Task manager "show processes all users" fails sometimes

nate42nd

Learing every day
Member
I just noticed when I try to show processes for all users in task manager, UAC prompts me, I push OK and task manager disappears. If I try it again or maybe the third time, it works. Anybody heard of this. I keep Avast up to date, run Spybot and Malwarebytes every 3-4 days. I don't think it's a virus or malware thing. Any thoughts?
 

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nate42nd

Learing every day
Member
I am still having the same problem. I hate to bring this back again but does anyone else have this problem? To "show processes for all users" it works on the 3rd try. It is getting annoying. Even if you don't know how to fix it, do you have the same problem?
 

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H2SO4

A bit of a numpty
Vista Guru
Does it work consistently in safe mode?

In normal mode, when the TM window "disappears", if you go to a CMD prompt and type TASKLIST, do you still see taskmgr.exe in that list?

My gut feeling is that it's probably one of those anti-malware utilities that's actually causing the problem.
 

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nate42nd

Learing every day
Member
Does it work consistently in safe mode?

In normal mode, when the TM window "disappears", if you go to a CMD prompt and type TASKLIST, do you still see taskmgr.exe in that list?

My gut feeling is that it's probably one of those anti-malware utilities that's actually causing the problem.
Thank you for the reply. I tried both ideas you gave me. If I type "tasklist" at a CMD prompt, "taskmgr.exe" is NOT there. I tried safe mode and there is just a check box....no UAC....But it works fine in safe mode. I think it's UAC causing the problem. I just don't know how to fix it. I will turn UAC off and try it.

Update: With UAC off there is no problem. I would really like to know if this is UAC. I have no third party UAC tools. Not really much software out of the ordinary.

I turn UAC back on and it happens after restart and at CMD prompt tasklist does not show taskmgr.exe. What does this mean?
 
Last edited:

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H2SO4

A bit of a numpty
Vista Guru
It means the taskmgr.exe process really is terminating - it's not just hiding its top-level window or anything like that.

I don't know what's causing your problem and it would not be simple to troubleshoot. I'd still suggest temporarily removing all anti-virus and anti-spyware utilities, as a test, because it seems like there's a link to the authentication subsystem. It's the act of trying to enumerate processes running under different account contexts (which is a privileged operation) that causes taskmgr to crash.

After that, if it's still happening and you're still keen to troubleshoot, there are (more convoluted) methods to work out what's going on.
 

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nate42nd

Learing every day
Member
I will do that. I have to wait until this afternoon as I just got to work and this computer is at home. My spyware utilities are not "real time" I don't have the "real time" components running. Just Avast Home edition as virus protection. I would think if it were that.....more people would have noticed it. I will try what you suggest this afternoon and see what happens. Thank you very much for the response.

Update: I google this problem and find one instance from 2006 on this forum of a person having the same problem. No solution was found.

Update:This post suggests it may be a memory issue. I am running 4BG. Possible that I may have a memory leak? How do you test for that?http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/vistaprograms/thread/3f477b3e-cda4-4f95-9265-5c4752595401/#
 
Last edited:

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H2SO4

A bit of a numpty
Vista Guru
Update:This post suggests it may be a memory issue. I am running 4BG. Possible that I may have a memory leak? How do you test for that?Task Manager>click 'show processes from all users'>yes on UAC prompt>nothing happens : Programs : Windows Vista : Microsoft Answers Forums
I tried, I really tried to read and follow his rambling and confused description, but it was not easy ;)

Did you actually install the "Elevation PowerToy" that's mentioned near the top? If not, I wouldn't pay too much attention. While the post might describe the same symptom, it doesn't necessarily mean it's the exact same cause. He certainly doesn't seem to have any solutions.

If you want to rule out a leak, just try the operation quickly after a reboot. All but the most-amazingly-quick leaks take days or even months to manifest themselves. If you had one fast enough to show itself within a few minutes of booting, the machine would have far bigger problems.
 

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nate42nd

Learing every day
Member
No I have not used the power toy. I just thought it was interesting near the bottom when they were talking about memory. I will rule that out when I get home. That is the interesting thing.....it does not happen EVERY time. I will have to see if I can find a pattern. Thank you for the reply.

One issue with memory....I tried to sent a HUGE file two days ago. 2.5 GB file through Live mail. It gave me an error. "e-mail can not be sent. You do not have enough memory". I wonder if that is a hint, or if Live mail just will not let you send files that big.
 

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mpcrsc562

Westside Connected
Vista Pro
i just tried to do what you stated you did--after the uac prompt appears, i click the continue box, and the task manager does indeed disappear. however, it does come right back. so, if yours disappears but doesn't come back, the simplest and easiest question i can ask you is does it minimize to the tray?
 

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nate42nd

Learing every day
Member
i just tried to do what you stated you did--after the uac prompt appears, i click the continue box, and the task manager does indeed disappear. however, it does come right back. so, if yours disappears but doesn't come back, the simplest and easiest question i can ask you is does it minimize to the tray?
No, it does not. I know what you mean. When it works....on the third try. It disappears for just a second then re-appears. It is crashing. Thanks for the idea!
 

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nate42nd

Learing every day
Member
It means the taskmgr.exe process really is terminating - it's not just hiding its top-level window or anything like that.

I don't know what's causing your problem and it would not be simple to troubleshoot. I'd still suggest temporarily removing all anti-virus and anti-spyware utilities, as a test, because it seems like there's a link to the authentication subsystem. It's the act of trying to enumerate processes running under different account contexts (which is a privileged operation) that causes taskmgr to crash.

After that, if it's still happening and you're still keen to troubleshoot, there are (more convoluted) methods to work out what's going on.
H2SO4, I tried removing the anti-spyware utilities and disabled Avast anti-virus. I didn't thing it was worth (at this piont) totally removing it and I think it would have come up on the Avast forums which I searched. The problem with the task manager is still there. It must be another issue causing this. If you have something else I can try....let me know. It's not going to kill me but I would like to find the problem. It may lead to bigger problems. Thanks.
 

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H2SO4

A bit of a numpty
Vista Guru
OK. Let's play with debuggers.

1) Download this ("current release, x64 version", NOT the Itanium build) and "custom" install it to c:\debuggers:

http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/devtools/debugging/install64bit.mspx#

2) Start Task Manager.

3) Start a CMD prompt elevated (right-click, run as admin) and from there type this:

c:\debuggers\cdb -pn taskmgr.exe -c "g"

4) Click the TM's "show processes from all users" button. You might find that this time the entire TM window goes unresponsive, instead of disappearing.

5) Eventually, that "cdb" window will present a prompt that looks like "0:000>". Type this:

.dump /m c:\TMdump.dmp

If you zip up that TMdump.dmp file and upload it here, it's possible I or someone else might be able to tell you more.

Oh, and don't do this while you've got unsaved data in Word or stuff like that :)
 

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nate42nd

Learing every day
Member
Thanks, H2S04. I think this is just beyond my comfort level. I will start reading about doing this. Is it easy to un-install when I'm done with it? I have limited knowledge about command lines. Keep this thread if you will and hopefully I can get it done in a couple of days. Thank you very much for your help so far.
 

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H2SO4

A bit of a numpty
Vista Guru
No problem dude. It was never going to be trivial :)

You can uninstall all that afterwards. In fact, the act of installing does little else except to expand all those tools from the download package. They can even be copied from another machine.
 

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nate42nd

Learing every day
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I was hoping there would be another way but I'm sure you're right. As they say in your part of the world.....have a good day "mate"
 

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msw

New Member
OK. Let's play with debuggers.
I have same problem as nate42nd. But dump (drop.io tmpdump) probably don't tell more.
In zip, there are two tests *O.* and *B.* ... "B" is bad where TM disappeared after UAC and "O" is ok where don't. And dumps are identical (binary compare), there are just some differences in text output.

I find that probability of disappearing decreases with time after the run. ( if TM run few minutes before click on "show processes all users" usually it works. Strange :sa:
 

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Brink

Staff member
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