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Windows 7: Process Explorer Question: Odd Path?

17 Nov 2009   #1

Windows 7 RTM
Process Explorer Question: Odd Path?

Hi everyone. Sorry if this is the wrong place to ask this question, but I thought I might as well ask here.

A lot of the time I use Sysinternal's Process Explorer. Usually when running process explorer, hovering the mouse over a process shows both its list of services, and also the path from which that process is running. Typically I see "C:\{whatever}", which is what I'd expect.

This morning something peculiar happened while I was watching my computer boot up. A process named 'WMIADAP.exe' started to run (I think it was daughter to svchost, but I'm not sure). I know WMIADAP.exe is typically considered a legit program, but the copy on my harddrive isn't what's worrying me so much as the path of the one Process Explorer saw running. It only stayed running for a moment or two before closing itself, but I still managed to get the tooltip in that time. The path for this process was listed as below:


Now, I'm not sure what "\\?\C:\" means as a path, but my gut feeling is that it's a remote, network, or hidden drive, and not my hard drive, that this program is running from. Can anyone provide any insight, please, on why process explorer would list such a peculiar path name? For the record, I'm using the latest process explorer on Windows 7 Professional. Thanks!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Nov 2009   #2

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate

I believe that's just the fully qualified network name (UNC name) of your local C drive :)

If it were a remote machine the ? would be replaced by the machine name.

[Edit] Just looked it up, the \ \ ? \ part of the path specifies that it is a "long UNC name" actually. So the real path is just the C:... part [/edit]
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Nov 2009   #3

Windows 7 RTM

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by fseal View Post
I believe that's just the fully qualified network name (UNC name) of your local C drive :)

If it were a remote machine the ? would be replaced by the machine name.
Huh, really? Well, that's good to know! I'm just perplexed because this seems to be the only process, and the only time, that the path has ever been displayed that way. Everything else seems happy to just call it 'C:\{Path}'. And I suppose I would have expected 'Localhost' or '' over '?'.

Anyhow, if what you're saying is true, then I guess it's nothing to worry over! Thanks for the input.
My System SpecsSystem Spec


 Process Explorer Question: Odd Path?

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