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Really killing a process in Windows


Question

Occasionally a program on a Windows machine goes crazy and just hangs. So I'll call up the task manager and hit the "End Process" button for it. However, this doesn't always work; if I try it enough times then it'll usually die eventually, but I'd really like to be able to just kill it immediately. On Linux I could just kill -9 to guarantee that a process will die.

This also could be used for writing batch scripts and writing batch scripts is programming.

Is there some program or command that comes with Windows that will always kill a process? A free third-party app would be fine, although I'd prefer to be able to do this on machines I sit down at for the first time.

2016/09/07
1
379
9/7/2016 8:20:11 AM

Accepted Answer

"End Process" on the Processes-Tab calls TerminateProcess which is the most ultimate way Windows knows to kill a process.

If it doesn't go away, it's currently locked waiting on some kernel resource (probably a buggy driver) and there is nothing (short of a reboot) you could do to make the process go away.

Have a look at this blog-entry from wayback when: http://blogs.technet.com/markrussinovich/archive/2005/08/17/unkillable-processes.aspx

Unix based systems like Linux also have that problem where processes could survive a kill -9 if they are in what's known as "Uninterruptible sleep" (shown by top and ps as state D) at which point the processes sleep so well that they can't process incoming signals (which is what kill does - sending signals).

Normally, Uninterruptible sleep should not last long, but as under Windows, broken drivers or broken userpace programs (vfork without exec) can end up sleeping in D forever.

2018/09/15
319
9/15/2018 6:55:51 PM


Process Hacker has numerous ways of killing a process.

(Right-click the process, then go to Miscellaneous->Terminator.)

2014/07/17

JosepStyons is right. Open cmd.exe and run

taskkill /im processname.exe /f

If there is an error saying,

ERROR: The process "process.exe" with PID 1234 could not be terminated. Reason: Access is denied.

then try running cmd.exe as administrator.

2017/10/16

Get process explorer from sysinternals (now Microsoft)

Process Explorer - Windows Sysinternals | Microsoft Docs

2018/03/03

One trick that works well is to attach a debugger and then quit the debugger.

On XP or Windows 2003 you can do this using ntsd that ships out of the box:

ntsd -pn myapp.exe

ntsd will open up a new window. Just type 'q' in the window to quit the debugger and take out the process.

I've known this to work even when task manager doesn't seem able to kill a process.

Unfortunately ntsd was removed from Vista and you have to install the (free) debbugging tools for windows to get a suitable debugger.

2008/09/08

setup an AT command to run task manager or process explorer as SYSTEM.

AT 12:34 /interactive "C:/procexp.exe"

If process explorer was in your root C drive then this would open it as SYSTEM and you could kill any process without getting any access denied errors. Set this for like a minute in the future, then it will pop up for you.

2012/12/15

Source: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/49988
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