Ok, in this post I will give you some options to kill an application or process when things have gone terribly wrong with task manager in Windows and you cannot launch it the normal ways that I have shown you in the previous post http://blog.hometownnerd.co.cc/?p=249 . This post covers a few of the best task manager alternatives out there.
1. Process Hacker – is an open source task manager which allows you to see more detail when looking at applications and processes and also gives you some tools to interact with the application. It even allows you to set security levels, terminate it, suspend, resume, or even restart it. You can even right click a process and search for what it may be online.
2. Anvir Task Manager – While they offer a pay version of this app, there is also a free version which does enough of the things that task manager does to take it seriously, you may also want to watch giveawayoftheday.com because sometimes they give it away for free, the pro version that is, and besides that site is really good about giving software away for free legally (they only give users 24 hours to grab it for free before they move on to the next offering but they get these offerings from the software vendor themselves and they are reviewed by peers as well). This tool, the free version, gives you power over your start-up apps as well as delaying those start-up apps for a set amount of time in order to make your pc boot faster. You also have the ability to check a process against a virus database and also set the priority level of an app, which can come in handy for really bad apps (set it to very low priority and then it almost stops causing your pc to slow down), and also you can hide an app’s window to the system tray for later use.
3. Process Explorer – This is a free portable task manager offering from Microsoft, well really it comes from Microsoft’s acquisition of Systernals. This one acts very much like task manager but adds lots of neat features to the mix, like more information as well as what dll is being used by what app and where a certain dll or app actually resides and you will see exactly which service is performing what function, making it really easy to figure out what is causing your issues.
4. Extended Task Manager – This one is a nice one for the beginner, it is not as complex or cumbersome as some of these others while still offering a great mix of features like what files are locked by what app as well as pause and resume process. This app may not work on Windows 7 x64 so be aware.
5. System Explorer – This offering is like the first 3 in that it gives you lots of power over apps and processes. It also allows you to see which apps autorun on start-up as well as any system add-ns, drivers and services.
Hopefully this list will give you a better idea about what tools are available to you when task manager is having some difficulty or if you have something going wrong that you just cannot put your finger on.