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One New Thing
Monday, July 26, 2004
One New Thing: What not to kill in the Task Manager

One of the things you have to do sometimes if you are removing a virus or worm or spyware program from your PC is kill the process in the Task Manager. I’ve always looked at the list of weird process names and wondered just what all that stuff is and how you knew if it was supposed to be there or not. Turns out Microsoft has a list of system processes (this is for a Win 2000 PC). Another great list is the Windows XP Strange Service Information which even tells you what some of the other process you might see are all about.

What’s most interesting is the Idle process. It’s a process that runs when no other program is using your CPU resources: so if one program is using 5% of your CPU, Idle will be using the other 95%. (If you do a quick web search, you’ll be amazed at how many people ask about how to kill this supposed resource hog of a program!)

On an administrative note, I’m going to try and get this blog back to some regularity and post at least on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I am learning heaps of stuff in my new role at work on the days I’m not blogging, but you just wouldn’t be interested, trust me! :)

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