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Windows 7: Task Manager Unavailable


19 Dec 2009   #1

Windows 7 64 Pro
 
 
Task Manager Unavailable

Two days ago, CTRL+ALT+DEL still brought up a menu, but suddenly it no longer included the Task Manager. When I tried to access the TM, I was told that the "System Administrator" had made the TM unavailable. Since I am the only user of this computer, I am therefore its administrator, and my account is listed as admin. So how could I change this sudden strange behavior? I use TM all the time to shut down frozen programs, which appear in 7 almost as often as they did in Vista.

I found the solution over in the Vista forum. Rather than typing it all, I'll just post the URL: Task Manager - Enable or Disable - Vista Forums Try it if it happens to you. Conversely, you can use it to restrict some of your users from accessing the TM, if you think that's a good idea (I don't).

After I applied the change, I didn't even have to reboot!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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21 Dec 2009   #2

XP Pro and Windows7 32 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mmth View Post
Two days ago, CTRL+ALT+DEL still brought up a menu,
A comment about bringing up TM - no need to use CTRL+ALT+DEL.

Right click on the task bar > TM is on the context menu.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Dec 2009   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by mmth View Post
Two days ago, CTRL+ALT+DEL still brought up a menu, but suddenly it no longer included the Task Manager. When I tried to access the TM, I was told that the "System Administrator" had made the TM unavailable. Since I am the only user of this computer, I am therefore its administrator, and my account is listed as admin. So how could I change this sudden strange behavior? I use TM all the time to shut down frozen programs, which appear in 7 almost as often as they did in Vista.

I found the solution over in the Vista forum. Rather than typing it all, I'll just post the URL: Task Manager - Enable or Disable - Vista Forums Try it if it happens to you. Conversely, you can use it to restrict some of your users from accessing the TM, if you think that's a good idea (I don't).

After I applied the change, I didn't even have to reboot!
Chances are, if you need to access Task Manager so often to kill frozen processes, then you are either using incompatible software, or you have some type of virus or malware on the computer. It's likely the latter, and I see it often in my line of work.



A virus program is only effective if it continues to remain active in memory, right? Following are the most common techniques that virus creators employ to achive this goal:
  1. The virus gets itself launched by adding itself to places in the registry that launch applications that are not covered by tools such as Services in Computer Management or MSConfig. In some cases that I've seen, this technique also allow viruses to be run within Safe Mode.
  2. The launching program creates a second process that is the virus itself, and then monitors that process and re-launches it if it finds it is terminated.
  3. Some viruses also monitor the registry for changes, and re-include their launch parameters in the appropriate locations should those parameters be changed, thereby preventing themselves from being killed.
  4. The virus uses legit Windows Group Policy techniques to disable RegEdit and TaskManager functions, thus preventing more advanced users of killing the virus.
Whether you'd like to believe it or not, you DO have some form of Virus or Malware on your system, and this is the root cause of your instabilities.

A good tool to help in hunting down rouge programs that could be responsible is Autoruns For Windows on the Microsoft Technet website. It displays ALL possible autostart locations in the registry (many of which are not covered by MSConfig), including browser add-ons, and offer the ability to disable them. Just use caution, as the Autoruns program does not babysit you the user like MSConfig does, and used inappropriately can cause as much damage as the virus you are trying to remove. You have been warned.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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22 Dec 2009   #4

Windows 7 x64
 
 

I have been playing and found several malware sites. One put on something called winlogon86.exe, and some other things and some others. For some reason, WinXP at least is under attack right now. It seems the anti-virus makers want to sell more software, so they are infecting more computers.

If you had a problem with Task Manager, do not let it go with just that, there may be other entries on your computer you may not have yet noticed.

i.e. do searches for winupdate86, winlogon86, fspesysguard, and probably others. The only anti-virus I have found that actually alerted me to their presence was Microsoft Security Essentials, but it could not remove the problems. I have just started other testing, but Zone Alarm Anti-virus seemed to let it infect and never said a word.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Task Manager Unavailable




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