Restarting elusive services without restarting the system

Ever wonder how to kill and restart that elusive service which has stopped responding to your system and the services control panel applet? BUT being a production server, you'd prefer it to start the service without restarting the system?

Well you can!!

What you need is just a small hidden jewel in the Widows Resource Kit.

Here are the steps on how to go about it:

    a). Install the Windows Server Resource Kit on your machine [If not already installed]

    b). [optional] Browse to %Program Files%Resource Kit directory [Although the setup adds the path to it in the path envoirment]

    c). Type:

    rkill /install (your-server-name)
    This installs the remote process killer service on the machine.

Now all you have to do is run the

rkill /view (your-server-name)
command on your machine. It should display the processes and their PID list in tree view. You might need to increase the height of the command window from its properties->Layout->Screen Buffer Size->Height to e.g. 120 to get the entire process list viewable else it'll just zoom by fast, or you can pipe it "|more|" or "rkill.txt".

Now browse to the process which is not responding and note its corresponding PID.

Now give the

rkill /kill (your-server-name) "PID of the stuck process"

This will kill the process. Then you can go to the services tab and start the service again.

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This was first published in March 2001

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