wmiprvse.exe is one of the many processes that runs behind the scenes on Microsoft Windows operating systems such as XP and Vista. wmiprvse.exe is designed to work with the Windows Management Instructions (WMI) operations of the winmgmt.exe application. Unlike many of the behind the scenes processes found on Windows, wmiprvse.exe is a required process and should not be quit.
What does the wmiprvse.exe process actually do?
The wmiprvse.exe application was designed to provide management and control operations for enterprise environments. However, although it is designed to make enterprise computing easier, it is also required for home users as well.
wmiprvse.exe was introduced in Windows XP as a way to make sure that other services do not quit if a particular host process fails. In previous Windows operating systems, if one service went down, the entire application had to be restarted the next time a program requested information from the Windows Management instructions.
What if there are multiple instances of wmiprvse.exe running at once?
This is perfectly normal. A fully functioning Windows computer often requires different accounts to all run wmiprvse.exe. Expect to see wmiprvse.exe run by LocalService, LocalSystem, and NetworkService.
Where is wmiprvse.exe located?
The application for wmiprvse.exe is always located in the C:\Windows\System32\Wbem folder under Windows XP systems.
What if wmiprvse.exe is located elsewhere?
If you find that wmiprvse.exe is running from another folder, chances are that it is a trojan, or some other type of virus. There are several types of malware that masquerade as wmiprvse.exe because it is a common system process that unknowing users are unlikely to detect. However, a quick examination of your running processes and their locations is an easy way to determine if you are infected by a wmiprvse.exe type malware.
In the event that you are infected with a wmiprvse.exe virus, attempt to terminate the rogue wmiprvse.exe application and remove it from your system. This may require booting into safe mode and manually removing it, or your anti-virus program may be able to do the job for you. Furthermore, if the wmiprvse.exe is serious, there may be a Windows update that is designed to remove or patch the exploit that the virus is currently taking advantage of.
What if I have wmiprvsw.exe running?
wmiprvsw.exe is the application that corresponds to the well known Sasser worm, It is in your best interest to remove this application immediately.