How to Kill an Orphaned Process

This article was previously published under Q197155
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
When a service terminates abnormally, "orphaned" childprocesses may remain. This article describes several methods to remove this kind of process.

Method 1: The KILL Command

To remove orphaned child processes, use the kill command from the Resource Kit:
kill process name or id
kill -f process name or id
To obtain a list of processes and process IDs, use the Task Manageror the TLIST utility from the Resource Kit.

Method 2: The AT Utility

If neither of the commands described in the preceding section work, if the Schedule service is running onthe computer in the Local System context, you may be able to terminate the process successfully by scheduling one of the preceding commandswith the AT utility:
at time /interactive cmd /c kill -f process name or id

Method 3: The PVIEW Utility

If method 1 and method 2 are unsuccessful, usethe PVIEW utility from the Resource Kit, Supplement 3, to adjust the permissions on the process and then kill it. You must bean Administrator to perform this task.

Note PVIEW may not run correctly in a Terminal Services session.
  1. Start Pview.exe.
  2. Click the target process from the list of processes.
  3. Click Process in the Security pane, adjust the permissions of the process to give administrators (or the currently logged-on user) all accesses to the process, and then repeat this step for Thread security and Process Token security.
  4. Use the kill command to terminate the process.
If none of these procedures work, you must restart the system to terminatethe process.
For additional information about how this problem can arise, and foralternative solutions to the problem, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
142011 How to Close a Remote Process by Using the Scheduler Service
138340 Trouble Quitting Program Started with AT.EXE Scheduler

Article ID: 197155 - Last Review: 12/05/2015 09:57:05 - Revision: 4.2

Microsoft Windows 2000 Server, Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server, Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition, Microsoft Windows 2000 Datacenter Server, Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition, Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition, Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0, Terminal Server Edition

  • kbnosurvey kbarchive kbhowto KB197155