:, NUL:, AUX:, COM1:, COM2:, COM3:, COM4:, PRN:, LPT1:, LPT2:, LPT3:, and drive letters) listed at the HKLMSystemCurrentControlSetControlSession ManagerDOS Devices registry key. This can be used to create permanent subst drives.
  • Creates virtual memory paging files.
  • Starts winlogon.exe, the Windows logon manager.

After the boot process is finished, the program resides in memory and can be seen running in the Windows Task Manager. It then waits for either winlogon.exe or csrss.exe to end else Windows will shut down. If the processes do not end in an expected fashion, smss.exe may hang the system.

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Famous quotes containing the words session and/or manager:

    The bar is the male kingdom. For centuries it was the bastion of male privilege, the gathering place for men away from their women, a place where men could go to freely indulge in The Bull Session ... the release of the guilty anxiety of the oppressor class.
    Shulamith Firestone (b. 1945)

    I knew a gentleman who was so good a manager of his time that he would not even lose that small portion of it which the calls of nature obliged him to pass in the necessary-house, but gradually went through all the Latin poets in those moments. He bought, for example, a common edition of Horace, of which he tore off gradually a couple of pages, read them first, and then sent them down as a sacrifice to Cloacina: this was so much time fairly gained.
    Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl Chesterfield (1694–1773)