Tech Tips / Windows NT / Tools and Tasks

How to shut down an errant process

We most frequently think of using Task Manager to shut down an errant process via the Process tab. But if you have a UNIX background or just simply like to work from the command line, two Windows NT Resource Kit utilities can show you a new way.

The first step is to determine the process ID number, which can be done using the Tlist.exe command. Running C:\>tlist will return a list of running processes, first listing the process ID followed by the process name, with your results looking something like this:

   C:\>tlist
   0 System Process
   2 System
   20 smss.exe
   26 csrss.exe
   34 WINLOGON.EXE
   42 SERVICES.EXE
   45 LSASS.EXE
   72 SPOOLSS.EXE
   ...
   198 notepad.exe Untitled - Notepad
   214 TLIST.EXE

Now to stop Notepad (which has a process ID of 198), simply use the kill command (Kill.exe is a Resource Kit utility):

   C:\>kill 198
   process #198 killed

You may, if you wish, kill a process using its name instead. For example, C:\>kill notepad.exe will also shut Notepad down.

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