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Mon, Feb 27, 2006 6:02 pm

Suspending An Errant Process with PsSuspend

Quite often I will find some process, usually Internet Explorer or Firefox, will go amuck and start consuming most of the CPU cycles. I usually have to kill the process through the Task Manager, which can be run by hitting the Ctrl, Alt, and Del keys simultaneously and selecting "Task Manager". You can then select the misbehaving application by clicking on it and kill it by then clicking on "End Task". Another alternative for killing a misbehaving task is to get a command prompt and use the taskkill command, which is available on Windows XP and 2003 systems.

There are occasions, though, where I only want to suspend the errant process, not kill it. For instance, if Internet Explorer is the errant application, but you have multiple copies of Internet Explorer open, killing the one that is not responding through the Task Manager will result in all of the other copies of Internet Explorer closing as well.

An alternative is to use the free Sysinternals utility PsSuspend, which allows you to suspend a process temporaily and then resume it when you choose. The PsSuspend command is run from a command prompt. With it you can suspend a process on the system on which you run it or you can even suspend a process on a remote system, if you have administrator access to that system. By using PsSuspend, I can suspend just the one errant Internet Explorer process allowing me to continue working with other open copies of Internet Explorer or other applications without the system being bogged down so much by the errant process consuming 95% to 100% of the CPU's cycles, making working on the system aggravating.

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