Microsoft Help Center Service – Windows XP. In our experience you will only see this task running if you have Automatic Updates turned ON or if you are in the process of running a Windows Update, or you access the Windows XP Help, as this task’s main job is to install Microsoft updates to the Windows XP Help and Support Center, and most specifically, new Headlines. Microsoft’s description of Headlines : "A useful feature of Help and Support Center is the Headlines area. This area is typically titled "Did you know?" and is usually located in the lower-right corner of the main window, unless the window has been customized by the OEM or modified for certain languages. A page in Help and Support Center with more Headlines is exposed to users when they click the "View more headlines" hyperlink at the bottom of the "Did you know?" section. Headlines provides a dynamic source of content that users can visit frequently to find help and support on current issues as well as those that were known at the time the operating system was released. For example, it may display links to topics that inform the user about new security bulletins, software updates, or new Help content.".
In most cases this task terminates once the Windows Update terminates and/or you exit the Windows XP Help. It has been known, however, not to terminate itself and instead to run away with CPU usage, up to 90%, with the obvious impact on the PC’s performance. If this happens regularly create a DWORD entry called Headlines and give it the value of 0, for the following Registry Key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ PCHealth \ HelpSvc \ (only advanced users should attempt this). This disables the Headlines feature which simply means that your Help and Support Center headlines are never updated.