If you’re running on Windows 7, no doubt you’ve noticed significant benefits in running this operating system over previous versions of Windows. One of the small improvements, in my view , is an improvement in the Windows Task Manager tool, which finally shows “running processes”.
Still, Windows Task Manager continues to fall far short of providing me with all the information that I really need to control my system more effectively.
Process Hacker 1.9 (release date, December 30, 2009), is a free (open source), Windows Task Manager replacement which takes up the challenge where Windows Task Manager leaves off.
Installation and setup is simple – just follow the bouncing ball.
A very simple interface makes it easy to use Process Hacker (for both novices and pros alike), to manage computer resources and yet, this application is packed with features.
Presents information clearly – A simple, customizable tree view with highlighting which shows the processes running on your computer.
Comprehensive information for all processes.
Provides a range of process termination methods – Process Hacker can terminate, suspend, resume, restart and set the priority of processes. Processes are highlighted to provide additional information such as whether they are elevated or in a job. More interesting things you can do with processes include injecting DLLs and even replacing security tokens (XP only).
Detailed performance graphs.
A list of network connections – since I like to check my ports and connections frequently, I found this very helpful.
Finds hidden processes and allows you to terminate them. Process Hacker detects processes hidden by simple rootkits such as Hacker Defender and FU.
Modules – It can display the modules loaded by each process and their properties. It can also find the address of any exported function in a module, change page protection of the module’s memory region, and read the module’s memory.
Threads – It can also terminate, suspend, resume and set the priority of threads. Symbolic start addresses are provided, and double-clicking a thread will show its call stack.
Additionally, GUI threads (threads which have made at least one call to a GUI function) are highlighted.
Search – Process Hacker also supports saving memory search results and even intersecting (finding common items between) two sets of search results.
Handles – It can display the handles opened by processes and can close them.
Memory – It can display the memory regions in a process’ virtual memory space, and even read/write data using a built-in hex editor.
Token – It can display each process’ primary token and its user, source, groups and privileges. It even allows you to enable and disable privileges.
Following an earlier review of Process Hacker, a reader familiar with this application commented:
“Very useful tool, Bill. I really like the way in which the information is presented, it’s very easy to understand and has plenty of very useful features. The “search online” feature is particularly useful to have, better than ProcessQuickLink, for me”.
The following is from a PC World review:
“Process Hacker is an astoundingly useful and full-featured tool for monitoring and, yes, hacking ongoing processes on your PC. There is an astonishing amount of functionality crammed into a clean, well-designed, interface”.
Systems Requirements: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 – 32-bit or 64-bit.
Additional Requirements: Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0
Note: Certain functionality including detection of hidden processes, full control over all processes, and the ability to protect/unprotect processes is only available on 32-bit systems.
Recommendation: If you need information on what’s running on your system, system resource usage, or evaluating application performance, then Process Hacker is definitely worth taking a look at.
Overall I think this is a terrific free application and I have added it to my geek toolbox. Since malware can often restrict access to the Windows Task Manager, this application is good insurance to have handy.
Special note: Provides full control over all processes, even processes protected by rootkits or security software. You can find hidden processes and terminate them. Process Hacker detects processes hidden by simple rootkits such as Hacker Defender and FU.
Download at: SourceForge
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