This article was previously published under Q181333
When you start a 16-bit program on a computer running Windows NT, theNtvdm.exe and Wowexec.exe processes start. After you quit the 16-bitprogram, the Ntvdm.exe and Wowexec.exe processes remain in memory.
This behavior is a design feature of Windows NT. The Ntvdm.exe andWowexec.exe processes remain in memory in case you start another 16-bitprogram. Leaving the Windows-On-Windows (WOW) environment (which consistsof the Ntvdm.exe and Wowexec.exe processes) in memory improves performance.
The WOW environment is not loaded when you start Windows NT. It is loadedwhen you first start a 16-bit program.