Monday, September 29, 2008

How to end a task in Vista without the Task Mananger

I had something happen today that I've never seen on any version of Windows that I can remember.

The Task Manager crashed. More specifically - it continued to run but was completely unresponsive. Now to be fair this sort of thing has happened in the past - however - it would always indicate a major failure and require a reboot. Strangely the rest of my system was happy and responsive so I didn't see any need to reboot.

This of course was a new challenge - how to kill the Task Manager without using the Task Manager. Well it turns out its quite simple and required very little effort.

I opened a command prompt, and typed in "help". It returned a list of commands and I spotted the two I needed quite quickly - TASKLIST & TASKKILL.

Tasklist gave a list of running tasks as you would expect and TaskKill allowed me to end a task.

To kill the Task Manager the command is "Taskkill /im taskmgr.exe"

I think the bigger lesson in this post is the command line help is remarkably useful (as least it is under Windows Vista). I haven't tested this under other flavors of Windows so your results may vary.

Or maybe the lesson is the Task Manager is less stable in Windows Vista compared to previous versions.

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