How to detect and report a running process that has a blank name RRS feed

  • Question

  • I am, most days, getting a problem where the Internet connection seems to loose it ability to do name resolution.

    My only recovery so far is to do a restart.

    Every time I do that I see the top app, with no name, has the message this app is stopping the restart and click to restart anyway.

    As I only see the App in the Restart page I do not know when to check Task Manager. 

    I would prefer to be able to detect when this app starts to run and kill it before it does the damage it is.

    This is why I am asking for some mechanism to detect and kill this process.

    I am aware of using Get-Process | Sort-Object Process-Name but have got no further.


    Saturday, May 23, 2020 12:49 PM

All replies

  • You need to repair your system.

    This forum is not an end user support forum.  We do not and cannot help you repair your system.  If you need help I recommend taking your PC to a repair shop or calling one of the PC repair companies.


    Saturday, May 23, 2020 3:01 PM
  • I have run all the necessary checks on my system and all are stating that all is ok.

    This is not an end user question but a scripting one.

    What I am looking for is help is coding a powershell script that can detect the process that is running that when reported in the Restart menu does not have a name against the icon.

    The nearest I have got is what I posted.

    Is there any way to check the sorted ProcessName list for a process with a blank name?

    Sunday, May 24, 2020 6:36 AM
  • Your issue has  nothing to do with a script. It is not caused by a script and cannot be fixed by a script. Please contact a certified agent in Windows and have them help you repair your system.  You may have malware or a damaged program that is causing your issue.

    This forum is not a break/fix or customer support forum.  It is for questions about a script you have written or are writing.


    Sunday, May 24, 2020 8:34 AM
  • Ok so in my script I wanted to do something like

    Get-Process | Sort-Object Process-Name | where Process-Name == "" | Error-Message

    Sunday, May 24, 2020 8:58 AM
  • You are still not asking a question.  What is it that you are not having?

    Remember that malware that has not name cannot be detected by matching the name.

    I also recommend that you learn scripting before trying to guess or post nonsense that cannot work.  YOu will get an error fron that line and you will see that your line is just nonsense.

    There are many books and web sites that will teach you how to use code and that will also help you understand computers.  Just making things up to force others to fix your system is not going to get you anywhere.

    What you are posting and describing says that you need to either remove the broken program or malware or you need to do a full reset of your system. This is not a forum for helping you repair your system.


    Sunday, May 24, 2020 9:08 AM

  • Every time I do that I see the top app, with no name, has the message this app is stopping the restart and click to restart anyway.

    This is why I am asking for some mechanism to detect and kill this process.



    Are you seeing something like this?

    I was able to create that by just opening some dialog boxes.

    Unless your machine is infected with some malware, I highly doubt that you will find a process with a blank name. Even if you were able to kill the process, that would not uninstall it, so your machine would still be infected. 

    More than likely the issue is that the restart manager just can't figure out the name since Windows is in the process of shutting down, or due to whatever "hung" state the process is in. Also note that the shutdown screen does not say that "mmc.exe is preventing the shutdown", it says that "Idle logoff properties" is preventing the shutdown. That is the window title. If a process does not have a window, or the window has a blank title, then there isn't going to be a name to display.   

    Scan your machine for malware. Use Windows Defender or whatever AV software you have installed, and do a full scan.

    Open an admin command prompt and have the Malicious Software Removal Tool do a full scan.

    mrt /f

    Download and run the MS Safety Scanner tool.

    • Edited by MotoX80 Sunday, May 24, 2020 3:44 PM
    Sunday, May 24, 2020 3:32 PM
  • The indication that I have a problem appears in Edge where it fails to resolve a previously displayed page and nowadays also happens in chrome.

    The error it shows is something like ERR_CONNECTION_LOST.

    My only fix is a restart.

    I asked about a script as I wanted to run that when the error showed up in Edge to try and find the process id of the blank process which look like the top one in your example (Without the Warning).

    I am running the mst /f and downloaded the MSERT.exe and will run that.

    My script so far contains the following

    $p = get-process | sort-object ProcessName | select -first 1
    $sp = $p.tostring()
    $pname = $sp.substring(28,$sp.length-29)

    And seems to work ok so far so I will continue with its development and use that next time I get the error assuming the two scans you proposed don't find anything.

    And Thank you very much for the response.

    Monday, May 25, 2020 1:07 PM
  • There have been reports of such things since last few days. It has not been identified yet but it is believed that it is a virus.

    Get your system repaired to remove that unusual behaviour out of your system.

    Monday, May 25, 2020 1:51 PM

  • I asked about a script as I wanted to run that when the error showed up in Edge to try and find the process id of the blank process which look like the top one in your example 

    There is no blank process name. That is not possible unless you have malware or a very corrupt system. 

    Reread my reply. Windows is not displaying a process name, it is displaying a window title. 

    You do not have a process problem, you have a network problem.  Run the network troubleshooter. If you are using WIFI, disconnect and then reconnect. 

    Check your PC vendors web site and verify that you have the most current network drivers installed. 
    • Edited by MotoX80 Monday, May 25, 2020 2:11 PM
    Monday, May 25, 2020 2:03 PM
  • Thanks for pointing out my misunderstanding of what the Restart process is reporting.

    I have done all the network diagnostics I can and only have the restart as the working solution.

    I was hoping there was a path for me to identify the process but it seems there is none.

    I will continue with the scans.

    Monday, May 25, 2020 2:15 PM
  • Check the system eventlog for Resource-Exhaustion errors and other network related events.

    From an admin command  prompt, ping the default gateway. Then get a new DHCP address.

    ipconfig /release
    ipconfig /renew

    Check task manager details tab and see if Edge is using excessive amounts of memory or handles.

    Monday, May 25, 2020 2:38 PM
  • Firstly, thank you for staying with me.

    I had already tried the ipconfig procedure and have previously shutdown Edge and any associated running processes before trying either chrome or edge again but the same error message comes up.

    One question that has come up from your explanation about the Restart panel.

    If there is a process with a window with no title would it be shown in Task Manager?

    I am asking as I went through the Task Manager and select both sort directions of the Name and there was not a blank one. 

    Is that the same for when you started your dialog boxes?

    Monday, May 25, 2020 2:58 PM
  • This will show all processes and their window title if one exists. It is not unusual for a process to not have a title. 

    get-process | Format-Table -Property Name, MainWindowTitle

    I think you are getting sidetracked with this mystery application. I'd suggest focusing on task manager to start.

    Look at the details tab and check the Status column. Is there any status other than Suspended or Running? Did you check the handles and memory values that I asked about? 

    Look at the Performance tab, do you have sufficient free memory and reasonable values for the pools?

    When your system loses net connectivity, run services.msc and stop non-Microsoft services. Heck, if your system is all messed up and you have to reboot anyway, try to stop all of them and then run the network troubleshooter and see what that does.  

     get-service | stop-service

    Monday, May 25, 2020 3:54 PM
  • OK, Thanks. I did check for any edge excessive use but there was none and even after shutting down Edge and all its associated processes the problem still existed for chrome.

    I will go through a more extensive investigation on what is actually happening at the time Edge or chrome gets its error and make more notes of what I checked and found.

    It did not happen today but I was away from the system for 4 hours.

    I will have more time on it tomorrow.

    Monday, May 25, 2020 4:19 PM
  • This is not a scripting question/issue and is therefore off-topic.

    -- Bill Stewart [Bill_Stewart]

    Monday, May 25, 2020 11:57 PM