Regular readers are going to start thinking that along with my addiction to wine, women, and song, I must be addicted to writing reviews on Windows Task Manager replacements and the like.
This review is a little different though, since I’ve written it with the casual computer users’ needs in mind, rather than the more experienced user I usually focus on.
If you are a new or a casual computer user, What’s Running is a free application that can help you easily find what’s actually running on your computer. It presents a number of views, in a tabbed format, and each one relates to what’s really running on your machine.
Let’s start with processes; the most basic concept – every program you start, or is started by the operating system, is a process. In the process view you can see all the processes easily.
Services are background tasks – keep in mind that a process can contain many services.
The modules are actual files with code and other data, that a process needs. Each process contains at least one loaded module.
Drivers are small programs loaded by the system, to handle hardware and specific system tasks.
IP connections are connections that your computer needs to make in order to send and receive data from the Internet.
Click on a graphic to expand to original.
In the expanded view of this screen capture, you can readily see what’s running on the test machine. 52 Processes; 164 Services; 653 Modules; 48 IP Connections; 288 Drivers; and 6 Startups.
I’ve chosen to seek out more information on FWservice.exe by clicking on “Check info online, which returned the following from the developer’s site.
Each class of running component can be viewed in detail, by accessing the tabbed interface. Control functions are built-in by accessing the “right click” context menu.
Internet Connections View:
Processes – Inspect your processes and find all the relevant details that you need. Get performance and resource usage data such as memory usage, processor usage and handles. As well, you get details about what dll:s are loaded, what services are running within the process, and what IP connections each process has.
IP Connections – Find out information about all active IP connections in the system. Get a list of what remote connections each program has, and find out what applications are listening for connections.
Services – Inspect what services are running or stopped and find the process for your services and inspect its properties easily.
Modules – Find information about all dll:s and exe:s in use in your system. For each module you can find all processes that have loaded the module. Also you can find the full path and immediately open the folder where the file is located.
Drivers – Find information about all drivers. For running drivers you can inspect the file version to find the supplier of the driver.
Startup – Manage all your startup programs. Disable, edit, delete, etc. Manage startup programs regardless of source (registry or Startup folder).
If you are a new or casual computer user, What’s Running is a terrific application that will help you become familiar with your computer; what drives it, and in an overall sense – how it works.
Once you become familiar with your machine, you can then start taking action, including stopping and starting processes and services, and preventing unwanted programs from running on startup.
Experienced users know, that applications such as What’s Running can be used as an aid in tracking down malware infections. As a new, or casual user, it won’t take long before you have the ability to do the same thing (if you become infected) – once you learn to harness the power of What’s Running.
System requirements: Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7.
USB compatible: During the install process, you have the option of a minimum install to a Flash Drive.
Download at: Developer’s site (whatsrunning.net)
Note: This application is classified as a Beta, but I’ve been running it for years (in one version or another – including this version), with no difficulties.
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