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Sep 2, 2010

How to Fix a Rogue Process

Windows Task Manager
When Windows slows down to an unbearable crawl, there's a good possibility that one particular process is at fault--sometimes taking close to 100-percent of the CPU's capabilities. In such a case, it's best to kill the process.

A process is a program or an independent piece of a program. As I write this, I have six applications, but 57 processes, running on my computer.

And if the problem keeps occurring, it's best to find out what that process is about and stop it from loading altogether.

To check your processes, right-click the taskbar and select Start Task Manager. Click the Processes tab, then the CPU column heading. That will put the culprit at the top of the list.

To kill a process, select it and click End Process. In the resulting, this-is-really-scary dialog box, click End Process again. Some program may close down or freeze up, but you'll have your computer back.

If the problem keeps reoccurring, you need to learn more about the process. Once you've identified what is launching the resource hog, check to see if there's an update or bug fix that addresses the problem. If there isn't, consider switching to a competitor.