Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Download This! - Process Explorer

Task Manager? bah! Not only doesn't it show enough information, it doesn't show the right information. Why not switch to Sysinternals' Process Explorer? Not only does it provide the basic information you can find in TM, it also shows you the list of modules loaded with any process, list of open handles, permissions, threads, command line... so much more. It actually deserves several posts.
At Tech Ed '06, I spent a full day listening to Mark Russinovich (Sysinternals founder, recently joined Microsoft - a link to his blog) showing what more you can do with Process Explorer. I was sold (very easy to do when the product is great and the price is 0).
Few capabilities in this multi-featured application that I like the most:
  1. The ability to see which service is responsible for an executable.
  2. The ability to see which process is holding your file and being able to close the handle (no more "file is in use, cannot delete" error).
  3. The ability to suspend and resume a process. Too much resources consumed by an app and you need your CPU now? Suspend it and resume later on. Most applications won't be aware of that (unless they rely on clock synchronization).
  4. See the command line that started your application.
  5. Find out who's the parent process of the process you're interested in.
  6. And finally, replace your Task Manager with PE, so when you click ctrl + shift + esc you'd see PE.
Now is a great time to download this great application, as version 11.0 was released today.
Download it here.

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