Q

Listing processes in the Task Manager

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.
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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