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Unable to kill processes

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  • Occasionally, a process will hang in such a way that I cannot terminate it at all.  This seems to have started in Vista and carried over into 7 (Win 7 was a clean install on a blank disk).  In XP Pro, process explorer would *always* kill any process I asked it to.  It was great, as it enabled me to run without the need to reboot for months at a time.

    In my currently existing problem, there are two processes which will not go away.  Normally, when these processes are not hung, I can easily terminate them with process explorer.  These processes are legitimate and part of my normal system use.  I do not have any malware problems.  When these processes are hung, I cannot re-launch their parent applications.  It is incredibly frustrating to be unable to re-launch the apps without a reboot.

    I cannot end them with the task manager, process explorer, taskkill, or pskill.

    Process explorer will return an Access Denied error, and I always run process explorer as administrator.  I created a batch file for pskill and ran it as administrator, it also reports Access Denied.

    Here is the output from taskkill, when run from a command prompt (which was started as administrator):

    C:\Users\Kevin>taskkill /f /pid 996
    ERROR: The process with PID 996 could not be terminated.
    Reason: There is no running instance of the task.

    I have granted my user account (already an administrator) and the administrator account the "act as operating system" security policy assignment.  This has not helped.

    This problem has occasionally manifested in the past, where the only solution was to reboot the computer when the particular process would hang.

    How can I properly kill a process without restriction?  The frustration level here is off the chart.

    Unfortunately and fortunately, I cannot intentionally duplicate the hung process scenario.  Fortunately - because it's somewhat infrequent.  Unfortunately - because it's much harder to troubleshoot.  However, I suspect this is a core problem in windows 6 and 6.1.

    Other responses to this issue I find in these forums range from "It's not like there are a lot of people reporting taskkill failure"(blaming the topic starter's hardware), to completely unrelated walkthroughs for reinstalling various items, to unanswered.  This inability to kill processes in 7 and Vista is reported all over the internet.  Please, please, somebody provide a real fix or workaround. :(

    Saturday, August 21, 2010 11:19 AM

All replies

  • You can try Killbox  http://www.killbox.net/ .
    Click on the Processes item in the menu and it'll bring up a list of processes running.
    Be very careful!! This is a powerful tool, and can delete things you really don't want deleted if you're careless.


    SC Tom
    -There's no such thing as TMI when asking for tech support.

    Saturday, August 21, 2010 1:04 PM
  • Thanks, but I definitely don't want to delete the file.  They're not malicious files in this case, just abnormally hung.  Killbox will try to delete the file after attempting to kill the process.

    I think if the right MS engineers were made aware of these situations, we could be given a fix or workaround eventually.

    Sunday, August 22, 2010 7:52 AM
  • Kevin, You are barking up the wrong tree.

    Nothing is broken with windows, your problems are software / hardware related and the software is not windows.

    If it where some "windows Issue" then I and many others here would have seen by now and I have not, and judging by the lack of "me too" posting here we can see that it is some wide spread issue would need any response from the "right MS engineers".

    Windows Vista on the right hardware is a fine OS, Windows 7 is ROCK SOLID when you use the right hardware and right software.

    Just as Linux / OSx are stable as well, it is the software we install, the hardware we use, which cause the issue like you are seeing.
    If you carried this on from vista on the same hardware I would start there, if it is new hardware, I would look at the software carried over.

    But you stop blaming windows, as it is not the root of your issue

    Sunday, August 22, 2010 9:11 AM

  • If you have the latest version, there's an item listed as "Processes>>" on the right hand side of the menu bar. Click on it and an extension window opens, listing all the processes that are currently running. Put a check mark in the one you want to stop, then click the End Task button at the bottom right of the window. A popup appears, stating "Really End Task on XXX.XXX? The Process is only Ended, not Deleted." I tried it, and it works fine.


    SC Tom
    -There's no such thing as TMI when asking for tech support.

    Sunday, August 22, 2010 12:06 PM
  • Hi,

     

    I suggest testing this issue in Clean Boot.

     

    Also, please let me know the process which could not be terminated.


    you may end a process with the steps in the following link:

    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/End-a-process

     

    Regards,

     

    Sabrina

     

    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.

    Monday, August 23, 2010 10:13 AM
  • Also be aware: In Vista/7 it is not enough to log on as an administrator to be able to act as an administrator. (UAC) In case of task manager you can easily "elevate" by clicking the button "show processes for all users".

    Be aware that even tools as procexp , cmd and many others start without administrative privileges when not explicitly specified otherwise!

    Also be aware that even an administrator does not has full privileges over everything.  Some processes might be guarded by the system or some privileges might be set. You can use sysinternals Process explorer (procexp) to view and set these privileges for running processes... if you have the privileges! However, just as with file permissions, you can take ownership over processes. Be carefull though when you mess around with system processes!

     


    MCP/MCSA/MCTS/MCITP
    Monday, August 23, 2010 1:20 PM
  • Bubbapcguy:  I'm not bashing windows.  I really do like Windows 7, and I agree with your assessment, but it's not yet quite as stable as XP SP2&SP3 were.  Easy tradeoff though, since 7 is far far more secure.  However, I believe this problem is actually something which can be blamed on Windows, according to everything I've read on the topic.  It may not be "widespread", but I'm certainly not the only one encountering the problem.  In Windows XP Pro, I never encountered or heard of anyone encountering a complete inability to terminate a process.  However, search here or the rest of the web for something like "cannot kill process windows 7", you'll find a significant number of people having this same discussion, with no solution.  I'd label this as a very uncommon problem, but definitely a problem.

    According to some discussions and articles I've found elsewhere on this topic, there was a fundamental change made in Win 6/6.1 which was essentially to give the individual processes control over whether you could terminate them.  There are conditions which can somewhat easily exist where a process can hang, but is somehow in a state where Windows thinks it's "finishing up" and will eventually terminate after being asked nicely bo the OS.  But they never do, and a physical reboot is required as normal shutdown/reboot will just keep waiting for these processes.

    Yes, the hung software can be blamed on the vendor, developer, or anybody but Microsoft.  However, Windows is supposed to be able to terminate stalled processes instead of trusting them to end themselves nicely.  I suppose this is just my opinion, if my above findings are actually correct, but I think it's a valid opinion, and anyone else dealing with the issue directly would likely agree.  "We" want the old XP style of process killing back.  Give us a "kill -9"!

    This is the second manner in which this particular problem has manifested itself in my own experience.  In the previous incarnation I dealt with in Vista, the terminate methods would not give any error.  I would highlight the item in Process Explorer and press delete (terminate), and PE would then highlight the next process down in the list, as though the termination had occurred.  But it had not, and the processes in question were still there in the list, same PID, etc, not gone.  In searching I've found people who run into both of these issues with process termination in 7/vista.

    Sabrina:  The process in my case is Firefox's plugin-container.exe.  I'm not able to reliably duplicate the improper hanging of these processes.  I can get them to hang, but usually not in this "un-killable" state.  It happens "sometimes" when I've been using the same browser session for quite a long time.  Usually I can just kill it or exit and restart Firefox.  It's just highly frustrating when they do hang improperly, as I'm unable to terminate them and must perform a hardware reset to make them go away.  Because of the inconsistent nature of the problem, it would likely take months to even complete one cycle of clean boot troubleshooting.  Minimum of several days between each trouble event...  And based on my other findings, I think I'd find the problem occur in every step of items being enabled/disabled.

    SC Tom: Thanks, I'll give it a shot.

    SenneVL: I have procexp set to always start with elevated permissions.  Also, as mentioned in my first post, I ran a batch file to run as administrator attempting to kill the processes, and still was denied access.  I doubt it's an actual permission issue, as indicated by the output from taskkill.exe.

    • Edited by Kevin- Wednesday, August 25, 2010 5:33 AM Formatting and typo fix.
    Wednesday, August 25, 2010 5:22 AM
  • I found a few links to what I believe is a related 'feature' contributing to this issue.  "Clean Service Shutdown"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technical_features_new_to_Windows_Vista under "Kernel and core OS changes"

    http://forums.techarena.in/vista-help/921342.htm

    I had found another thread which had highly technical discussion about execution states or something that was a bit over my head (not a real software developer, I just play one on TV).  It mentioned three particular "things" (variables or something, related to waiting for termination, etc) which if all set to a particular value when the process hangs, the process cannot be terminated.  Can't find it right now, will post back here if I do.

    Wednesday, August 25, 2010 5:32 AM
  • Kevin, You are barking up the wrong tree.

    Nothing is broken with windows, your problems are software / hardware related and the software is not windows.

    If Windows prevents me from doing what I want to do, then there is a problem with Windows. Its the Apple school of thought "most people are idiots, we have to protect them from themselves" I don't care that the rest of the world are idiots, I shouldn't have to suffer because of that.
    Sunday, August 29, 2010 7:26 PM
  • Hi,

     

    I suggest testing this issue in Clean Boot.

     

    Also, please let me know the process which could not be terminated.


    you may end a process with the steps in the following link:

    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/End-a-process

     

    Regards,

     

    Sabrina

     

    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.

    That is "grandma level" advice you are linking to - if you had read what he wrote it should be obvious that is of no help in the least. He has tried that to no effect a long time ago, and then gone through ever more advanced ways trying to get rid of this and each time windows has told him to ____ of.
    Sunday, August 29, 2010 7:29 PM
  • NoHelpToday: I was starting to think the same thing, regarding your comment on Apple's methods.  But, Apple would most likely never even provide a "taskkill" command equivalent.  Further, I agree that the level of support provided was obviously not on the same technical level of the original post.  I wouldn't have said so myself, since it's mine, unless/until another metioned it first.  Thanks for recognizing that I'm not a scrub ;)

    I can see why somebody might first want to suggest the clean boot as a method of further troubleshooting, but in this instance there should be nothing that can prevent a very advanced user from successfully killing a process using taskkill.  In other words, there should be no software which can override the ability to end processes.  The clean boot method assumes there is some foreign software causing the problem, which can be located and disabled.  In actuality, the problem seems to be a fundamental design decision, which I believe is a bad one - one which those in disagreement do not seem to believe exists, probably because they have not encountered it personally.

    I suppose I just need to realize that the level of support provided here is only tier 1, perhaps tier 2 at best.  But then I wonder, where do I get higher tier support?

    PS: I just did some searching, and it appears Mac does have kill -9, being *nix based.

    PPS: Are Moderators here employees of Microsoft?

    Sunday, August 29, 2010 8:56 PM

  • <Kevin-> wrote in message news:e3ed3d7f-a08a-4f36-9d79-7772fd437e73@communitybridge.codeplex.com...

    NoHelpToday: I was starting to think the same thing, regarding your comment on Apple's methods. But, Apple would most likely never even provide a "taskkill" command equivalent. Further, I agree that the level of support provided was obviously not on the same technical level of the original post. I wouldn't have said so myself, since it's mine, unless/until another metioned it first. Thanks for recognizing that I'm not a scrub ;)

    I can see why somebody might first want to suggest the clean boot as a method of further troubleshooting, but in this instance there*should* be nothing that can prevent a very advanced user from successfully killing a process using taskkill. In other words, there should be no software which can override the ability to end processes. The clean boot method assumes there is some foreign software causing the problem, which can be located and disabled. In actuality, the problem seems to be a fundamental design decision, which I believe is a bad one - one which those in disagreement do not seem to believe exists, probably because they have not encountered it personally.

    I suppose I just need to realize that the level of support provided here is only tier 1, perhaps tier 2 at best. But then I wonder, where >do I get higher tier support?

    The level of support you get here is from people who, like you, have experience of varying degrees with Windows. Some have been around since the early days of computing, some not quite that long. We are all volunteers, trying to help people with problems. We are not (at least I am not) Microsoft employees. When these forums were newsgroups, we were just posters like you. Since the forums have taken the place of the newsgroups (at least on Microsoft's servers), most people asking questions here seem to think they are asking directly to Microsoft, and that just isn't so.

    If you want true Microsoft support, have credit card in hand and try some of the numbers available through the links in these articles:
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/319726
    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/help/contact-support


    SC Tom
    -There's no such thing as TMI when asking for tech support.

    Monday, August 30, 2010 1:13 AM
  • I have the same problem as Kevin-. Some processes seem to get completely stuck and it's hard to reproduce but when it happens I have not found any way to get rid of it. I get the same message "There is no running instance of the task." when i try to kill it with taskkill /f. My software needs to run on multiple OS and the process handling will on Linux after trying various other "nicer" ways to get rid of the process as a last resort do a kill -9 which always works. When this situation happens on the windows machines the only way to get rid of the process I know of so far is to reboot the machine, which of course is very annoying.

    Is it so bad that a reboot is the only way on Windows to solve this ?

    Someone mentioned bad software above, but it seems strange to me that Windows should not be able to handle bad software. In my case the whole point of my program is to test software, and in such cases it would be very convenient if the test system could handle all sorts of failures.

    For the record I have tried killing with task manager, taskkill, and this tool  http://www.beyondlogic.org/solutions/processutil/processutil.htm none of which could get rid of the process.

    Monday, September 05, 2011 8:59 PM
  • No he isn't ME TOOO!

     

    you have no idea. right now in one day i've had visual studio hang with no ability to kill it, and the logitech (maybe this is the issue original posteR) camera drivers proper destroy the machine so its a hard power off.

    windows 7 is more unstable. period. in fact is pants. so shove your MCC status. i am a windows hardcore developer and the original poste ris bang on. Windows IS THE ROOT CAUSE.

    Friday, November 04, 2011 11:17 AM
  • windows 7 is more unstable. period. in fact is pants. so shove your MCC status. i am a windows hardcore developer and the original poste ris bang on. Windows IS THE ROOT CAUSE.
     
     
    Translation – “I’m a hacker, and I can’t bollix it like I used to”
     
    shame :)

    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi | CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    Saturday, November 05, 2011 2:10 AM
  • Kevin.. Even I have experienced this issue in terminating the hung up process.. I have tried all the cases. but none have worked..

    Atlast I have tried installing this small but effective tool from Microsoft.

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653.aspx

    you can use the program "process explorer" written by mark russinowich of sysinternals...it is available at the microsoft website....try the link and you would know what i mean...

     

    Thursday, January 05, 2012 12:51 AM
  • I experience exactly the same issue on a new PC with a fresh Windows 7 Pro installation (and it's not the first time I see this problem). There is hardly any other software apart from MS Office 2010 on this machine. It’s outlook.exe which randomly hangs and nothing will kill the process. The same errors as in original post. Even a soft reboot doesn’t help (Windows hangs while logging off). Only solution is to hold the bower button.

    I can’t believe there are people saying this has nothing to do with Windows! Any operating system can be super stable is it’s running on its own without any third party software. If an OS can’t deal with a hung process (and even worse doesn’t allow me to deal with it) it’s an OS problem! Are you people arguing that it’s perfectly normal that a “ROCK SOLID” OS forces me to press power button when an application hangs?

    Friday, January 13, 2012 5:37 PM
  • Qwerty88:

    New PC, fresh installation?  Have you tried updating the BIOS, and researching wether or not your current drivers for major subsystems are causing other people to have issues?  Video, printer, audio, all of these devices and their associated drivers have been known to cause issue for some and not others.

    This is always a danger with an open system, there might be 200 million combinations of hardware and software (or more), and if it causes issues for some, there may be hundreds of millions that wonder whats wrong with your specific combination.

    Window7 is FAR more stable than XP, by sizeable leaps and bounds.  Even on my own machines that had issues all along under XP run flawlessly under Win7.  So did Win7 fix these PCs, or is the combination of elements such that one or more of the drivers was at fault under XP?

    There are hundreds of millions of people using Windows 7.  There are over 64,000 machines in my work "forest", and this thread is the first I've ever even heard of a machine crashing in the fashion described here.  That of course doesn't mean its not happening, it just means there is more than likely a common thread between users experiencing this specific issue.

    In order to attack a problem like this, users having this issue should list each and EVERY point of interest on their systems to see if anything is common.  And I literally mean everything.  You might be startled to learn that there have been all sorts of issues raised where one  "fix" that works for 10 people has no effect for a similar number of people, and as people dig into it deeper they finally come to find out it was some non-descript piece of software that was causing issues for all, including those people who tried that original "fix".  In essence then, those 10 original people masked the problem with the "fix", once they removed or updated the offending SW or drive they were able to undo the "fix" and their machine continues to work flawlessly.

    DAS

    Friday, January 13, 2012 6:30 PM
  • In this particular case this issue was caused by Outlook .pst files saved on the network shares. I described the whole problem on this website: http://www.mysysadmintips.com/clients/211-unable-to-kill-outlookexe-process-in-windows-7

    In another, almost identical case I’ve seen a little while ago this was caused by an old print driver. And, yes it was listed as Windows 7 compatible.

    Now, despite the fact that users shouldn’t store .pst file on the network, I still think OS is flawed if it can’t kill a hung process. And we are not talking about some dodgy low lever drivers or firmware here, it’s just an office suite…

    I do like Windows 7. And yes, I agree that it can be very stable. On my home PC, for example, it’s been running without re-installation since 2009, and it’s almost as fast and usable as it was when first installed. That's something no other OS managed to achieve. Still, it’s far from perfect, and inability to kill a hung process is a huge flaw IMHO. MS should seriously look into resolving this, even if it doesn’t affect millions of users. Linux can do it, Windows XP can do it, Windows 7 should not be different.

    Wednesday, January 18, 2012 12:42 PM
  • The same thing happened to me just now with Total Commander! I use Windows 7 x64 and was about to copy file to a network samba share. It hung in the middle of copying and I guess it happened because the samba user password just expired (pretty stupid behavior to just cut the connection IMHO...damn open source:)

    Event viewer says: mrxsmb: An Io Request to the device  did not complete or canceled within the specific timeout. This can occur if the device driver does not set a cancel routine for a given IO request packet.

    Now I am unable to kill the process and get this really silly message:

    c:\>taskkill /im totalcmd.exe /f
    ERROR: The process "TOTALCMD.EXE" with PID 9292 could not be terminated.
    Reason: There is no running instance of the task.

    I suppose this means that the process actually does not run and the termination is hung because of some I/O operations but this message looks like a total nonsense because it is STILL visible in task manager! Killbox failed to get rid of it. But the worse thing then just hung process in a task manager is that I just cannot unmap the drive and remap it. Probably because of this hung proces?

    c:\>net use y: /del
    There are open files and/or incomplete directory searches pending on the connect
    ion to y:.
    Is it OK to continue disconnecting and force them closed? (Y/N) [N]: y

    and it does not continue. Great so this means I have to restart my pc and interrupt work because of this strange behavior ... :-\

    Saturday, March 24, 2012 10:27 PM
  • Having the same problem here.   I'm working on an application that doesn't access special drivers so I doubt it's a hardware-related issue.  Looks to me like Windows messed up an list of processes and has become self-incoherent.  The application and all DLL's it uses cannot be deleted or overwritten so I have to reboot.
    Thursday, April 19, 2012 4:19 PM
  • I am getting exactly the same symptoms after upgrading Outlook 2007 to Outlook 2010. I was trialing it for an organisation, but now can't propose they upgrade till this is fixed!

    I had tried a multitude of scenarios and been runing without the archive file open for a couple of days till I needed to search for an old email... Outlook hung and the process could NOT be terminated. The only way to stop it is to turn the power off - Now that must be a fault!

    Wednesday, May 16, 2012 7:49 PM
  • Outlook 2010 is also hanging and the process can't be killed without a hard boot. In this case, I use two profiles. One for Exchange; the second for a Pop/Imap account. Outlook hangs on startup of pop profile (prepares to send/recieve - but doesn't) Same if configured for IMAP. Exchange works fine.

    Tried using Task Manager; Taskill; elevated command prompts, etc. to no avail - Hard boot required.

    And yes, this is a Windows problem. Win7 may be a beauty queen but that doesn't mean she doesn't have warts. Am I reading this right? Two years without a fix?


    BadAssBass


    • Edited by BadAssBass Wednesday, May 23, 2012 4:35 PM
    Wednesday, May 23, 2012 4:30 PM
  • Kevin,

    What version of Firefox are you running?

    What version of Flash Player are you running?

    Is this a laptop?

    Wednesday, May 30, 2012 4:44 PM
  • Whenever I could not reach anything with administrative or even elevated administrative rights, I use SYSTEM account and schedule task in interactive mode.

    Regards

    Milos


    Wednesday, May 30, 2012 6:13 PM
  • Bubbapcguy:  I'm not bashing windows.  I really do like Windows 7, and I agree with your assessment, but it's not yet quite as stable as XP SP2&SP3 were.  Easy tradeoff though, since 7 is far far more secure.  However, I believe this problem is actually something which can be blamed on Windows, according to everything I've read on the topic.  It may not be "widespread", but I'm certainly not the only one encountering the problem.  In Windows XP Pro, I never encountered or heard of anyone encountering a complete inability to terminate a process.  However, search here or the rest of the web for something like "cannot kill process windows 7", you'll find a significant number of people having this same discussion, with no solution.  I'd label this as a very uncommon problem, but definitely a problem.

    According to some discussions and articles I've found elsewhere on this topic, there was a fundamental change made in Win 6/6.1 which was essentially to give the individual processes control over whether you could terminate them.  There are conditions which can somewhat easily exist where a process can hang, but is somehow in a state where Windows thinks it's "finishing up" and will eventually terminate after being asked nicely bo the OS.  But they never do, and a physical reboot is required as normal shutdown/reboot will just keep waiting for these processes.

    Yes, the hung software can be blamed on the vendor, developer, or anybody but Microsoft.  However, Windows is supposed to be able to terminate stalled processes instead of trusting them to end themselves nicely.  I suppose this is just my opinion, if my above findings are actually correct, but I think it's a valid opinion, and anyone else dealing with the issue directly would likely agree.  "We" want the old XP style of process killing back.  Give us a "kill -9"!

    This is the second manner in which this particular problem has manifested itself in my own experience.  In the previous incarnation I dealt with in Vista, the terminate methods would not give any error.  I would highlight the item in Process Explorer and press delete (terminate), and PE would then highlight the next process down in the list, as though the termination had occurred.  But it had not, and the processes in question were still there in the list, same PID, etc, not gone.  In searching I've found people who run into both of these issues with process termination in 7/vista.

    Sabrina:  The process in my case is Firefox's plugin-container.exe.  I'm not able to reliably duplicate the improper hanging of these processes.  I can get them to hang, but usually not in this "un-killable" state.  It happens "sometimes" when I've been using the same browser session for quite a long time.  Usually I can just kill it or exit and restart Firefox.  It's just highly frustrating when they do hang improperly, as I'm unable to terminate them and must perform a hardware reset to make them go away.  Because of the inconsistent nature of the problem, it would likely take months to even complete one cycle of clean boot troubleshooting.  Minimum of several days between each trouble event...  And based on my other findings, I think I'd find the problem occur in every step of items being enabled/disabled.

    SC Tom: Thanks, I'll give it a shot.

    SenneVL: I have procexp set to always start with elevated permissions.  Also, as mentioned in my first post, I ran a batch file to run as administrator attempting to kill the processes, and still was denied access.  I doubt it's an actual permission issue, as indicated by the output from taskkill.exe.

    Absolutely agree. Also like W7 and use it as a production platform for some experiment system. About 150 systems running W7. I encountered a couple of times the problem already. Impossible to terminate a process. Taskkill would say it is not running. Tasklist will show it as running. I can kill them though using procexplorer from sysinternals...

    Tuesday, July 03, 2012 2:04 PM
  • Sorry to jump onto the band wagon of an old thread, but I've experienced the exact same issue with XP.

    In my case, the software was for controlling machines that are connected to the PC via USB or a logic board.

    After much pulling of hair (I tried Task Manager, Process Explorer, cmd task kill, & EndItAll, only pulling the power worked!) I eventually found that disconnecting the machines from the PC solved the problem.

    So, in short, if there's a physical connection, pull it.

    Friday, July 20, 2012 10:19 AM
  • XP does this to me too. For example  I am stepping a single line of code or running some code in a debug  session in Express 2008 or 2010 then suddenly I am locked out of the debugger.   I try to kill either the  program  I am debugging or the vcexpress instance. The  vcexpress display disappears but the processes keep running. The only soution I have found is to turn off machine. This really is not good enough.  Debuggers should have ultimate power over the processes they are debugging and should never hang. Op systems should be able to deal with a process that has hung with a forced kill. 
    Thursday, January 10, 2013 1:29 PM
  • Sorry to add to this old thread, but here goes.


    I have a room with 24 computers running Windows 7 Enterprise and 24 computers running Windows Vista Enterprise. The Win 7 boxes had never had Windows Updates done and are not connected to the internet. The Windows Vista boxes had some updates applied but are also not connected to the internet. Everything was working perfectly until our network admin built a Windows Update server. We applied a bunch of updates and now I cannot end certain processes. We run a program called CNR. It allows people to communicate with each other in our room using a headset. Sometimes CNR does not load correctly and we will have to shut the program down and re-start it. That doesn't work now and when I go into task manager I cannot end the process. I have to completely reboot the computer. I have tried a program that is mentioned a lot on here called Process Explorer. I have installed the debugging tools and tried to kill the process. I've tried the taskkill command. Nothing ends the process. I had no problems ending the CNR process until these updates were applied. I have spent the last five days searching the net for an answer and haven't found anything.

    Can someone please give me some ideas on what to try next? 

    Thank you,
    Mark


    Mark

    Monday, January 28, 2013 1:52 PM
  • I know this is a very old thread, but it still comes up on the first page of Google searches for this problem. Adding my voice to the growing list: yes, this does happen. Yes, this is an OS problem. And yes, we would like it fixed. I've had this happen with Firefox, and with the game Oblivion.

    If a computer has been buggered with malware or a rootkit or something, I understand the need for 3rd party software to repair an OS. But ending a legitimate process on a clean machine should not entail finding 3rd party programs that are, in essence, hacks, and using them to do what Windows cannot. It's sloppy design, plain and simple.

    Monday, February 04, 2013 1:26 AM
  • I can not kill Skype.  killtask says access denied.  sys internals process explorer will not kill it.  MS Vis studio can not debug it.  Obviously there is some state a process an get into that means the OS can not kill it.  ER - what happens if there is no power switch?  What happens if the process is actually doing something.  What happens if the malaware guys find out how to replicate this.  MS take heed.  I hope they are working on it.

    Monday, February 11, 2013 6:36 AM
  • Happened to me today (12 FEB 2013) when trying to kill Chrome.  It froze, I killed it, and it turned a ghostly white, but it would not go to heaven or hell but lingered there haunting my desktop until some 5 minutes later Windows reported a memory error as it was shutting down my PC.

    Windows 7 x64


    • Edited by lloydmalvern Tuesday, February 12, 2013 11:39 PM
    Tuesday, February 12, 2013 11:37 PM
  • No operating system in world will allow you "To do what you want to do".

    Renee


    "MODERN PROGRAMMING is deficient in elementary ways BECAUSE of problems INTRODUCED by MODERN PROGRAMMING." Me

    Thursday, February 14, 2013 4:30 AM
  • I've had a total of one crash with Win 7 in about two years.

    Renee


    "MODERN PROGRAMMING is deficient in elementary ways BECAUSE of problems INTRODUCED by MODERN PROGRAMMING." Me

    Thursday, February 14, 2013 4:32 AM
  • My Win 7 system does the same thing.

    Renee


    "MODERN PROGRAMMING is deficient in elementary ways BECAUSE of problems INTRODUCED by MODERN PROGRAMMING." Me

    Thursday, February 14, 2013 6:54 AM
  • I having same issue, see my post 

    orphan cmd.exe *32 running in Task Manager 

    Monday, February 18, 2013 5:20 PM
  • seems to be a compatibility issue running 64 bit and 32 bit  

    http://www.ibmmainframes.com/viewtopic.php?t=59556

    Monday, February 18, 2013 5:22 PM
  • Hi,

    Try to run  taskkill / pskill from remote server

    http://www.windowstricks.in/2013/03/unable-to-kill-process.html

    Regards,

    www.windowstricks.in


    Regards www.windowstricks.in

    Monday, March 25, 2013 6:39 PM
  • Use this in your batch file.

    taskkill /f /im "YourJunkProcess.exe"

    Then when you run it, right click, run as admin.  It should stop the process.

    Sunday, March 31, 2013 4:06 PM
  • "If an OS can’t deal with a hung process (and even worse doesn’t allow me to deal with it) it’s an OS problem! Are you people arguing that it’s perfectly normal that a “ROCK SOLID” OS forces me to press power button when an application hangs?"

    I'm a retired os developer and I'd agree.


    "MODERN PROGRAMMING is deficient in elementary ways BECAUSE of problems INTRODUCED by MODERN PROGRAMMING." Me

    Monday, April 01, 2013 2:23 PM
  • "This is always a danger with an open system, there might be 200 million combinations of hardware and software (or more), and if it causes issues for some, there may be hundreds of millions that wonder whats wrong with your specific combination."

    It's a problem with windows that there are so many vendors. Personally, I'd start looking at the process and especially any third party drivers.

    Renee

    personally I'd start


    "MODERN PROGRAMMING is deficient in elementary ways BECAUSE of problems INTRODUCED by MODERN PROGRAMMING." Me

    Monday, April 01, 2013 2:28 PM
  • " I still think OS is flawed if it can’t kill a hung process. And we are not talking about some dodgy low lever drivers or firmware here, it’s just an office suite…"

    Even if a process is waiting for I/o to complete that wont complete? That can only lead to corrupt files/disk.

    Renee


    "MODERN PROGRAMMING is deficient in elementary ways BECAUSE of problems INTRODUCED by MODERN PROGRAMMING." Me

    Monday, April 01, 2013 2:32 PM
  • Can this tool delete exe files from the system if we select delete ? omg 
    Saturday, April 06, 2013 2:37 AM
  • Just a small note... I experienced the Outlook unkillable ghost problem, and was bothered by the need to physically turn off the system in order to finalize a shutdown/restart cycle...  I logged out the troubled account, then logged in as a local admin to the machine, and made sure Outlook and the PST files have Domain Object access (Domain users, Domain Admins)... after applying those settings, I started a DOS window with local admin privileges (run as...) and executed a shutdown/restart (forced) command...  The machine restarted and I was able to fix the issue with Outlook...
    Thursday, June 06, 2013 4:47 AM
  • We are having this issue network wide with about 12pc's out of 60 having this issue with all of a sudden they cannot launch any programs, they show up in task manager, but never actually run visibly, ie, they have 5 instances of excel.exe running in task manger, but can't see the program, they just double click the shortcut, and nothing happens except starting another excel.exe in task manger. At this point, I am unable to kill any of the excel.exe or anyother .exe programs, most of the time I have to hold the power button down to get it to reboot, once in a while it will actually reboot, and then works normally. (I'm just using excel as an example) I've seen this mostly with start with office 2007 and ie9 programs. It's so random that it's very difficult to nail down, it seems to just happen out of the blue, then reboot, and they are fine for a couple weeks. None of these are real power users either, just basic users running office and IE.
    Wednesday, July 31, 2013 7:39 PM
  • I had the exact same problem as the original post.

    Unplugging my device worked!  I am using a usb device through a third party library in a C++ program.  Apparently, the functions within that library were failing (after I gave them bad arguments) and the task would only finish when I disconnected the device.  The only other solution was to reboot the computer.  Logging out wasn't enough. 

    My particular application was written in C++, using Qt Creator, OpenCV, and some USB cameras.  

    For any Microsoft employees:  I believe my application was terminated correctly but the processes within the linked libraries were not being terminated and windows wasn't able to handle a remote hang like that.  I hope you find a solution!  This is definitely a mysterious error that deserves some attention!

    Thursday, October 03, 2013 9:35 PM
  • So what if the process is a windows process? Is it still not a problem with Windows, for example i cannot kill the previous process of w3wp.exe.

    Thursday, April 10, 2014 11:28 PM