I'm running Win2k Pro as a stand-alone system (not a server) on a 450 MHz Pentium II with 384MB of RAM. Two questions:

Occasionally, my Win 2000 Pro system goes into 100% CPU usage and no applications that I run afterwards will display on the screen. The programs that do not display show up as processes in Task Manager, but not on the applications tab. How can I tell what is happening? Where can I find out what all the processes listed in Task Manager are? At least, those that are part of the OS, not third party software.

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You can find the default processes for Windows 2000 in KB article 263201. For the identity of additional processes, a quick Google search should turn up some good clues. There are a number of malware programs that love to masquerade as legitimate sounding threads, so don't assume you know what each one is by name alone. As for the task manager problem, I would start by running a virus scan followed by a strong spyware scanner such as AdAware.

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This was first published in November 2004

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