Thursday, July 17, 2008

Week 29 Article 03 - Viewing Processes in Windows

One of the few things I have noticed in the companies that survive the first 5 years of their establishment is that, as they grow, they tend to buyout other companies of interest, and rebadge their products and technologies as their own. I guess this saves up on the R&D expenses.

I have been an avid fan of and Sysinternals has a suite of tools that almost all system admins will love. One of my personal favorites is the pstools suite. This Swiss army knife tool set allows you to remotely access other pcs on the network. This enables you to start/stop their services, access their command lines etc.

Changing the focus to local machines, have you ever wondered what all those processes in your computer are doing? I mean it is all good to see the processes using the Task Manager, but have you ever wondered what files are being opened by them or what TCP/IP ports they might be opening/closing? How about what was their parent process?

I bet if there are any *ix users they will quickly point out that this is one of the native properties in the *ix kernal. ps enables you to do this beautifully. Well if you dont have a Vista pc, then you can download ... drum rolls maestro!!! .. Process Explorer from Please be aware that this site has been bought by Microsoft now but the downloads are still available for free. Actually the process detailing in the Task Manager of Vista is provided by the tools out of

Anyways hope this helps you guys solve some of those problems that might be baffling you. You can now find out what process is holding on to that file that you are trying to delete, or starting that annoying program you are trying to stop from starting.

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