KimiCode: DS-00020-WI

How to Kill a Process on a Remote Machine

(When you can't just Remote in)


Normally, when we have a problem with a hung process on a remote machine we just remote in and kill it, but sometimes the hung process prevents us from remoting in, or perhaps we don't have remoting enabled on the troubled machine.

Tools That Can Help:

There are several command lines tools that can help, such as TASKLIST and TASKKILL; these are available on Windows XP and newer machines.

  • TASKLIST lists the processes running on local or remote nodes
    • Replaces the older, less capable TLIST tool
    • Type TASKLIST /? at the command line for basic syntax
  • TASKKILL can kill processes running on local or remote nodes
    • Replaces the older, less capable KILL tool
    • Type TASKKILL /? at the command line for basic syntax

Other Alternatives:

For Windows NT and Windows 2000 Machines there are older tools

  • Pulist.exe lists the processes running on local or remote nodes
  • Remote Kill kills processes running on remote nodes
    • This service (RKILLSRV.EXE) with both GUI (WRKILL.EXE) and command-line (RKILL.EXE) clients allows a user to enumerate and kill processes on a remote computer
    • To kill a process remotely with this tool, you must be member of the Administrators group
    • Available in Windows NT40 and 2000 Resource Kit
  • PSKill.exe Third-party command-line tool killing local or remote processes

Some Pitfalls:

If your client is running XP Service Pack 2, the Windows Firewall might bite you... You may need to open up the RPC and DCOM ports on the firewall, but this a tip, not a book :)

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