Session Manager Subsystem
This article needs to be updated.August 2014)(
Session Manager Subsystem, or
smss.exe, is a component of the Microsoft Windows NT family of operating systems, starting in Windows NT 3.1. It is executed during the startup process of those operating systems (it is the first user-mode process started by the kernel). At this time it:
- Creates environment variables.
- Starts the kernel and user modes of the Win32 subsystem. This subsystem includes
csrss.exe(user-mode). Any other subsystems listed in the Required value of the
HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\SubSystemsRegistry 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 HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\DOS Devices registry key. This can be used to create permanent subst drives.
- Creates virtual memory paging files.
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
csrss.exe to end else Windows will shut down.[clarification needed] If the processes do not end in an expected fashion, smss.exe may hang the system.
- Matt Pietrek (1996). "Poking Around Under the Hood: A Programmer's View of Windows NT 4.0". Microsoft Systems Journal. Archived from the original on November 18, 2012.
- Microsoft Corporation (2007). "Default Processes in Windows 2000". Microsoft Corporation. Retrieved 2009-06-14.