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Posted: Apr 24 2012, 07:16 PM
Member No.: 7
Joined: 13-April 12
Taskmanager is sometimes a puzzling utility.
It shows me a list of processes with very unusual names that don't seem to mean anything.
It can be very difficult to figure out what they all are and what they do. What program are they part of?
Do I need them? Want them?
Unfortunately, Taskmanager does not have the ability all by itself to answer these questions.
But they can be answered.
A big help would be if the name of the company that created the process was displayed. It would also be nice if some sort of description was offered. Really cool would be if the icon of the program that uses the process was displayed with the process name.
Fortunately, we're not the only ones that would like to have that stuff.
Sysinternals' Mark Russinovich has created a program that is what Taskmanager wants to be when it grows up and graduates from college.
He calls it Process Explorer, and has been giving it away for several years.
I don't know how computer users ever got along without it.
Get it here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653
The download link is at the bottom of the page.
What is really cool is that it does not require installation.
Just run it in place.
Since it is fairly large, I put it in a directory, and then made a shortcut for my Desktop.
Once you have it open, I think that there are several configuration tricks to make it the most useful.
Start with Options up at the top:
>Always on top. When I want to see it, I want to see it now, I don't want to have to move other stuff out of the way!
>Replace Taskmanager. I don't, but you may decide that you want this option.
>Hide when minimized. Oh, Yeah! That way I have more room in my Taskbar for other window tabs.
>Allow only one instance. Don't know when I'd need two at once, but...
>Confirm Kill. Seems like a good idea to get a confirmation that a process I selected to stop really did, eh?
>CPU History in tray icon. Sure! That way when I mouse over it I get a small tooltip with the CPU state.
>I/O history Tray icon. Umm.. Maybe a little too geeky for me. I always have the option.
>Verify Image Signatures. Couldn't hurt.
Next open Configure Highlighting. Here you can change the colors of the different categories. I chose pale green for services, and blue for my processes. Red for killed ones, and bright pink for new ones, etc. Set it up however you like. The default just had too much pink for me.
Next on to View.
>Show process tree. Not all the time. If I click the column header for 'Process' it switches anyway.
I have a different sort order that I prefer.
>Show processes from all users. You betcha.
>Show fractional CPU. Why not? Full monty, eh?
>Show new processes. Of course.
>Show unnamed handles and mappings. OK. Maybe I'll learn what the heck they are this way.
>Opacity. Play with it.
>Show lower pane. Not all the time for me. Play with this one, too.
>Update Speed. Fast as I can.
>Organize Column sets. I've got the one I like. You may want to have some different sets to play with.
>Select Columns. OK. This is where the action really is. Open this one up.
You now have the ability to make so many choices that Process Explorer will fill the entire screen.
Have fun with this, but I really hope that one of your choices will be CPU Time.
CPU Time shows the amount of time that the process has accessed the processor
during the current session.
Since I sort the processes by clicking this column header, the processes are arranged according to activity.
The most active at the top, and the least at the bottom.
This makes it easy to see what is using my system resources.
I also think everyone should include the 'Company' and process 'Description' columns for easy process identification.
The columns can be re-arranged by 'dragging and dropping' the column headers.
The width of the columns can be managed as well.
The size of the Process Explorer window can be easily resized by simply dragging the borders to fit.
I like to make it big enough to eliminate at the horizontal scrollbar at least.
But Wait! This is all great, but I still dont know about some of these processes, and what they do.
Here are a dozen places to check them out. Just type or paste the name of the process into the
search boxes on these helpful sites and Go.
There are actually many more, but those mostly require manual searches.
And if you just can't find anything - this is a red flag. Google it, but it's very likely a baddie.
That's what the malware section of the forum is for. Use it.
Have fun with Process Explorer and gain control of your processes.
Try a mouse over of the svchost entries.
Double click any process. Woo-Hoo!
If you need a startup control utility, try free WinPatrol: http://www.winpatrol.com/
PS: Don't start with Services (svchost) until after you've had a good read:
Neurons that fire together wire together.
Posted with Opera